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Toronto Restaurants Recommendations


alanbalchin
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A quick search on this forum will bring up a list of the best places to eat while in TO.

You should be a bit more specific in terms of how long you have here, and what you are looking for in way of type of cuisine.

However, I offer these suggestions.

Kaji Sushi (amazing sushi, that is if you like sushi...try to get a seat at the sushi bar)

Scaramouche or Splendido - Top 2 restaurants in Toronto.

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A quick search on this forum will bring up a list of the best places to eat while in TO.

You should be a bit more specific in terms of how long you have here, and what you are looking for in way of type of cuisine.

However, I offer these suggestions.

Kaji Sushi (amazing sushi, that is if you like sushi...try to get a seat at the sushi bar)

Scaramouche or Splendido - Top 2 restaurants in Toronto.

Ditto to all above also.

officially left egullet....

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A quick search on this forum will bring up a list of the best places to eat while in TO.

You should be a bit more specific in terms of how long you have here, and what you are looking for in way of type of cuisine.

However, I offer these suggestions.

Kaji Sushi (amazing sushi, that is if you like sushi...try to get a seat at the sushi bar)

Scaramouche or Splendido - Top 2 restaurants in Toronto.

Ditto to all above also.

I might add if you want a quick lunch or the best munchies ever for your room, head up to pusateri's on Bay and yorkville for the ultimate gourmet grocery experience.

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also, where are you visiting from? That'll help narrow down the kinds of recommendations to make (EG you'll see a lot of "I'm visiting from Vancouver" posts followed by "___ is good Chinese, but you can probably get that already in Van" replies).

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I've been a long time subscriber to this area (welcome hotel neighbour). :biggrin:

If you're going to have Japanese go to Omi. It's on Church St. south of Wellesley (Sutton is on Bay & Wellesley). The chef is very good, and go omekase. Sushi Kaji is way too far, esp. since it's not within any 3 hour walking distance. Estimated walking time, probably 15 min.

If you want homestyle Japanese, go to Tokyo Grill (cheap and oh SO good) at Wellesley and Yonge (just on the other side of the block from the hotel). Estimated walking time, about 3 min.

If you're too lazy to go to all the bakeries, etc for good pastries or nicer cakes/tarts, and breads (!), head to Pusateri's at Bay and Yorkville. You can also pick up some gourmet prepared foods there too. Estimated walking time, about 10 min. If you travel a little to the west of that, you'll hit MB&Co (for more gourmet sandwich eats). If you go a little north of that on Avenue Rd, you'll get Whole Foods... and all the organic offerings. Go quite a bit further... and you'll hit Scaramouche (absolutely wonderful, esp if you have an expense account).

Splendido would be very nice for a lovely meal, it's on Harbord, and just on the other side of the university campus (the hotel flanks the eastern boarder of the UofT campus). Estimated walk time 20 min.

Nice indian food (not quite Vij's in Van, but still very good), Debu Saha's Biryani House is found at Wellesley and Yonge. Estimated walk time 5 min.

If you want cheap eats, ha ha, Yummy BBQ (Korean BBQ) is south of Wellesley on Yonge. Estimated walk time 8 min.

Are you willing to travel on subway (by a couple stops)? Or take a taxi (for just a little bit)?

Enjoy your time in TO. :smile:

Edited by Renka (log)
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I'm visiting from Vancouver, staying in Toronto for about 1 week but only staying in Toronto Downtown for about 3 days (the rest of the time I'll be staying w/ a friend in North York).

I'm more interested in moderate to fine dining experience, want to see the difference between west and east coast cuisine. The above lunch suggestions also sounds great as I will most likely be browsing around downtown during the day.

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hmm...I don't know that area so well. Koreatown would be good as something casual (not sure if there's good Korean in Van), on Bloor between Christie and Bathurst. Brief subway or taxi ride, maybe...20-30min walk? Let me know if you want more specific suggestions.

(Bay/Elm, about 2.5 city blocks south of you) Barberian's is a good steakhouse about 10 minutes' walk south of where you are, that would be "moderate".

