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Toronto restaurant recommendation - Page 60

post #886 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieu View Post

I went to Harlem last night on Richmond and Church. Got fried chicken with collard greens and mac and cheese. I enjoyed the atmosphere and they blasted a lot of MJ but I thought the food was just okay.

 

Where do you guys go for fried chicken? I still need to try Stockyards. I tried Country General's fried chicken leg sandwich the other day and finished it in two bites.


I was at that location last month. My GF loves the Harlem on Queen West but wanted to check this one out. I'd never been but was pretty disappointed. Did not care for the atmosphere at all. We sat downstairs, where it was very quiet, too bright (we were sitting right under what seemed like a halogen bulb) and cramped -- an uncomfortable combination. Braised short rib was pretty decent, mac and cheese was weak. I just wanted to GTFO. I would try the other location given it looks more lively and may be better foodwise, too.

post #887 of 973
They're the same place? I didn't know that. I was at that Raq and something club thinking it was a trend now.

I was at Deq yesterday for afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton. Tea selection was quite poor (breakfast, earl grey, rooibos, oolong, jasmine and a chamomile) but the savouries were okay - quiche, cucumber sandwiches, some sandwich with a deviled egg on it, scones, mini croissant with a smoked salmon. Most were hit or miss. I don't think it's hard to spoil the quiche and it came out hot. The scones were cold and the cream to go with it was store bought. The sandwiches were okay but the croissant tasted like it had sat there for awhile. The desserts consists of a bunch of mini cakes, custards, madelines and cookies. It felt more substantial than the sandwiches and we found everything too sweet.

Finally, for three people, three pots of tea took more than 30 minutes to come out with at least two waitresses saying it's being steeped. Unlike the Windsor Arms you can't add more hot water to the leaves - you get your own tea pot and that was it. The whole service took a little under two hours. It could have gone longer if we lingered to finish all the desserts. Service staff were enthusiastic - all smiling young women, but as I said, inconsistent. We got our sandwiches before the tea had even arrived with no apologies. At least the desserts came out shortly afterwards.

The Deq space is enclosed but not a proper setting for tea. It looks more like a lounge. The chairs certainly felt like it. You can't sip the tea with the saucer underneath as the tea cups are more like coffee mugs (again made for the lounge). Maybe it was left over from the holidays but it was quite packed with a number of families. $38/per person. There are two packages that go to $70 something and up for a glass of Veuve Clicquot. That's what - something like $20+ for a glass (not a bottle) of champagne which I don't think even Windsor Arms dares charge for.

Going to try a few places this week. Jabistro is now open for lunch and with my new job I will have more time in town. Richmond Station for Friday. I'll see what else I can fit in otherwise.

According to Toronto Life, Nuit originally of Sukhothai then Khao San Road has now left Khao San Road for Sabai Sabai and to help out at Sukhothai again. I think the trick to these Thai places is never to go with more than two people. That way you won't have a group of five where the last person is waiting until the first person is finished before they get their entrée and if you're queuing at the door tables of two turn over much quicker.
post #888 of 973
Probably a little late for this but I went to Bent before the holidays. Susur Lee is back in town at least temporarily. The place is run by his two sons and I guess he has been helping out in the kitchen. Rather than pick a la carte we let him do a full meal for the six of us. Food included sushi and typical Lee-type Asian dishes, all of which were good. Some choices were a bit odd for a table of six (errrr, why would you provide a plate with 4 small appetizers to 6 people?) but on request they remedied the shortfall. Decor is a bit odd in a sort of creepy way - stacks of little doll heads and knick knacks behind glass on the walls. Bench seat I was on in the corner table wasn't the most comfortable. But that was made up for by the food which was great and all in all the experience was good.
post #889 of 973
Bent was decorated by the mother - I forget her name - apparently she's well known. Aren't the walls full of creepy kids pictures from school?

Jabistro. Okay, the lunch hours must not be very publicized because it's pretty empty at lunch. I heard you have to queue at night.

