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SYoung

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  1. SYoung

    Eating in Ontario

    This board was more active around 10 years ago, but for reasons I can only guess, members flocked to other foodie boards - in particular Chowhound which is now the de facto and most active food related discussion board in the world. I'd say that Yelp and Urbanspoon are special niches where patrons post restaurant reviews but not a foodie discussion board.
  2. SYoung

    Thai Tonight in Toronto

    Just went to Mong-kut Thai at 596 Danforth (the new one). Not bad but I wouldn't put them quite in the same category as Mengrai. It's maybe compares well with Salad King though not Linda. I also recently went to Linda as well. Food there was pretty good, especially the Mieng Kum appetizer. They just opened so have some kinks to get out. As they stand today, I would still prefer Mengrai. Sasi is still #1 in Toronto in our books!
  3. My recommendations above were constrained by location that is within walking distance of your hotel. If you want to go a little further within 15 min taxi ride (assuming no traffic) and money is not a concern, Splendido is considered by many as the very best of Toronto (http://www.splendido.ca/ ) for fine dining and Scaramouche (http://www.scaramoucherestaurant.com/) is another high end restaurant, romantic with a good view. If you're looking more exotic, try Lai Wah Heen for Chinese at the Metropolitan Hotel (http://www.metropolitan.com/lwh/) or Chiado for Portuguese (http://www.chiadorestaurant.ca/). A nice little Italian restaurant my wife and I frequent is Fieramosca(http://www.fieramoscatoronto.com/) for Southern Italian. They're just west of the Yorkville area but reasonably priced, romantic with friendly staff.
  4. All of the areas you indicated is within walking distance of your hotel. The Theatre Entertainment District is about 10 min going west on King starting University all the way to Spadina; and the Financial District is just one block west on King, starting Bay to University Ave. St. Lawrence Market is only about 5min walk south off Church Street south of Front Street. The downtown underground pathway is big and convoluted mostly underneath the Financial District. It's pretty dead after 6pm and on weekends. You can enter the pathway by going down into the King subway tunnel at Yonge Street. Map here: http://www.toronto.ca/path/pdf/path_brochure.pdf. For restaurant suggestions, first to come to mind is George Restaurant at 111 Queen Sttreet as one of the better restaurant in Toronto. Details at http://www.georgeonqueen.com/. Another is Colborne Lane at 45 Colborne St. just around the corner of your hotel. Their website here: http://www.colbornelane.com/. Another still is Teronni on Adelaide at 57 Adelaide just about one block north of your hotel. It's Italian and reasonable price, which is one of your preferred criteria, but no reservation allowed so better to go early. Website at http://www.terroni.ca/. Teronni is pretty loud with younger crowd. Colborne is modern. If romantic is key, I'd go with George. Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar is good for your eating alone night. Sit at the bar. For pub near AC Center, there are many there, a few you already mentioned. Another interesting one if you like unique varieties of beer is Bier Markt down by the Esplanade west of Church St. Their website here: http://www.thebiermarkt.com/.
  5. SYoung

    Shang

    Any word or buzz yet on Susur Lee's new restaurant Shang to open this week (?) in Thompson LES?
  6. SYoung

    Toronto Resto suggestions ASAP

    Hotel: Park Hyatt or Four Seasons in the ultra-chic Yorkville area around Avenue Rd. / Bloor are currently two of the top hotels in Toronto and hot spots every year during the Toronto Film Festival. I say currently because more 5-Star hotels are opening up soon from Trump, Shangri-La, New Four Seasons, and more but these are no good for you today. Restaurants: Previously mentioned Scaramouche or Splendido are givens and Canoe is very corporate/business ambiance. All 3 are tried and true and uppity if you like that kind of atmosphere. Chef Pat Riley left Perigee a while ago and recent reviews of post-Riley Perigee have been lukewarm. Bymark has gone down and One is more show then substance with overpriced food and wine (sincere apologies to Mark McEwan fans ). What has yet been mentioned are some of the newer restaurants to try. Hot right now is Nota Bene at Queen / University started by David Lee (Splendido), Franco Prevedello (Centro) and Yannick Bigour­dan. Another interesting new restaurant is Madeline apparently named after Susur's mother. This restaurant replaced the old Susur at Spadina / Bathurst that closed since he's concentrating on this Manhattan digs. There's not tasting menu like the old Susur but the food is still excellent.
  7. SYoung

    Perigee

    With all due respect, I find it difficult to believe that a renowned chef like Riley would quit Perigee (considered one of the top restaurants in TO) on good terms and take a job with a second rate restaurant that goes out of business because the owner, his friend, sold the land! And then he's now doing nothing but painting his house? This is too strange even if he's in some kind of mid life crisis!
  8. SYoung

