Nestled into a corner location just steps away from the famous St Lawrence Market is Cresta, the refined yet casual restaurant that you have been looking for and that does the St Lawrence neighbourhood proud.
The first thing that you will notice is the clever and modern design of the interior, with a wraparound bar to serve the restaurant. And with a courteous, attentive and knowledgeable staff I can assure you that you will be taken care of and given great recommendations.
For my first dish I had the scallops cruda, a ceviche dish wherein the seafood isn’t actually cooked with heat but with citric acid. (Think of it as something halfway between sushi and regular seafood but with exponentially more flavour.) I chose this dish as a sort of challenge to the chef as ceviche is notoriously hard to master. However, I wasn’t disappointed. Served on a bed of ice to preserve freshness and with coriander as an accent, as well as a garlic chip as a heartier counterbalance to the taste, the scallops were served in lime juice and were delectable. They possessed a complex taste of equal parts tangy, sweet and refreshing. I was not expecting them to be so delicious as they were loaded with flavour. Head Chef Tri Tran pulled this difficult dish off with style and aplomb.
For my main dish I selected the sea bass, poached in saffron and served on a red pepper purée with fingerling potatoes and heirloom carrots. I realized quickly that the vegetables served mostly as a distraction as the real taste of the dish is the sea bass with the red pepper purée. Another dish on the lighter side, the fish was in fact so light that I’m not sure what was holding it together. As light as air and perfectly flaky, the sea bass was exquisite. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and this fish and sauce is worth its weight in gold.
For dessert I chose the chocolate truffle, with chocolate crumble, chocolate, vanilla and salted caramel gelato and raspberry coulis, paired with the Taylor Floodgate port. The many different textures in the chocolate truffle dish, the crumble, the truffle, and the freshly made gelato, combined with the different tastes, made it clear that the best things were on this plate. The extremely rich gelato balanced perfectly with the crumble, though the best taste was the vanilla and caramel gelato with the chocolate truffle, which was just the perfect dessert. And the port was both sweet and serious and a great counterpoint to the richness of the dessert plate.
Cresta is a testament to hard work and a lot of thought put into a menu. Delightful to eat at and a fantastic place to get some exquisite dishes, Cresta is a place that I fully recommend. It’s about time that you skipped the St Lawrence Market for some real food.
Cresta is located at 118 The Esplanade