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Toronto restaurant recommendation - Page 64

post #946 of 960
I went to Patria on Tuesday night. I had the potato and egg that people kept talking about. For something so simple it was quite tasty. I had the 36 month old ham from Spain. Worth trying once for thirty dollars. Then I had the seafood paella. That was pretty good. If you are hungry it does not serve four people. The rice used at Carmen was softer in my opinion. We had whiskey and a pitcher of sangria. Yes the sangria is cheap but the taste was horrid. My dining mate didn't finish his. I was surprised I got a seat without reservation but the patio acted as an outlet for the crowds. The space is very loud but there are a lot of very pretty people there. The wait staff look really good too. The hostess was some amazing girl with a Hispanic accent. Maybe that's why it cost 246 plus tip for four tapas, a paella and drinks.

I also had to drink at spice route. What happened to this place? It's dead. The patio is only for dinner service but once you get to the bar they can nudge you in. And there were so many fruit flies at the bar it was scary.
post #947 of 960
I forgot to say I also went to Woods for lunch. I had the spaghetti and meatballs and she had the mackerel special. The fish was okay. My pasta was just the right sized portion but I didn't find it divine like the reviews say. The rest of the choices on the menu were quite pedestrian including the cheese plate we had to finish the meal. Service was a bit stiff. I came back the next day with another friend and she actually knows the chef and proprietor. Just like the Globe review says the chef was spending quite a bit of time at the bar instead of in the kitchen. There was also a fruit fly infestation at the bar. Wine glasses were not safe. For the same price I am not sure why I wouldn't go to some place like Richmond Station.
post #948 of 960
I tried more ramen at Ryu's Noodles. This place used to be an Indian restaurant on Baldwin. The interior is quite sparse but they do offer pints of Sapporo. Unfortunately my ramen came and I was mid way through it before the beer showed up. I do think they don't have air conditioning. My lunch mate had a dipping sauce noodle which I felt was a little rubbery and artificial tasting. Maybe the noodles soaking in the broth took away the artificial taste. Would I come again? Probably not. I haven't tried Kinton next door or Santouka or Sansotei. I still like Ryoji the best though.

I also did lunch at The Chase upstairs in their restaurant. I haven't tried the downstairs part. The amount of money they put into the fixtures is amazing. Serving staff are obviously still new and there are a lot of them. When they aren't serving, the senior ones are teaching the junior ones how to serve. Very opulent. We had the vegetable crudités to start. Then I had the halibut and she had the scallops. Prepare two hours for your meal. They didn't have a single drop of Glenfiddich and the server apologized saying the bar was still being stocked. We had a couple glasses of wine and skipped dessert so it ended up being $250 or something. I would come back again. Most people sat on their patio (why I have no idea, that new Bay Adelaide building is going up across the street) and the bar looks like a cool place to hang out in the depths of winter with the floor to ceiling glass. Getting in is rather strange. They have a hostess in the front on street level of the oyster and seafood bar. Then inside, there are two hostesses but they directed me to a lift (not without checking if I had a reservation). Then when I got out of the lift, another hostess double checked my reservation before seating me. I assume this place expects to be packed day and night. It opens all seven days for lunch and dinner too. I'll definitely come by again when my wallet permits.
post #949 of 960
I was at The Saint for brunch the other day. We had the devilled eggs (every table has the devilled eggs), duck scramble and duck confit benedict. Barely any duck in the duck scramble but otherwise very filling. People keep moaning about the service at this place and to be honest it wasn't too bad.

I also tried Rock Lobster on a Thursday night. I have no idea why this place needs a second location. I strolled in a little before 9pm on a Thursday and it was dead. I almost thought the kitchen was closed. We had the lobster poutine (I couldn't tell it's lobster), lobster mac and cheese, scallops and the lobster tacos. The most filling and flavourful was the mac and cheese. I could have done without the poutine. You can get better tacos somewhere else. I only brought one person so unfortunately we couldn't try anything else. Choice for hard liquor is almost none unless you choose spirits that they use to make their cocktails. Maybe I need to check the Queen Street location to see if it's a better vibe.

