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One evening in Toronto


Chocoholic
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Hello everyone,

I will be in Toronto for a few days at the end of March with the wife and child (the Easter weekend actually hence my early inquiries) visiting the in-laws on the way to the Caribbean from Vancouver. In between Italian home cooking we will escape one night in search of a quiet and tasty dinner.

We are looking for fine dining, something to showcase Toronto's kitchens. It has been seven years since we lived there so I am no longer up to date at all.

The budget isn't that much of a concern, great food, room and service are! For anybody familiar with Vancouver, I am after a Toronto equivalent of say West or Lumiere.

Susur has been suggested, but I know little about it. Any other suggestions will be very welcome and appreciated. (the child will stay home with nonna by the way!)

Stefan Posthuma

Beer - Chocolate - Cheese

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Hello everyone,

I will be in Toronto for a few days at the end of March with the wife and child (the Easter weekend actually hence my early inquiries) visiting the in-laws on the way to the Caribbean from Vancouver. In between Italian home cooking we will escape one night in search of a quiet and tasty dinner.

We are looking for fine dining, something to showcase Toronto's kitchens. It has been seven years since we lived there so I am no longer up to date at all.

The budget isn't that much of a concern, great food, room and service are! For anybody familiar with Vancouver, I am after a Toronto equivalent of say West or Lumiere.

Susur has been suggested, but I know little about it. Any other suggestions will be very welcome and appreciated. (the child will stay home with nonna by the way!)

Perigee or Susur are both worthy of consideration.

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Chocoholic,

I was going to throw in my vote for Susur, but since I haven't dined at all the above mentioned spots I really can't influence you. I will say that my husband and I ate at Susur (tasting menu) and it was quite an event - the service is a little more Toronto than at West (I prefer the service at West), and the food is very creative as is the room. I have heard that Susur is not always in the house and this would be the only concern I would have.

There are many places to try in that fair food city, you might want to look out for the new place that the chef from The Fifth is at ... I think I saw it somewhere in the Ontario posts ... hmmn, it might be George, if so, go for it - try and get nonna to babysit twice!

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Sorry, but Susur is overrated - His prices do NOT justify what you get...The portions there are laughable...Taste is amazing, but NOT worth it.

Perigee? Top in Toronto? What are you somking? Granted it is a nice place, but theres 5 I can run through which are far better...

Someone suggested Splendido, I would definetly go there, or Scaramouche, or even North 44, or By Mark if you want to be downtown.

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Susur is definitely NOT overrated. My last visit was just before x'mas and it is definitely still the top restaurant in Toronto. 2 days before that I was at Splendido.. Splendido was good but Susur's just at another level. I would think Scarmouche about the same as Splendido (Haven't been there for a year). And I wouldn't return to North 44. A dish of undercooked and cold fish that needs to send back to the kitchen turned me totally off a few years ago.

Service at Susur was so good that evening (Better than the last time I was there half a year before that definitely). It was a dinner with a friend's parents and grandma. Grandma doesn't drink wine/sparking-water.. And the staff so kindly brought her a pot of very nice chinese tea with a stand that heats the pot.

I can't see how the Susur portions are laughable.. I was completely full when I got out of it. And at that evening the tasting menu's only 5 dishes (and I had tasted 10+ because of my other half has a different menu) and the price's less than C$100 for the tasting menu. (I forgot exactly how much.. It's 90/95?)

M

Sorry, but Susur is overrated - His prices do NOT justify what you get...The portions there are laughable...Taste is amazing, but NOT worth it.

Perigee?  Top in Toronto?  What are you somking?  Granted it is a nice place, but theres 5 I can run through which are far better...

Someone suggested Splendido, I would definetly go there, or Scaramouche, or even North 44, or By Mark if you want to be downtown.

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Sorry, but the difference between Susur and Splendido, granted there are some, are not enough to warrant such a increase in price. As well, I must say, the service at Susur's is HORRIBLE, I once waited 45 minutes between courses in a bloody tasting menu, sorry, but that is unacceptable. If you are going to pay $500+ for a dinner for 4, it better well be amazing, and the service spectacular. The food is very good, some dishes are amazing, some are, sadly quite pathetic...I recall one course was some "Heirloom tomatoes in a tomatoe water and goat cheese" give me a break...Anyone can make this, and just as well....

