Nota Bene Restaurant (Twitter: @NotaBeneToronto / Instagram: @NotaBeneToronto) one of the most popular restaurants of the Queen West neighbourhood, created and run by Toronto Chef David Lee, recently underwent a huge interior makeover and also a completely revamped menu. Nota Bene’s new menu focuses on a balance of the elements Chef Lee believes produce a memorable dish – simplicity, seasonality and flavour. The food is inspired and informed by David’s extensive travel and love of cooking in season.
Nota Bene now features a Japanese plate Thursday to Saturday nights, sourcing fish directly from Japan’s Tsukiji Fish Market. This sashimi plate (see below) was amazing. Loyal patrons do not need to worry, as the 60 dry-aged Cumbrae Farms Ribsteak for 2 remains on the menu! Another thing I really like about this menu, is that it also caters to patrons that are very health conscious – the Heirloom Cookstown Carrots & also a whole Slow-Roasted Vegetables.
Luckily enough for me, I got a chance to sample the 4-7 Bar Snack menu and also items from their new menu!
Given the fact that most of the restaurants in the financial district are quite pricey, its may not be in everyone’s budget to frequently visit a fine dining restaurant. So when Nota Bene brought out a 4-7 Bar Snack Menu, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Basically from Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm, Nota Bene offers Bar Snack Menu Items for $4 ($7 from 7pm – close).
The 4-7 Bar Snack Menu includes items like: Beef Sliders, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Chicken Fried Mushrooms and Avocado & Prawns. What a steal!
4-7 BAR SNACKS ($4)
- Crisp Pork Cheek
- I was told the Chef almost wanted to take this item off the menu and I’m SO glad he didnt! – Crispy around the outside and the pork cheek literally melts in your mouth. I almost inhaled in the whole thing without realizing.
They also offer a Small Plates Menu for $12 from 4pm to close which includes: Fish Tartare, Puffed Beef Tendon, Octopus and the ceviche shown below.
- Hamachi Ceviche – leche de tigre, charred scallions
After snacking on a few bits and pieces at the bar, we made our way over to sample items for dinner. I just wanted to pause here for a moment and talk about the interior decor of the space. Nota Bene now features a salvaged iron wood tree trunk treated with the ancient Japanese process of Shou Sugi Ban. The tree’s canopy is represented by a gestural 3D printed installation. A new opening to the kitchen is screened by a luminescent mural spanning the entire back wall of the restaurant. In the photo below, you’ll notice these tumble weeds roll that overheads the entire dining room. The new space was conceived by the award-winning design firm+tongtong.
Bread to Start:
Northern Divine Caviar ($100.00)
- smoked sturgeon, crema, egg, shallot, capers, brioche
“Tsukiji Fish Market” Sashimi Plate (Market Price)
- Wasabi, NB soya – available Thursday to Saturday only
- Here we have a Kampachi (Alcamo Jack) and a Madai (Red Seabream)
Big Eye Tuna Tartare ($18.00)
- milk mayo, Perigord truffle, capers, tuna “bottarga”
Whole Grilled Seabass ($35.00)
- Australian extra-virgin oil, capers
Spinach ($9.00) Side – ordered separately
Haldimand County Lamb Shoulder ($38.00)
- tahini, sunchokes, chickpeas, papadum, onion petal
Sticky Date Pudding
- Pecan Praline, Hewitt’s semi-whipped cream, rum raisins, brown butter ice cream
Chocolate Ganache “Fleur de Sel”
I’m already looking forward to my next Nota Bene to sample the rest of their 4-7 Bar Snack Menu. The menu totally appeals to me as I’m someone that LOVES to snack on some affordable shareable items with a glass of wine after work. Given the $4 price point, its a complete steal! In terms of our dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed each course. I highly recommend the Sashimi Plate, the Tuna tartare (there’s something incredibly delicious about those brioche) and the Lamb Shoulder was very lean and tasty.
Nota Bene takes reservations and walk-ins, for lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner Monday through Saturday.
You can check out their menu HERE. (their website also includes their 4-7 Bar Snack Menu)
This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content.