Originally Posted by GQgeek
Have you been to Lucien? i've walked by it every week and been tempted but haven't gone yet.
Apparently I did recently. This was last year's review. But that was before the owner announced van Gameren and Guy Rawlings were revamping their menu. Like most places on that street (Bravi, Trevor's Kitchen), I find they try to be the quaint bistro for the corporate crowd.
Monday lunch at Dynasty in Yorkville. Took me a little time to find the place once I left the subway but I finally found it. Got seated next to the front door but the good thing was the maitre'd would come over and help out. 6 dim sum items came within 30 minutes so it was pretty efficient. Getting the cheque, however, took 15 minutes. Oh well. The menu is exactly the same as before when they were on Bloor Street. The space is newer but still quite sterile; clean for a Chinese place but sterile. $45 + tip.
Wednesday was another work lunch at Bannock where I had the worse possible chicken chef salad. I think the turkey cold cuts were so sour they were bad. Chicken was so dry I almost thought I was eating from Subway. And in spite of the fact that I asked and passed on any garlic dressing because I wanted to avoid having Caesar salad breath after lunch, the dressing was still heavily laden with garlic. Luckily I didn't pay for that one.
Friday lunch was a redux to Modus. We split the proscuitto starter, which actualy was a hefty cup of arugula with a few pieces of proscuitto on top. It could easily pass as an entree to be honest. I had the pickerel and my dining mate had a halibut. The fish was a healthy portion. No bones. Some puree vegetables to go with it and seasoned and seared enough to make you want to eat the skin too. Waiter had no clue about the cheese plate for dessert, and disappeared when I wanted a digestif. $140 + tip including a couple glasses of pinot grigio and then mysteriously for an Italian place, they had no more by the glass so we switched to a chardonnay. Coat check was a mess. Our waiter ended up getting our coat because there was a queue for the hostess.
Friday dinner was spent at e11even. Ironically, Joanne Kates just published her review of the place. The menu barely changed since I was last there and I agree with her that there are too many red meat dishes; if all you want are steak, prime rib, pork tenderloin, this is the place. Trying to look for something else smaller is almost impossible. I tried the linguini which came with a cream sauce, bits of bacon, and a sunny side egg?! My dining mate had the maple burger, but he didn't end up eating all of it because it was too sugary. We ate at the bar while watching the Leafs game. I like how the bartenders get off shift and then promise to get you something but then never come back. We also asked repeatedly when last call was and over the span of one hour kept getting the answer "We should already be closed." It was the night of Prince's concert so there were a lot of eccentric characters including some woman with a mink at the bar.
e11even apparenly has the best washroom in Canada. Hmm, I didn't think it was that great when I left on Friday. Pizzeria Libretto is now open in the Danforth. Liberty Belle Bistro shuttered, which means I'll have to go somewhere else for crepes.