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Toronto restaurant recommendation

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by SField, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

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    Again, it depends on what part of oakville you're talking about.

    ...but not all of us live by the Lakeshore or have a backyard view on to Glen Abbey yeah.

    I grew up in Oakville (well, we moved there when I was 10), and while the "town" [​IMG] is a little more complicated than that, your point about the ideal distance from Hogtown is well taken -- it used to be the end of the GO line, but now regular service extends to Burlington, which is probably why I think it is, as Goldilocks might put it, "just right" -- emphasis on RIGHT, of course ... [​IMG]

    All trains, express or not, stop at Oakville going west. But the "town" has one mall. Seriously, I don't think it supports itself unless you count endowment money from the rich & (in)famous.

    This is a classic hijack thread. I love the idea of someone searching the forum in the future actually expecting to find some restaurant recommendations. [​IMG]

    I'm sure Torontonians would love to trip over ourselves to give some, but first they need to trip over themselves a bit more.
     
  2. MrGimpy

    MrGimpy Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably a little late on the train here.... but I ate at a restaurant in Toronto called Mildred Pierce once and it was quite good. Inexpensive French fare, wonderful torchon of foie gras with a quince paste as an appetizer, fantastic salad, and a succulent duck breast for an entree. It was also fairly inexpensive for the quality.

    In case anyone here still cares about restaurants, Ron's recommendation was a good one. To the disappointment of many, Mildred Pierce closed a couple of years ago. I was only there once, too, but had some beautiful venison and was impressed by the service and the offbeat dÃ[​IMG]cor.

    The good news is that the owners of Mildred Pierce have recently launched a new restaurant. There's a review of it here.
     
  3. sjg22

    sjg22 Well-Known Member

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    From the recommendations I've read in this thread, people tend to be trotting out the really hyped restaurants at the highest end of the price spectrum. One thing that Toronto does have is good italian food and so I'll give you a relatively high-end recommendation as well as a cheaper recommendation.

    First, Sotto Sotto on Avenue Road just north of Bloor is fantastic. It's downstairs and is a very intimate, old-school italian kind of place. Absolutely fantastic food and really friendly staff. Highly, highly recommended (also, check out all the pictures of celebrities in the entrance way; this is De Niro's favourite place during the Film Festival).

    Second, at the lower end is Terroni. There are two locations, one on Queen St. and the other on King just east of Adelaide. I tend to go to the King and Adelaide location as it's in the old York Courthouse and has a very bright, airy atmosphere. Their pizza is as close to authentic, straight out of Rome, as you'll ever find. Very well priced and friendly staff as well (just don't order off the menu or ask for any changes to a dish; house rules expressly forbid this, which is a tad strange for an italian restaurant, but nevertheless..)
     
  4. lefty

    lefty Well-Known Member

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    ... was impressed by the service and the offbeat dÃ[​IMG]cor.

    Trivia time. The banquettes at Mildred Pierce came from the set of the Brando movie, The Freshman.

    lefty
     
  5. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

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    Second, at the lower end is Terroni. There are two locations, one on Queen St. and the other on King just east of Adelaide. I tend to go to the King and Adelaide location as it's in the old York Courthouse and has a very bright, airy atmosphere. Their pizza is as close to authentic, straight out of Rome, as you'll ever find. Very well priced and friendly staff as well (just don't order off the menu or ask for any changes to a dish; house rules expressly forbid this, which is a tad strange for an italian restaurant, but nevertheless..)

    I used to go to Terroni for lunch when it was on Victoria. That was packed and cramped all the time (I've sat about every place except inside the bathroom) but I never really did warm up to the new place when it moved down the street.

    I know a bunch of people at my workplace love going to Mirto for drinks and drinks+food but I never found that too spectacular either.

    I was dragged out to Little Anthony's about two months ago. Bloke working there was the same one working Toula down at the Westin Harbour a few years ago. My mushroom ravioli came with exactly 6 pieces.
     
  6. audiophilia

    audiophilia Well-Known Member

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    First, Sotto Sotto on Avenue Road just north of Bloor is fantastic. It's downstairs and is a very intimate, old-school italian kind of place. Absolutely fantastic food and really friendly staff. Highly, highly recommended (also, check out all the pictures of celebrities in the entrance way; this is De Niro's favourite place during the Film Festival).

    Glad you had good food there.

    I've been there twice (the second time was as a guest). IMO, it's pretentious and almost dungeon-like. The meal my wife and I had there was truly awful. Lousy mussels, hard pasta, bland sauce, average service. Good dessert, good coffee, but that does not make a meal. As a guest, it wasn't much better. Maybe they were off nights as it does have a good rep, which is why we went in the first place. Mind you another 'TIFF fav' is Sassafraz, another overly hyped average restaurant. Just my two cents.
     
