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Restaurants in or near Stratford, ON


Alex
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Well, we're just back from our first foray to Stratford this year and it was a fine start to the season (Coriolanus, Oliver and The Glass Menagerie).

On the strength of the upthread review we decided on dinner at The Globe and we were not disappointed. Of the 6 predessert courses we sampled (we're fressers) 5 were outstanding with one, the Lobster Ceviche, being merely OK.

We started with Olive Oil poached Baby Fennell with light lemony goat cheese and parmesan cheese. It was a lovely light spring combination. Along with that we had the "Pancake Stack" described above (we both gave it top marks) and the Lobster Ceviche.

The second round included Ocean Trout Gratinee topped with crab and asparagus salad. Again, this was a dish suggestive of spring with the richness of the white wine sauce adding some nice, slightly acidic, depth. This was followed by the Venison Carpaccio described upthread. I will only say that it elicited sighs from both sides of the table.

Not quite finished yet, we went on to Sauteed Beef Tenderloin served with roasted red mini potatoes and fiddleheads seasoned with pesto. Simpler than some of the other plates, it won kudos for the quality of the ingredients.

Each dish was a little work of culinary art for the eye as well as the palate.

The desserts we had weren't quite up to the standard of the mains. I had the toffee pudding with vanilla icecream and, while good, it wasn't over-the-top gooey enough for my taste. L's warm lemon sponge filled with lemon curd looked very pretty on the plate but the dryness of the sponge detracted. The coffee to follow was very acceptable.

We accompanied the meal with 1/2 litre of 2000 Studertprum Reisling and a single glass each of a red (details escape me). They have small but very interesting list of wines all available by the glass, 1/2 litre or bottle.

For all of this the bill came to roughly $144, with $44 being attributable to the wine. We felt it very good value for the level of the food presented.

The plates are not large which may leave dedicated trenchermen disappointed. However, it was a perfect pre-theatre meal that did not leave us snoring through Coriolanus.

And, most of all, eating there was a lot of fun - something that's missing from a lot of dining experiences.

Cheers, Kathy

PS: I really admired the front of house service. They were enthusiastic and patient in conveying, repeatedly, the concept of small plate dining to a room full of diners who were largely unacquainted with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ms. Alex and I just returned from four fun days in Stratford. (To any future play-goers this season: *do not* miss South Pacific.) Of course, we ate ourselves silly, so here's my report, entitled >> The Good, The Very Good, The Very Very Good, and the Ugly. << (All prices are in Canadian dollars.)

The Good: Stratford has a new Indian restaurant, Raja, on George St. between St. Patrick and Downie, across the parking lot from the LCBO. For Sunday's dinner we ordered the set meal for two ($42), which included Chicken Tikka and Vegetable Pakora as appetizers; Chicken Madras and Lamb (or Beef) Korma as mains; and mixed vegetables, Pulao Rice, and Naan as accompaniments. I'm nowhere near an expert on Indian cuisine, but the food seemed authentic and the quality was as good or better than most other Indian restaurants I've dined at. The decor was very pleasant, the service was good, and the time we spent there provided a welcome respite from the day's heat and humidity. For dinner, animal-based entrees are $14-19. The lunch specials, for $6-12, look like a good deal. Take-out orders incur a 10% surcharge. :angry: There's no web site yet.

The Very Good: We had eaten dinner at Bijou a few years ago and, as I mentioned upthread, greatly enjoyed the food but left smelling like kitchen. Last year they added a back room, so we decided to try them again for Sunday lunch. Like Midwesterner, we sat at the window banquette. The smell was still noticeable at times but was not as intrusive as in the main room and dissipated more rapidly.

We found the portion sizes quite adequate and the food nicely done. I had strip loin (five good-sized slices) with fiddleheads and fennel in san cocho (a Puerto Rican meat-based) broth. I requested it rare in order to have it arrive the desired medium-rare. Ms. Alex had sauteed lake trout with golden beets and almonds braised in a saffron, preserved lemon, and Riesling broth. Each entree was $15.

I passed on wine, primarily because the reds by the glass had been sitting out on the bar since at least the night before, re-corked or re-screwtopped but without any kind of preservation system like vacuum or nitrogen.

