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Toronto restaurant recommendation - Page 46

post #676 of 981
I would recommend Swish by Han. Its Korean fusion food. Not the traditional korean food.
post #677 of 981
Originally Posted by fwiffo View Post
I was at the Gabardine last night. This was where the old Blue Moon bar was. The space is essentially laid out the same but very bright and airy compared to Blue Moon. The kitchen is see through now. I had the mac and cheese, which many critics have raved about - simple but nice. Portions are sized enough that I had room for the toffee something dessert - a bit too much on the sweet side. The old fashioneds were nice but I was too much along to try any of the other cocktails. Service was quick but maybe becuase my dinner started at 9pm. The place attracts a younger more eccentric type crowd on a Friday night - more like the Ossington strip than the typical money pits in and around the financial district. (a couple of Mad Men wannabes too) I'd come back again for lunch but it seems like they're always packed. Other than the steak & frites and ploughman's platter, I think most entrees were $15 or below.

It's nice to see something a little younger in in the financial district, and it's a decent place to drink and eat (Reds, South of Temperance, Beer Bistro can get tiring). I love the design too.
post #678 of 981
I went to Il Mulino last night. It's a nice traditional italian place at eglington W near bathurst and is probably the best italian I've had in the city so far. The service was very attentive. Neither water, nor wine glasses were ever empty, everyone was very friendly, etc. There was none of the snobbery you get at some high-end places. It feels like a family-owned restaurant. We sat down for dinner relatively late and were the last to leave but there was no sense that they were trying to get us out of there, which was appreciated. The somm was maybe a bit too chatty, but he was probably a bit bored as it was a slow sunday night. That's my only minor gripe.

The food was very good. They start you off with what's not quite a flatbread topped with rosemary and drizzled with EVOO. I had a beef carpaccio appetizer followed by a herb crusted rack of lamb in a pommery mustard sauce. The lamb was cooked to perfection and the sauce was really delicious. My date had the soup of the day (forget what it was) and a mixed mushroom risotto with white truffle oil. The rice was perfect and the consistency was just right imo. We shared a warm molten chocolate cake for desert.

The wine list is extensive, but much of it is quite expensive ($250+). I know french wines much much better than italian wines, but the somm knews his wine and was able to suggest a good bottle of Barbera that we both really enjoyed. All in all, it came to $190+tip for two.

Will go again.
post #679 of 981
^ Thanks for the rec, and glad I found this thread. Having returned to the City only somewhat recently after a lengthy absence for work, etc., I'm finding that while foodie staples (like Canoe, Barberians, etc.) remain, that much has changed. For e.g., Rosewater, Anthony's, the Eddie, etc. At one time they were excellent, but alas not at all anymore, becoming over-priced tourist traps, I see. Then, there was this place in uptown which was quite frankly wonderful (near Yorkville, where the CIBC had its HQ before consolidating everything in the downtown banking district, but I've long forgot its name). That, too, became over-priced and barely edible, it was a shame (heh, and it's gone I see: good). Meanwhile, I've been looking for a good Italian place. I've family coming over from Germany, who really seem to enjoy Italian cuisine, so how perfect for me to find your rec, GQ: thanks. BTW, as to the Montreal vs. Toronto "competition" / food war thing going on earlier in this thread: way too funny. Brings back some memories, being fond -EQUALLY- of both places, but for different reasons. This continent is big enough for both cities, and then some, eh? Just teasing, but seriously, thanks so much for the laugh. Reminds me why I love this place--the more restos, etc. evolve, the more some things just never change
post #680 of 981
I had lunch at BLD last Friday. Two butternut squash soups and one prawn salad for the lunch mate and one seared tuna salad for me. Lunch mate kept thinking I was going to starve but I actually liked the portion size. The crunchy asian coleslaw was pretty much inedible though. There is also plenty of ginger that I never detected at this place before in both the soup and the slaw. $58 + tip, no alcohol.