  7. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

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    Auberge du Pommier
     
  8. bcx

    bcx Well-Known Member

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    From the recommendations I've read in this thread, people tend to be trotting out the really hyped restaurants at the highest end of the price spectrum. One thing that Toronto does have is good italian food and so I'll give you a relatively high-end recommendation as well as a cheaper recommendation.

    First, Sotto Sotto on Avenue Road just north of Bloor is fantastic. It's downstairs and is a very intimate, old-school italian kind of place. Absolutely fantastic food and really friendly staff. Highly, highly recommended (also, check out all the pictures of celebrities in the entrance way; this is De Niro's favourite place during the Film Festival).

    Second, at the lower end is Terroni. There are two locations, one on Queen St. and the other on King just east of Adelaide. I tend to go to the King and Adelaide location as it's in the old York Courthouse and has a very bright, airy atmosphere. Their pizza is as close to authentic, straight out of Rome, as you'll ever find. Very well priced and friendly staff as well (just don't order off the menu or ask for any changes to a dish; house rules expressly forbid this, which is a tad strange for an italian restaurant, but nevertheless..)


    There are 3 Terronis. The other one is on Balmoral just south of Yonge/St Clair.
     
  9. vinouspleasure

    vinouspleasure Well-Known Member

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    I was in toronto 2 weeks ago for work, had dinner at Terronis and thought the pizza very good, not great and everything was very well priced. I'll definitely try it again.

    I stayed at the marriott on bay street and went to an AYCE Indian buffet called Indian Flavour. for dinner. It was inexpensive but all the meat dishes were absolutely inedible. I understand there are some good chinese restaurants in chinatown, next time in town I'll try a couple.
     
  10. syracuse1976

    syracuse1976 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Come on...

    There are lots of gems in T-O.
     
  11. UserNameToronto

    UserNameToronto Well-Known Member

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    There are 3 Terronis. The other one is on Balmoral just south of Yonge/St Clair.

    There's a 4th in LA as well: http://www.terroni.ca/images/PressRelease_LA.pdf

    Of course, only Queen and Adelaide locations really count--friends don't let friends go north of Bloor.
     
  12. TRINI

    TRINI Well-Known Member

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    I've had good Italian at Trattoria Giancarlo in Little Italy...on Clinton Street, south of College.
     
  13. bcx

    bcx Well-Known Member

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    There's a 4th in LA as well: http://www.terroni.ca/images/PressRelease_LA.pdf

    Of course, only Queen and Adelaide locations really count--friends don't let friends go north of Bloor.


    I'd only count Queen then. Ever since the Victoria St. location moved to Adelaide it seems to be full of douchebags.
     
  14. syracuse1976

    syracuse1976 Well-Known Member

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    It's always fun to pick up a la carte fixings at Whole Foods on Bloor. I haven't been to very many Toronto restaurants, and have yet to be disappointed. I'd like to splurge at Truffles sometime.
     
  15. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

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    I stayed at the marriott on bay street and went to an AYCE Indian buffet called Indian Flavour. for dinner. It was inexpensive but all the meat dishes were absolutely inedible. I understand there are some good chinese restaurants in chinatown, next time in town I'll try a couple.

    Indian Flavour? Why didn't you go over to King or Queen for something better?

    Indian Flavour used to be a lunch hang out when it was still in the Atrium (office people didn't want to walk far especially in the winter) but since it got expelled over there on Dundas when St. Louis kicked it out, it went downhill. I went 3 times, 1 after I realized it moved and found out they had way too many dishes than heat lamps and so parts of the buffet was cold. Then I went twice more to check if it had improved but...........no and the selection kept shrinking. (I work 3 minutes away from said Marriott in case anyone is wondering why I torture myself)

    If you're looking for a buffet lunch, I'd try something like Aroma at King and John, southwest corner from Princess of Wales. There's a couple other Indian places there too - bit more upscale.

    It's always fun to pick up a la carte fixings at Whole Foods on Bloor. I haven't been to very many Toronto restaurants, and have yet to be disappointed. I'd like to splurge at Truffles sometime.

    You mean the one in Hazelton Lanes? I went there once to pick up 3 paninis and two sodas (I skipped a soda myself because I had an inkling it would be expensive) Bloody hell, it was $30 or something with no service.

    Of course I start looking around and all I saw were mothers with kids and babies sitting around on a weekday at lunch. If only I had a sugar daddy like that.

