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Toronto Restaurant Recommendations 2009

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I will be making my first trip to Toronto in March. I will be staying at the Suites at 1 King West. I have been searching on this forum, tripadvisor and Chowhound for information about dining in the downtown area. I am trying to get my head around the setup of the areas (King St. West, Entertainment District, Financial District, etc...) and am wondering how close these areas are all to one another and if they are all within wallkable distance. I've also done some reading up about the underground walkways and am wondering how this works into getting around in the downtown core. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the info... :wacko:

My husband will be joining me on this trip and is not a very adventurous eater so I am looking for restaurants serving solid food that are not too "foodie-centric". One night, I would like to go to a restaurant that would be nice for a romantic night out. I'm thinking either Italian or some place for steak and would prefer something in the moderate range but may consider a pricier restaurant. On Saturday night, we are going to see the Leafs play the Bruins so I am thinking that we would like to hit up come kind of pub for some grub and a few drinks nearby to the Air Canada Centre. I'm considering the Bottom Line Restaurant, P.J. O'Brien's, Irish Embassy Pub or Beerbistro.

My first night there, I will be alone and am thinking of a wine bar, either Jamie Kennedy or Crush. Are those very far from the hotel? How safe is it to walk around downtown Toronto at night alone?

What other restaurants are near the Suites at 1 King West that I should look into? How far to the St. Lawrence Market?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

Shelley


A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous

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JK Wine Bar is about 10 minutes' walk from 1 King W. SLM is about the same.

"King St. West" has a pretty variable definition. I'd consider it King between Bathurst and Spadina. I think many would exclude that area and instead take it west from Bathurst. Technically anything west of Yonge on King is "King West" but I would never refer to, say, your hotel as being on "King West".

Barberian's, a steakhouse, is moderate (for steak) and maybe 20-25 minutes' walk from your hotel, or a short subway ride. You're right on the subway line; actually, your building has direct indoor access to the subway station.

I like Beerbistro a lot but it isn't quite a pub, so if you're looking for that atmosphere, look elsewhere. PJ O'Brien's and the Irish Embassy are both safe options in that vein. All 3 are closer to your hotel than the ACC, though.

if you have more specific destinations in the Entertainment District, Financial District, etc., then I can help with distances, but it doesn't really make sense to say how far one neighbourhood is from the other. Your hotel is in the Financial District there.

most of the restaurants in the Financial District seem to serve safe, solid, unadventurous food -- Reds, Canoe, Bymark, Vertical, Acqua -- these aren't recommendations so much as a comment on suitability.

oh and edit: the underground walkways (the PATH) is awesome and you are directly connected to those as well. The PATH will take you north to Yonge and Dundas, south to Union Station, and west to the Hilton and Sheraton, but that's about it. It's also pretty confusing for first-timers.


Edited by Endy' (log)

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I will be making my first trip to Toronto in March. I will be staying at the Suites at 1 King West. I have been searching on this forum, tripadvisor and Chowhound for information about dining in the downtown area. I am trying to get my head around the setup of the areas (King St. West, Entertainment District, Financial District, etc...) and am wondering how close these areas are all to one another and if they are all within wallkable distance. I've also done some reading up about the underground walkways and am wondering how this works into getting around in the downtown core. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the info... :wacko:

My husband will be joining me on this trip and is not a very adventurous eater so I am looking for restaurants serving solid food that are not too "foodie-centric". One night, I would like to go to a restaurant that would be nice for a romantic night out. I'm thinking either Italian or some place for steak and would prefer something in the moderate range but may consider a pricier restaurant. On Saturday night, we are going to see the Leafs play the Bruins so I am thinking that we would like to hit up come kind of pub for some grub and a few drinks nearby to the Air Canada Centre. I'm considering the Bottom Line Restaurant, P.J. O'Brien's, Irish Embassy Pub or Beerbistro.

My first night there, I will be alone and am thinking of a wine bar, either Jamie Kennedy or Crush. Are those very far from the hotel? How safe is it to walk around downtown Toronto at night alone?