(these 3 are near King/Church) Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and Starfish are also both "moderate" but a hefty walk (30-40min??)...you said walking distance preferable but I don't know either if that means cab/subway are right out or what. Also, depends on when you're coming...I was just in at Starfish and the oyster selection (really the only reason to go) isn't so hot right now. They said it'd be better at the end of the month. Hiro Sushi is also in that area, really nice omakase sushi/sashimi (skip the hot kitchen stuff) but Omi's closer and I've heard good things about them.

(Yonge/Summerhill) Rosedale Diner is another "moderate" option, maybe 15min walk NE from where you are. Not sure how to classify their food (it's not a diner at all) but it's a fun place.

I don't know much about food in Vancouver so I'm not sure what to suggest to highlight the differences.

good luck!

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adelaide,

You're from Vancouver? Excellent, now I have a reference. What places do you like and not like in Van? Is there a particular style of cuisine you're into or have set your heart to try out?

Finer cuisine:

Like I recommended before, if you like Vij's go to Debu Saha's Biryani House. But Vij's is so much more yummy.

If you want sushi, go to Omi (it's really great. I prefer Omi's omakase vs Hiro's (ironically Omi is in Hiro's old space). I find Chef Lee's creations quite "original" and tasty and would choose to return there repeatedly vs i.e. Tojo's), but seriously, price point and freshness value, Vancouver's where I'd go to stuff myself with good fish. And I loved the seafood tower at Blue Water... and have yet to see anything remotely like that here.

If you want something to compare to West, try Splendido (I like it better).

Scaramouche is wonderful for French, and very unlike Lumiere (of which I wouldn't compare Feenie's work to any particular chef here in TO). You might like Perigee or George, if you want to taste a variety of dishes/options like the latter.

I love Kirin on Cambie for their dim sum (Sun Sui Wah is alright), of that calibre but a little fancier would be Lai Wah Heen in TO (or even Golden Leaf or King's Garden). However I always get my dim sum fix (for a reasonable price) in Vancouver.

There's nothing like Guu (with Garlic), Hapa, etc. here. Don't let the term Izakaya fool you.

Korean food wise, if you go to Korean Town on Bloor past Bathurst, you can get quite a variety with my favourite restaurant being Korean Village, the walnut cakes are great for a snack as you're jetting to your next eating destination at the Walnut Cake shop (which are very unlike the egg waffles at, i.e Tim's in Aberdeen, but filled with red bean paste, etc), and a few cheap eats places around there are great too (if you want further info, let me know, I can't recall their names - Korean - which I'm not, but I can describe where they are).

In speaking with the eGulleter Ling (from Vancouver), we've agree that the bread department in Van seem to be a little on the lacking side, but if you're into carbs, I'll give you my run down of where to go in TO.

If you do try these places out, I'd love to hear what your opinions are of them (vs the same or other Vancouver restaurants you've been to). It helps me decide where to go on my (bi-, tri-, etc) yearly return to my hometown (Van).

Edited by Renka (log)
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Another vote for Omi - I really like his omekase. It's a fairly small place. I also liked Debu Saha's Biryani House (photos) when I went. A little more expensive than the usual for Indian, but it's worth it.

Close by is Foccacia, (17 Hayden Street - photos) a really quite good Italian place. I ate here at the Summerlicous event, (prix fixe meal), and it was really quite a yummy experience. Less than 1km away from Sutton.

If you'll be in North York, there's Korea-town north in the Yonge corridor between Sheppherd and Finch. Try walnut cakes! They're very yummy. You may want to hit up Owl of Minerva, a 24hr joint serving k-food. There is a location both at Bloor and Christie, (@ Clinton, actually), and one on Yonge somewhere before Finch. I forget exactly.

KBBQ fav is really up north on HWY7 @ Walker Hill. But that's faaaar. Ambassador for chinese food is in the same complex, but also above avg price, (above avg food though!).

