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Toronto restaurant recommendation - Page 54

post #796 of 981
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post


Thanks, pops! wink.gif
post #797 of 981
I had a short rib sandwich with fries at Come and Get It - $12.43. The place looks very 1990s including a functioning Nintendo 64 that I had to move the controller wires away so I can get my free drink. It's a few steps north on Queen & Spadina on the west side. Blink and you'll miss it.

Food comes out amazingly fast - probably because they only have four items and can prepare them in advance - 3 meat and a vegetarian option. I went on a Saturday so I'm not sure if they can keep this pace on a weekday. In retrospect, I should have tried the chicken salad, but the portions are pretty good - very flavourful - maybe it was the crispy onions that brought everything out. Fries came with a dip which in my case was the same dip as the chicken one, but the last bunch of fries at the bottom of the cup were all inedible odds & ends of batter. It was also pretty salty sans dip. No trash cans. There are big green bins for composting (although I really think plastic shouldn't go in there) and a blue box near the entrance. The cashier comes around to teach you this when he checks on your order.

Pleasant bunch of guys - read that they were all cooks at other places. If they are to survive till the summer, I think they'll have to change the menu up a bit in a few months, but it's only been open for a few weeks.
post #798 of 981
I went to the new Trump hotel today and went to the 31st floor for the Stock restaurant. Overall, it's a typical hotel restaurant with an insanely funereal setting including black drapes that would make Queen Victoria in mourning proud. I thought the picture from the website was stylized in Photoshop to be nearly black & white but it's literally that dark. Most of the patrons dressed in dark suits too.

I had the sea bass and the dining mate had salmon. Sea bass was a decent portion with tomatoes that had the tiniest sense of heat and artichokes that were absolutely cold. Different temperatures suggested some strange preparation. My dining mate had her salmon but upon tasting it admitted it was rather ordinary. I can vouch for the same. For dessert we split a "la guillotine" chocolate bar - which is a dark chocolate mixed nut bar that comes literally in a cheese guillotine board. It makes a huge noise if the dining space is quiet to cut, but actually is quite tasty. I'm not sure it's worth 20 though. Even though, they have an in house pastry chef and all desserts are home made, I'm not entirely sure I can confirm it. There is a table closet to the back of the restaurant that has a bunch of desserts on display.

The space is great for after work drinks but I'm not sure it's actually a proper dining room. Dining staff are a bit green. I was guided to a table only for the guide to stop by and hand out menus to another table (am I really dining at a table of 6 filled with 6 people?) and the service was efficient but not entirely personable.

Couple of glasses of wine, two entrees , a shared dessert and a scotch ended up being $169 + tip.
post #799 of 981
Continuing the blow money away on hotel restaurant tour, I was at Toca on Thursday for lunch at the Ritz Carlton. This is the place with special cheese room. As predicted, you don't get to pick the cheese - unsure why. Had three cheeses for two people and the smoked salmon appetizer. The cheese was interesting and all of them were Canadian - I think two are from Quebec. But if you come with more people, you get more selection. I saw a table have 5 with 6 people. The smoked salmon was underwhelming. It had some sour cream laced greens on top but the salmon was on one of those greasy fried dough pancakes which made the smoked salmon wet & greasy. The dough reminded me of fried dough fritters from Chinese places - except it's the sweet one. Three glasses of wine and a brandy ended up being something around $140 + tip.

I didn't try any of the entrees. Looking around, the portions are massive. The appetizer I shared looked and felt like a main.

Service was uneven, although our server was very friendly. My wine glass sat empty after she checked in when the food arrived till the plates were cleared, and even though they take good care of you getting your coat into coat check, it was a bus boy who eventually came and got my coat.
post #800 of 981
Bistro 990's closing date has been firmed up. It will serve its last meal in 2 weeks. Go and get the steak tartare while you still can.
post #801 of 981
RIP bistro 990, had many a great meals in there. ostrich for the first time, and some other game.
post #802 of 981
I've been travelling so I haven't had time to do much. I tried out the couple of bars down below the Air Canada Centre on Bay Street - The Fox and Miller Tavern. The former is kitschy - you have faux pub food (bangers and mash where the bangers are a baby pink inside) and bartenders who are confessing they're hung over ($23 + tip) The latter is newer and you get horrid service at the bar - sat there for a good 20 minutes without anyone asking me for an order, and no, I don't look like a homeless bloke from the street. Both are ironically owned by the same company.

Next, I finally tried Real Sports bar after a Leafs game. The elbow to elbow bar area and sticky floors reminds me of my clubbing days. Two nacho appetizers and a round or two of drinks for four people ended up being $80 + tip. I can't say I'd ever willingly go back. A lot of talk about the eye candy there, but I frankly didn't see anything I couldn't see on the street for free.

The target for this week is Don Don Izakaya.
post #803 of 981
went to campagnolo the other night. It's alright, the steak was good, but wasn't a fan of the sweet potato agnolotti. The texture was really creamy and wasn't all that appetizing. I sat at the chef's bar, which I wasn't happy about initially, but turned out pretty cool. We chatted up the chefs and it was actually pretty interesting.
post #804 of 981
Don Don Izakaya - I went on a Wednesday and it wasn't that loud until the time I left (around 8:00 PM). We sat at the bar and had a small petite waitress serve us. Don't try to pick sake bottles less than $25 because they'll tell you they're out. So we ended up going with three bottles around $30 something. Being at the bar, they helped pour your first shot and place it in the ice bucket, but by the end of the evening they didn't even bother opening the bottle for you.