What other restaurants are near the Suites at 1 King West that I should look into? How far to the St. Lawrence Market?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

Shelley

The area between your hotel and JKWB, and between your hotel and Crush, is a busy and relatively safe part of Toronto. Crush is about a 20-25 minute walk west on King from your hotel. You could also take the King W streetcar to Crush (which is one stop west of Bathurst).

Other good restaurants that are within a 10 minute walk to your hotel include George (progressive/contemporary/continental on Queen East), Kultura (global small plates), Colborne Lane (Toronto's molecular gastronomy outpost) and Romagna Mia (northern Italian in an old world setting). For pizzas & pastas, Terroni on Adelaide is located in an old Courthouse, and is decent for midrange Italian. Weezie's is a bistro that's a little further east on King (maybe a 15 minute walk), that's been getting some positive feedback on various boards, but I haven't tried it yet. Patrician Grill is my favourite greasy spoon for breakfast on King East near Sherbourne.

Irish Embassy serves large portions, usually packed, and quite loud. PJ's is owned by the same people, but is a more sedate pub. Beerbistro gets more of a financial district crowd, and a lot of attention on Chowhound, but I'm not that impressed most of what I've ordered at lunch or dinner, although I do like their frites. Beerbistro serves a decent brunch on the weekend. I haven't been to the Bottom Line.

For steak, Tom Jones is less than a 5 minute walk from your hotel. Very old school steakhouse surroundings, with a piano bar upstairs. Starfish is a seafood restaurant that is about a 10 minute walk from your hotel, which has some of the best seafood in TO, and I've heard that they have a decent steak. I usually don't eat steak, so I haven't tried their steak.


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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a few amendments to my post based on what Phoenikia mentioned (thanks P) --

Beerbistro -- the taps are varied and interesting, the food really isn't. I'd just visit for beer. It's packed and rowdy Saturday nights (totally different atmosphere than usual) so try to avoid then.

Starfish -- I like it but there's no point going if you need to order non-adventurous.

Weezie's -- thought it was good but I don't know that it was good enough to specifically recommend to an out-of-town visitor. Definitely safe and non-adventurous though.

good luck!


Edited by Endy' (log)

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a few amendments to my post based on what Phoenikia mentioned (thanks P) --

Beerbistro -- the taps are varied and interesting, the food really isn't.  I'd just visit for beer.  It's packed and rowdy Saturday nights (totally different atmosphere than usual) so try to avoid then.

Starfish -- I like it but there's no point going if you need to order non-adventurous.

Weezie's -- thought it was good but I don't know that it was good enough to specifically recommend to an out-of-town visitor.  Definitely safe and non-adventurous though.

good luck!

Agree with all of Endy's comments :wink:


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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Just wanted to add that when you're here some restaurants are running an event called Stop For Food. You can find more info here: http://www.crosstownkitchens.com/mission.html

I haven't been to any of the participating restaurants but I thought it would be worth a mention.

Endy gave a pretty good rundown of the options available downtown. Of his "safe" mentions I have only tried Reds. It is indeed "safe" food and I think it is done really well.

I'll also add that I think JK Wine Bar will be a much better place for you to dine alone. Sit at the bar and the staff will make you feel welcome! You might even be able to chat with a fellow foodie.

I have heard reports of inconsistent food but at the very least I find the execution at Jamie Kennedy's small operation, Gilead Cafe, is very very good. I haven't personally been to JKWB in a long while but when I was going it was very good. I still have thoughts about gnocchi there with smoked provolone.


Edited by CoffeeAddict (log)

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I will second (or third!) the JK Wine bar suggestion - have been twice in the past few weeks and have very good meals both times (although the menu seems smaller than I recall) The crisp pork belly was very good. I would definitely choose JKWB over Crush as a place for a solo diner. One note though, JKWB doesn't take reservations other than for lunch, I believe.

