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Can anyone tell me about Toro? Or Starfish?


scrumdiddlyumptious
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My brother is heading to Toronto, and asked me to see what I could find out about these places. He loves seafood (both raw and cooked) and a good wine selection is really important to him. He prefers to confer with a sommelier, or if there's no sommelier, someone on the staff who really knows the menu, and wines, and how well they go together. He'll be in town for a week, so can go to both if they both meet that criteria. And of course, any other places you can recommend that I can point him towards would be great!

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It may be but I suspect the Toro referred to here is a relatively new restaurant in Bloor West area.

I have been to Starfish about 6 times and I have always been very pleased with the food and the experience. The owner Patrick is a master with the oysters and they have some excellent sea food dishes. It is not ultra fancy but by no means shabby. I do not believe they have a sommelier but I could be wrong on that.

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TORO Restaurant

Toro showcases a passion for blending the traditional

with the contemporary, fully complementing the modern evolution of one of Toronto's  oldest neighborhood villages.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Colin Gallacher, Toro's cuisine embodies old-world tastes with new-world pizzazz. Fine cuts of black angus steak, fresh seafood and more than a dozen preparations of mussels provide the foundation for culinary excellence while innovative risottos, ragouts and fresh greens enliven the palate.

The interior of Toro exists amidst inviting tones and organic elements - suede, stone, warm woods -  

to create an eclectic and comfortable dinner lounge experience. Relax, take your time and enjoy a fine bottle of wine while a cool, ambient soundtrack of world music helps stir your senses.

Toro is located at the western edge of Toronto's venerable Bloor West Village, on the south side

of Bloor St. just steps west of Jane St., or steps

east of South Kingsway.

Parking is available on Bloor St. in metered spots,

or in one of several City of Toronto "Green P" lots

that exist very close by.

Toro Dinner Lounge

2469 Bloor St. West

Toronto, Ontario

M6S 1P7

416-767-8540

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I highly reccomend Starfish at 200 adelaide St. East in Toronto as well.

Patrick is not only a friend of mine but he is without doubt one of the finest oyster guys I have ever met.

The room is cozy with seats at the bar to watch this world champion oyster shucker in action and sample some the briny denizens of the deeps off the oyster bar.

He also carries live scallops which very few places do and has a really decent selection of non seafood items on the menu for the non fish eater in the bunch.

His chef Martha is very talented and quite creative.

He has a large selection of beers on tap and all his staff are very knowledgable and professional.

If you do happen to meet Patrick, tell him "Uncle Fester" says Hi! :biggrin:

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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I almost forgot a couple of other places for your brother to check out on the seafood scene in Toronto.

1. Oyster Boy 872 Queen St. W. 416-534-3432

It is a warm friendly room also with seats at the oyster bar to watch the shucking action and also the home of the present Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion, Jason Woodside. It is also owned by a very good friend of mine and a true friend of the oyster, Adam "Oyster Boy" Colohougn. It has a small but good wine list and the menu offers very fresh seafood prepared a variety of ways. Try the Colville Bay oysters while sitting at the bar.

2. Rodney's Oyster House 469 King St. W. 416-363-8105

This place is very near and dear to my heart as this is the home of my oyster mentor and guru, Rodney Clark. This man gave me my start in my line of work and I have yet to meet a more knowledgable oysterman in my life.

The wine list again is somewhat small but like the others paired very nicely with their menu, which of course features very fresh seafood.

Very lively place with a friendly feel and a large oyster bar where you can watch the reigning North American Champion, Ian Peck and Ontario Champion, Joanna Nulty shuck their stuff. They offer a wide selection of oysters from almost everywhere and you can watch them steam mussels and clams while sipping your wine and enjoying your oysters at the bar.

Hope your brother enjoys his trip and if he meets any of the above people, say hi from the Oyster Guy in Whistler! :biggrin:

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Ooh, I choose Starfish over Rodney's any day. Far better value, and not such rowdy surroundings. Concienciously chosen wine list, w/ very reasonable mark ups and their non-seafood menu is very competent, in case your brother is accompanied by some who are not oyster lovers. I prefer sitting at the bar, as it's far more convivial.

On a related side note,... Starfish used to have an absolutely mind blowing scallop app: fresh scallop on the half shell with a small slab of foie gras, seared under the broiler, then drizzled with clarified butter. I haven't seen it on the menu in a while, but it made my knees quiver.

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Chiado - an upscale Portuguese place on College that is known for its fish might be worth a look too. Can anybody tell us how Chiado's wine selection/ pairing is?

For sushi, in the downtown core Hiro on King St. W. is good, but I've never had wine there so I have no idea about that end of things.

I'm having a bit of a difficult time thinking up a fish-focused resto in town that would also have a decent wine cellar and expertise in pairing their food to the wines.

Joso's is a seafood place on Davenport that is perhaps more well known for its decor (breasts - everywhere apparently) and clientele (the rich &/or fabulous) than it's food. I've never eaten there though, so I don't know about the food or the wine. But it did pop into my head as a place that is seafood focused and likely to have a decent wine selection.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Oyster Guy knows his oysters and oyster establishment.  One small (until you are out looking for the place) point is that Starfish is still at 100 Adelaide Street East (not 200).

It is kitty corner from the old Rodney's where I worked and the address there was 209 Adelaide St. East. Maybe my memory is failing in my gaining years but isn't 100 Adelaide St. East the old Revenue Canada Taxation Centre? :blink:

Sorry if I was wrong but I am sure the address is still in the yellow pages.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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Chiado - an upscale Portuguese place on College that is known for its fish might be worth a look too. Can anybody tell us how Chiado's wine selection/ pairing is?

That's the place that would be top of my list. It's fish (rather than seafood).

And the wine list is amazing - literally hundreds of Portuguese wines, most of which you won't know - but they know every one.

And there's a sort of tapas bar next door called Senhor Antonio's (part of same restaurant).

My recommendation:

Choose Chiado over any 'seafood' place. Seafood in Toronto is not a particular strength and even the best here won't match what any fan can get on (or near) the coast. Your brother will inevitably be disappointed.

Chiado is one of the great Portuguese restaurants of the world (and their fish is flown in).

And hit ethnic restaurants for the other meals.

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Chiado - an upscale Portuguese place on College that is known for its fish might be worth a look too. Can anybody tell us how Chiado's wine selection/ pairing is?

That's the place that would be top of my list. It's fish (rather than seafood).

And the wine list is amazing - literally hundreds of Portuguese wines, most of which you won't know - but they know every one.

And there's a sort of tapas bar next door called Senhor Antonio's (part of same restaurant).

My recommendation:

Choose Chiado over any 'seafood' place. Seafood in Toronto is not a particular strength and even the best here won't match what any fan can get on (or near) the coast. Your brother will inevitably be disappointed.

Chiado is one of the great Portuguese restaurants of the world (and their fish is flown in).

And hit ethnic restaurants for the other meals.

Since when is fish not seafood :blink:

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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I highly recommend Rodney's. Best oysters I've had. As for cooked fish, it's hard to be dissapointed by Joso's. I don't have the address on hand, but it's worth seeking out. They fly in fish from Portugal daily, usually served whole. Great wine list. Sit upstairs for atmosphere!

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George W., I owe you a heartfelt apology. You are absolutely right.

Starfish is at 100 Adelaide St. E.

Sorry about the mis-information.

www.starfishoysterbed.com

Thanks and again sorry

Oyster Guy

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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