mrbluemeanie's Profile

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Reco for seafood DT TO - group of 12

Hey guys, I'm looking for a resto with good to great seafood menu, but not limited to seafood alone. Some guest will have dietary restrictions. Friday night, preferable the downtown core. Any ideas would be so helpful - thanks.

ISO Botargo in GTA

I've had some luck purchasing it from a certain restaurant. But no longer. Going to try to go by the Cheese Boutique this weekend. Thanks for the tip and

recos for Richmond Hill - Anniversary - medium sized party

Hi Everyone. I haven't lived in Richmond Hill for a number of years now, But looking for some recos for my parents Anniversary - about a dozen or more family going. It will be on a Saturday night in December. Nice atmosphere - Not too loud, not too dark and quiet. Most of my family is not as adventurous as I am on the food front, so looking for maybe italian, or a steak place to keep it simple. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Must hit 'strips' for lower east side - visiting.

Thanks so much guys.

Aug 10, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

Must hit 'strips' for lower east side - visiting.

Thinking below Houston at this point - but hoping to generate some suggestions to help me decide where exactly I'll end up.

Aug 10, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

Must hit 'strips' for lower east side - visiting.

Hi all, my wife and i will be heading into NY next week, and we intend to visit and stay in the east village. Wondering where we should be staying that will be close to variety of great and adventurous dining. Any specific neighborhood or street recommendations? Hotel reco's would also be welcome.

thanks so much in advance

Aug 10, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

The Local Kitchen and Wine Bar, poor final impressions

I think that I get chef's meaning here, although - I have to agree with the others - Your posts’ title perceivably foreshadows a review of a bad dining experience. Which I doubt that you had. I went here for the first time on Friday night, and my wife and I had a blast. We walked into a packed house just a little after 7 on a Friday night with no reservations. They quickly sat us in the only two vacant seats in the restaurant. Luckily for us these were at the front (communal) table shared with a friendly foursome. Before long we were drunk with the atmosphere of this little warm spot and sharing food and wine with our new neighbours. We ordered their house special pancetta (this must be tried by any true smoked meat enthusiasts – either as a starter or a desert) the lola rossa salad, a crostini starter , and eventually the Gnocchi and Francobolli dishes. All of which was very enjoyable, although admittedly portions of some of the meals did seem a little unbalanced. But, all were excellent. Nothing on the wine list really struck a cord with me either– but my wife who enjoys white wine over red seemed to like her selections. Eventually we settled our dinner down with a few jäger’s shared with our lovely server, and we were on our merry way. We didn’t make it to desert or to the washroom, interestingly enough… so I didn’t get the chance to be deflated by a similar experience to Chef’s own investigative discovery’s – although, if I had – I highly doubt that it would have deterred us from return again.

Parkdale should welcome with open arms.

They're up

Yes, please share.

Oyster Motoyaki

Don't frequent any AYCE restaurants, but I do love these, and remember them fondly from my time living in Vancouver. I've made them once before - it was really easy, and they turned out great. Well, the shucking was a bit of a comedy sketch...but worth it. Check out TT, I think I saw them in the hot table once - if you're that brave.

Union vs Bohmer

I've weighed in on both restos here before, to little fanfare. That being said, my choice would be Union. I've cold visited Union on a about a half dozen occasions, and got seating three of the six times. Once you get past the usual hums and haws from the host staff about their seat availability, the service and atmosphere really warms on you. I enjoy the food at Union thoroughly - creative, generous and very tasty. On the flip side, I've only been to Bohmer once, and was overall disappointed. I will try again, as many have posted positive comments, but the dishes we ordered all lacked quality, originality and flavour. In my opinion, you are far better off going to union. Keep in mind that they have two seating times, so get there early, or after 8, if you're not making reservations. If you try Bohmer, let us know what you thought - I'd love to be wrong about them, and wright off my experience as opening week jitters. Both restaurants have decent wine lists.

estragon, the only bad revues that I've read regarding Paramour are related to the decor. Which I don't personally get. I've been there a number of times, and will continue to go back.

93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Marky's on Bathurst - please help me

Well, now I just HAVE to try this place. It sounds like quite the dining adventure.

Böhmer on Ossington

I went on Saturday night, and although I've been looking forward to the opening for a while, I left feeling a little disappointed. On that note, I am keeping in mind that the restaurant is new, and kinks probably need to be worked out still. Service was great, a few mistakes were made, but it was my server’s first night, besides I got a free glass of wine out of it. Decor is nice, (we've all seen the pictures). Although something about the layout misses and didn't sit right with us. People waiting for seats, just arriving or leaving were hovering over diners’ tables, which in most restaurants in the area is not that unusual, but Bohmer has about three times the floor space and they weren't that crowded yet. Otherwise a fun space.