I am sure others will disagree, but Biff's is another solid choice close to where you are staying

Enjoy your trip [and the game!]

whiskey

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I will be making my first trip to Toronto in March. I will be staying at the Suites at 1 King West. I have been searching on this forum, tripadvisor and Chowhound for information about dining in the downtown area. I am trying to get my head around the setup of the areas (King St. West, Entertainment District, Financial District, etc...) and am wondering how close these areas are all to one another and if they are all within wallkable distance. I've also done some reading up about the underground walkways and am wondering how this works into getting around in the downtown core. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the info... :wacko:

My husband will be joining me on this trip and is not a very adventurous eater so I am looking for restaurants serving solid food that are not too "foodie-centric". One night, I would like to go to a restaurant that would be nice for a romantic night out. I'm thinking either Italian or some place for steak and would prefer something in the moderate range but may consider a pricier restaurant. On Saturday night, we are going to see the Leafs play the Bruins so I am thinking that we would like to hit up come kind of pub for some grub and a few drinks nearby to the Air Canada Centre. I'm considering the Bottom Line Restaurant, P.J. O'Brien's, Irish Embassy Pub or Beerbistro.

My first night there, I will be alone and am thinking of a wine bar, either Jamie Kennedy or Crush. Are those very far from the hotel? How safe is it to walk around downtown Toronto at night alone?

What other restaurants are near the Suites at 1 King West that I should look into? How far to the St. Lawrence Market?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

Shelley

While JKWB gets a lot of attention as a foodie destination in TO, I find the food to be non-adventurous for an upscale restaurant. JKWB is the favourite restaurant of many of my less-than-adventurous friends who still like to enjoy the finer things in life, generally the same friends who declare their love for Thai food but refuse to eat anything labeled as curry, or described as spicy. Most of the food I've ordered at JKWB could be described as upscale continental food comprised of high quality, local ingredients, designed to appeal to most North Toronto /Anglo Saxon palates. I'm not sure JKWB would have much success in a city like Montreal.

The ingredients at JKWB are exceptionally fresh and of the highest quality, the wine programme is interesting, and the service has been fantastic whenever I have visited, but nothing I have ordered at JKWB has wowed me.

I agree that Biff's is a solid choice in that neighbourhood. You might find that Biff's would also have some standard dishes (like steak frites) that would appeal to your husband, if he's a plain eater. http://www.oliverbonacini.com/biffsmovie.html


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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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/.


Edited by SYoung (log)

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I will be making my first trip to Toronto in March. I will be staying at the Suites at 1 King West. I have been searching on this forum, tripadvisor and Chowhound for information about dining in the downtown area. I am trying to get my head around the setup of the areas (King St. West, Entertainment District, Financial District, etc...) and am wondering how close these areas are all to one another and if they are all within wallkable distance. I've also done some reading up about the underground walkways and am wondering how this works into getting around in the downtown core. I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the info... :wacko:

My husband will be joining me on this trip and is not a very adventurous eater so I am looking for restaurants serving solid food that are not too "foodie-centric". One night, I would like to go to a restaurant that would be nice for a romantic night out. I'm thinking either Italian or some place for steak and would prefer something in the moderate range but may consider a pricier restaurant. On Saturday night, we are going to see the Leafs play the Bruins so I am thinking that we would like to hit up come kind of pub for some grub and a few drinks nearby to the Air Canada Centre. I'm considering the Bottom Line Restaurant, P.J. O'Brien's, Irish Embassy Pub or Beerbistro.

My first night there, I will be alone and am thinking of a wine bar, either Jamie Kennedy or Crush. Are those very far from the hotel? How safe is it to walk around downtown Toronto at night alone?

What other restaurants are near the Suites at 1 King West that I should look into? How far to the St. Lawrence Market?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

Shelley

For a nice romantic night out - I would suggest Canoe. Great view and a menu you both can work with.

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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and information! I'm going to get busy with checking into the restaurants online that were recommended.

