David Lee’s Taste of August menu at Nota Bene in Toronto captures all that is refreshing and cool about summer. The set menu makes summer dining easy, especially with the option to upgrade to include a wine and cocktail pairing.
Our preview started with a Rio Cubano cocktail made of cachaça, pineapple, mint and lime – imagine a delicious boozy snow cone in a glass.
The first course offers a choice of two shellfish options, with heirloom tomatoes in the spotlight. The “Ensenada style” lobster tacos come on a crushed ice-chilled platter with lettuce for DIY wrapping on the side. Light, fun and fresh, it’s a great and unpretentious way to kick off dinner. The second option features the heirloom tomatoes a little more prominently, with colorful varieties served alongside a crab melt.
The next two courses are where Nota Bene’s craft and ingenuity really shine. The chilled sweet English pea soup was cold, velvety and as flavourful as it was colourful. 10 points for originality. Next up, the truffle tortellini dish is small but mighty in its complexity and taste profile.
For the main course, we opted for the lamb 3 ways, featuring three very different cuts, each showcasing distinct cooking techniques, and served with delightful peaches ‘n cream corn frites and olive tapenade. The lamb dish is paired with a robust Pinot Noir (“Whoa Nelly”) from Okanagan Valley.
After an incredible meal, we were full but not too stuffed for dessert – featuring local wild blueberries and apricots with lemon curd and gelato, paired with a sweet Italian dessert wine.
With this latest menu, David Lee beautifully taps into all the things we love about summer – be sure to stop by Nota Bene before the season wraps up.