I also stopped by Yakitori bar in Baldwin village for dinner. There are only two girls who run the whole place. When I came in, it was seat yourself. I feel sorry for the two Indian girls sitting on the patio. I was one table away from the bar in a 30% full restaurant and I barely got service without leaning over and hollering at the bartender (who doubled as bus boy, waitress, etc.). This was on a Thursday too so I struggled to understand the staffing. We had the kimchi poutine, which I completely don't get. It tasted like a poutine. The skewers were hit or miss. I didn't try alligator as I was with a South African mate and he's tired of reptile meat. I'd say the mushroom and red meat skewers were not bad. The chicken and seafood ones need work or seasoning. They also took an inordinate amount of time to show up. We had baby bibimbap as a side. Is it dol sot bibimbap that comes with the hot stone bowl? Ours was basically cold and only saved by the hot sauce they gave us. All in all, it felt like a Korean sports bar with all the televisions in there. School has started and I have to say the place is swarming with attractive girls from the universities.

I also went to Destingo at Queen and Bathurst for a late lunch. Yes it has an enormous patio that is the same size of the restaurant. I'm not sure how they will deal with this in the winter. It's open seven days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner - which usually means you do a lot of things and none of them terribly good. I'd say it's close to home cooking. I had a frittata, dining mates had pappardelle mushroom pasta, and a margherita pizza. Frittata was nothing to write home about. The pasta was pedestrian and drenched in sauce. I've heard about the watery sauce or lack of drainage from yelp. The pizza was just a thin crust pizza with a crust that is utterly inedible. I brought a child there and she eats everything, but if she's losing her baby teeth trying to eat the crust you know something is wrong. We had the beef carpaccio to start; seared on the outside and not too much pepper. We also had mussels which surprisingly were okay. Prices aren't very high and I can see people treating this as a local neighbourhood haunt.

People always criticize I go west for food so I picked out two places on the east side in Leslieville. Bistro 896 - which was built on the remains of Le Canard Mort. It still has some French dishes and some fusion stuff. We stuck with the traditional French fare, which wasn't terribly good. Plating was cookie cutter - how my duck breast and my dining mate's salmon looked exactly the same with interchanged meat was strange to say the least. Choice of wine was also a little disappointing and on a Tuesday night it seems one man runs the whole place. Most patrons there were going for the happy hour burger and fries so I'm not sure what kind of clientele they were cultivating. If you're going for a cost effective date, this might be up your alley. Since everyone was ordering fries, I left the place smelling like frites.

I then went down the street to Swirl Wine Bar. Everyone keeps saying how hard it is to find this place. It's just upstairs. It's not like Good Night bar or something where you have to text message someone to get in through an alley with marked up graffiti doors. The place is quite interesting. You want to bring a girl here. It's like a flat on top of store converted into a what could be best described as someone's living room. There are books all over the walls. There is a television playing Mad Men on mute. The Irish bartender is sitting in the back reading a book or something. If you open the drawers of the sewing tables, you can find sticky notes of people's wishes inside. As I said, a nice place for girls to go. Food here consists of things that can come from a fridge typically in a mason jar. We split a dessert and a bottle of wine. Quite reasonable prices. Would I come again? Not with a crowd. Maybe as I said for two girls to catch up or just a leg of a quiet date.
post #950 of 960
I was at the Saint last week for dinner with brother and a friend. did the Sous Vide tomahawk... it was awesome.

The service and ambiance isn't nearly what Jacob & Co is (same ownership and meats) but you also pay way less so it was fair. the oysters put me in a bathroom for 45 minutes though but that's probably because i ate like 25 before the steak. They were great on the way down smile.gif
post #951 of 960
Speaking of food poisoning I was doing oysters and raw salmon at The Chase Fish & Oyster downstairs. It's either that or the dodgy shrimp cocktail I had at Far Niente.

Anyway, I'm all better now.

