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kosherdill's Profile

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ISO cool spot, downtown with great food!!

I'm heading to MTL with a group of about 10 people. Unfortunately, they are not all foodies and likely won't be as concerned with quality as I will.

However, for my own sake, I need to find a place that is downtown, fun (ie, good vibe/music) and happens to have a great menu. I was thinking about Wood35 - any thoughts??

I've done Globe before, but it's kind of "been there, done that". Anything with an interesting, creative menu would be excellent. Food seems to be an afterthought at some of these club restos...trying to find both...if I can...

Thanks for your help!!

Jul 26, 2011
kosherdill in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

One Day/Night in Boston - where do 2 Canadian foodies eat??

Thanks - we like everything really - as long as it's good! We're here during the week. I'll check out those links.

Jul 11, 2011
kosherdill in Greater Boston Area

One Day/Night in Boston - where do 2 Canadian foodies eat??

It looks amazing. Although, is very molecular focused? I don't love that usually. I'm guessing this is like a super-high-end Japanese sushi place - where they use top quality fish and imaginative pieces etc.

Jul 11, 2011
kosherdill in Greater Boston Area

One Day/Night in Boston - where do 2 Canadian foodies eat??

Guys - this is excellent info. I am from Toronto and we have some of the best Asian going in the world, so I would definitely skip the Indo-Chinese options. Furthermore, I am going to Cape Cod for two days and I'm sure I'll get my Lobster/Seafood fill there.

So, I am really looking for something unique (likely not a Steakhouse, but wanted to know if there was one really spectacular place as an option). I like the sounds of Toro the more I look into it and O Ya sounds incredible - but maybe a little out of my price range - unless it's going to be one of those memorable meals.

I don't want touristy places!!! I'll definitely have a look throughout the previous posts.

Anything else you can suggest would be much appreciated...

Thanks!

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O Ya
9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Jul 11, 2011
kosherdill in Greater Boston Area

One Day/Night in Boston - where do 2 Canadian foodies eat??

My wife and I are heading to Boston in two weeks and need some reco's for breakfast/ lunch and dinner.

- For breakfast/lunch - something fun, either classic dinner or modern funky place (pancakes etc)
- For dinner - three questions:

1. what is your favourite steak house?
2. what is the your favourite all around classic resto?
3. what is the coolest spot with best food these days?? Toro????

I don't want to spend a fortune, but would consider 200ish total for both of us if amazing.

Thank you very much!!! We can't wait.

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Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Jul 10, 2011
kosherdill in Greater Boston Area

Origin - Lives up the hype

I was most impressed with Origin this weekend, paying my first visit to Toronto Life's #1 with a group of friends. The vibe is great with a few different seating areas, ranging from more quite in the dining area to a little more vibrant (e.g., loud) near the bar/DJ. Despite the noise, we adapted and have a blast and most importantly some really outstanding food.

My days of needing 7 course tasting menus are officially over. Perhaps the economic downturn changed my habits, but with options like Origin, I'm really not missing anything. The whole gourmet comfort food experience is really fun and fulfilling - lots of variety and you don't leave hungry!

For starters/mains for some:

- Marinated Olives (good - unremarkable)
- Tostones + guacamole (awesome - remarkable!). Better than any Mexican place in the city including Milagro. I've never had a Tostones, but, wow, they are incredible!
- Spanish Fries - amazing - lots of great toppings - prefer this over Poutine
- Bufala mozzarella + pear + rosemary oil + pinenuts + honey - WOW, WOW, WOW.. This is really excellent. I would have never imagined this combination of things being this excellent. But kudos to the Origin team for delivering.
- Sugar snap peas - decent - funny enough we didn't order these, but they came and we mentioned it to the server - she said to keep them!! Now, that's service that I can respect. I hate when places serve an extra side and take it away...especially at high end restos.
- Chinois duck wrap + pickled cucumber + hoisin + sriracha + sour cream - not my favourite dish, but really good and worth trying. I found the duck to be a little tough, but otherwise a tasty treat.
- Scallops - not that good - but they're scallops - kind of taste like nothing at best of times! Not really my thing so don't take my word for it.