It looks like Bijou's dinner menu is now exclusively prix fixe; if you're headed there you might want to check with them about this.

The Very Very Good: I'll save this one for last.

The Ugly: Even without a web site to peruse, 38 sounded promising -- a Stratford Chef School grad as owner/chef, a small but carefully chosen menu, and local and organic ingredients -- so we decided to give it a try for Friday dinner. Seldom have we been so disappointed by a restaurant. The menu was indeed small -- five apps, four mains, three desserts. So was the wine list -- five reds and four whites, none terribly distinguished. We did luck into a lovely Liberty School Syrah ($30/half-liter) that had just arrived and wasn't on the list. If I hadn't spotted it at the back of the bar, though, it never would have been offered.

Our shared appetizer, "Seared foie gras with a ragu of wild leeks and celery root, rhubarb gastrique, and Haiwan (sic) black lava salt" ($14), was adequate; it's hard to go wrong with foie gras so long as it's not over- or under-done. Our entrées were reasonably tasty but meager on the protein, especially for the price: Ms. Alex's shrimp dish ($23) had just four average-sized (12-14 count?) shrimp, while my pork dish ($22) had three finger-sized pieces of overcooked loin and one tiny rectangle of soy-glazed belly.

The one chef and one assistant seem to have lost (or never had) the knack of turning out dishes in a timely fashion. Our app arrived about 15 minutes after we were seated, which was passable, but the mains took another 45 minutes after that. Bear in mind that there were only two other tables at the time, a three-top and a five-top; both arrived after we did.

What sealed the deal, though, was the service -- not rude or disdainful, just grossly inattentive. Even with only three occupied tables in a small dining room, the two servers/bartenders were way more interested in chatting with their friends at the bar than in seeing how we were doing. One server (not ours) did occasionally deign to check on his table's water glasses, but did not even glance our way. Our server didn't even get that far. Apparently this has been going on for a while; both local residents we talked with about 38 mentioned the deficient service, and one expressed surprise that they were still in business.

Perhaps the multiple spelling errors on the menu, which turned out to have been typed by our server, should have been our warning sign. From just the twelve menu items, we have: Haiwan; Ceaser; Parmigiano Reggano; anchovie; smokey; Isreali; cous cous; tat soi; pannacotta; bitter sweet chocolate; crème brule; organge; cardomom.

The Very Very Good: Now I get to go on at great length about Globe Restaurant, our Thursday and Saturday dinner destination and new Stratford favorite. Stalder and KMPickard have already posted about Globe in some detail, so mine might overlap with or refer to theirs.

As mentioned, Globe specializes in creative and sophisticated small plates artfully presented. As did Stalder, we left the food choices to Chef Max Holbrook and the wine choices, for the most part, to our superlative server, Todd. The wines, with apparently not a clunker in the bunch, are available by the bottle, half-liter, or glass. The glass ($6-8) is a six-ounce pour, and they'll gladly split it two, three, or even four ways.

On Thursday, for pre-dinner and the first two plates, we split a glass of 2005 KWV Chenin Blanc, from South Africa. The food started with a venison carpaccio with soy-cured foie gras, peanuts, and crisp shallots, followed by a stack of arctic char and potato pancakes with maple brown butter and crème frâiche.

Next up was lobster ceviche in a sweet pepper-chipotle foam, garnished with minced red pepper and teeny-tiny balls of carrot and cucumber. Then came thin slices of pork schnitzel with two Asian-spiced shrimp dumplings, in a port-sake reduction. With the previous two plates we split a glass of 2004 Stratum Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

I then requested the olive oil-poached fennel with lemon goats cheese and parmesan. Todd made a great wine suggestion, a 2003 Prado Rey Tinto Fino, from Spain. The chef then sent out their "Lady Bird," half a peeled tomato with dots of olive, on a spinach-ricotta mixture, with pesto and salad greens.

Our dessert plate comprised a piece of light lemon cheesecake, a scoop of lemon sorbet, and a tiny glass of bumbleberry shake with two even tinier straws. Just right.