I finally made it to Guu Izakaya with a mate of mine. He is a Japanese-phile as in he can speak accent-less Japanese so he enjoyed it quite a bit. We sat the cooking bar. Don't sit there. It's noisy and if you're next to the till it's so busy. We were cut off from alcohol and food in two hours. We thought at first it may have been the lone non-Asian bartender quitting for the night but tables are actually only give on two hour intervals and then you get the cheque. That was somewhat disappointing. I can't say anything there struck me as terribly tastier than other izakayas. There was a sake from Fukushima I might try later if I get over the food poisoning. Radiation would do me good. No queue when we showed up around 6pm. Don't wear anything you won't air out for a day or two.

This week I'm going to try to get into Drake One Fifty and probably THR.

I'm really trying to find a place that suits my parents for the following week when they come over for a symphony. $20 entrée within 4 blocks of Roy Thomson is really difficult to find. I'm not eating at some chain place either. Prix fixe menus look ghastly too.
post #952 of 960
Originally Posted by fwiffo View Post

I'm really trying to find a place that suits my parents for the following week when they come over for a symphony. $20 entrée within 4 blocks of Roy Thomson is really difficult to find. I'm not eating at some chain place either. Prix fixe menus look ghastly too.

How about RIchmond Station?
post #953 of 960
My father didn't want anywhere too posh so I took them to Tundra since it was closest to Roy Thomson not called Note Bene. The menu looked nice but the entrees were not. Even after the renovation, the service is a hit or miss - I'm the only one ordering wine and you forgot my wine order out of four people? And the food was uninspired to say the least. I did get an opera discount even though I was going to the symphony.

I tried Zakkushi last week. I guess a sign of authenticity is the whole place is populated by Asian people. I didn't get a chance to see if the coals are from Japan. To be honest, it tasted like any other regular izakaya food but my mate who is a Japan-phile said it was the best grilled Japanese food I've taken him; including Guu. It's also a good deal quieter. They didn't have that sake imported directly from Fukushima that I craved.

I also did the 4 course tasting at Bero in Queen East. This is a good place to take a date. White linen cloths and for once no placemats or service plates to start. I added the cheese and foie gras. The portions are small but they're very rich and to be honest I could have done without either foie gras or cheese. We started off with cocktails and cheap $37 bottle of pinot grigio. I had the lamb and gnocchi. The gnocchi is quite nice. The other courses were a mish mash of things that don't look like they go together on paper but somehow they do. My dining mate had something that frankly looked like black dirt in hers but she enjoyed it profusely. We finished off with some digestifs and got a few amuse bouche - namely a 1cm globule of goat cheese and something else that escapes me. Matt Kantor does come by and certainly he has some regulars but we weren't one of them. Service was really good though except when I ordered a pinot grigio and the sommelier opened up a pinot noir. They don't have enough staff to do fine dining though. They took our coats but never gave it back and we had to wander to the back to retrieve them. The table cloth gradually became dirty as the evening wore on and proper service would at least try to scrape some of the crumbs off. Otherwise, it's worth trying at least once. Chefs course looks very long and involved. Budget at least two hours and a bit for dinner. $280 + tip.
post #954 of 960
not sure if i've recommended it before in here, probably have, but i was at Trattoria Giancarlo again last night. Please is always good.

i hate that they made Clinton one way out to College through...
post #955 of 960


7 West Cafe



 These is my list of personal favourites. 

post #956 of 960
Lucien is closed now. There is an Olde town oyster bar in its place. Rumour on the restaurant circuit they are just serving out their lease.

Que supper club opened and closed in six weeks. I wonder how much money those owners sunk in that disaster.
post #957 of 960
anyone have recommendations for the best restaurant in the immediate vicinity of Pearson?
post #958 of 960
In truth, there aren't any.

There's a half decent Chinese restaurant hiding in a nearby Doubletree airport hotel - Grand Chinese Cuisine.

If you're willing to venture even a little farther, there are other options if Chinese is not your favourite.
post #959 of 960
it bothers me that there isnt anything good near the airport. we're going to have to do CHOP or The Keg...
post #960 of 960
Originally Posted by bings View Post

it bothers me that there isnt anything good near the airport. we're going to have to do CHOP or The Keg...

A few years ago I went to a restaurant called Culinaria - it's staffed by students of a chef school. It's the usual white table cloth European style fare. Still close enough for you I hope.

The airport district is unfortunately better known for the high mileage strip clubs.
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