    Susur Lee Heading to New York

    My understanding is he's renovating Susur into a Bistro type restaurant. He's going to be up against the giants in Manhattan such as Jean Georges, Joel Roubuchon, Thomas Keller, Wylie Dufresne, Nobu Matsuhisa, etc. He certainly has the ego to succeed there, but it's going to be tough because now he's playing with the big boys. Apparently his Manhattan gig is going to have more of an Asian fusion theme menu than what we saw in Toronto. This is the niche he's comfortable with and it will differentiate his restaurant from so many others excellent restaurants in NYC.
  9. SYoung

    LCBO Vintages Corner

    OK - 15 bottles per year imported - that works (hence my small cellar comment). I had 32 bottles on the single importation mentioned above (incidentally several of the bottles RETAILED here for around $35 when they were available - but valued at $150 for customs purposes - based on the "assumed" value by the customs officer). ← Yeah, 32 bottles in one shot will definitely get you stopped! We stay within the limits - like we're going to Manhattan next month with my parents, so that's 8 allowable bottles we can bring in... then to Australia for Christmas with my wife and her parents... another 8 bottles... Going to Dallas for business next week - that's 2 bottles... and so on. That's 18 bottles "imported" over just the next 2 months.
  10. SYoung

    LCBO Vintages Corner

    $170 per bottle on average!? Sorry, I'm not that rich and none of my relatives, living or deceased, have a wine cellar! Most of my purchases abroad are about $40-$70 which is around the average price per bottle in my cellar. We've never been pulled aside and even if they do and check the Internet, they'll find my declared amounts to be about retail and we almost never buy over 2 bottles per person. Maybe we're lucky or maybe we're just staying within the allowable limits. We buy about 70 bottles per year of which about 15 bottles per year comes from US or France or Australia, whereever we visit for business or pleasure.
  11. I picked up a bottle when it was on the shelves at the LCBO many months ago. I forgot which of the Clos Jordanne I bought, but it was $35. In fact, the only thing I remembered about that wine was it was a bit watery, not much fruit taste and thinking I could find better pinots from New Zealand or US for half the price. It didn't improve at all the next day (might have been a little worse), so not sure that it'll ever get better with age. I've been looking hard for years and went to Niagara this past summer again hoping to find new gems, but no success so far. The bottom line for me still is they're getting better but the QPR just isn't there.
  12. SYoung

    LCBO Vintages Corner

    Did you mean IN the US or FROM the US? I agree on the ridiculous price difference for a lot of wines in the states and they have quite a few things there that's really hard (read impossible) to find here (eg. Sea Smoke). The exchange rate is at over 0.97 now, pretty well at par with the US$!!! We go down quite frequently for business trips and vacations and a few days before leaving, check into your favorite US retailer online (for me, it's usually PJ Wines in New York or K&L wines in California), pick out the wines you want, order (by phone in my case), and have them delivered by FedEx to the hotel you plan to stay. You can even track your order on the Net. During the summer months, due to the heat, overnight delivery is best. I usually buy Bordeaux and California appellations as these are wines that are usually way overpriced or can't get at the LCBO. We also buy wines when we're vacationing in Europe or Australia. I'd say about 25% of my wine cellar are wines that are purchased out of country.
  13. SYoung

    LCBO Vintages Corner

    Great stuff!... How did you manage to get a hold of the '05 Kosta Browne? It's pretty well mailing list only as aftermarket bottles for any of the KB wines are going for over triple the release price. If you're into California Pinot Noirs, the Sep 1 release includes the 2005 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clarke & Telephone from Santa Maria Valley. This winery is owned by the founders of Caymus and at $45 is a very rare instance of a California wine being quite reasonably priced at the LCBO (US price generally hovers around $35-$40). Reviews have been positive (RP91) with some stating it has a "burgundian style" pinot. This wine is easily spotted on the shelves with the Maker's Mark style dipped red wax capsule.
  14. SYoung

    LCBO Vintages Corner

    I think this is the 2nd Classics release under the new format, the first was in May when I picked up a couple of '04 Clos des Papes CdP. This August Classics is probably the worst ever. There are many re-releases and some have been overpriced on the shelves for a while. For example, the $96 2004 Clos Apalta has been on the shelves forever. A very good cab from Chile, but not at almost $100 a bottle. You can get this Chilean in many places in the US for less than $60 (US). And why the Two Hands Brave Faces is a Classics release is beyond me. Good wine, but should be a Vintage release, not Classics. The high CDN$ don't seem to be lowering California wine prices any for Ontarians. For example, the $149 FAR NIENTE CABERNET can be found in the US for about $90 (US). Monopoly pricing at its best. I buy all my California wines in the US and will continue to do so, especially at current very favourable exchange rates.
  15. SYoung

    Il Mulino

    Agree 100%. Been there a few times though not lately (a bit far for me), but I do recall that the Tuna Carpaccio was fantastic. This is, IMHO, one of the best Italian restaurants in town and would recommend it for anyone looking for great pasta.
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