Todd then offered us a sample of a Peninsula Ridge (Niagara Peninsula, Ontario) Ratafia, the only one being produced in Canada. Great stuff, so of course we had to split a glass. Some very good coffee completed the meal. The total tab -- a very reasonable $120, including tax and tip.

On Saturday we again left the food and wine choices up to Max and Todd, and splurged on the wine. An interesting aspect of the chef's choices that night was that the order of plates/courses was more traditional, but with a twist. Todd had the brilliant suggestion of drinking several wines from Malivoire, a Niagara Peninsula winery that practices sustainable viticulture.

The food started with a smoky and full-flavored dashi with oyster mushrooms, red pepper, carrot, and udon noodles, garnished with snipped chives with their buds, accompanied by a split glass of 2004 Pinot Gris.

A half-bottle of a light 2004 Pinot Noir accompanied a double-cut lamb chop (split for our convenience) with minted peas and red pepper coulis. This was followed by a palate cleanser, a scoop of lemon sorbet mixed with a little Slivovitz.

Then came my favorite of the evening -- pieces of monkfish with a carrot glaze, on a smashed potato, in a fennel-infused tomato sauce, garnished with chives, chive oil, and dill. With the monkfish we drank a half-bottle of a terrific 2004 Estate Gewürtztraminer.

After this was the cheese course, so to speak -- four generous slices of a slightly underripe St. André on slices of a very good baguette (we finished off the Pinot Noir with this), then a mixed green salad with a sherry-hazelnut vinaigrette.

With our two, count 'em, two desserts we split a glass of 2000 Studert-Prüm Riesling Kabinett, from Germany. The first was "The Egg," which was essentially Michael Laiskonis's "egg" -- a hollowed-out egg shell filled with a chocolate pot de crème and topped with caramel foam and Maldon sea salt. The second was a stellar coffee crème brûlée with hazelnut shortbread and almond (?) biscotti.

Of course, we had to close the meal with coffee and a glass each of the Ratafia. The total, including tax and tip, was $180, still quite reasonable considering how much wine we drank. :wacko:

Thursday's meal lasted 2½ hours; Saturday's was four hours but felt like two. Both times we were pleasantly sated without feeling overly full. I applaud Chef Holbrook's decision to not serve bread except when partnered with the cheese.

Stalder was absolutely accurate when he wrote that Globe "is all about the food," as was KCPickard when she wrote, "eating there is a lot of fun." She also hit the nail on the head when she cited the house staff's enthusiasm and patience in explaining small-plate dining. Todd also mentioned this mission to us, acknowledging that an educated public is crucial to their success. Here's hoping.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Whew!!!

I was so nervous when I posted my review of Globe.

I am so glad others are finding the food as good as I did.

It will make me much more confidfent about posting in the future.

Meantime we are going to see Oliver this month and will definitely be eating at Globe :)

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I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Stratford, Alex. I've heard from others that South Pacific is wonderful. I'm sorry I wasn't able to catch up with you and Ms. Alex, but I'm almost moved in now, so maybe next time.

I had to laugh when you mentioned Raja, as I got take-out there last Thursday. I had the vegetable samosas, chicken Madras, a mixed veg, a eggplant dish I can't remember the name of, rice and naan (of course). For some reason I always over-order when I get Indian takeout, so I was still eating it on Sunday (and it was still yummy). I agree with your assessment - I'm not an expert either, but I really enjoyed everything that I had ordered. The chicken Madras had just the right amout of heat for me, and a good flavour.

I'm looking forward to trying more restaurants in the area over the next few months, and I'll be sure to reference everyone's reviews before making reservations.

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Thanks, Heather; I'll look forward to your posts (I hope).

And Stalder -- no need to be nervous about your posts. I'm sure you've noticed the different perspectives eG'ers may have about the same restaurant. What really matters is reason and thought, both of which you obviously did for your post about Globe.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 1 month later...

We were in Stratford a couple of weeks ago and I promised my innkeeper (a friend of a chef) that I'd post my reviews, so here goes my innagural posting!