The food; the reason that I came, and the reason why I won't be rushing back.

The food menu sounded really exciting, it was hard for me to make a choice.
There were about 8 to 10 items on the app menu, including Oysters, and Foie Gras which they insisted we try. About 6 items made up the mains. Prices for mains were in the 22 - 45 range. An average sized but effective wine list, (we sampled three)

We started with the Jerusalem artichoke soup with roast quail
and a baby beet salad with greens and chevre.

Salad was exactly what you'd expect. Fresh crisp greens lightly oiled and salted beets, with some really ripe and soft goats cheese. Light vinegar based dressing. No points lost here - none gained. The soup sounded great but didn't really deliver. Too salty, and if I wasn't the type that didn't mind using my hands I don't know how else I would have been able to eat the Quail wing that floated in the middle of my bowl. A side plate with this soup would be a good idea. Let's chalk that up to an oversight by the green staff.

For our mains we ordered the steak and the Veal cheeks.
Presentation and portions are good. My Wife enjoyed her steak, and I also tried it - cooked to perfection, however it didn't exactly come out of flavour country. But it did come with a bunch of fries…my wife was half kidding when she looked around for the ketchup bottle.
I had the Veal cheeks. Again, cooked to perfection - melt in your mouth!! Unfortunately it was just meat melting in my mouth, and no flavour? It came on a bed of pureed new potatoes, topped with a combination of seasonal sauteed mushrooms and framed with a generous portion of au jus. Really, all this meant was mashed potatoes and gravy a la Knorr. Sorry guys, but this meal fails. Neither meal came with any vegetable dish - maybe a roasted plum tomato or something, and of coarse their signature alfalfa sprouts on everything…really, every dish.

When we placed our order we asked the waitress if we could end our meal with the Fois Gras, which we did. This arrived shortly after diner, but long before our new wines came. But I wanted to eat it while it was still warm. It came with cooked apples, and blackberry compote - really tart - but nice. The foie gras however, was truthfully over-fried, inconsistent in texture and again, I couldn't find any real complimenting flavour to speak of. This has been a popular dish for Bohmer,, going way back – so I’m going to assume that it typically receives a better critique than mine.

I'm hoping that time will help remedy some of these ailments, and perhaps luck wasn't on my side that evening. Jayekang seemed to enjoy his experience - perhaps I ordered the wrong dishes at the wrong time. I'd like to go back again and give it another shot... perhaps in the summer when they have those great big doors in the front of the restaurant open to the street. But, I'm not rushing back, and I won’t be lining up to get in…yet.

93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Union or Watsui for dinner?

Based on Food Alone, Union. I found the food at Watusi to be uncreative and not very satisfying. The food at Union on the other hand gets high marks based on my two visits. That being said the staff seem to carry an air of off-beat pretentiousness, which in my opinion doesn't really go with the fare or the location, and truthfully, although very good food - they're not that good. But if you can look past that, you should enjoy yourself.

ISO Botargo in GTA

Thanks - checked Pussateri's out - they have it from time to time - but were out of it when I was there. They said around $70 for a few of ounces. I'm sure there has to be a someone with it in Little Portugal / Little Italy - the search continues. Thanks!

ISO Botargo in GTA

Searching everywhere for this, and can't seem to find. I know that there are probably a dozen alias', but even guesses might help. Thanks!

Paul Boehmer’s Ossington Restaurant Opens Soon

I really don't understand why all the anti progressive attitudes whenever a business tries to make a go of it in a changing community. I get anti-establishment, I've never shopped at a walmart in my life - my choice, right or wrong. So, I respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, Boehmer is a Torontonian, opening a venue in a Toronto neighbourhood to cater to an existing market. If it turns out that his food is bland, his atmosphere overly pretentious or his grocery selection tired and over priced, he will fail. No loss to the neighbourhood, no threat to the long time existing small grocers there. His own risk or success. What's the harm? It seems more a trend now to be snobby about what was once socially observed as a snobby locale. I know that there's been a lot of talk about the gentrification of Ossington, and both sides make some valid points. But in my eyes, living here, I see nothing but good. I really don't need to leave my immediate neighbourhood to find entertainment, good food (at any level of quality or price). But I do admit, that I'm sometimes hard pressed to find quality grocery when needed. And contrary to the opinion that one is only hindered by a lack of creativity in the Kitchen, I do cook, and cook well. It is because of this that I look for quality ingredients. Currently I need to walk to three different locations (not conveniently close to one another) to pick up the ingredients for a basic meal. I do this because I choose not to drive when avoidable. I for the most part enjoy it, but some times convenienceis a priority. Do we need to shut down every 'fine' dining establishment in the city, because not every person can frequent there? I don't expect that I can afford to dine or shop there every week myself, but I don't have to go to Boehmer's new restaurant, nor does anyone. I will go however, because I have the choice, and last time I checked, choice is a good thing we have in a great country.

