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Toronto Restaurants Recommendations


alanbalchin
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In short, if you were in town with a foodie buddy or by yourself, I would say Susur or Perigee. If you are here with anyone else and would like to enjoy their company as well as the food, I would say Splendido. (There's a backhanded dig at foodies there, I think. Unintended.)

I tend to agree. If I dined with a party (or on a date), the conversation was constant, and ESPECIALLY if they weren't super-interested in the food, I don't know that Perigee would be a good choice. In fact I wonder how it would work for a party larger than 6 or even 4. Just that Chef Riley coming by with each course and explanations of 2 (or 4, or...8?) dishes is a bit of an interruption. In my case it was very welcome; it might not be for some other groups.

on the basis of 1 try each, I found the food at Perigee more exciting and enjoyable than that of Susur...but service at Susur was more slick, and invisible (in a good way). Again, depending on your party, the latter might be more important (but in that case I would suggest going somewhere with a set carte).

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Before you consider Susur I would do some research as to what you will expect – i.e. dishes out of customary order etc. Scaramouche is also very good as another noted that I had forgotten about. I had the 25th anniversary tasting menu this summer at Scaramouche which was fabulous. As far as service, I suggest you consult a recent review and many others that I am sure you can find and form your opinion - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=78694 . I had good service when I went years ago, sadly another recently did not. Splendido is still my top choice based on where I have been in the city http://www.splendido.ca/ , but I would not go with the wine pairing unless you do not have confidence in navigating a complex list for good values (the link is here to the list http://www.splendido.ca/docs/wine.pdf - BTW, I am all about wine values and get very upset when I see things for greater than double – sadly something I am beginning to see more of). I recall the pours were very small when I went but for $40 bucks it was not too bad. If you are just 2 people this is the way to go, at 4 I may go out on my own. I do not see any Joly or Dageneau wines that often pair very well with many dishes (had the Joly Clos de la Bergerie at Per Se that went with 7 of the 9 dishes), with the exception of red meats IMHO, but I would ask for a style like those if you go out on your own - Tokay's from Alsace- provided they are bone dry tend to go very well with a variety of dishes also.

officially left egullet....

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I am quite unfamiliar with Perigee, where is it, and what is the price like?

I'm a little puzzled - the way you've spoken negatively about Perigee in the past gave me the impression that you've actually eaten there :hmmm:

You are mistaken and are thinking of Susur.

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I am quite unfamiliar with Perigee, where is it, and what is the price like?

I'm a little puzzled - the way you've spoken negatively about Perigee in the past gave me the impression that you've actually eaten there :hmmm:

You are mistaken and are thinking of Susur.

This quote in particular from the "One Evening in Toronto thread...

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WARNING: I have a major conflict of interest, since Splendido is currently an advertiser on Gremolata, so treat my post accordingly.

I think Spledido's star rising above most and deserves the top restaurant in the city. I loved the meal I had at Perigee, though my neck got a little sore craning around to talk to my wife, when we weren't watching the kitchen. But that was fun, so I don't know. Susur's cuisine is not my all time favourite, nor the room. But I'm awfully glad I went and I think it's indicative of the best the city's restaurant scene has to offer. In other words, there's a very good meal to be had at all three (and also Scaramouche, for that matter).

Anyway, back to salesman mode: Splendido is publishing their January menu at their website, which I've pasted below. It's a collaboration done with the Italian Board of Trade in Toronto: Italian wine and principles meet Canadian ingredients.

Splendido's January 2006

Dolce Vita Menu

Amuse Bouche:

Parmigiano Reggiano, Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Alberta Bison Carpaccio

Winter Black Truffles, Chianti Olive Oil

Tokai Friulano, 2003, Ronco del Gelso, Friuli

Grilled Octopus

New Brunswick Lobster, Fennel

Vermentino/Sauvignon, 2004,

“Costa di Giulia”, Michelle Satta, Bolgheri

Red Wine Braised Rabbit

Wild Boar Cacciatore, Capunti Pasta

Montepulciano d’ Abbruzzo, 2001,

“Inferi”, Marrammiero, Abruzzo

Veal Tongue Confit

Slow Poached Egg

Vernaccia di San Gimignano,

2003, Falchini, Tuscany

Intermezzo

14hr Slow Roasted Suckling Pig

Crackling Savoy Cabbage, White Tuscan Bean

Viticcio, Monile, 2000, Tuscany

Cheeses:

Rochetta, Pecorino Di Barolo

Barbera d’Alba, 2003, “Bricco 4 Fratelli”,

Boroli, Piedmonte

Italian Chestnuts Coffee Yule Log

Warm Panettone

Grappa con Miele, Poli Grappa

Museum Wine

Mignardises

$110.00 per person, $160.00 with pairing wines

Excluding Taxes, Beverages (not included in the menu) and Gratuities

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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I am quite unfamiliar with Perigee, where is it, and what is the price like?

I'm a little puzzled - the way you've spoken negatively about Perigee in the past gave me the impression that you've actually eaten there :hmmm:

You are mistaken and are thinking of Susur.

This quote in particular from the "One Evening in Toronto thread...

Could of been my dad posting, as we both use this account, him rarely, me mostly...but I can tell you I have never posted about Perigee, and surely not negatively. If its only the one instance where "I" mentioned it, it was probably him.