We've been going to Stratford for five years now, so we're pretty familiar with the standards. This time around, we wanted to be good about our food budget (we've got two trips planned this year to catch the majority of the plays, so we'll be back in September), so we had planned on going to 38 and Bijou for dinner (we liked both a lot last year) and York Street Kitchen and Boomers for lunches. Our plans changed upon arrival, as our innkeeper highly recommended The Globe. So here's a few bite-sized reviews...

The Globe -- probably our new favorite restaurant in Stratford. The two of us split 8 dishes and 2 desserts, had four glasses of wine, and the bill came in under $100. The food was great, there were some very interesting wines available by the glass, and the location couldn't be beat (we had tickets for London Assurance at the Avon that night). My biggest gripe: there just isn't enough waitstaff. Two people were covering the whole restaurant and the bar, which meant there were gaps in the service (but no fault to our servers who where great when they could get to us). I failed to take notes on the food itself (which I'm now kicking myself for!), but I do remember three dishes involved foie gras and we loved how many different ways we could eat the stuff and not suffer from any redundancy.

Bijou -- it took us three years to find this restaurant and I don't know why because it's wonderful! We concentrated on lighter dishes (mostly seafood) because we had a Shakespeare tragedy that night (Colm Feore was fabulous as Coriolanus!) and the meal hit the right level of satisfaction -- we didn't stagger out completely stuffed and entering food-coma-land, but we certainly weren't hungry that night afterwards either. Bijou is just about the most perfect pre-theater restaurant. I also had a great deal of fun just watching the kitchen -- there's nothing quite like the hum of a well-run kitchen.

Boomer's Gourmet Fries -- had poutine for the first time and *loved* it! The sandwich I ordered was practically incidental...

York Street Kitchen -- we were going to eat in the restaurant for lunch, but it was stiflingly hot in there! So we ordered wraps from the take-out window, ate along the river, and then popped into my favorite Stratford bookstore (Callen's). Very handy option and we'll take advantage of it again.

So we ended up skipping 38 this time around. I'm a bit surprised by the negative reviews here, as we really liked it last year and we're thinking of going back in September...

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  • 1 month later...

Getting ready for the annual Stratford feeding frenzy.

I have heard that Garlic's is closed as is Falstaff's. Never made it to Garlic but I liked Falstaff's.

New in town are Cafe Ten at 10 Downie Street (trying to imagine which store it took over...) and The Schnitzel House at 107 Downie Street (ditto).

Anyone heard anything about either? Will ask our innkeeper when we get there.

We have decided to take our chances and try the Belfry for lunch after boycotting it for years. We love the Church so much but had truly awful service upstairs.

We may try the Old Prune and Pazzo for lunch for their prixe-fixe options.

Deeply disappointed by Sapori last go round so not sure if we're going back.

Definitely will try the Globe and am intrigued by Avoca.

Plus the many trips to Boomers.

Can't wait!

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We were just in Stratford the other night for yet another meal at globe and walked by the schnitzel house as it is very close.

It looked like typical Tourist type food rather than anything very interesting . . .the specials seemd to be a pork chop dish . . .. . prime rib roast beef . . etc. Overall it didn't look to promising.

On the flip side the staff at globe loves food so much that Todd was telling us about how good the new Indian Resto in Stratford is. He did not claim to be an expert . . but said he had great tandoori chicken, and a decent vindaloo. He said they had put lots of work into the decor and that it was a decent find.

He also mentioned that there is a new chinese resto that is serving dim sum . . . .he hadn't tried it yet but thought as I did that it might bear a visit sometime.

hehe . . but . . . AH . . Globe. We have eaten there at least 10 times since spring and still can't wait for our next visit.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Stratford . . and can't wait for your report on the hits and misses.

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  • 2 weeks later...
We were just in Stratford the other night for yet another meal at globe and walked by the schnitzel house as it is very close.

It looked like typical Tourist type food rather than anything very interesting . . .the specials seemd to be a pork chop dish . . .. . prime rib roast beef . . etc.  Overall it didn't look to promising.

On the flip side the staff at globe loves food so much that Todd was telling us about how good the new Indian Resto in Stratford is.  He did not claim to be an expert . . but said he had great tandoori chicken, and a decent vindaloo.  He said they had put lots of work into the decor and that it was a decent find.