    I haven't been to Truffles or anywhere swanky lately. Maybe I should but my bills tug on my demoted salaried wallet quite a bit.

    I went to Beer Bistro for Winterlicious the other day and had a salad to start (some kind of cured meat + greens), a macaroni and cheese with german sausage entree and an apple crumble desert. I counted I got literally 6 or 7 cheese tortellinis which they called mac & cheese. And the sausage must have been 10cm long. The apple crumble was served on something that looked like an ash tray in a previous lifetime - probably no bigger than a tablespoon. If I hadn't gotten the frites, I probably would've starved there.

    Then surprisingly Reds was still running Winterlicious this past Friday and I had a $60 wine pairing set. Service was pretty shite not because the guy was busy or trying to kick us out but the fact that he's pretty much non-existent and offered no colour commentary (okay it was Friday, I was expecting to be slightly amused).
     
  16. 7even

    7even Well-Known Member

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  17. freshcutgrass

    freshcutgrass Well-Known Member

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    Which is why I'm surprised nobody mentioned Splendido. If you crave top notch service, ambiance and food, with a bill to match...book a table, you won't likely be disappointed.

    If you want the best uncomplicated lunch affair for under $20 all in...you should definitely go to Gilead Cafe...eat in or take out (you'll never think of poutine the same way again).
     
  18. TO-RO

    TO-RO New Member

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    Location:
    Toronto
    Is this what SF is all about? Damn. Just got finished reading through this long ass thread and forgot I clicked on it to read about restaurants. The Toronto hate from a few that was totally unwarranted for this thread is comedic/sad.

    A lot of very good restaurants in this city and a few have been mentioned, forget which ones due to the 7 pages or so of off topic riduculousness. For a cheap lunch though, I 2nd the above with Gilead Cafe.
     
  19. freshcutgrass

    freshcutgrass Well-Known Member

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    I think JK has the right plan to survive the so-called "crisis", without lowering standards or going bust in the foodie biz...in fact, he's expanding. Sure, the big-ticket places are going to take a hit, as the all-out platinum-card throw-down meals ala American Psycho are on the wane.

    Gilead Cafe has all the right ingredients to do very well. Big name behind it...trendoid hidden back alley local in an emerging nabe (Corktown)...fresh, quality local artisinal ingredients, and cheap prices. I mean, for the cost of a supersized fast food meal, you get some damed fine fare.

    In fact, this is really just their catering/bakery kitchen that they decided to add the cafe as a side element to keep employees busy and make extra revenue. It also gives it a chance to act as a bit of a test lab for ideas, dishes, ingredients, with plenty of willing & satisfied guinea pigs. The only downside is that it's too successful...try getting a table at lunch.

    His newly opened Hank's Cafe is the same...doesn't matter what the economy is like, people will always flock to a quality cafe. He also hired a couple of the city's best barristas to make sure the coffee is top notch, as well as offering the usual cheap, but quality cafe food. Plus, it's right next door to his Wine Bar, so "sharing" infrastructure and ingredients with the higher end big brother next door is a huge plus.

    Smart...very smart.

    Speaking of which...what ever happened with Mark McEwan's "street food" concept. I thought it was going to be part of the city's new street-cart vending system to up the anti on street food from the handy, but boring hot dog carts?


    Bah...just a see and be seen spot...especially during TIFF (celebrities don't actually love these hot spots...they usually just show up wherever their "handlers" tell them to).

    If you want a safe bet in Yorkville, then Greg Couillard's Spice Room & Chutney Bar is a better choice.
     
  20. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of which...what ever happened with Mark McEwan's "street food" concept. I thought it was going to be part of the city's new street-cart vending system to up the anti on street food from the handy, but boring hot dog carts?

    I think it's mired in typical city bureaucratic mess - after all we have the most city councillors in North America.

    The other thing I heard is they're finally doling out those permits but those costs are prohibitive (I think it's close to 6 figures all in) and the conditions are pretty crazy. You have to cook the entire thing from your cart, work x hours a day, x days a week and I remember hearing that a lot of has to be *you* doing it and not franchising your cart out for others.

    So those people thinking of getting a cheap cart and bringing leftovers from a 60 person pot roast at home every weekend were disappointed.

    Somehow I convinced myself to go to Senator the other day for lunch. Soup in a mug, sandwich and tea $20! Yay!

    There are only two money pit restaurants I have yet to try - Bymark and Canoe. Somehow every time I set up a date to blow money there it never pans out. I'm thinking on a warmer evening to head over to Riverdale and go to Rasputin (http://www.rasputinvodkabar.com/).
     

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