Edited by jenc (log)

foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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I'm visiting from Vancouver, staying in Toronto for about 1 week but only staying in Toronto Downtown for about 3 days (the rest of the time I'll be staying w/ a friend in North York).

I'm more interested in moderate to fine dining experience, want to see the difference between west and east coast cuisine.  The above lunch suggestions also sounds great as I will most likely be browsing around downtown during the day.

This is nothing that you could not find from other posts I have provided and as such my list is not changed by this response so please feel free to look at them as there has been ample requests much like yours (perhaps they should be merged...Jake?). Canoe is a good shot. Note, as Toronto is not the "east coast" I think that you might be looking for something that does not exist. For example, you may want to stick with Vancouver and places like Joe Fortes, Kettle of Fish, "C" for seafood as I have yet to come across any such as these - although Starfish is very good and Rodney's is also good although you can get those at home. Splendido is is the best meal I have had in either city (born and raised in Vancouver and lived in Toronto for 5 years although still visit regularly). I think if you are looking for the Lumiere type dinner go to Susur (Perigee based on advice of others since I have not been) but neither are my cup of tea since lately my fix for the same has been satisfied through my trips to Per Se (and no place it Canada that I have been to has matched yet - I have not been to Stadtlander's Eigensinn yet so who knows). Most places are much more spread out in Toronto and I think you may have to take a cab or two while here since I would not advise relying on your feet as this is probably to restrictive to get what you are looking for. Check out Ema-Tei to compare as this places is as good, if not better, than comperable Japanese places in Vancouver.

officially left egullet....

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had a wonderful meal at perigee recently. it is not within walking distance of downtown, but a short cab ride away. Here is the menu. The foie trio is awesome.

Roast fillet of Tasmanian Ocean Trout with crisp pork chip on a fennel and apple salad in a chiiled fennel broth

~

Cold poached tuna on chervil and foie gras sauce, torn raddichio, barbequed onion and balsamic croutons

~

Seared Japanese diver scallops on avocado, mixed pepper and grilled corn slaw with double fried smashed plantain “patacone”, hagao sauce and crème fraïche

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Fried and blanched braised oxtail & Almond tortellini with sautéed green & white asparagus, artichokes and dried cherry tomato on a porcini mushroom sauce with grated gouda from Thunder Bay, Ontario

~

Marsala glazed, grilled Nova Scotia lobster kebob on sautéed wild mushrooms and fresh cherry tomato in a puff pastry vol-au-vent on vanilla Marsala glaze

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Roast quail on a salad of honeydew melon with grapefruit, julienne of snow peas, star anise and mustard seed vinaigrette and a fermented black bean and brown sugar jus

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Foie gras assiette with Foie gras cheesecake, foie gras “peach cobbler” and seared foie gras with rhubarb compote, toast and crushep pistachio

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Herbal tea jelly with candied mint

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Lightly smoked bison tenderloin on warm grilled vegetable ratatouille with roast pearl onions and a parsley pesto “pistou” sauce

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Cheese assiette with Maréchal, raw cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland with apricot and nut Baklava, lavender honey and frisé & walnut salad, Stilton English cow’s milk cheese with thinly sliced white peach, candied walnuts and walnut oil.

Chaumes washed rind cows milk cheese from France over grantnéed Tartiflette of Mahon sheep’s milk cheese from Spain, house cured duck proscuitto and potato

~

Garham masala sugar dusted mexican style chuiros with tamarind and white chocolate crème anglaise

~

Strawberry and white chocolate cake with poached strawberry, balsamic reduction and a Lindzor dough tuille

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I'm visiting from Vancouver, staying in Toronto for about 1 week but only staying in Toronto Downtown for about 3 days (the rest of the time I'll be staying w/ a friend in North York).

I'm more interested in moderate to fine dining experience, want to see the difference between west and east coast cuisine.  The above lunch suggestions also sounds great as I will most likely be browsing around downtown during the day.

<snip> Canoe is a good shot. Note, as Toronto is not the "east coast" I think that you might be looking for something that does not exist.