I would take Splendido over Susur anyday, half the price, better service, larger plates, and more consistant.

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Sorry, but the difference between Susur and Splendido, granted there are some, are not enough to warrant such a increase in price.  As well, I must say, the service at Susur's is HORRIBLE, I once waited 45 minutes between courses in a bloody tasting menu, sorry, but that is unacceptable.  If you are going to pay $500+ for a dinner for 4, it better well be amazing, and the service spectacular.  The food is very good, some dishes are amazing, some are, sadly quite pathetic...I recall one course was some "Heirloom tomatoes in a tomatoe water and goat cheese" give me a break...Anyone can make this, and just as well....

I would take Splendido over Susur anyday, half the price, better service, larger plates, and more consistant.

I've had quite a few meals at Susur with great results but your vigorous support of Splendido makes me want to give it a try - I've never dined there

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Sorry, but the difference between Susur and Splendido, granted there are some, are not enough to warrant such a increase in price.  As well, I must say, the service at Susur's is HORRIBLE, I once waited 45 minutes between courses in a bloody tasting menu, sorry, but that is unacceptable.  If you are going to pay $500+ for a dinner for 4, it better well be amazing, and the service spectacular.  The food is very good, some dishes are amazing, some are, sadly quite pathetic...I recall one course was some "Heirloom tomatoes in a tomatoe water and goat cheese" give me a break...Anyone can make this, and just as well....

I would take Splendido over Susur anyday, half the price, better service, larger plates, and more consistant.

I've had quite a few meals at Susur with great results but your vigorous support of Splendido makes me want to give it a try - I've never dined there

Splendido is alright, but I wouldn't personally describe it as one of the best in Toronto. Service is adequate, somewhat lackluster on some visits.

I do not agree with Sadisticks other rec's. I personally find North 44 has gone way downhill, especially the service and Scaramouche is okay. As to Sadisticks other post, I would continue to reccommend Perigee and I am not smoking anything. Perhaps Sadistick would be kind enough to use specifics when posting opinions and comparisons about restaurants. Im sorry to hear about the bad experience at Susur. I have heard opinions from both ends of the spectrum on this restaurant, but 75% of them have been good.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Sorry, but the difference between Susur and Splendido, granted there are some, are not enough to warrant such a increase in price.  As well, I must say, the service at Susur's is HORRIBLE, I once waited 45 minutes between courses in a bloody tasting menu, sorry, but that is unacceptable.  If you are going to pay $500+ for a dinner for 4, it better well be amazing, and the service spectacular.  The food is very good, some dishes are amazing, some are, sadly quite pathetic...I recall one course was some "Heirloom tomatoes in a tomatoe water and goat cheese" give me a break...Anyone can make this, and just as well....

I would take Splendido over Susur anyday, half the price, better service, larger plates, and more consistant.

I've had quite a few meals at Susur with great results but your vigorous support of Splendido makes me want to give it a try - I've never dined there

Splendido is alright, but I wouldn't personally describe it as one of the best in Toronto. Service is adequate, somewhat lackluster on some visits.

I do not agree with Sadisticks other rec's. I personally find North 44 has gone way downhill, especially the service and Scaramouche is okay. As to Sadisticks other post, I would continue to reccommend Perigee and I am not smoking anything. Perhaps Sadistick would be kind enough to use specifics when posting opinions and comparisons about restaurants. Im sorry to hear about the bad experience at Susur. I have heard opinions from both ends of the spectrum on this restaurant, but 75% of them have been good.

Perigee is my current favorite - I just can't get enough. I agree with your opinion on North 44 - ate there a few times with good results but nothing over the top. The most memorable thing is that "twice" on two different occasions - the same server brought me the incorrect wine - same wine but waaaayyyy off vintage - a 92 for a 90 Burg , etc. Both times it was suggested they were superior wines - I mean I may not know everything but .........c'mon

Thanks for the info on Splendido - btw - Wasn't David Lee supposed to head up the kitchen at FLOW?