Over two lunches, I had the salmon, Jabistroll and the fish bowl. The portions are not massive but anything other than the sashimi gets a blow torch treatment which means quite a bit of oil (hopefully just from the fish!). The rolls are divine though and I'm one who usually avoids eating maki rolls but you have to try this roll. The sashimi was fresh to me. They're thinly sliced and come with a regular soy sauce and a house soy sauce. I thought the house sauce made all the fish taste the same (some smokey type flavour). Confusingly, the fish sits on top of a bed of greens which are to be used for the salad all in one course. I found most people just finish the sashimi and forget about the salad. My lunch mates had dessert but I didn't. I had a cocktail, which was pretty good - refreshing. Forgot the name. The other time I went I just had tea, which wasn't terribly spectacular.

Service is very attentive. They'll refill your tea cup with boiling water and wipe down the table between courses. I don't know if it's because the restaurant wasn't busy. One lunch mate of mine found a piece of hair in his sushi rice though so he had it replaced. They were nice about it, replaced it quickly, a lot of people came by to apologize including the sushi chef and then we got compensated wtih some free sashimi.

For three people with a bottle of sake and a cocktail it was about $100+ tip. Two people no drinks, $58+ tip. It's not cheap, but I'll definitely come again if they keep up the standards.
post #890 of 973
I went to canoe for the first time last night. I had the duck 'tongue to tail', the rib eye and the apple pie mousse with smoked cheddar ice cream. The duck dish was a bit much for me, but the rib eye was excellent! I think pickled portobello mushrooms will be my new 'thing'. A bit pricey, but I enjoyed it.


--

Anybody do the 'licious specials? I am thinking of trying some this season.
post #891 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwiffo View Post

Bent was decorated by the mother - I forget her name - apparently she's well known. Aren't the walls full of creepy kids pictures from school?
Yes, the halls and stairwell downstairs to the washrooms were like that, not so much the main dining area. I didn't realize where that came from.

Momofuku Daisho last night. Not the tasting menu side but the regular restaurant. Its family-style/sharing dishes. All of it - from the Brussels sprouts (done crispy like baked kale) to the arctic char - was very tasty. Again with the bench seating though - I'm afraid my ass isn't that well padded, not a big fan of it. Portion sizes were a bit odd: the arctic char was a smidgeon but the ribeye was, quite literally, an entire roast. Waiting for that to arrive we made the mistake of ordering a couple more dishes because we thought it would be a small portion like the other plates. Surprise! It was a literal haunch of meat. A slab. A buttress. We went at the last minute so we weren't able to order any of the specials that you need to reserve a day ahead (the pork butt or the chicken) but the ribeye made up for that, full of flavor. Very young crowd throughout the restaurant, definitely a different demographic than you get at a place like Canoe or Bymark (a room full of dudes in dark suits). And, okay, we talked a bit about the want-to-be-NY-so-badly vibe you see in this part of the restaurant from the guy with the ponytail to the hip clothes. I didn't notice that as much in the tasting restaurant behind the curtain, it was a less flashy crowd, more interested in the food.

I've been to the noodle bar a few times as well. Somebody said the broth was tasteless; I'm clearly not a ramen connoisseur because I thought it was fine. TBH, I go more for the pork buns than the noodles anyway.
post #892 of 973

Hi guys. Going to be at Garrison's Barber Shop tomorrow afternoon and wanted to grab lunch before hand. Any recommendations?

post #893 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by dufferin1 View Post

Hi guys. Going to be at Garrison's Barber Shop tomorrow afternoon and wanted to grab lunch before hand. Any recommendations?

Go to the Ossington strip? Must be a million choices there. Bellwoods Brewery should be open for lunch as long as you're not vegetarian.

