For our 6th year “first date” anniversary, Dave and I tackled another restaurant from our eating out wishlist. I know, it’s a tough job, but we’re dedicated and we’re up for the task! We had a lovely dinner at Toasted Oak, which is located in the Baronette Hotel in Novi (right near by Twelve Oaks Mall).
To start, we ordered cocktails and an appetizer. We both ordered drinks from their cocktail menu. I ordered a peanut butter cup tini: which was made with Godiva chocolate vodka, Godiva liqueur, and frangelico. It was delicious! It was also a very generous size at a reasonable price, alas I forgot to take a photo. Dave went for a more classic drink and ordered the Toak rusty nail which was made with Glenlivet and Bärenjäger (a honey liquer). He loved his drink as well. They are both cocktails that we’d love to try to recreate at home.
For our appetizer, we ordered the chorizo corn dog bites: house-made chorizo sausage corn dog served with jalapeno-cilantro mustard. Again, we ate these up so fast I forgot to take a photo (see above for the remains)! The chorizo and corn bread batter were both very good, but we thought the real star was the jalapeno-cilantro mustard. It was very tasty.
After our appetizer, I decided to try the Caesar salad as I had never had a grilled salad before and it sounded interesting. It was made up of charred romaine, smoked red onion, lemon confit, croutons, and white anchovy. I assumed the white anchovy would be in the dressing (and it may have been), but a filet was also placed right on top. I’m fine with it in the dressing, but didn’t work up the courage to eat the filet. Overall, the salad was good, the smokey flavor from the charring was nice, but I wanted a creamier dressing and it was a bit overwhelmingly lemony. I LOVED the croutons.
For my entree, I ordered the small portion of the Rigatoni al Forno, which was baked rigatoni, sausage “bolognese,” confit cherry tomatoes, and baby mozzarella. It was very good, but I think I enjoyed Dave’s entree more.
Dave ordered Chef Grostick’s award winning porcetta which is a pork tenderloin rolled in house-made kielbasa and bacon served with sweet creamed corn, spinach, and house-made potato gnocchi. The pork was SO incredibly tender, it was delicious and the potato gnocchi were very fluffy and light. I would order this dish again.
To finish it all off, Dave and I shared dessert. We ordered the butterscotch blondie brownie sundae which was composed of a brown butter blondie, toffee chip ice cream, butterscotch sauce, whipped cream, verjus cherries. Dave loved it, he even thought that this blondie was better than our favorite Zingerman’s blondie, but I disagreed. I thought it was very good, but that Zingerman’s is better. Overall, I thought the dessert was way too sweet and it got a little overwhelming. The presentation in the jar was nice, but difficult to eat especially since we shared it, so we so elegantly dumped it out onto a plate.
I would highly recommend checking out Toasted Oak, especially for a special night as it is rather expensive. They also offer breakfast, brunch, and lunch as well as meals in the market portion of the restaurant. It was all delicious and we’d definitely go back again.