We had the fish cake, smokey hay salmon sashimi, some pork bun that was like a Chinese bbq pork bun, and the skewer sampler, basically all the ones recommended in the Globe review. I don't think I was wow-ed, but it was half decent. I'd say the fish cake and skewers were the best ones of the lot.

Toronto Life just published their 2012 best new restaurants

Can't say I agree with some of them. Volos is pretty average - nice space, and clearly for the expense accounts. Aria is overpriced and I heard the kitchen is in the basement of the building and they wheel the food in quite a ways before it gets to your table. The bathrooms are also awkwardly placed. Yours Truly - would call it a bar with nibbles rather than a proper restaurant. Even Barque I've heard the quality is declining.
post #805 of 981
I tried Fishbar this week. Interesting place but it was dead on a Wednesday night. We had the octopus ceviche, tuna tartare and arugula salad. Ceviche was not what my dining mate expected. She complained and they offered to bring more chips (not sure how that helps). I ended up eating most of it. Tuna tartare wasn't anything spectacular. Arugula salad was just a pile of leaves. You can get tired eating that. I reckon that's how a cow feels after a day of chewing hay. Had a bottle of wine and it ended up being $106+tip. In spite of the fact that we only ordered three dishes, they all came out staggered. The salad was actually last. Go figure.

I also stopped by at The Saint for some after dinner drinks. This place was much busier, and I vaguely know how the space was kept for 3 years before it opening. Anyway, the service staff are nice. They actually want to talk to you. Sazerac was something like $15. The rest of the menu looks like comfort food so I'm not sure how premium cocktails match that. And the drinks are brown centric. It's a loud space. I might be tempted to come by for the brunch one day.

Also did a business dinner at Jump. I hadn't been here in years but with nearly every place I wanted to go booked up, it was pretty empty on a Thursday 6:30 seating -- certainly not how I remember it in the mid 2000s. Service was shite. Server disappears for periods of time unless you keep them chained on refilling alcohol, which I did but the five people I brought were all vegetarian & dry. At least they found some things to eat.
post #806 of 981
Spuntini tonight at ave & dav. Heard great things, looking forward to it.
post #807 of 981
I'll be gone for two weeks but the weather's getting warmer and I should be able to waltz farther than my usual confines. I read about Spirit Bar on BlogTO and was really intrigued. I need more diversity than the expense fueled meals at the usual Earls, South of Temperance, Ki, etc. Also Earls - 9 oz of wine? Is this Jack Astor's? My female companions were in disbelief I told them that's close to three standard units of alcohol. No wonder they make money.
post #808 of 981
I tried Mideastro yesterday for lunch in Yorkville. Decor looks like a typical Yorkville place. It's a mixture of Italian and Middle Eastern food. All the specials were Italian. I had the lamb & beef kufta (kafta?) and my dining mate had shrimp falafels. Both were okay. Portions weren't too big. She didn't like her pita points but rather liked the bread that came covered over my pot. Two or three glasses of wine. Like George and Stock, they charge you for Q-Water. Two espressos to cap off the lunch. $105 including tip in the end. Service was okay. The bartender looks disinterested and there is no matire'd at least for lunch so the wait staff might be seating people near the front. I couldn't really see a place for an intimate two person setting since all the booths are massive.
post #809 of 981
I tried Sliced today at Bay & Elm. I had half a salmon gravlax sandwich and half the egg salad. Pretty good. The whole concept reminds me of Eat or Pret-a-Manger and although I thought there was no seating area, there are actually a row of stools and a few tables so you can do people watching. It was pretty quiet on a Wednesday at 1pm. Along with a soda it's $12 - probably about the same as any food court in the financial district.

I also did coffee take away and it was suprisingly good too. The whole place has a heavy emphasis on organic items so there's no artificial sweetner.
post #810 of 981
I had lunch at This End Up. The decor is quite cheery. I found the seat to be a bit too low compared to the height of the table though. They have an assortment of sandwiches. I got the pulled pork special with salad and a "Ramona" cocktail, which tasted more like a vanilla laced whiskey sour. Lunch mate had the vegetarian sandwich with some kind of green puree soup and a glass of wine. The pulled pork wasn't fatty enough so it's a bit hard to chew but the taste is great. The salad was arugula with slices of cucumber to break up the monotony. It's big bowl of salad that takes awhile to get to the bottom (reminded me of the so-called appetizer sized arugula salad at Fish Bar). I tried a bite of the vegetarian sandwich and while my lunch mate loved it, maybe the pulled pork already overwhelmed my tastebuds that I couldn't appreciate it. Service was pretty quick, although there were no more than three tables in the restaurant altogether. It seems quite a few regulars come by for a drink or take away. $60+tip.

Not sure if I'd deliberately come out and try it, but if I'm in the area, I wouldn't mind popping in.
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