Good to know you are keeping track Gordon, maybe you have a calling as an 'e-private eye'

:rolleyes:

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I've eaten at all of the above-mentioned restaurants, and even though Scaramouche, Splendido, and Perigee were great (loved watching the kitchen!), I still think that Susur is the best restaurant in the city. If you want food that is both incredibly delicious as well as challenging, that's the place.

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I have NOT eaten at any of the other contenders, so I really can't make a comparison, but my meal about 6 month ago at Susur was excellent, one of the dining highlights of my year.

And I ate at a few pretty good restaurants (not in Totonto) this year...

I'll defer to the folks that have eaten at all of these places recently, but for what it's worth, I don't think you'd be disappointed at Susur.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Here are a couple of cool places that tend not to get too much press...

For breakfast:

Mitzi's Cafe & Gallery

(416) 588-1234

100 Sorauren Avenue

For dinner:

Ferro Bar & Café

(416) 654-9119

769 St Clair Avenue West

Ferro is a great Mediterranean place - loud and busy, but I've always liked the food there.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Obviously depends on budget, but there are definetly better places to eat at then the ones listed.

Well, I was not looking for the TOP places. We are going to be in town on Friday and Saturday, and I am sure that the top places probably require reservations farther in advance than I would be able to give.

I was looking for mid to upper level.

Thanks,

Kristen

Edited by bestgirlkk (log)
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Is this two lunch/brunches and two dinners?

How much are you willing to spend on a plate or for two with tax and tip?

Also, where are you staying, and what else do you want to do?

And finally where are you coming from? (Wouldn't send you for sea food if you're coming from the coast, etc.)

I love Mildred Pierce for all kinds of reasons, but otherwise sadistick's right: we can do much better.

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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If you are staying downtown and want an amazing deli sandwich, my go to place would be 'Zupas' I believe its on king street couple blocks east of spadina...Not sure exact location off hand, look it up to make sure as I could be mistaken...

If you want to splurge one night, you still may be able to get a reservation at Splendido if you call now, thats one of my fav high end places to go to in the city atm.

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I really like Jump and have been there for lunch and dinner about a dozen or more times each. There is nothing better than the Lobster Shepards Pie on Saturday night, sadly they only serve on Saturday night and go early because it sells out.

Not sure about the brunch at Hot House. I live near there but there are soooo many people and if you are willing to wait then go to Cora's just off Wellington and John? If you decide to go to Hot House my understanding is they only take reservations for brunch on Sunday and there are no walk ups. I could be wrong.

I agree Splendido kicks ass and I have been to the Stage House http://www.stagehouserestaurant.com/ in NJ a few years back and if you have been there they you will love Spendido.

There are a number of threads that discuss dinner options a few of mine suggestions are in http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=79022

Perhaps they can be consolidated for ease of reference?

I can hardly drag my ass out of bed on the weekend so brunch is pretty much out of my league as I usually fry up some back bacon that I buy at St. Lawrence and crack some eggs from Harlan in the North Market instead of going out. :wink:

officially left egullet....

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If you are staying downtown and want an amazing deli sandwich, my go to place would be 'Zupas' I believe its on king street couple blocks east of spadina...Not sure exact location off hand, look it up to make sure as I could be mistaken...

Zupa's is on the north side of Adelaide near Peter Street.

I'll throw Aunties and Uncles out there for brunch. But frankly yes, just about anything is better than Hot House's brunch buffet.

(note that the food is far from inedible and they do booming business, so I'm not knocking that. It's just that eGullet suggestions are probably going to be in a different league than Hot House. I'm not talking about suggestions that are more expensive or "high-end"...just more tasty.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jump is okay and, for the price, you can definitely do better.

Instead of Hot House for brunch, I would go to Mildred Pierce for brunch over lunch/dinner. They are well-known for their brunches for good reason.

Can't comment on the others.

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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As a Vancouverite who recently moved back after four years in TO, I have to say that going to some of the higher end restaurants in TO is a nice treat. Don't get me wrong, Vancouver is a fabulous restaurant city, but TO really knows how to do shishi. I think the food quality in the two cities is comparable (though significantly less expensive in Vancouver and better seafood here as well), but TO knows how to "do" decor. Bymark is one of my all-time favourites, but would also highly recommend Canoe. For funky, try Supermarket. Of course, the all-time touristy thing to do is head down to St. Lawrence market and have real back bacon sandwiches - can't find that here in Vancouver and they are tasty. Lee Wai Heen is impressive for decor as well though I prefer having less expensive dimsum elsewhere.

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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As a Vancouverite who recently moved back after four years in TO, I have to say that going to some of the higher end restaurants in TO is a nice treat. Don't get me wrong, Vancouver is a fabulous restaurant city, but TO really knows how to do shishi. I think the food quality in the two cities is comparable (though significantly less expensive in Vancouver and better seafood here as well), but TO knows how to "do" decor. Bymark is one of my all-time favourites, but would also highly recommend Canoe. For funky, try Supermarket. Of course, the all-time touristy thing to do is head down to St. Lawrence market and have real back bacon sandwiches - can't find that here in Vancouver and they are tasty. Lee Wai Heen is impressive for decor as well though I prefer having less expensive dimsum elsewhere.

Cheers,

T

Also Jamie Kennedy's wine bar (no reservations taken) and Perigee for an evening of high performance food theatre (10 courses or so).

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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