Richmond Station - I like the food here. Had lunch on Friday. The wait staff are all "hipster" like but the crowd is definitely from the financial district. The food is delicious and at least for me came out of the kitchen quickly. I had the coq au vin with some extremely tender meat. My dining mate had the fish which she wouldn't share with me and the rosti, which she regretted sharing with me because she liked it so much. We both started off with the lobster bisque - not her cup of tea but I liked it because it wasn't laced with cream. Anyway, I'll come again. Coat check is pretty horrid - there's no numbering system and if you're there early it means taking other people's coat off the wall until you find yours.

Kingyo Izakaya - I made a reservation for 7:30pm which meant I got a seat at the communal tables. This place has serious service issues. The reservation system is going to kill the restaurant because half the tables are reserved. Some people who come in get seated at communal tables. Some couples get a table for 4. Some people have a reservation (me) and have to wait for 5 minutes anyway. It doesn't help that the waitresses have poor English. A bottle of sake took 20 minutes to show up - and we asked for cold so there's no preparation time. I then noticed it wasn't just me, other tables around me were waving their hands frantically trying to get the watiress' attention. When I wanted the cheque, they came with the credit card machine but didn't close out my tab so I was joking it was a "name a fair price" evening. The food is okay. I didn't think the karrage was very interesting. I liked the one at Hapa better. I tried the pork ramen. This is pork like pork and beans pork - as in it's mostly ramen. The noodles were al dente but the broth was extremely salty. Apparently they have good cold items (sushis, sashimis) but I didn't try any of them. We gave up getting more drinks in the end because of the service and checked out after two hours. One of the waitresses apologized for the service but until they fix it, I don't see why I wouldn't go somewhere else. It's loud in here. People bring in babies (!?) on a Friday night. The crowd is younger and there are plenty of good looking Asian women -- without babies. Don't sit facing the video arcade TVs on the wall. They drove me nuts all night with its flashing lights.

Finished up at Museum Tavern. We went to the bar around 10pm - couldn't get in so did flights in their dining area. Tried the brandy flight - St. Remy and Remy Martin are two different companies yeah? Not sure why it got paired together. My friend did the cocktail flight (2oz altogether) but they ran out of clear spirits so he ended up having a brown-rye driven flight like me. We then did scotches for the rest of the evening at 1oz shots. They have some interesting items that you don't normally see out there. When we left around 12:30 - the bar was still packed. Lot of chaps in skinny lapel suits, square end ties and plastic rimmed glasses.
post #894 of 973

I'm making a weekend trip up from Buffalo for my birthday with the wife. Moved to Bflo after a stint in ny and boston so I'm up for any kind of food.

 

it looks like canoe, splendido, guu, banh mi boys and black hoof come up often as good spots.  I miss ny's momofuku ramen and pork buns from cold nights but will avoid it if it's just a bad re-hash or if there's a better place for that meal. Any good/great mens or womens shops that I should hit up, Id love to have a destination or three to find aside from the main touristy strip. 

 

also, any good bloody mary/brunch spots?

post #895 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1445 View Post

I'm making a weekend trip up from Buffalo for my birthday with the wife. Moved to Bflo after a stint in ny and boston so I'm up for any kind of food.

it looks like canoe, splendido, guu, banh mi boys and black hoof come up often as good spots.  I miss ny's momofuku ramen and pork buns from cold nights but will avoid it if it's just a bad re-hash or if there's a better place for that meal. Any good/great mens or womens shops that I should hit up, Id love to have a destination or three to find aside from the main touristy strip. 


also, any good bloody mary/brunch spots?

Avoid Spledido and Canoe, unless your are looking for expensive fine dining. Black Hoof is always good and is a fun foodie spot because you can watch the cooks put out great food in a ridiculously small kitchen using a household kitchen stove. Get drinks from Cocktail bar across the street while you wait for your table at Black Hoof.

Edulis is another great spot for dinner. They also do Sunday brunch, but it's not really a bloody mary brunch spot. For that I would suggest Rose an Sons.

Tacos at Grand Electric are really good. And it has a good atmosphere if you don't mind loud hip hop music.