For main:

- Origin Burger - what can I say...this is as good as any burger I've had lately. I've been to all the burger places - Note Bene, Harbord Room, Burger Priest etc - this is right up there if not better. In future, I would have got the combo - with fries and cream soda.

For Dessert:

- Can't remember what it was called, but it was a martini glass full of creamy, caramel dolce deleche with lots of chocolate crumble on top - perfectly cooled and delicious. This really blew me away - didn't think it would be as good as it was. Highly recommend.

Service/Price:

- Great, professional, friendly (even though it's kind of alternative/hipster). Totally impressed with the Sugar Snap Pea incident resolution. We spent about 180 a couple - for all that food, bottle of wine and about 6 martinis. Now, that's really good value IMHO. Next time, I would not order that much food however....way too much...the burger alone is huge and filling.

I'll be going back very soon - finally Toronto Life gets it right!!

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Apr 17, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

M:Brgr: 'crazy expensive' toppings on menu interesting, anyone been to Montreal location?

Sorry - the Nature Burger is just organic meat. Went back again - for a work lunch. Same experience. Overpriced - not that great.

Feb 28, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brockton General - Anyone been?

They do love the cracked egg dressing/sauce - that's what was on the pasta!!! Seriously, crack and egg and put it on the pasta...the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it sounds. How is this considered haute cuisine by so many???!!!

Feb 21, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

M:brgr [moved from Quebec board]

I went back a second time. It is really pricey for what it is, but it's still good. There is no way anyone should be raving about this place, because it's not unique at all. Definitely not better than Craft, Burger Priest etc. What I do like about it - and why I'll return - is the amount of seating. It's a huge space so you can go comfortably with a larger group.

Feb 21, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brockton General - Anyone been?

I think there are 2 key issues with this place:

1. They have become a victim of too much publicity. The North York post and other papers called this and Wood Lot the two best new restaurants that "live up to the hype" - ironic how I found both to be quite the opposite. So, like most blockbuster movies I see 6 months later, they aren't as good as the reviews!

2. The menu issue as discussed. More variety & advanced notice.

I agree with the other reviewer - it's more of a local place to have a drink and eat some different food. BUT...the mass marketed Toronto newspapers aren't doing a good job of positioning this place to consumers.

Anyway, I do wish them well as I thought they were very genuine and caring toward their customers. And, if you're not picky, you might love it.

Feb 18, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brockton General - Anyone been?

Went there last weekend and still a little confused by this place. It's a tiny place with limited seating and a very rustic faux-tacky decor (if that makes any sense). They basically try to be cool by keeping it's original decor - kind of looks like an old Italian men's club or your grandparent's bungalo basement bar! I think it works...

Anyway, I wish they had a proper website, so I could have known in advance what this place is about. My wife and I were really confused by the menu, which is basically 4 items written on butcher wrap paper on the wall. The four items each had a significant pork element, which I was kind of surprised by, given there wasn't another option. They also have an appetizer(ish) menu with Woodlot's bread (weird), Olives, Spreads, etc.

We had the bread, olives and a garlic spread to start. Nothing special - I've been to Woodlot and they do have good bread, but I don't need it at other restos! Olives were good, but that isn't a huge accomplishment.

We ordered the sausage and pasta as our mains. Sausage was good and came with fried onions and sliced potatoes and TINY little drops of mustard seeds. It was very good, fresh and tasty and I would probably recommend. However, I can't say it was really worth $15.00 and frankly I don't think this dish is that special - and I could probably make something similar at home with little effort. The potatoes had no seasoning at all - kind of lame. But still a good dish.

My wife had the pasta and enjoyed it. Very plain, egg noodle (home made) with egg in the middle and pork shaving on top. It was ok - again, nothing that spectacular and nothing all that flavourful.

Bottom line - I love that they make everything from scratch and it comes across in the dishes. Very family style dishes that have that "home made" feel - right down to the grandma style plates! The service is GREAT - the girls that run the place are very friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable about the food. I have to say that made my meal - I'm so sick and tired of snooty Toronto wait staff with chips on their shoulders - who don't really want to know what you think.