<snip> I think if you are looking for the Lumiere type dinner go to Susur (Perigee based on advice of others since I have not been) but neither are my cup of tea since lately my fix for the same has been satisfied through my trips to Per Se (and no place it Canada that I have been to has matched yet - I have not been to Stadtlander's Eigensinn yet so who knows). Most places are much more spread out in Toronto and I think you may have to take a cab or two while here since I would not advise relying on your feet as this is probably to restrictive to get what you are looking for. Check out Ema-Tei to compare as this places is as good, if not better, than comperable Japanese places in Vancouver.

Just to add on, I think Canoe is a good bet too, but if you were choosing between Canoe and Spendido, go with the later (IMHO).

Another choice seafood in TO is the much tooted Chiado's (but outside your 1km hotel radius). It's a nice place for fresh fish (the skate - wonderful) and one of the better places, but that's if you want fish outside of Van...

I've not been to Per Se, but I have been to both The French Laundry and as well Eigensinn Farm within the past year. :raz: Both are an experience (The French Laundry was a lovely dining experience, and the service, exceptional. Eigensinn Farms is more rustic with the dishes served, and hence has a diff feel and felt like one was eating very well (and it was) in someone's home). Whether Toronto has something on par with Lumiere with the whole fusion-esque sort of thing, you'll have to decide for yourself. I've been to Susur (also recently - so at least these comparisons are more up to date), and um... it's not Lumiere. :wink: If you want the fusion thing, however I haven't been there recently, Boba on Avenue Rd (north of where you'll be staying) is also nice for a Asian-Mediterranean type fusion. For a Latin fusion spin: Bloom (found on Bloor. You can reach it via subway). The ice cream/sorbet desserts there are interesting. If you want to have what I consider as top notch around downtown, just look above (for sure Scaramouche). As you know, in both cities there is much hype over certain restaurants, and with so many choices (and a limited dining time), you'll really have to decide how you'd like to attack them all.

I'm really interested in what you'll choose and what you'd think of them all in the end. :biggrin:

Edited by Renka (log)
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Keep in mind "expensive" is relative and personal. I suggest you Google the places, which can provide you with prices and other details to form the range you can work with as some of these places can get up there. I will note that I find prices about 15-20% higher here in Toronto at the mid to higher end restaurants and factor the extra 8% provincial tax (GST is a given) that sadly finds its way on the bill here at restaurants its a little more cash for a night out (add about 35% with tip is my rule of thumb to what is listed). Some places that I have been to many times for business lunches have mains in the $30-$40+ range that just lack much value and I would avoid them. No mention needed as I am sure you can find them and PM if you want me to send them to you.

To add, Canoe is quintessential Toronto for the "business" lunch and unlike any place I know in Vancouver for the same and is a very interesting scene. There was a very interesting article in the Globe ROB magazine a few weeks back regarding the same that was spot on.

Do dinner at Spendido (note it's closed on Sun. and Mon. and go with the tasting menu - sadly you will miss the 5 year anniversary menu) and lunch at Canoe and another dinner at Perigee ( - although Scaramouche is also very good and allows BYOW which is a very nice thing on the pocket book) although this is my 2 cents and you will need to pick a few a place and go and form your own opinion.

My tastes are very different from others so take my advice how ever you want but if we are listing credentials, I have been to both Per Se and TFL and Michelin starred places in Europe and other well known places in NYC and other states in the US for what its worth and I am not really a fusion fan also for what it is worth.

As another noted, so little time so much to eat. Reminds me of my last trip in Charleston SC.

*** note I have added that I am really more of a wine nut ****

Edited by mkjr (log)

officially left egullet....

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adelaide,

In speaking with the eGulleter Ling (from Vancouver), we've agree that the bread department in Van seem to be a little on the lacking side, but if you're into carbs, I'll give you my run down of where to go in TO.

Hi all! Just thought I'd join the discussion since I will be in Toronto for the first time at the end of the week.

Though not from vancouver, I am a big time bread and pastry fan. Your recs would by mightily appreciated.