He also mentioned that there is a new chinese resto that is serving dim sum . . . .he hadn't tried it yet but thought as I did that it might bear a visit sometime.

hehe . . but . . . AH . . Globe.  We have eaten there at least 10 times since spring and still can't wait for our next visit.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Stratford . . and can't wait for your report on the hits and misses.

Yes, the Indian restaurant is Raja. I discussed it briefly in this post.

I'm massively jealous. I wish we lived close enough to Stratford to be regular and frequent patrons of Globe. Could we hear some more about your recent visits? It's all terrific, I know, but are there any dishes or wines that stand out for you?

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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More on Globe after many visits . . .

first off Alex unfortunately I can't comment much on wines at Globe, further than to say that each time we go my wife askes for a glass of wine after we order, that will complement some food and she always enjoys it. She told me that the wine always matches at least one dish we order and she endy up drinking 3/4 of the glass with that dish. I can't drink wine due to an allergy which is too bad becasue i truly love the interplay between the right wine and the right food.

We have had so many great dishes at Globe in the past few months. High on the list would be a couple of sahimi dishes offset with lovely mild sauces which didn't overpower the seafood.

Beef Tenderloin has figured prominenetly on the blackboard in many ways but my favourite was in a soy reduction with oyster mushrooms and two chinese greens. . . very exotic.

another highlight was a black cod with porcini crust, it was just soooo good. The earthy mushroom flavour almost permeating the fish, but not quite . . still letting you taste the fish.

But the best of this restaurant are the dishes which aren't meant to stun you . . but just to be enjoyed . . .

For example, who else has the courage to serve sticky rice with peanut sauce as a dish. . . BUT MAN we hoover that stuff up so fast . . that we laugh at ouraselves every time it is on the menu.

Another example was fresh pickerel with cole slaw and garlic chips. . . so simple . . . fresh fish . . a little coleslaw that was impeccable and some crispy fried slices of garlic .. so whimsical and so much fun to eat all the while thinking . . man this is not your typical fish and chips

You know the are at least 6 new specials on the board each day . . . and I SWEAR most of them come once and are NEVER seen again . . . this is not a chef cooking from a book . . it is sooo obvious that he literally looks for what is BEST . . . and cooks it each day. This sometimes leads to dishes which are not totally balanced in terms of taste . . . but I can tell you . . EVERY dish has FLAVOUR!!!!!

So Alex here for your pleasure is a review of the dishes my wife and I had last night at globe . . . we went specifically for you . . . thank you very much.

1. Venison carpaccio, with soy cured foie gras, peanuts and crispy shallots.

I bet you had this one when you were there as it is on the menu . . but it really does define the restaurant. Fabulous gamey venison, a honking stack of shaved foie gras, peanuts and shallots for texture. Every time we have it we eat it and sigh . . . . it is that good. We also joke every time about how easy it would be to order 6 of that dish :)

2. Black Cod with beetroot puree, saffron potatoes and leek mussel vinagrette

Beetroot puree with cod!!!!!!!! hmmmmmmmmmmm

This was one of those only at globe dishes . . . did the beetroot puree really add to the cod . . not really . . .but oh my GOD the flavor of the beets just exploded in your mouth. The cod was cooked perfectly (as always btw, I have never had a piece of fish that was overc ooked here). I think if you were a food snob then this was a dish you may have turned your nose up at . . but for my wife and I it was awesome. You just know the beets were still in the ground that morning, and the larger than life depth of flavor was just awesome!!!

3. Heirloom Tomato and Green Bean salad with cherry tomato sorbet and balsamic reduction

AWESOME!!! Simple enough to make at home but each ingredient at the peak of freshness with the cherry tomato sorbet adding some sweetness set off by the balsmic.

4. Seared Scallop and lobster Chowder with Coriander.

WOW . . .this one was expensive at $15 (expensive for globe that is :))))))

I huge perfectly seared scallop and a ton of lobster meat, in a wonderful creamy sauce wirth the tiniest potato balls I have ever seen some fresh sweet corn and a couple of grape tomatoes. The depth of the flavor in the sauce was UNBELIEVABLE!!