Banh mi boys is good for lunch, but always way too jammed. I would suggest grabbing a sandwich from Porchetta and Co. instead. They always have a good sandwich special along with their Porchetta sandwiches.

If you are into beer, definitely check out Bellwoods Brewery. Great brew pub that is really the first of it's kind in Toronto.

For shopping, check out Queen West West and Ossington. There you will find Nomad, Sydney's, Robber, Oliver Spencer, Gravity Pope, and Jonathan and Olivia.

Hope that helps. Have fun!
post #896 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahk1979 View Post

Avoid Spledido and Canoe, unless your are looking for expensive fine dining. Black Hoof is always good and is a fun foodie spot because you can watch the cooks put out great food in a ridiculously small kitchen using a household kitchen stove. Get drinks from Cocktail bar across the street while you wait for your table at Black Hoof.

Edulis is another great spot for dinner. They also do Sunday brunch, but it's not really a bloody mary brunch spot. For that I would suggest Rose an Sons.

Tacos at Grand Electric are really good. And it has a good atmosphere if you don't mind loud hip hop music.

Banh mi boys is good for lunch, but always way too jammed. I would suggest grabbing a sandwich from Porchetta and Co. instead. They always have a good sandwich special along with their Porchetta sandwiches.

If you are into beer, definitely check out Bellwoods Brewery. Great brew pub that is really the first of it's kind in Toronto.

For shopping, check out Queen West West and Ossington. There you will find Nomad, Sydney's, Robber, Oliver Spencer, Gravity Pope, and Jonathan and Olivia.

Hope that helps. Have fun!

Sounds like you watched The Layover. I moved around the corner from Edulis in December. Never heard a peep about it and now I see it getting recommended everywhere.
post #897 of 973
Getting a testomonial from En Route helps.

Acadia got the same last time and then Campagnolo the year before I think.
post #898 of 973
Tried Hawthorne again. It's close to 1pm and their 12pm reservation didn't show but I'm still sitting at the kitchen/bar getting food ventilated at me. In the end, they take out the reservation sign and a single walks in around 1:15 and gets the table (!?!). Otherwise I did finally get to try the foursquare meal which was really good. I liked everything except the wonton looking thing. My lunch mate had a seafood rouille eyeing jealously my foursquare. In spite of some popular magazine saying the service is top notch, I still think it's a bit dodgy - overlapping responsibilities and all.

Because Jabistro is so close to work, I keep going there for lunch. The "fish bowl" now comes with chutoro or toro sashimi - basically whatever the chef has. I've finally tried all the rolls they have there. Much belatedly they came out with an "assorted" roll so you don't have to make multiple trips like I did. I like the place a lot. I still haven't tried the demi katsu sandwich, which I read people panned but I will do it next time so I covered all items on the menu. Out of all the rolls, I think I like the Jabistro (oily seafood helps when using a blowtorch), ebi (which has a little jalapeno kick) and the salmon (also oily) the most.

I tried modus yesterday after the chef left. The menu changed a bit - the starters are different or maybe some of them moved to the dinner menu. Service is always hit & miss here. I put my fork and knife in a cross (X) position to take a pause from eating and a runner comes up to try to clear my plate. Separately, my dining mate puts her fork for her pasta down in the plate with some of it left and they try to clear her plate. I don't think I'll be coming back again. Too expensive for the inconsistency. The highlight of the lunch was having David Miller sit at the table next to me.
post #899 of 973
I did a lot of old places but I wanted to note that La Carnita now provides cutlery. Hurray. And the Fisherman feasts at Jabistro always happen on bad nights; Sunday or Monday.
post #900 of 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recoil View Post

Sounds like you watched The Layover. I moved around the corner from Edulis in December. Never heard a peep about it and now I see it getting recommended everywhere.

Hadn't seen the Toronto episode of the Layover until you mentioned it. I have just been eating in Toronto for the last 10 years and these are the places that I curently like and would recommend,
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