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I don't think you could go wrong with susur's place. Every time I've been there the food has been innovative and intelligently prepared. Yes you'll pay for it but my dinner for 2 at Splendido was also $500.00. I don't think you can compare the two restaurants as far as food and service goes. The fact that the owners are also the chefs is a very good sign. David and Susur are both extremely driven to offer the customer the best food and service possible. Splendido could easily be compared to West in Vancouver with regards to style and calibre of cooking. Both chefs trained classically in top London restaurants. Susur on the other hand has a style of cooking I find truely unique, food that can't be found anywhere else. Too bad it's only 1 dinner, since there are some(not many) good options. Marc Thuet's restaurant is also due to open soon- a wild Alsatian chef who is very gifted at the stoves.

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GordonCooks wrote "...Thanks for the info on Splendido - btw - Wasn't David Lee supposed to head up the kitchen at FLOW? "

I had not heard that (not that that means anything) and I would surprised if it is the case. I thought Richard Andino moved from Executive Chef at Rosewater to be Co-owner and Executive Chef at Flow.

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Ok let me address a few points.

I never said Splendido was the favourite, but I would place it in Top 5.

North 44, cant comment has I have not been there in ages, but last time Mark made us a great meal.

Scaramouche, always solid...

Im still sad that Jov Bistro is closed :sad:

A few more recomendations...

Rain

Canoe

Romania Mia (sp)

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Ok let me address a few points.

I never said Splendido was the favourite, but I would place it in Top 5.

North 44, cant comment has I have not been there in ages, but last time Mark made us a great meal.

Scaramouche, always solid...

Im still sad that Jov Bistro is closed  :sad:

A few more recomendations...

Rain

Canoe

Romania Mia (sp)

Rain is one of the nicest restos and Canoe may have the best view in Toronto but food wise?........

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Thanks for all the suggestions and spirited comments so far!

I found web sites for most of the places mentioned in this thread, but George is too wide a term to find anything so any links are welcome.

So far I am leaning towards Perigee, the concept is unknown in Vancouver and I would like to try it out. Still considering Susur as well. Maybe I'll let the wife decide, she is less fussy than I am. :biggrin:

Stefan Posthuma

Beer - Chocolate - Cheese

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Count me in for Susur. You don't find anything like that in Vancouver.

I'm also on the Splendido side. Both food and service there are exceptional (and David Lee was there last night) - but the price approaches Susur level too.

Perigee is OK. But in two meals there they have ignored the preferences expressed by the diner and brought things that were inappropriate (at least - potentially dangerous in one case) - but we swapped dishes to get around that. NOTE: There is NO MENU at Perigee - you're asked for likes/dislikes and the food is a 'surprise'. Makes it very difficult to choose wine also, so you're almost forced to go with the Sommelier's choices (which are 'variable').

If you're truly looking for something you won't get in Vancouver, apart from Susur, I'll recommend Chiado. Certainly the best Portuguese restaurant in Toronto (and probably North America). Think 'french' rather than portuguese and you'll be closer to the mark - but it's not cheap either.

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Chiado is an excellent recommendation for something different, I concur. Same with Susur and Perigee, especially if you're looking for something different than Vancouver. I would not recommend Rain for the food, an have found the service to be less than expected on occasion as well.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I'm really surprised by some of the recommendations posted here. I don't want to get into a food fight elaborating the shortcomings of the restaurants named nor defending my own choice but the variation in taste is surprising and a marked contrast to the Montreal board (I think). I'd like to think that Toronto diners are knowledgeable so perhaps the problem is what happens when you're forced to choose among second rate restaurants which at best is all that's on offer in Toronto currently. For whatever reason Toronto's best restaurant days are long gone.

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brab says :

"For whatever reason Toronto's best restaurant days are long gone."

I guess that goes along with the World's best days being long gone.

Thank goodness there are still plenty of first-rate restaurants in Toronto to keep me happy and, yes, I have eaten in fine establishments in other cities.

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I'm really surprised by some of the recommendations posted here. I don't want to get into a food fight elaborating the shortcomings of the restaurants named nor defending my own choice but the variation in taste is surprising and a marked contrast to the Montreal board (I think). I'd like to think that Toronto diners are knowledgeable so perhaps the problem is what happens when you're forced to choose among second rate restaurants which at best is all that's on offer  in Toronto currently. For whatever reason Toronto's best restaurant days are long gone.

Yes, you may be right - there was an exciting discussion of Spa Food, a market that was half-open, A japanese place closing, a new bbq place on the way, and a vivid discussion on missing creme fraiche.

What's wrong with you Toronto people? :wink:

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