Probably the closest I have been in my life to wanting to lick a dish clean. This dish could stand on it's own at any restaurant anywhere!!!

5. A Tasting of Potatoes

Yes . . you read that right!!!! The same chef who just proved that he can cook any 3 star chef anywhere, is willing to bring you a dish of potatoes. Basically 4 diferent kinds of heirloom potatoes cooked to perfection with notihng but omse butter and maldon sea salt. I am pretty sure most food snobs would have been disspointed but for us, the chance to try four different varieties of potato was VERY COOL. I can tell you that you could really appreciate the differences in taste and texture between the varieties which is exactly what he wanted to happen I am sure.

6 Desert

for desert we both had Coffee brulee with 3 different cookies. . . We are addicted to this desert lately it is just YUMMY . .. . nothing special . . just good a nice small portion of Creme Brulee so not to heavy Earlier in the summer though there was rhubarb crisp with balsmic Ice Cream and ooooooh . . was that yummy.

The bill for that yummy goodness was under $100 with tax and a tip. Globe . . . .it really is a restaurant that defies simple description . . .but one thing is for sure . . . This is a restaurant for people who LOVE food!!

Edited by Stalder (log)
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Thanks so much for a great report, Stalder! I just hope that enough people appreciate this kind of cooking to keep Globe in business for a long, long time. I see you're doing your part. :biggrin: Now, if you could do something about that exchange rate...

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another visit to Stratford has come and gone. The food scene has some wonderful highlights but the overall impression is that service continues to go downhill.

The decent, but nothing special to write home about spots:

We had breakfast at Madelyn's and it was disappointing for the first time. The fruit cup was canned and the eggs were way overcooked.

Breakfast at Feature's was the same as ever. Worth a visit once during the trip...

Dinner at the Boar's Head--we were there over 2 hours. They ran out of shepherd's pie and didn't mention to us that they were making them from scratch until we had been waiting for over an hour. They did comp us dessert --burnt, awful fruit pie.

(A visit later in the week for lunch was much better but still not the fun experience we used to have there.)

Bentley's--they lost our appetizer order, the Guiness stew was underseasoned and my basil parmeson chicken had the nastiest tasting basil. Again we were comped dessert and for the first time in six years they actually had the caramel apple cheesecake! It was very good at least.

The Olde English Parlour--We had a nice lunch, the portions were reasonable and tasty. The food just didn't sing.

The very nice spots:

I'm not sure how we missed Foster's the first few years we went. It is good food at very good prices with very good service. The seasonal salad with heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese was fabulous and the pasta special I had was very nice. The real winner of the evening was the roasted chicken though.

We went back to Down the Street after skipping a year in protest of extraordinarly rude service. We had good service and tasty food. The angus burger is pretty wonderful.

Boomer's--really, I could eat there every day but we went twice. The fish on a bun is just about perfect and the poutine makes me very happy. I switch to sweet potato fries for the second visit and was almost as happy. The burger was reportedly quite good and the black bean chili is a big hit as well.

And the best places:

My friends were a bit reluctant to go the Globe. The sticker shock mentioned in many posts, the odd combinations of flavors, etc., were all mentioned. I was pretty insistent and everyone was glad we went.

We didn't order enough dishes--my intermission of South Pacific we were all hungry. (We had plenty of time--the price tag escalation was the primary concern I think.)

We had the shoestring fries (how do they get them that thin?), the mushroom risotto, the spinach lady bird, lobster bisque, the bbqed chicken (a real winner for me), the pork schnitzel and two specials off the board--a beef tenderloin dish and the roast lamb loin. Both were excellent. I loved how the flavors mixed together and how different it was from anything else in Stratford. If we had gone earlier in the week or had a longer stay, we would have gone back.

