Summerlicious Review: BerBer Social

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My sisters checked out BerBer Social for our annual Summerlicious catch up. We love getting together and taking time to flaunt our foodie knowledge even if it is amongst ourselves so we can giggle and marvel at the restaurant of our choice’s culinary delights.

BerBer takes you back to a time, when the Berbers of North Africa bestowed exquisite gifts of urban living on medieval Europe. We love the ambience at BerBer. It radiates a chilled vibe and a perfect combination with their food and drink.

The $35 Dinner at BerBer Summerlicious was pure decadence. It included of the following:

First Course
Arancini (vegetarian)
Parmesan stuffed risotto fried golden brown and served with house made red sauce
Soup de Jour
A fresh made seasonal specialty
Mixed Green Salad (vegetarian)
With preserved lemon vinaigrette, carrots, radish and candied walnuts

Second Course
Half Rack of Lamb
Grilled to order with roasted redskin potatoes, butter minted brussel sprouts, glazed carrots and lamb jus
Braised Short Rib
Tender fall off the bone beef, braised with traditional spices, finished with a rich red wine demi-glace, served over a parsnip puree and accompanied by seasonal vegetables
Salmon & Parsnip
Pan seared salmon, parsnip puree, sautéed spinach, golden fingerling potatoes and a frisse salad
Grilled Eggplant (vegetarian)
Marinated eggplant, carrot puree, sautéed lentils, confit of grape tomatoes and olive oil

 Third Course
Icy BerBer Pudding (vegetarian)
A traditional rice pudding, dried apricot, shaved lime, sauce anglaise
Crème Brulée du Jour (vegetarian)
A rich and flavourful crème brulée
Orange Chocolate Mousse (vegetarian)
Chocolate, orange, toasted coconut tart, almond crumble and mint

My sisters and I started off with a Mimosa Rossa, a Blue Lagoon and a Mango juice. The drinks came very quickly and were a nice to start after coming in from the summer heat. The space at BerBer is very mysterious. Tucked below street level – the wood hand carvings, romantic lightning, beautifully tiled floors and soft furnishings offered a nice respite after a busy week.

As my sisters and I giggled away and caught up after the waitress quickly took our orders and almost within minutes we had our first course. My sister and I ordered the Arancini which was not what we expected at all. What came was indeed a Parmesan stuffed risotto fried golden brown and served with house made red sauce. But instead of a risotto in a plate we received the meals as two tennis sized balls delicately drizzled with a light tomato sauce. They were warm, simple yet decadent and we savoured every bite. My other sister had the Mixed Green Salad which she found ample and refreshing. There was a kick to the salad and very crunchy. A nice choice if you want something light to start you off.

Once the first course plates were taken away they were quickly replaced with the Braised Short Rib, Salmon & Parsnip and Grilled Eggplant for my sisters and I. My sister enjoyed the Salmon & Parsnip. She found the salmon robust and married well with the parsnip puree. The sautéed spinach, golden fingerling potatoes and the frisse salad was fresh and just enough to feel satiated.

My other sister had the Grilled Eggplant. The marinated eggplant, carrot puree, sautéed lentils, confit of grape tomatoes and olive oil although looked easy on the menu was filling and a perfect summer choice if you are not feeling a meat option. My sister savoured the moist marinated eggplant. One thing my sisters and I all agreed on was that the parsnip and carrot purees at BerBer were fantastic. They could stand alone just as a lil side dish. My sister stated that she enjoyed sopping up the eggplant into the carrot puree on her plate.

I had the Braised Short Rib. Now I had the Braised Short Rib over Winterlicious at BerBer and it was nothing in comparison to what I received over the weekend. The plate that came out was 2 times larger a portion of what I received on my last visit. I actually felt a bit panicked that I may not be able to finish it. But I did. Of course. 😉

The Braised Short Rib came still on the bone and like last time just fell of the bone into the gorgeous rich red wine demi-glace without much effort. It was served over a parsnip puree and accompanied by seasonal vegetables. The parsnip puree again enveloped the beef as I ate my meal quietly. I passed some of the beef and parsnip puree to my sisters and we all agreed it was a winner. I would personally go to BerBer once a week for this dish. Not only was it flavourful, a meat lover’s dream but so yummy that you were beaming upon completion.

We ended our meals with dessert after a lil break between the first and second course. We needed a moment to catch our breath. We ordered an Icy BerBer Pudding and two Orange Chocolate Mousse. My sisters and I enjoyed our desserts but we’ll be honest that they fell flat in comparison to what we had just indulged upon for our first and second courses. It would be nice if perhaps a fruit flan, maybe even a cheese plate was offered as an end.

That said, we had a great evening at BerBer Social. We were sitting close to the front of the restaurant and it was charming to see people filtering in and out taking in the atmosphere and décor of the restaurant. The restaurant was busy but not too busy that we could take our time and enjoy the space and service.

Like always BerBer Social is always a winner and should take a space in your Summerlicious and Winterlicious checklist for restaurants to ‘try out’ every year to see what new offerings they can tantalize your palate with.

BerBer Social
49 Front St E


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