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GordonCooks

LEE

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Probably the best meal I've had there. They're doing a 5 course Shang menu for 50.00? but I opted for my faves and a few new ones. The Singapore Slaw is a must for it's textural contrast and sweet, sour, spicy, and salty action. The crab orzo saute is now wrapped in a coconut egg crepe which was delicious. The salmon sashimi style was fresh salmon wrapped around mung beans, with shiso, lemon confit, and a soy ponzu sauce. There was braised beef over potato puree and a demi with star anise and some other delicate elements. The lamb with banana fritters from Shang, and maybe another I'm forgetting. What was surprising was the dishes were much larger in portion that my previous visit. I would have ordered less had I realized. the braised dish along was entree sized and a steal at 18.00. My entire check with 4-5 martinis was around $200.00 and I was stuffed.

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I've been to Madeline's twice and Lee once in the past 3 weeks. Like you I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover these two places (Madeline more mediterranean; Lee more Asian). And they had $1 corkage on Mon/Tue/Wed this month too.

I agree the portions are easily large enough for two to share. And the Shang menus have changed slightly over the 3 weeks (and are different in each location).

Was there last night and Susur himself was 'in the house' - putting the finishing touches on the new spring menu (debuting shortly) - so it's clear that Susur still has a hands-on approach to these venues.

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I agree the portions are easily large enough for two to share. And the Shang menus have changed slightly over the 3 weeks (and are different in each location).

Was there last night and Susur himself was 'in the house' - putting the finishing touches on the new spring menu (debuting shortly) - so it's clear that Susur still has a hands-on approach to these venues.

I wonder if the recession means some kitchens in Toronto are serving more generous portions, while keeping the pricepoint the same. The small plates at JKWB's brunch this past weekend were easily 1 1/2, if not 2 times, as large as the small plates that were served at dinnertime when JKWB first opened.

It's a nice surprise to get more for the same old price. I've been somewhat disappointed by some of the cut-rate prix fixe dinners around town, where the prices are lower than normal, but the portions are smaller and corners are cut in order to keep the bottom line.


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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I agree the portions are easily large enough for two to share. And the Shang menus have changed slightly over the 3 weeks (and are different in each location).

Was there last night and Susur himself was 'in the house' - putting the finishing touches on the new spring menu (debuting shortly) - so it's clear that Susur still has a hands-on approach to these venues.

I wonder if the recession means some kitchens in Toronto are serving more generous portions, while keeping the pricepoint the same. The small plates at JKWB's brunch this past weekend were easily 1 1/2, if not 2 times, as large as the small plates that were served at dinnertime when JKWB first opened.

It's a nice surprise to get more for the same old price. I've been somewhat disappointed by some of the cut-rate prix fixe dinners around town, where the prices are lower than normal, but the portions are smaller and corners are cut in order to keep the bottom line.

From the people I spoke with, business is slow everywhere. I had my choice of walk-in reservations for Saturday night and its the first time I've been to LEE at 8:00 and could sit right down.

Also, I should add the DVP was closed all weekend, maybe another reason downtown was extra quiet.


Edited by GordonCooks (log)

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From the people I spoke with, business is slow everywhere. I had my choice of walk-in reservations for Saturday night and its the first time I've been to LEE at 8:00 and could sit right down.

Also, I should add the DVP was closed all weekend, maybe another reason downtown was extra quiet.

I agree most places are slow. JKWB was maybe 1/3 full for brunch on Sunday, which meant extremely attentive and personable service. That might have also factored into the generous servings we received.

Saturday night, I tried to get a reservation for 4 at L'Unita, and they were completely booked, even at 9:00. The West Queen West restos such as Nyood were also completely booked, except for some very late seatings.

The places that are the current "it" spots, such as L'Unita, Harbord Room, and places like Le Petit Castor which do not exactly focus on serving good food, are still going strong.


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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The menu has been updated for the spring and a couple of the Shang dishes have survived. Because of the $1 corkage promotion on Mon/Tue/Wed (certainly survived through June - haven't checked for July) Wed is pretty much a full house - this has dragged clients to earlier in week.

Before tip, two people should get out for under $100 - with maybe 5-6 dishes between them.(that's without wine as I've been taking my own). Wine list is serviceable - fair prices (for Toronto) and the service has been pretty good. Took a group there 2 weeks ago (several first-timers) and they found the prices lower than they had anticipated. And the food was very good for the price. I'd take Lee over most of the Bistros in Toronto. The spicing (much of it Asian) makes the dishes more interesting. And I love their 'frites' too.

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