Edited by The Little Blue House (log)

----------------------------------------------

Emily in London

http://www.august18th2007.com

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bread and pastries:

We'll start from the West and cruise along for my picks:

Cheese Boutique web has great cheeses of course, but also a good bread selection, (includes Thuet), and a good all-in-one shop: produce, teas, jams, meats. If you go in the mornings, they sometimes serve complimentary tea/coffee. they sell the best pains-au-chocolat in the city. So crispy and light and yummy. Quite the smorgasbord.

Arguably, Clafouti (web) is one of the best patisseries. I've been meaning to return early enough to get a pain-au-chocolat to compare to the Cheese Boutique's, (gotta find out where they get it from), but I've yet to be successful in this endeavour, as I always arrive after 10am. For the love of god, if you go, go early.

Moving further East, Thuet (web) isn't my favourite place to have dinner, (for the bucks, go next door to Susur or Lee), but it has gathered much love for its brunch and breads. Haven't been a-brunching myself, so maybe one of the other egulletters can weigh in on this one.

Trucking along, we arrive at Bonjour Brioche (web) a staple in the Queen E. neighbourhood. Serves quiches and cakes and brunch specials. Clafouti edges out Bonjour Brioche on the croissant field.

Heading North, we run up to Rahier (web), one of my favourite haunts, as it's closer than the rest and still satifies my hankering for flakey french pastries. If you want cakes however, I'd go a couple doors down to Cafe La Cigogne to eat this and other cakes. They apparently also make their own truffles, though I've never tasted. Yet.

And that wraps up my top picks in the city!

Edited by jenc (log)

foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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To further jenc's suggestions (heading from East to West, with a lot of North and South tangents):

I would head to Thuet for their savory and almond croissants. They are super flakey and are made with real butter! (I remember asking their baker once about their products, and he emphasized that). I think their polaine is lovely (but see if you can get a half loaf if you can't consume the whole thing. It's better than going to get the real Polaine shipped from Paris, and you can really taste the fermented grapes while savoring the fine crumb of this bakery giant). I also enjoy their roasted garlic sourdough and German pretzel. You could stop by for brunch there on a Sun as well (however it's only decent IMHO, and the one wait staff that served me was snooty. I don't know why, I ordered 3 entrees and their bread basket (a must order) for 2 people (yes I ate 2 entrees. It's brunch! And waffles don't count... except as a dessert. Maybe it's because I look young or the fact that I did order a bunch of things, but they weren't hard to finish. It was that big of a portion (and it is brunch, you know, two meals in one). :wink: Did I mention I love carbs?).

South on Wellington is Senses that has some nice pastries. You can have your selections plated there or boxed to go. :smile:

Head a little north to Alchemy Baking in Kensington Market for their Apple Walnut bread and some gourmet shortbreads. His jalapeno blue cornbread is nice too. (I believe he used to be the bread baker for Senses.)

A little further north on Harbord is Dessert Trends Bistro you can find some lovely pastry and desserts there as well!

BTW, many items from Dessert Trends, Claffouti, Dessert Lady, Wanda Pie in the Sky, Rahier, ACE Bakery (pick up the super delicious Mediterranean fig almond boule), Fred's Bread, Harbord Bakery (pick up the challah, or raisin cinnamon bread (with streusel!!) or even Splendido's breads (available Thursday-Saturday) can be all found at Pusateri's. You can make that your one stop shop without having to travel all over the city for certain pastries and breads. Granted they may not have EVERYTHING, but it's close enough for the sake of convenience.

Staying around the area you can also hit the downtown location of Pusateri's and/or Pangaea for desserts from the much acclaimed Joanne Yolles (i.e. banana coconut cream tart).

And as funny as it sounds, I love the cranberry walnut bread and the Seeduction bread from Whole Foods. But I'm sure you can get those in NY whenever you want.