Sunday night was spent at Asuka in Yorkville. I never really eat in Yorkville but had the sashimi dinner there. Butterfish wasn't that great. The staples like salmon and tuna were nice though. Cheque was split so it was $28 + tip, just tea.
post #681 of 981
I dropped by Hank's for a cappucino yesterday. The building across the street got knocked down and reflects the same thing that happened to the former Kennedy space. It's now split into two, a burger joint and half of the original Hank's area. The decor has gone from wood and cafe style seating to something that looks more like it belongs in King West. The barista was still the same but little of anything else. Now it's more like a restaurant. Bar selection has expanded greatly and goes past the local offerings motto of the past.
post #682 of 981
I tried Aravind in Greektown next to the Pape subway on Sunday. I called ahead but was asked to make a 6:30 reservation even though all my time at the restaurant it was no more than half empty. I showed up and it took a good 15 minutes before we could order. My dining mate is actually from Kerala and a lot of the meals are closer to Vij's in Vancouver than the creamy curries that dot Toronto. The problem is the service. A two course meal took 90 minutes to serve and we had to ask to get our plates cleared for the cheque. The prinicpal seems to be the only person who can put orders in and that didn't make it any faster. Two glasses of wine, dosa appetizers and two entrees ended up being 78+tip.
post #683 of 981
but what about the food?
post #684 of 981
I had the crab stew with Kerala bread. Basically it was potatoes, crab meat on top of soft (read: oily) pastry with a crab leg thrown in. I had no idea how I was supposed to eat the crab leg (biting?). There are no sharp or extremely bright flavours like the typical Indian place. Even the sauces that accompany some of the dishes are mild.

For appetizer, the mini dosas were like crepes with filling inside. It was pretty interesting and there's a dosa entree but I can't imagine eating that for the entire meal.

They serve your meal with warm cumin infused water so it helps clean the palate between each entree. For those looking for spicy spicy hot, it's not the place to go. People who don't eat seafood will also have problems as it's pretty much vegetarian or seafood.
post #685 of 981
sounds like a not-so-typical place then, but you don't seem too enthused about it.
post #686 of 981
To be honest I went because my mate is from Kerala. He said it was pretty authentic. Second Joanne Kates did a favourable review. If I go back I would go for the whole trout. But I wouldn't think I want to subject myself again to the poor service. As I said, it's unique: local ingredients and not the typical heavy greasy spicy stuff. In that sense it reminds me of Vancouver's Vij's.

I'm back in town next week so I am welcome to suggestions again. I'm desperate for proper sashimi.
post #687 of 981
Enoteca Sociale, Saturday night. It's on Dundas West in Little Portugal, roughly in the Jamieson area. Supposed to be one of the new hotspots, it was quite busy and quite good. Couldn't get a reservation but they said they leave half the restaurant for walk-ins. We showed up, had a glass of prosecco, waited twenty minutes, and were in. Nice wine list and they have an Enomatic system (yes, I had to look that up) that allows them to offer some top shelf wines on the wine-by-the-glass menu. Great for when your spouse doesn't usually drink. Had Arancini for a starter (fried risotto balls), forwent the pasta in favour of trout on one side and a grilled meat dish on the other. Service was excellent, very attentive and friendly.
post #688 of 981
I've been floating around on business dinners and lunches so it has been the prosaic establishments in the financial district. Tried FOUR, mediocre service - other places are doing calorie restricted meals now so it's not as novel and I honestly thought the quality was not as good.

Jump for lunch - specials sold out at 12:10pm, which was suspicious because the food turnaround is lightning fast. You can do a lunch & coffee in less 50 minutes there. Specials were premade?

Aria for lunch - service was a pedestrian 80 minutes for two courses. Waitres was encouraging us to take another glass of wine, perhaps to hide the fact that dessert would take another 30 minutes.

And Biff's for dinner, steak & frites got lost in the ordering system (how? half the bloody restaurant was ordering a steak) and the liquor really couldn't come often enough. I think the waiter to table ratio is seriously out of balance.
post #689 of 981
Can't get enough of the Stockyards!! The ribs are the best I've ever had and would give any authentic Southern BBQ place a run for their money. Smoked chicken is great but not as exciting as the other options. Brisket sandwich is awesome (my 8 yo son loves it). The fries are the best in town, by far. Lots of brunch options too on Sunday. The dirty south is a great 'sandwich' (chicken fried steak on a buttermilk biscuit smothered in sausage gravy). Fish tacos and grilled cheese look yummy. I'll update next time... The place is packed at dinner time with very little counter space (maybe a dozen seats) to eat in so lots of takeout.
post #690 of 981
I read about this in The Globe, and since I work in a German company, I guess I should start fancying going to a beer hall:

They talked about a kangaroo meat sausage. What parts of the kangaroo do they put in that? The pouch? I'll have to think of someone to bring here, since certain people I go eat with don't like me eating Winnie the Pooh's friends.
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