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Toronto Restaurants Recommendations


alanbalchin
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I agree with Mkjr and also want to add a few gems.

The Indian food in Toronto is like being in India, not sure of the haunts in Surrey, but I live close to Main and 49th in Vancouve and am forever longing for real Indian. This is what I eat when I go to Toronto these days. My favorites there are two, but this one is a must stop: Lahore Tikka House on Gerrard Street East - way East. It is a paper plate / picnic table place. Very inexpensive and very authentic. It does not have Vikram Vij at the helm, but the food is so very tasty and fresh - try their version of lamb popsicles and report back! I always order the spinach and usually one chick peas and sometimes butter chicken. Plenty of naan, oh now I want that!

The other thing that is radically different are the various spots where you can get a decent croissant. I know of only one or two spots in Vancouver, and countless in Toronto. My favorites were at Rahier on Bayview, but there are plenty of spots where you can get a good one.

I also really like Zucca, they actually know how to make pasta the Italian way.

Further to this, some very fun spots that are different from home include the Greek places on the Danforth (and in other areas) as well as places like 5 doors north.

I've been back in Vancouver (where I belong) for almost three years now, so I'm sure there is a lot that is new - but have fun and don't bother with Asian unless someone takes you up to Markham and they know what to order.

Hey, nobody mentioned St. Lawrence market and the sandwiches, I don't usualy go for those, but you should check out the market if you are there on Sat. morning - go early and have fun and get a peameal bacon sandwhich from the bakery on the main floor / west side.

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  • 2 months later...

I will be visiting Toronto from Vancouver for two days at the end of May. This will mark the first time my wife and I will have a couple of days off from the 6 month-old (he is staying with the grandparents) so we would like to make the most of our time.

We are leaning towards dinner at Perigee one night and Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar the other. Does anyone have any recommendations for brunch in the Queen Street E. area? Incidentally, can anyone recommend a good hotel?

Thanks in advance.

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I will be visiting Toronto from Vancouver for two days at the end of May.  This will mark the first time my wife and I will have a couple of days off from the 6 month-old (he is staying with the grandparents) so we would like to make the most of our time.

We are leaning towards dinner at Perigee one night and Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar the other.  Does anyone have any recommendations for brunch in the Queen Street E. area?  Incidentally, can anyone recommend a good hotel?

Thanks in advance.

I like the King Edward. The Royal York is nice but small rooms for the cash. The Grand is nice but the area is a little shabby (although the same could be said for the area around the King Edward and the Royal York). Your choices are good for dinner. I would have a back up because the JK's wine bar does not take dinner reservations and can be busy depending on the night (they allow BYOW also if you are into that which I am), only Jamie Kennedy's Restaurant takes reservations for dinner and they are different (including in terms of cost). There are a few threads on the other places so no need to repeat my 2 cents (i.e. Splendido et al.). I make brunch at home so I can not help you there.

officially left egullet....

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The King Edward also does a really good high tea if you wanted to experience that.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Not many ideas on Hotels, as I live here, but the Four Seasons is always reliable.

I would have to discourage you somewhat from using one of your two evenings at JK - You can get much better and more interesting food elsewhere...IMO - JK is just a lot of hype.

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Not many ideas on Hotels, as I live here, but the Four Seasons is always reliable.

I would have to discourage you somewhat from using one of your two evenings at JK - You can get much better and more interesting food elsewhere...IMO - JK is just a lot of hype.

what about Lee instead? I had in mind a wine bar with good, interesting small plates. Someplace to relax and have a good time after walking around the City all day.

thanks for your suggestions so far.

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Not many ideas on Hotels, as I live here, but the Four Seasons is always reliable.

I would have to discourage you somewhat from using one of your two evenings at JK - You can get much better and more interesting food elsewhere...IMO - JK is just a lot of hype.

what about Lee instead? I had in mind a wine bar with good, interesting small plates. Someplace to relax and have a good time after walking around the City all day.

thanks for your suggestions so far.

I would say not Lee......if small plates is what you want, I would still go to JK's the only issue is timing and no reservations allowed. JK's is in the St. Lawrence market area and you could walk around, check things out and stroll down a little early for dinner to avoid any rush. I would also consider Crush Wine Bar. Jamie used to work at Marquis Wine Cellar in Vancouver before leaving to Willis in Paris and has an amazing wine list with some steals www.crushwinebar.com. There is no place that I am aware of in Vancouver like it. Both are, based on my opinions and as you know with opinions, everyones got one. I would still go to Splendido for top quality and go for the smaller menu but hey, that is me........ I would also bring a nice big bottle of Turley also....again but hey, that is me.

Edited by mkjr (log)

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I dont know many places that serve small plates, unless of course you are getting a tasting menu with wine pairings, that may satisfy your hunger for a variety of tastes and wines...however, it may not satisfy your wallet :)

I'll second mkjr's recommendation of Splendido.

PS - mkjr - what is Turley? Excuse the ignorance, as I am somewhat of a wine newbie!

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...PS - mkjr - what is Turley?  Excuse the ignorance, as I am somewhat of a wine newbie!

Turley Wine Cellars make big, powerful, high octane, old vine heavily extracted zins and petit syrahs from California. Not usually the best food wines according to "experts" but I usually ignore such mis information. Not aware of any coming into Ontario, but I know the SAQ gets some. I buy from Vancouver where I have been getting the wine for over 10 years now. The come in between 15.5 and 16.9% alcohol so a few glasses can do lots o damage.

officially left egullet....