I'm looking forward to coming to Toronto and trying out some of the great restaurants that your city has to offer. I come from a smaller city in Northern BC so our options for restaurant dining are very limited, mostly chain style restaurants, like Earl's, Moxie's, Keg and the like. I get down to Vancouver a couple of times per year and get to enjoy some great food. My husband would be just as happy hitting the Keg but when I am travelling, I hate to eat at any establishments that I can just as well eat at home. So my goal is always to find restaurants that will satisfy his more simpler approach to eating yet get him out of his comfort zone a bit. He is very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy but I have managed to expand his horizons over the years and he now eats some seafood.

I'm definitely leaning towards JKWB for my solo dining destination. I'm not concerned about it not being adventurouos, just looking for a place that serves quality food in a comfortable setting for someone eating alone. Sitting at the bar sounds perfect to me!

My trip isn't until March 23rd, any more recommendations and information would be welcome!


A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous

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One thing I wanted to stress is how safe Toronto is.

I don't think you would find it any scarier to walk the Toronto downtown core alone as a woman than you would in downtown Vancouver.

There ARE areas of the city I wouldn't want my significant other to walk alone through but there's no reason for you to be in those areas and even then I'd be over concerned more than anything else.

Even the PATH underground is totally safe at night even though it's deserted. It's quite well lit and patrolled frequently by security and monitored on camera.

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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.

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Hey folks, sorry for yet another Where To inquiry, but.

Am looking for a place for tomorrow night, three sets of out of towners converging on Toronto. Probably in the vein of JK or Nyood, and closest to the Casa Loma neighborhood would be best. I would reserve at JK except for the fact that they don't take resos for dinner. Should I just stick with Nyood?

Thanks.

PS: Any thoughts on Kultura? These names sound immeasurably pretentious, which is kind of scaring me off. Otherwise the food looks good.


Edited by BCinBC (log)

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Hey folks, sorry for yet another Where To inquiry, but.

Am looking for a place for tomorrow night, three sets of out of towners converging on Toronto.  Probably in the vein of JK or Nyood, and closest to the Casa Loma neighborhood would be best.  I would reserve at JK except for the fact that they don't take resos for dinner.  Should I just stick with Nyood?

Thanks.

PS: Any thoughts on Kultura?  These names sound immeasurably pretentious, which is kind of scaring me off.  Otherwise the food looks good.

Nyood and Kultura are run by the same team. Nyood has more of a scene right now. They both serve globally inspired small plates. I liked the food and the service better at Nyood that Kultura. Found the server that I had at Kultura to be pushy, and found his recommendations to be off. Some of the dishes at Kultura seemed to be pedestrian versions of popular ethnic foods- maybe interesting or novel to someone who has never had jerk chicken, or black bean sauce before, but not groundbreaking.

JKWB's small plates are focused on local ingredients, and his food comes across as very Ontarian to me. Recent dishes I enjoyed at Sunday brunch included a rutabaga tartelette and a preserved peach pancake. The flavours tend to be more conservative at JKWB than Nyood, but still usually interesting flavour combinations.

Nyood and JKWB aren't exactly close to Casa Loma.

Cava, 93 Harbord, Mistura, L'Unita, Scaramouche, Harbord Room, Loire, C5, JKWB at the Gardiner and Il Mulino are all closer to Casa Loma than JKWB or Nyood.

Are you looking specifically for small plates?


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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Thanks for the info. No, I'm not looking specifically for small plates. I was originally going to book Terroni, but they don't accept resos. JK was my second choice, but same deal.

Though I now notice that JK at Gardiner does accept resos for Friday nights. Any thoughts on this outlet, and anywhere within walking distance to go for drinks afterwards? (They close at 8:30.)

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You could always hit up one of the nearby hotels - Hyatt, Four Seasons for a drink. Yorkville is also right there and there are a few bars around.


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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How is Cava - I looked at the Toronto Life write up and their online menu - and it looks very very intriguing. Nothing like it here in Vancouver.