What I did find out about the odd menu was that they base it on what "animal" they have at any given time. So that week, they had a pig and they were going to use that pig (nose to tail) until it was done. They don't usually get beef I was told - mostly pig, veal, lamb, chicken etc.

I, personally, don't care for this approach. I need variety, I need some safe bets and most of all I want to know in advance what the menu will be or I won't go back!!

Feb 15, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

M:Brgr: 'crazy expensive' toppings on menu interesting, anyone been to Montreal location?

Went to m:brgr for lunch last week on King Street. I was on my way to Craft Burger, which is always great, but thought I would try this Montreal based sensation for a change.

The location is great and there are tons of tables, which is a nice switch from the line-ups at many of the other eat out (or get really lucky with a tiny table) places. The place smelled like fresh paint, which was good and bad - looked great, smelt awful!

The menu is pretty substantial - much more than the typical burger spot. But how could I possibly go and not try the burger? I quickly ordered the nature burger with cheddar cheese and the horseradish mayo (which was ridiculously expensive at 4.00 for a squirt of mayo). The burger was done medium to medium well - I was not given a choice, which sucks as usual...I know, I know...liability etc. It was all in all quite good but nothing special or better than Craft Burger, Burger Cellar etc. The bun was more a sour dough type of thing - must be the MTL influence. Based on burger alone, I would say this is an average gourmet burger joint. The sides weren't that spectacular - poutine was embarrassingly bad for a MTL establishment. It tasted and looked like it was from President's Choice. Fries were that awful white colour and cheese was barely melted.

I haven't been to Burger Priest, which is next on the list, but for my money, the best burgers in the city are as follows in no particular order:

- Nota Bene
- Harbord Room
- Craft Burger

I would put m:brgr in the same category as Burger Cellar - more about the decor/scene than the food. It's just another mid range burger joint, no better, no worse. I really do prefer the hand made style that is thicker and juicy, with a mixture of meats - much like they serve at Note Bene.

Anyway, it's fine for lunch, but don't expect to be blown away...and it is a lot pricier than Craft, but you get a table and a much more relaxed atmosphere.

Enjoy...

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

Big Smoke Burger
573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

Feb 03, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

M:brgr [moved from Quebec board]

Went to m:brgr for lunch last week on King Street. I was on my way to Craft Burger, which is always great, but thought I would try this Montreal based sensation for a change.

The location is great and there are tons of tables, which is a nice switch from the line-ups at many of the other eat out (or get really lucky with a tiny table) places. The place smelled like fresh paint, which was good and bad - looked great, smelt awful!

The menu is pretty substantial - much more than the typical burger spot. But how could I possibly go and not try the burger? I quickly ordered the nature burger with cheddar cheese and the horseradish mayo (which was ridiculously expensive at 4.00 for a squirt of mayo). The burger was done medium to medium well - I was not given a choice, which sucks as usual...I know, I know...liability etc. It was all in all quite good but nothing special or better than Craft Burger, Burger Cellar etc. The bun was more a sour dough type of thing - must be the MTL influence. Based on burger alone, I would say this is an average gourmet burger joint. The sides weren't that spectacular - poutine was embarrassingly bad for a MTL establishment. It tasted and looked like it was from President's Choice. Fries were that awful white colour and cheese was barely melted.

I haven't been to Burger Priest, which is next on the list, but for my money, the best burgers in the city are as follows in no particular order:

- Nota Bene
- Harbord Room
- Craft Burger

I would put m:brgr in the same category as Burger Cellar - more about the decor/scene than the food. It's just another mid range burger joint, no better, no worse. I really do prefer the hand made style that is thicker and juicy, with a mixture of meats - much like they serve at Note Bene.

Anyway, it's fine for lunch, but don't expect to be blown away...and it is a lot pricier than Craft, but you get a table and a much more relaxed atmosphere.

Enjoy...

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

Big Smoke Burger
573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

Jan 30, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Miller Tavern - Are you kidding me??!

Well said - I agree with you. I have been suckered into the 30.00 Lobster Quesadilla far too many times at the Miller. Charge 12.00 for beef and don't bother with the mostly rubbery claw part Lobster!! The steaks are quite bad for the price - I could go to Metro and BBQ a much better one without much effort. And, 18.00 for a burger that is really awful needs to be fixed. If the burger was really outstanding, I'd pay the price and actually enjoy the experience with a nice beer.