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I've been staying at some pretty cheap, basic, serviceable hotels on my last few visits (all the better to leave cash for food) and while they were acceptable I wouldn't want to recommend them in particular. But I DID like the Novotel on the Esplanade (and just to keep it food-oriented, it's right near the St Lawrence Market.)

As for food, I found Crush wine bar to be very enjoyable, I just sat at the bar and had a few glasses from a nicely-selected list, and munched on a good cheese plate and few other apps. I'm not sure that's what you meant by small plates, but it made for a nice afternoon interlude.

And it seems to be an unpopular position on this board, but I had a fantastic meal at Susur less than a year ago. The extent of my service issues were a few mumbly food runners, but I didn't find that too much of a mar on the evening. Maybe I got lucky.

I've posted it before here, and I'll accept that this is very old-fashioned and decidedly un-hip, but I can't imagine a nicer saturday or sunday brunch than having Soupe a L'Oignon and crêpes at Le Papillon. (And if you stayed at the Novotel, it would be about 15 steps from your front door.)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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JK Wine Bar over Lee but as pointed out upthread, have a backup choice nearby (I'd say Hiro Sushi but maybe you guys can do better in Vancouver already). I did like Romagna Mia in that area, but again that's probably not something you need to come to Toronto for.

I like both Susur and Perigee but if you're only doing 1, and especially if you're coming from outside Toronto, Perigee wins hands-down.

re: brunch, this is kind of a weird twist on it but at least consider dim sum at Lai Wah Heen, which is at the Metropolitan Hotel. Expensive but unique as far as dim sum goes (and damned good).

bon appetit :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I live in Vancouver and will be in Toronto for two edible nights at the end of June. I have been looking forward to eating at Peregee since it opened. Unfortunately for me, but fortunate for their hard working staff, Peregee is going to be on Summer holidays an closed during my trip. : (

So, where to eat? I have been to Susurs many times, so I do not want to go back there.

So help me with this-where is the fresh new, delicious, the ultra talented, the next rising star, the thing I absolutely must eat?

Oh, and I am already going to Cava!

Help a young cookie out.

Cheers!

cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

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thuet

(it's two doors west of susur)

on the playing field of others mentioned.

You can check out the webpage www.thuet.ca for many menus, though i'll say that the Munster crème brûlée with white truffle ice cream is one of the best things i've eaten in recent memory. They have details down pat. In house bread is fantastic, crusty and sour, I had a great cocktail based on gin and pastis, the service is very engagin, accomodating, informative. They care a lot about seasonal and local produce. They care alot about alsatian classics although will often deconstruct them. I had a pig's foot stuffed with foie gras that was fairly life affirming.

Having said all that, splendido is probably 'better', but if you're going for two big meals then make one thuet.

"There never was an apple, according to Adam, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it"

-Neil Gaiman

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I would have to disagree and agree with homer on this one. Last time I was at thuet, the service and food were average, and for that price bracket, average doesn't cut it. I just had an amazing meal at Scaramouche, so I would suggest that, and agree with homer, on the suggestion of Splendido.

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There has already been a thread extolling Splendido's Canadian menu in June. It's currently the finest dining in T.O.

For something different, try Czehoski - go early (say 7:00) and just say 'feed me' - works especially well early week - on weekends it's too busy so they force the regular menu on you. Up-and-coming chef with excellent ideas but still a work-in-progress.

And I still prefer Senhor Antonhio over Cava. Chiado is still the finest portuguese in town (? North America) and its tapas bar puts all the others to shame - and the wines are more interesting too. Prefer it to Lee, JKWB and Cava.

Of course, reservations needed everywhere.

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Unless you know Toronto well - take a cab. Technically it's at 864 College St (between Ossington & Dufferin) and parking is difficult.

Generally the fish is the best choice (whatever is fresh that day). And avoid the 'peasant portuguese' dishes. They're rustic and filling - but don't show the skills of which Chiado is capable. They've also done a fairly good job with some 'nouvelle cuisine' portuguese dishes but they're a bit fussy. Tiger shrimp (expensive) is also a good choice - ALWAYS cooked perfectly. And ask about the 'Pata Negra Prosciutto' - it's $25 for an appetizer plate (on their bar menu) but is really Jamon Iberico!

This is NOT typical Portuguese food - it's very upscale - I sometimes joke that Chiado is the best French restaurant in Toronto.

They are on the web: Chiado

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[i strongly agree with Thuet.

I no longer reside in Toronto but was back at Christmas and had one of the more memorable meals ever. We went with the tasting menu, including wine, and it was wonderful. They were very generous on keeping up with wine too, a problem I often encounter with these types of menus, but perhaps because we were sitting at the bar on a fairly quiet night between Christmas and New Year's made it easier.

The whole thing was tres cher, but I'd do it again in a New York minute.

And Chef Thuet gave us each a loaf of one of his sourdough breads to take with us. Sadly, I left mine in some other bar, or perhaps a cab, but not before I gnawed off a sizeable hunk. My memory is that it was wonderful and really hit the spot. Even better than a 2:00am slice from Big Slice.

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My favourite is Splendido but if you are looking to try something new why not Chez Victor in Le Germain Hotel (old Luce location). For their opening the chef is Alain Labrie who was the chef for many years at Germain's Auberge Hatley in Quebec until it burned down in March.

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  • 3 months later...

I will be going to Toronto in the beginning of October. This is my first time in Toronto, so any suggestions for good food, ranging from average pricing to fine dining, would be much appreciated. I will be staying in the Sutton Hotel in Downtown (or is it actually Uptown?). Walking distance will be preferable. Thanks a lot in advance!

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