If you go north again to St. Claire Ave to Pain Perdu (736 St. Clair Ave. West) you'll get to my favorite place in TO for baguettes! This is a must go (especially early in the morning), um, i.e. 7-8am. :laugh:

If you're going early, I'd also head north east to Manor Rd and go to La Bamboche for Japanese style French pastries (i.e. mont blanc, le paquet, croissants). Oishii! :wub:

And although gelato is not a bread nor pastry, you could hit Hollywood Gelato (1640 Bayview Avenue) for delicious gelati. Then you could roam around the area for Rahier, Le Comptoir de Celestin, etc.

Enjoy eating in TO. I'm not sure how you might find the carb items here compared to your city. I know I got quite excited when I was down in San Fran/Napa Valley earlier with all the varieties I sampled there (breads and food). And don't get me started about how I was in carb heaven when I was in Japan, the land of delicious wheaty goodness.

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Adelaide, if you are looking for a more modern dining experience, I would try Susur, a short taxi ride from your hotel.

http://www.susur.com/

I have been to Fat Duck and Pierre Gagnaire, I found Susur is unique in the way that it has a more asian touch to each dish. I like it very much... at least two years ago before I left Toronto.

For sushi, Kaji is the best in Toronto, but it is too far for you. I suggest Takesushi (in BCE place on Front street). Omi is okay. But if you are from Vancouver, you have lots of good sushi over there. eg. Yoshi's on Denman, the live prawn and lobster were superb....

For French, Fifth (they only open few days a week for dinner) or Thuet (beside Susur) is pretty good.

Oh, Splendido is quite good too.

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For French, Fifth (they only open few days a week for dinner) or Thuet (beside Susur) is pretty good. 

Just a quick update/FYI, The Fifth has changed quite a bit in the last year... so it might not be the same dining experience as before i.e. Thuet is long gone, Challet has left, and I believe it's call The Fifth Restaurant and Social Club now with a simplified menu that concentrates on the grill.

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Just a quick update/FYI, The Fifth has changed quite a bit in the last year... so it might not be the same dining experience as before i.e. Thuet is long gone, Challet has left, and I believe it's call The Fifth Restaurant and Social Club now with a simplified menu that concentrates on the grill.

Yap, I know Thuet is gone to open his own restaurant Thuet (beside susur). But I didn't know Challet has left. Where is he now?

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Just a quick update/FYI, The Fifth has changed quite a bit in the last year... so it might not be the same dining experience as before i.e. Thuet is long gone, Challet has left, and I believe it's call The Fifth Restaurant and Social Club now with a simplified menu that concentrates on the grill.

Yap, I know Thuet is gone to open his own restaurant Thuet (beside susur). But I didn't know Challet has left. Where is he now?

Challet is now maning the stoves at Le Sélect (new location on Wellington Street West).

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O_O Renka. LaBamboche. I never knew. I must go now. oh damn. I pine for the desserts from Japan - Kyoto JR station was a heaven I can't even explain.

I totally forgot about Dessert Trends! I spotted it while walking down that way one day and we HAD to stop in. I have photos on my phone that I've just remembered I need to upload! xD

Also if you're going to be at Sen5es make sure you pick up a salted caramel truffle if you've never had one. The Haas chocolates are quite yummy, but that one's my fav.

foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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"Challet is now maning the stoves at Le Sélect (new location on Wellington Street West)."

J.P. Challet has been out of the kitchen there for a number of months now.

Wow, that was quick! Do you know where he's at now?

The last I heard he was still working on perfecting the menu at Le Sélect as there were some issues there... but he's moved on already? How curious.

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I will be in Toronto this weekend for a wedding ( from Chicago ) and have Friday night available to eat out. Staying in Oakville, I have never been to the Toronto area before and would love to dine somewhere representative of the culinary scene there ( if there is one )

Price is not an object, and of course the food is important, but I am just as interested in style and service.

Deep, or at least interesting wine list is key, and good glassware at a minimum ( what a snob, right?)

Please let me have your suggestions.

TC

Edited by tcizma (log)
wine is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy
Ted Cizma

www.cheftedcizma.com

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