Jan 27, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Miller Tavern - Are you kidding me??!

I believe my original bad experience was the Miller Brunch (on Sunday). The food is just ok - nothing memorable at all. My issues are mostly about value/quality for price. It's not like the food is horrible or anything. It's their prices that are a complete joke. If you have a coupon, I'd say it's worth going for 25.00 for 2 people. But don't expect much form this place!

I did go back once for a large group dinner and it cost us over 200.00 a couple. Absolute highway robbery for the kind of mediocre food they serve.

Good luck!!

Jan 27, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Woodlot

Yes, it's worth another shot. But I think they need to update the menu before I return...

Jan 23, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Woodlot

We went to Woodlot last night after many weeks of trying to get in unsuccessfully. I have heard so much positive hype about this place, it was bound to be a bit underwhelming. The place itself is very unique and has a great vibe to it. Perfect spot for a fun dinner with a lively crowd.

The food was very good, authentic and fresh, but it didn't blow me away. The fire roasted bread is delicious - I wish I hadn't had so many pieces before my meal! So, we were off to a great start and looking forward to our meal. I had the following:

- French Onion Soup (or whatever they call it there). Outstanding and as good a French Onion as I've ever had. I enjoyed the rye bread mixed in for a unique twist.
- Steak for my main. Was good, not great. I liked the flavour and the drizzling of oil and herbs on top to make it a bit more than a standard steak. But, it was rather fatty for a strip lion and it just didn't do much for me. The potato gratin was nice, but nothing special. I would have gone for something more adventurous, but the menu is really limited and way too many pork dishes. Would have liked a few more fish/meat options.
- Potato Gnocchi side - really amazing - probably the highlight of the meal for me. Made me want to get the Gnocchi as my main. Maybe next time.

Overall, I thought it was above average, but not the best meal of 2011 or anything. Prices were quite reasonable, but not cheap. The veggie menu is basically the same as the meat menu, but without the meat. I would love to see a bit more variety or perhaps a theme to the food. It seemed like a small menu of a bunch of very similar things (eg, Gnocchi as a main or side/veggie or not veggie). If you keep it small, I'd really like to have more variety.

Might have to give it another shot and would recommend without over hyping...

Jan 23, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bow to the Queen (Margherita)

After much hype, we finally paid a visit to Queen Margherita over the holidays with the kids and another family with kids. I was expecting this to be a carbon copy of Pizza Libretto or something close, but found it to be quite different in a very good way.

Having recently been to Pizza Libretto, I was expecting the "it's your pleasure to be here" type of attitude, but got quite the opposite. The restaurant itself is quite large with two tiers of seating areas - I found the upper level to be perfect for a larger group. It long, with very high ceilings and has that original building vibe without sacrificing comfort. As opposed to being jammed into a small table after a long wait, we were promptly seated and attended to right away. The staff are all quite friendly and they seemed quite happy to have a group with small kids early in the evening.

The menu is quite basic, but keeps it simple in a good way. We all had the 25.00 prix fix menu which offers a choice of salad/soup, pizza and dessert. I started with the buffalo mozzarella salad, which had the largest piece of cheese I have EVER seen served in a restaurant. It was quite spectacular - my only wish was that they matched the girth of the cheese with the portion of tomatoes. The three tiny cherry tomato half's were dwarfed by this massive, yet delicious cheese! The table bread was warm, fresh and hard to stop eating.

I had the Roma pizza for my main and was not disappointed at all. I hear that the oven makes the pizza - assuming you have good ingredients - and this oven must be special. The pizza was absolutely delicious and very nicely portioned to boot! I couldn't believe how big the portions were at this place - I could have easily shared the pizza with someone else. The crust was wonderfully crusty; the cheese and spices were perfect and combined to make what I think is one of the best pizzas in the city (of Toronto). I had some left over the next day and was enjoying every bite just as much as the night before, which confirmed I wasn't just buzzed off my one Morretti!

So, how does it compare to Libretto you might be asking? It's a very tough call. For it's simplicity, i think I must bow to the Queen - if you're looking for more innovative ingredients, you might want to consider Libretto.