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How is Cava - I looked at the Toronto Life write up and their online menu - and it looks very very intriguing.  Nothing like it here in Vancouver.

I really like Cava, and my last meal was probably the most delicious small plates experience I've had in Toronto, but quite a number of respected foodies in TO find it to be expensive for what you get.

I'd describe the dishes as a contemporary take on tapas. Some of the tapas are quite traditional, with Spanish flavours, and others incorporate New World flavours from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The tortilla soup I tried on my last visit (not sure if it's on the current menu) was very good.

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Would love some recommendations for fantastic eating options in Toronto. Which restaurants are considered the best and are there ethic foods that Toronto is well know for?

Many thanks!

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Would love some recommendations for fantastic eating options in Toronto.  Which restaurants are considered the best and are there ethic foods that Toronto is well know for?

Many thanks!

Will you have a car? Where are you staying (area)?

And are you driving up (presumably through Niagara)?

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Would love some recommendations for fantastic eating options in Toronto.  Which restaurants are considered the best and are there ethic foods that Toronto is well know for?

Many thanks!

Will you have a car? Where are you staying (area)?

And are you driving up (presumably through Niagara)?

We will be driving from upstate NY. I don't know where we will be staying yet (would welcome any suggestions for fun neighborhoods to stay in as well).

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Would love some recommendations for fantastic eating options in Toronto.  Which restaurants are considered the best and are there ethic foods that Toronto is well know for?

Many thanks!

Re: the best restaurants

Some of the usual suspects are Scaramouche, Splendido (which is changing hands soon, so the quality level may be changing soon), Mistura (contemporary Italian), Colborne Lane (Toronto's molecular dining resto), Canoe (but in the financial district, so not a place I would probably choose while on vacation), Chiado (upscale Portuguese with fresh fish flown in), Sushi Kaji (an Omakase restaurant in the burbs), Lai Wah Heen for luxe Chinese food downtown (otherwise go north for exceptional Chinese food).

Re: ethnic restaurants

Toronto does Portuguese food well (particularly at Chiado for seafood, but there are many inexpensive churrasqueirras and bakeries around town), and the Chinese food north of the city (Markham, Richmond Hill) can be very good. We have a lot of Vietnamese pho shops, but not much in terms of non-pho Vietnamese food (Pho Phoung is the best bet for non-pho food).

Trends that seem to be popular right now (I'm not necessarily recommending the following restaurants)

locally-sourced ingredients- Globe, JKWB, Canoe, Harbord Room, Cowbell, Veritas, Forte, Nota Bene

globally influenced small plates - Lee, Madeline's, Kultura, Nyood, etc.

upscale comfort food - Mildred Pierce, Grace, Deluxe

Here is a link to an earlier thread where egulleters commented on Toronto Life's most recent Top 10 list (s):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=122814


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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Would love some recommendations for fantastic eating options in Toronto.  Which restaurants are considered the best and are there ethic foods that Toronto is well know for?

Many thanks!

I benefited from this thread on a recent weekend in Toronto, and I'd like to add a few comments of my own.

Cora's on Wellington www.chezcora.com is one of the best breakfast places I have ever encountered. Very popular and deservedly so. Great benedicts, crepe dishes, even some whole-grain choices.

A remarkable sleeper is Arrabiata on Yonge St. www.arrabiata-trattoria.com The Italian menu here is supplemented by a sprinkling of diversity, the chefs are actually a couple of Tamil guys. These guys did a stint at an Italian place where they obviously absorbed every molecule of knowledge and skill that was to be had, and bring a considerable talent to their own place.

I had the Platonic ideal of a chicken sandwich: "a point" grilled chicken breast piled with grilled onions and peppers on a soft crusty warm slab of bread. This was accompanied by a pile of perfectly dressed mixed greens. Seasonings were excellent and textures absolutely perfect. My SO had a fruit salad, and again the freshness and textures were excellent. The skill of execution was striking - and all out of proportion to the inexpensive price. If time had permitted, I'd have been back to eat my way through the rest of the menu in a hot minute.