For our final night we went to the Church which was just about perfect. I had:

King Oyster Mushroom Velouté

Chanterelle and Summer Savory Stuffed Chicken Wing

Watercress Purée

A roast veal that is no longer on the menu

Classic Kobe Beef Striploin and Sautéed Marrow

Caramelized Salsify, Pickled Chanterelles and ‘pommes boulangere’

Thyme Infused Red Wine Jus (Where has salsify been all my life?)

and the Chocolate Espresso Marquis with Summer Fruits

Port Wine Reduction

Bay Scented Ice Cream

Service was perfect as always. Two of had the wine pairings and one skipped it. We always go on Saturday night after the theater rush is over and it is simply a wonderful time--not rushed at all.

We peeked at the Schnitzel House and it looked fine but we had terrible german food in Niagara Falls so skipped it. Garlics is now Gilt and the menu looks the same. Our innkeeper reported that there was a split between the owners that resulted in the name change. I completely failed to ask about dim sum but wonder if it was the new place on Ontario near the King Family Buffet. I think it is called Hong Kong.

Completely skipped Bijou, Sapori and Pazzo. We were there fewer days this year so our choices were more limited.

Still it was a good trip and I look forward to my next jaunt eagerly.

Jennifer

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the report, Jennifer. We'll make it to The Church one of these years. I'm quite puzzled, though, by your referring to the Globe's "sticker shock mentioned in many posts." Five eG'ers before you have posted about Globe in this thread, and we certainly appear to concur that their tariff is fair and a good value for what is received. You also referred to "the odd combinations of flavors." Again, I didn't see any of us using the word "odd" or anything implying it. Creative, yes, but not odd.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Thanks for the report, Jennifer. We'll make it to The Church one of these years. I'm quite puzzled, though, by your referring to the Globe's "sticker shock mentioned in many posts." Five eG'ers before you have posted about Globe in this thread, and we certainly appear to concur that their tariff is fair and a good value for what is received. You also referred to "the odd combinations of flavors." Again, I didn't see any of us using the word "odd" or anything implying it. Creative, yes, but not odd.

A quick Globe/Stratford story for you food/theatre fans. To get good seats for the Stratford Festival you usually buy your tickets 6 months or more before the performances. Colm Feore is acting at Stratford this summer for the first time in 5+ years. He is fabulous on stage but has recently made the jump to the big screen and developed quite a reputation as one of Hollywoods best character actors. Anyways we really wanted to see him at Stratford this year so we bought our tickets in February I think. Turns out that one set of tickets was for Thursday October 5th and we have a major family function to attend a full day away. The performance was a matinee and we thought that there was probably someone who works at our favourite restaurant who might enjoy seeing it since we couldn't.

Anyways we arrive at the restaurant and Todd who runs the front of house is there but not in an official mode since it is his day off. the Restaurant is nearly empty since it is only 5:15. My wife takes out the tickets and starts explaining our situation and starts going on about what an AMAZING actor Colm Feore is . .. . and how AWESOME he was in past plays. Todd's eyes start to sparkle as he looks over our shoulders and he interrupts my wife to tell her "I know he is amazing . . . He is also sitting right behind you:)"

What a great moment. We ALL had a great laugh. I am sure Mr. Feore was very flattered as the praise was given with no knowledge he was there. And my wife who is a VERY shy person (unlike me) was just bubbling as she explained how awesome he really is, speaking of past performances etc. totally unaware he was right behind her.

Globe is obviously the hip spot to hang in Stratford now. Both William Hutt and Colm Feore have been there on nights we have, but no wonder, hehe, the food is so good and reasonably priced.

Edited by Stalder (log)
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  • 8 months later...

This past weekend we met up with my parents in Stratford to see a play and go out for dinner.

My mom is on a very low fat, low salt diet, so eating out was going to be a challenge. After doing research my best bet seemed to be the sunroom restaurant, as they specialized in stir fries with lots of veggies, and had a chef who was a graduate of Stratford chef school. As well I had read some foodie reviews from folks who loved the place.

When I called to make a reservation I was told that we would have to be out by 7 PM, so we arrived right on time for our 5 PM reservation. Unfortunately our table was not prepared even tohugh the restaurant opened ot 4:30 for dinner.

From this point onward there was just one mishap after another until it almost became a comedy.

My mom's wine came promptly, but my wife's never arrived. I pointed this out to the waitress who then left . . . and still didnt bring back her wine!!!!

