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phoenikia

Forte Bistro

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Had a lovely dinner at Forte last night before a concert at Roy Thomson Hall.

The atmosphere brings to mind the structure of a piano. The setting is almost serene in the dining area, and the tables are spaced far apart which makes conversation easy.

Our server brought us some bread (a slice of whole wheat and a foccacia-like white) with a tapenade made of red pepper and capers. The bread is house-made, and absolutely delicious. I started with the French onion soup dumplings- same size and style of a soup dumpling, but filled with the flavours found in French onion soup. Maybe a little gimmicky, but tasty. I'll try the Provencal fish soup on my next visit, or the roasted Artichokes. My main was a red snapper en papillote, with a lobster/bearnaise sauce over white & green asparagus.

For dessert, I shared a quince and granny smith tarte tatin (a deconstructed tarte tatin, with marinated but uncooked apples on top of cooked quince). This was the best apple dessert I've encountered in Toronto. Some of their other desserts looked quite innovative. Would like to try their petit fours in the near future.

Our server was personable and professional. He made an effort to get our dishes out on time (due to our concert's starting time), but never made us feel rushed. He showed that he paid attention to detail, removing crumbs, offering refills on coffee, frequently refilling the water glass. The Maitre D' (or owner- I'm not sure) made a point to visit each table. The service I experienced at Forte was better than recent service experiences at Nota Bene or Scaramouche.

The quality of the food is at least the same level as what one finds at Nota Bene a block away, but the atmosphere is so much more peaceful. No sense of pretense. I found the flavour combinations at Forte worked for me a little better than the flavour combinations at Nota Bene. To to be fair, I've only tried 3 dishes at each restaurant, but I'm guessing I'll return to Forte before I return to Nota Bene.

Highly recommended if you're looking for a meal before the opera, a concert at RTH, or happen to be looking for lunch or dinner in the financial district.

http://fortebistro.ca/


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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THanks for the review. I've always been a fan of Chef Greg Argent's cuisine. He was an integral part of the success of Rain, and played a pivotal role in the TV series Made to Order as well. Since he's been at Forte, I've dined there 3 times and have been delighted increasingly with each visit. I look forward to going back in a couple weeks and your review made me reconsider going much sooner. Cheers!

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That's more encouraging than my attempt.

We did the matinee at Roy Thompson Hall and went looking for somewhere to eat (no reservations). One of the places we 'looked in' was Forte (closed). And nothing in the window to tell opening hours or days. Similarly, no menu posted (it was the only place we checked that didn't have a menu posted).

Reminded me of the adage "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!".

Why wouldn't ANY restaurant provide this basic info? Especially in a tourist area - anyone 'strolling' from out-of-town (or in-town for that matter) is a potential customer - at least show her when the wares are available.

We ended up at Tundra (at the Hilton) - it was closed but clearly stated when it would open and the menu posted looked good. And we had a very good meal there too - and prices were reasonable.

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That's more encouraging than my attempt.

We did the matinee at Roy Thompson Hall and went looking for somewhere to eat (no reservations). One of the places we 'looked in' was Forte (closed). And nothing in the window to tell opening hours or days. Similarly, no menu posted (it was the only place we checked that didn't have a menu posted).

Reminded me of the adage "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it!".

Why wouldn't ANY restaurant provide this basic info? Especially in a tourist area - anyone 'strolling' from out-of-town (or in-town for that matter) is a potential customer - at least show her when the wares are available.

We ended up at Tundra (at the Hilton) - it was closed but clearly stated when it would open and the menu posted looked good. And we had a very good meal there too - and prices were reasonable.

I'm surprised to hear that Forte was closed. It's too bad that they wouldn't think of posting their menu, hours or days on the window. I had booked through http://www.opentable.com , so I was able to find a pre-evening concert time slot online.

The prices were reasonable at Forte. Most mains under $30, most starters under $15, and the desserts were $10. Hopefully they will start posting their menus and hours on the window.

Nice to hear the meal at Tundra was very good. Haven't been there for quite a while!

Edit: According to the website, Forte is open for lunch Monday- Friday, and dinner from Monday- Saturday. Not open on Sundays, which is too bad considering the opera and concertgoers in the area on the weekend.

http://fortebistro.ca/location.php


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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