The desserts are good, but not great. I ended up with the lemon Sorbet, which was nothing special at all. We had some other desserts at the table, but nobody was blown away. You can't hit them all out of the park...

We'll be back again for sure.

Jan 07, 2011
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Burger Cellar - Yonge & Lawrence

I went there last week with another family. Good news for me - it's fairly family friendly as we were there with 4 kids under 4 years old. They have a kids menu with crayons and seem to be encouraging of people bringing kids, although I wouldn't say the wait staff were all on side with this strategy. We did get a few dirty looks as the kids began to "breakdown" after the icecream. It's worth noting that we were there at around 5 PM on a Sunday, so it's not like prime time or anything!

Anyway, the adult food is pretty good for the area and that's an important point, given how BRUTAL most of the restaurants are north of Lawrence. The bar is set incredibly low and this place did alright at exceeding expectations. The burger was pretty good - I had the natural (organic) version and it was good - a step up from Lick's, a slight step down from places like Craft Burger and a million steps down from Harbord Room.

There are three issues with this place that are worth mentioning:

1. They will only cook burgers medium well (completely unacceptable and amateur - I expect that at Hero or Harvey's not a gourmet burger place). It's almost a non starter. They won't even entertainment medium plus.
2. The burgers are decently priced at around 9.00, but they are a la cart, which I really don't personally like. Charge 12.00 and include a side. Sides are around 5.00-7.00 and not noteworthy, which makes the surcharge frustrating.
3. The bathroom freshener smell was coming through the restaurant, but I'm sensitive to smell and others didn't notice. But for me, a huge turn off....

All in all, I'd say to go and expect average to good North York fare and nothing more. Don't compare this to other downtown burger spots as it's doesn't compare at all. But it's good, convenient, fairly priced and a pretty good atmosphere with lots of tables.

Enjoy...

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Big Smoke Burger
573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

Dec 02, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need a birthday place with a good gourmet burger!

Thanks everyone! The good news is that after all of this, the Harbord Room actually called me back and gave me the reservation. But, I'm going to check out the Queen and Beaver on the weekend. I haven't heard anything but average-to-bad reviews of the Burger Cellar, but it's probably worth a shot. It does look nice! Cheers...

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Nov 21, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need a birthday place with a good gourmet burger!

Thanks for the suggestions. I think Nota Bene has the best burger in town, but it's a bit too fancy/sophisticate a place for our family. I've heard good things about the Queen and Beaver, but the menu looks VERY gamey, no?

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Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

Nov 16, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need a birthday place with a good gourmet burger!

6 people, 8 max...

Nov 15, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Need a birthday place with a good gourmet burger!

Would love to go to the Harbord Room, but they can't accommodate a group our size (they do make it quite difficult to make a reservation there). Looking for something similar - we tried Sidecar last year and didn't love it. We went to Tatti Bistro the year before and it was quite good.

Looking for something with a burger and steak frites on the menu that will appeal to the adventurous food fearing dads in the group. And prefer to try a new(er) place.

Thanks for your help!

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Nov 15, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto's Best Italian?!?

I was shocked when I had a very authentic bowl of al dente Penne a la Vodka at Grazie last week. I haven't been to that place since the 90's and there's a good reason...the crowd is brutal!! It's a total cougar place and overall isn't a big step up from Olive Garden in terms of service and atmosphere. BUT, the food was surprisingly pretty good. I haven't had a bowl of pasta that tasty in a long while - that said, I rarely order pasta and I don't frequent high end Italian places like Scaramouche that often - I know they're much better. This is just good local pasta if you can tolerate the crowd and faux sophisticated Italian decor.

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Grazie
2373 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P2C8, CA

Nov 11, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Lee (Susur's New Place)

I finally went to Lee last week for an Anniversary dinner. I'm not really the type of person to go to the well known spots my parents have heard of, but I just had to try it after all the "you haven't been to Lee?" comments. I really should learn that most people have bad taste or average taste I guess!!

