This spring and summer Marben Restaurant will be hosting semi-weekly sausage competitions between two Toronto restaurants. The winners will move on, tournament-style, to three playoffs in August and September and then the championship round on September 28th.
Last week I had the pleasure of joining friends Suresh, Bonita, Samantha, and Maria as guests of Marben’s Carl Heinrich for the second Sausage League competition. From the excellent perspective offered by Marben’s kitchen-side chef table we saw chef Ted Corrado of c5 take on chef Eran Marom of Marron Bistro.
Chef Marom’s entry was a telling combination of his Bocuse training and his restaurant’s all-kosher menu. His saucisson lyonnaise en croute was a chicken, mint, and lemon sausage inside a duck-fat brioche served with artfully-swooped mustard-sauerkraut, fig-espresso, and roasted eggplant purées.
C5′s chef Corrado went a more casual route and presented his nona-style spicy Calabrese sausage on soft polenta with rapini and tomato sauce. This combination went excellently with the chilly, torrential weather that evening.
We book-ended the dueling sausages with appetiser and dessert selections from Marben’s regular menu. Favourites of mine were Ryan’s Charcuterie (as in Donovan, formerly of The Healthy Butcher and Cowbell), Carl’s Crispy Egg Salad, and Evan’s Warm Apple Pudding.
I’m a devoted fan of pork and wish every meal could include rapini but I couldn’t resist voting for Marron’s well-executed and more elegant plate. Despite my ballot preference c5 will be moving on to face the winner of Trevor vs. The Healthy Butcher that is scheduled for July 6th.
At twenty-five bucks for the two competing sausage dishes and a bottle of Steam Whistle this is a great deal especially when you consider the possibilities for sharing and combining with the regular Marben menu. Next week’s face-off between Torito and the joint team from Libretto and Enoteca Sociale looks particularly interesting. Judging from the crowd when we were there reservations are definitely recommended.
Marben Restaurant: 488 Wellington St. W (east of Portland); 416-979-1990; firstname.lastname@example.org