When we ordered I asked the waitress if the rice noodles were like pad Thai noodles but she had no idea, and didn't offer to go check. Maybe I should have known, but i thought she could have offered to check.

We all ordered stir fries of one type or another and they arrived although were all given to the wrong people (we just sorted that out ourselves). I mentioned that it was odd that they had bread plates and knives . . . yet no bread. The bread came as we were finishing supper :)

The stir fries were very good. Very bland but with fresh ingredients, low in fat and salt. Perfect for my parents, the least adventurous diners in the world.

My wife's wine did finally arrive after her dinner was 1/2 done.

The coup de grace came with dessert. My wife ordered the chilled chocolate mango mousse, and it arrived FROZEN SOLID. You can check their online menu to see at http://www.sunroomstratford.com/index.php to see a description of the dessert. I called our waitress over and mentioned that the mousse was frozen solid and she said " it is supposed to be" I mentioned that I had not seen the word frozen, to which she replied "it does so" . . at this point I just shut up. She said she would bring another dessert if we would rather, but i was so embarrassed/frustrated I just said not to worry about it.

Anyhow, it was probably the worst service I have ever had. The food quality was average, except for the fact that the chilled mousse was FROZEN :).

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  • 1 month later...
Saw online that the Globe has closed!!! So very sad, especially since I'm not making a Stratford run this year as we have a 4 month old at home.

They catered the wedding I attended on the 7th. Apparently it was the last service they did, according to the groom. It was very tasty too.

I'm saddened that I didn't have the chance to eat at the restaurant - and I hope the crew there land on their feet. It sounds like a definite loss for the Stratford community, at least for now.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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  • 11 months later...
Has anyone dined in Stratford this season?  We are going at the end of August, with toddler in tow, and are starting to wonder what are options are going to be this year.

Thanks!

Unfortunately, no. With the exchange rate :angry: and a couple of other things going on, we decided to skip our usual Memorial Day weekend visit.

I'm really, really sad to read about the Globe's closing. After our visit last year, when I learned they had to revamp their menu because the 100%-small-plates approach wasn't catching on, I had a feeling that that might happen.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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  • 1 month later...

Now that we're in the thick of the season, does anyone have any current recommendations for Stratford dining? I'll be headed there for a show in a week and a half, and I'm complete newbie to the local restaurant scene. A lot of the recommendations on this thread are old, so I'd love to hear what's still worth visiting. Thanks!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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  • 4 weeks later...
Now that we're in the thick of the season, does anyone have any current recommendations for Stratford dining? I'll be headed there for a show in a week and a half, and I'm complete newbie to the local restaurant scene. A lot of the recommendations on this thread are old, so I'd love to hear what's still worth visiting. Thanks!

How was it?
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Now that we're in the thick of the season, does anyone have any current recommendations for Stratford dining? I'll be headed there for a show in a week and a half, and I'm complete newbie to the local restaurant scene. A lot of the recommendations on this thread are old, so I'd love to hear what's still worth visiting. Thanks!

How was it?

We ended up going to the Belfry, and it was quite good. The service was very attentive at first, but fell off as the restaurant filled, to the point that we had to flag down the server to place our dessert order so we could make it to our show in time.

For food: as a table, we shared the Yukon Gold fries, which were good but not the epitome of what a fry should be. The piquillo ketchup, on the other hand, was extremely tasty. We also shared the vindaloo lentil and paneer dish, which, although not as spicy as I would have expected, was extremely tasty.

The only other dishes I can personally attest to were the sticky rice with barbeque pork, the octopus with sassafras glaze, chorizo and piquillos, the duck confit with jerusalem artichokes and pineapple gastrique, and the 24-hour pork belly with squid "chips." The sticky rice was fine, but no better than what I've had in dim sum restaurants, except that the pieces of pork were bigger. The octopus, on the other hand was superlative: complementary, bold flavours and good texture. The duck confit was also great, though the jerusalem artichokes were a little undercooked for my taste. I had only a taste of the 24-hour pork belly, but it was also really tasty. I'd have no problem returning here.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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