Overall, it was quite good and I was impressed with the unique aspects of the dishes. Very interesting combinations of ingredients. The most famous Asian Slaw surprisingly lives up to it's reputation as a very exciting and flavourful dish that has something like 17 ingredients (we asked for ours without Cilantro, so it might have 18!). We also had the braised beef and miso cod - both were really tasty, but I wasn't blown away by either.

I felt like I was eating in a place that was hot 4 years ago and judging by the office party crowd, I think this place has lost it's edge and is going the route of Nobu (don't change the formula and the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd will keep coming).

I'll say the Mojito's were great - raw brown sugar at the bottom and at 10.00 each, not that overpriced.

I'd go back, but it would be way down on the list....enjoy.

Nov 11, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Craft Burger

I agree wholeheartedly with this review. I finally went to Craft Burger last week for lunch and was also underwhelmed, but not completely disappointed. I order the organic burger, which I was told was the way to go and it was pretty good. I really hated the bun it came with - just because I want my meat to be without excess hormones, doesn't mean I want to have a nasty whole grain bun. The nicely burnt sesame buns looked so much better & I think that would have helped. The burger is too thin for it to be anything amazing. However, it was good enough that I would go back again and the price is right. Plus, I had the most amazing Strawberry Milkshake that was generously complimented with remaining milkshake that was left in the mixer. I'll close by saying the fries & rings were pretty damn good.

All of this said, I'd agree with the other reviewer on Harbord Room - best burger in the higher end category and Note Bene is a close second. Haven't been able to top any of those in the city.

For fast food type burger, I still love the old Burger Shack....just had a "Shack Attack" today actually!

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Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Big Smoke Burger
573 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M1, CA

Nov 11, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

3 Reviews - Buddakan, The Lion & STK

My wife and I just got back from a trip to your city and had some great meals. We are from Toronto, which has a fantastic food scene, but I will admit that New York wins every time!

Here's a few quick reviews:

Buddakan

This was highly recommended by a number of people as something that would have some good pan asian and a fun atmosphere. The place was exactly that, but nothing more. It seems like this place might have been really awesome when it first opened, but has succumbed to the "bridge and tunnel" crowd and tourists like us!

That said, it's definitely on par or better than Tao or Nobo and the food is quite solid. We had the edamame dumplings & rock shrimp to start and both were above average. I was particularly impressed with the dumplings - very interesting flavour and nice textures. Rock shrimp had the sauce mixed in to the dish, which I liked instead of the usually dipping dish you get everywhere else. It had a great flavour to it and it was presented in a very original style.

We finished with the "Bobo" platter which had a selection of spring rolls, shrimp toast, short rib etc. This dish was completely unmemorable and lacked any sophistication. It was the type of thing you could get at a Chilli's type place under "Asian Platter". Very disappointing - so we had to make good with one last dish, which was the Lobster Fried Rice as recommended by my server. It was good but nothing special at all - not a good closer!

Overall...service was average, price was fair, atmosphere was good, but food is not going to blow you away. I think you can do better if you want asian fusion.

The Lion Club

I have to say, I think many of the New York Chowhounders got this one wrong. I heard nothing but bad reviews about this place and my expectations were very low. Everyone said the food is overpriced for what was offered. I can't disagree more...

The place is a total hipster scene, bustling with energy, cool vibe, fun staff (but a bit snooty in an acceptable/expectable way) and very good food for the price. I should say that we had a reservation and we still waited for AT LEAST 45 minutes before we were seated. i expected little apology from a place like this, but the host graciously apologized and bought us a round of Champagne.

Of note, the oysters were very tasty as was the lobster cob salad. Both were fresh and perfectly delicious. I had the burger for my main and it was absolutely OUTSTANDING - really great flavouring, nice toppings, crispy bun. Cooked to perfection and coupled with some of the best french fries I've ever had - nicely salted with chunky sea salt by the way. They also give you a cute little pickle jar with your meal.

It was very reasonably priced (compared to like restaurants in the City) and I didn't feel underwhelmed at all. In fact, i felt like it was the best valued meal I've had in NY in a while - if you factor in the fun atmosphere too! Highly recommended.