We enjoyed JKWB and found the pairings and execution to be excellent. The service was aloof and disengaged though, and I left feeling like the hefty price tag was somewhat weightier than the experience.

On the coffee scene, The Green Beanery on Bloor St W has great staff, competent espresso, and the most spectacular selection of coffee equipment I've ever seen in one place.

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I see a few responses already (and some of these below are repetitions to reinforce those potential recommendations).

My question on driving was to be able to include a couple of places en route.

You’ll be coming along the QEW highway (unless you cross at Kingston) and there’s a great lunch (and dinner) place in Port Dalhousie. Treadwell’s Farm to Table Cuisine is superb – and will give you a great collection of Canadian dishes (and wines) – better than anything you’ll find in Toronto. About 10 minute drive off the highway.

Also, as I note you’re a fan of wd-50 (my favourite restaurant in North America), you might want to check out Blacktree (in Burlington – also 10 minutes off highway). This is dinner only, so might be a destination on your way up (I usually go here on my way back to Toronto from Niagara). The best promoted ‘molecular’ restaurant up here is Colborne Lane – but anyone who’s been to wd-50 will find it a pale imitation. However Blacktree uses the techniques where appropriate, rather than for effect – and their menu changes monthly, usually with some game choices and is more of a fine dining experience (no tasting menu). This place is small – reservations almost essential.

Once you reach Toronto, the ethnic choices are myriad – although the better Asian choices are in the suburbs. Downtown, most places seem to strive for a pricepoint rather than quality, although I’d strongly recommend Lai Wah Heen (in the Metropolitan Hotel) for lunch (dim sum in particular – not cheap but superb quality).

Regrettably the economic climate has felled the better Indian restaurants. Personally, I avoid buffets (for many reasons) but for Indian to I go to Trimurti (on Queen West) and can give a mild recommendation for Amaya (main restaurant on Bayview, a branch called Amaya Bread Bar on Yonge) which serves good looking food, but they have many problems when it gets busy.

Also, in an ethnic ‘Class Of Its Own’ is Chiado – a Portuguese restaurant that’s certainly fine dining – think French with Portuguese ingredients.

There are a couple of ‘trends’ that are worth mentioning.

The ‘latest’ is Charcuterie – meat, meat, meat! I find these a bit palate-numbing in their relentlessness. The best of the bunch is Black Hoof – BUT BEWARE NO RESERVATIONS – so go very late or just when they open. Very small and quirky and VERY casual! Relatively small menu.

The previous trend is known in Toronto as ‘Tapas’ but has nothing to do with that dish! Essentially these are ‘appetizer (small plate) sized portions to be shared’. And we do have some good choices there – I like these as it means one can try more dishes. I’ve been to (and recommend) all of the following – listed in order of decreasing noise – the first is loudest (and essentially correlates highly with age of patron – youngest first):

Nyood (Queen West), Lee (King West), Kultura (King East), Madeline (King West).

There are multiple ‘bistro-style’ places that serve neighbourhoods well – but I’ve yet to find ANY worth more than a 15-minute (say) drive. People will have their faves all over – but these are just good bistros, for casual everyday (?) food.

In the ‘worth a drive’ category there are a couple of mid-range places (or upscale bistro-style menus). Nota Bene is downtown and always features a charcuterie platter, so that’s another way to try the ‘whole pig’. Close to Opera/Ballet house so packed early on nights of performance. A bit further out is Globe Bistro – also with charcuterie. Globe has relatively good wine prices too (although several places are currently offering almost free BYOB midweek/Sunday).

Then there are the top blowout places. Splendido is featuring a ‘best of the past’ tasting menu (but the restaurant has been sold effective July 1st –until then same ownership as Nota Bene). And Canoe prides itself on Canadian cuisine – and is good – but I prefer Treadwells (above – much cheaper).

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