Address: 97 Harbord Street, Toronto
Phone: (416) 920-2186
Cost: Valentine’s Day special prix fixe menu at $35 pp
Messis sports a minimalist, airy interior, definitely a good thing when seated elbow-to-elbow with love-sick couples on Valentine’s Day. We were lucky to score a reservation that wasn’t after 9!
Although a prix fixe menu, Messis boasted a much greater selection of dishes (including seafood, chicken, duck, steak and liver!) than other restaurants on the Winterlicious circuit (even though Messis was not on the Winterlicious circuit this year). After sneaking peaks at the items ordered by the patrons beside us, we decided to go with the curried shrimp and crab cakes and the grilled scallops to start.
Curried shrimp and crab cakes with coconut, mango, red pepper slaw and cilantro green onion drizzle.
The curried shrimp and crab cakes were pretty darn tasty with a crispy outer crust and a tender, flaky and savory filling.
The coconut, mango, red pepper slaw on the side added a nice contrast to the cakes and cilantro sauce.
Grilled scallops with a small salad of blood orange, and fennel served with pepper coulis and a mango drizzle.
The grilled scallops could have used a little more of something…more heat in the coulis, perhaps?
Next, we had the chicken and the fish.
The roasted free range chicken breast stuffed with pancetta served with zucchini, portabellini-mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted sweet potatoes in a gorgonzola broth (we ordered it without the cheesey broth) was the tastiest dish we ordered and I wanted it back after promising to share half with my husband.
Roasted free range chicken breast stuffed with pancetta served with zucchini, portabellini-mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted sweet potatoes in a gorgonzola broth
His fish dish wasn’t quite as good. Bland, actually. The shrimps were okay, but again, lacked flavour. I also always feel that bok choy is filler on a plate, much like sprouts.
Pan seared black cod with a jumbo shrimp brochette served with roasted potatoes and sauteed baby bok choy with a shrimp essence.
Dessert was much better. We ordered the “Grand marnier chocolate mousse cake with raspberry ice” which was entirely too dense but quite good. We simply could not finish it and “had” to take it to go.
Grand marnier chocolate mousse cake with raspberry ice
Messis is just West of Spadina on the South side of Harbord, steps away from where Eduardo’s (formerly Latitude, now The Harbord Room) used to be. So for now, and for the area, Messis is one of the nicer places you could go for a sit-down dinner.