STK

I could save time and copy/paste my comments from Buddakan, but I'll share a few of the highlights. Same scene as Buddakan - perhaps a bit more of a scene, bordering on Jersey Shore crowd. That said, we went to have fun and we did just that. The drinks were interesting - a great "Nojito" - not sure the difference between that and Mojito, but it was really good.

We shared a salad - nothing special. The bread was very good - dipped in grape seed oil dip.

Steak was great - we shared the Porterhouse and it was just enough for two people. Cooked to perfection - media rare right on the button. Very buttery texture and nicely seasoned. I would say this is as good a steak as I've had & I've been to Mortons, Prime, Smith & W, David Burke, etc. Haven't made it to Lugers, but that's on the list. Anyway, sides way nice too - special was brussels sprout, which was prepared in a simple but tasty sauce. We also had the Mac & Cheese, which was a total bad call - I'm such a sucker for this dish & it's usually not much better than Kraft Dinner. This was no exception - way too gooey, not enough breading layer.

A couple of other highlights from the trip:

Ess-a-bagel - probably the best bagel I've ever had!! Boiled and then baked, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. Hand carved smoked salmon. I'd go there every morning if I could! The coffee was kind of lousy, but with bagels that good, who cares!!

Momofuku - Milk Bar - very interesting spot in East Village. Kind of like a dessert espresso bar - standing room only, but you get to enjoy some of the most interesting desserts I've ever had. The cake balls are AMAZING - try the birthday cake version. They are like little truffel balls of delicious cake goodness - like they've created the ultimate gourmet donut...and put it on steroids!!

We also went to a very cool Mexican restaurant in SOHO that served great little hand made tacos out of an old VW truck with the roof cut off. They had great home made iced tea and bottle their own brand of sodas. I'll have to find the name of it online, but it was worth checking out.

Thanks NYC - until we meet again!

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Buddakan
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

STK
26 Little West 12th St, New York, NY 10014

Oct 26, 2010
kosherdill in Manhattan

Reco's for New York Trip - New(er) places please!

My wife and I are going to New York for our annual fall trip.

Last time we tried BLT Prime & Morimoto. Both were really great, but we're looking for something different this time.

Ideally, I would love to hear your best of the following:

- Modern steakhouse
- Japanese/Pan Asian
- American (eg, Gramercy Tavern)

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks...

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Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

BLT Prime
111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Morimoto
88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Sep 02, 2010
kosherdill in Manhattan

Which one - Grace or Sidecar?

I've been to both Grace and Sidecar in the last couple of months.

I just went to Grace last night for a large birthday party and was quite impressed with the food and service. They definitely has a unique menu offering for College Street. It has a modern family-style type of menu, served in a friendly and warm environment. I would definitely go to Grace over Sidecar based on my experience last night. The service was a little slow, but we were a large party, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I think the food we had was not actually on the menu - but it was all good - pasta with snow peas done perfectly, bbq chicken and a really good vegetable side dish with a tempura battered ricotta cheese (that was the best thing by far). The dessert was actually good too - tiny scoops of ice cream that seamed homemade over warm brownie in a kitschy little tea cup with sprinkles on top. They did something that I haven't seen before - when we were done our family style dinner, they actually packed individual "doggy bags" for all the guests to take home...without anyone asking!!

Side Car is pretty good too, but it's really not that special at all. I'm not sure why everyone loves it so much. The food is predictable, but uninspiring generally. I wrote in another review, that the steak frites looked good - I didn't have them. I'd still go back, but not over Grace or something else.

Good luck...

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College Street Bar
574 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

Jul 17, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Miller Tavern - Are you kidding me??!

Agreed. It was a little burger and birthday food overkill, but it was my wife's 35th so why not. Nota Bene was our dinner, Sidecar was the big family dinner. Side Car was exactly as this board described - really solid, fun, reasonably priced - but not going to blow you away with the food. Unfortunately, I think I ordered poorly and ended up with a pasta that was kind of "soupy" with chunky prosciutto that tasted like artificial bacon bits. Everyone who had the steakfrites thought it was excellent, but a close second to Tatti Bistro. They have an excellent drink menu there and I would definitely go back for the atmosphere and perhaps the prix fixe during the week.

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Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

May 30, 2010
kosherdill in Ontario (inc. Toronto)