Paul Boehmer’s Ossington Restaurant Opens Soon

Looking forward to this restaurant opening. And even more so, the retail location. It's oft frustrating being in a neighbourhood with so much to offer dining wise and so little in the way of grocery locations.

Sky Ranch Argentinian restaurant

Haven't been here yet, but I have been meaning to drop in. My wife works in the area and we drive by every morning to see a flock...gander?.. Murder?... of pigeons eating yesterdays bread at the front entrance. I mean if the pigeons like it..it's gotta be good, no? I'm not suggesting that they serve Pigeon either, but if they did, I'd be sure to go. I had pigeon at au pied du cochon, enjoyed it thoroughly. But I have to say evansl, the idea that Family run restaurants are all 50% overrated has to be one of the craziest things I've read on this site. You're funny.

looking for a steakhouse in york region

Not sure of too many. When I did live in York Region I always made the trip to Toronto when it came to steak. Although I can say that I had a pretty good steak at Terra (Richmond Hill) Although, if I recall correctly the price was perhaps a little more than 'moderate'. The Keg's always good for for a well priced steak and B-day get together. Le Biftheque and Firefly on Woodbine in Markham - I've only 'heard' good comments, haven't been to either my self.

Freekeh in Toronto?

thanks toveggiegirl, I suspected that Lawrence east would be a sure bet - just hoping to find something a little more geographically convenient for me. But upon reviewing the other thread, it would appear that a drive is in the works for me. Much appreciated.

Freekeh in Toronto?

Can anyone think were I might be able to find Freekeh in Downtown Toronto? Preferably west end, but I don't mind a trek if I'm certain to score. Perhaps someone can direct me to a good Grocer focusing on Arab foods?

Best street / location for great selection of resto's.

Thanks so much everybody - I may have to spend a bit more time than I thought to get through all your suggestions. Can anyone give me an idea on how long it would take to get from the UWS to the EV? Better to take a cab or the subway?

Jan 27, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

Best street / location for great selection of resto's.

Specifics do help, sorry about that. I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't given this much planning at all, so I thought I'd start here as we'll likely be spending most of out time dining out. There will be 4 of us ( two couples) we're coming from Toronto. We dine out a lot, and have pretty adventures paletts. We're not planners and will likely eat on impulse, which is why I'm looking for a good area that will provide a lot of selection. Don't mind waiting if the food and atmosphere are great. Cost is not an issue, but that being said we're not looking for stuffy or suit and tie crowds.
I'll certainly have a look at your suggestions. Appreciate all the insight so far everyone! Thanks so much!

Jan 26, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

Solo Eating in Toronto -- Winterlicious?

I'd go to the Black Hoof. Not at all associated with Winterlicous, but that's a good thing. You probably shouldn't have much trouble getting a seat at the bar by your self, and it's really interesting watching the gang there cook up inspiring food in a kitchen the size of a closet, on an electric stove to boot. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, a real buzz, although it is small, and often there is a wait. They'll send you across the street to the cafe for drinks if you have to wait - equally as pleasant there with a window into the kitchen. Enjoy your stay.

Best street / location for great selection of resto's.

Hi All, my wife and I will be visiting Manhattan and the surround area for a few days. Before I reserve a hotel, I'd love to get some suggestions from CHers in NY regarding where to find some of the better restaurants. I'd be looking for authentic New York style grub, as well as some more hip places to go. Anyplace, that I can't miss? Will be our first visit, and hoping to make it memorable.

thanks all!

Jan 26, 2010
mrbluemeanie in Manhattan

Anyone been to Nyood?

Went last night, just the misses and I, and truthfully we weren't all that impressed. The space was indeed nice (although I can't help to think that it's a little out of it's element for Queen West W) Service was ok, and even the food wasn't half bad. They had prix fixe menu available that offered nothing of real interest, so we went to the menu - the server said that 2 - 3 dishes chosen was typical for two to share. We ordered three, Tuna tartar, carpaccio flat bread and the polenta. After about 20 minutes she came back to inform us that the polenta hadn't set, and the cooks were not happy with it. So we ordered the short ribs. The warm meals came cold, and the cold meals came warm. As I said the food was ok, the portions were small however, and it really was not enough for two - And neither of us are use to large portions. Perhaps if they spread it out instead of plopping it down all at once. Drinks were good, but what you would expect for $16 each. There was a party of 13 year old girls at the table next to us however, and they seemed to be having a genuinely good time with the olives and straws.

Buying great olive oil

For the north end of TO, pusateri's offers probably the largest selection. Although you'll be paying a bit of a premium. They always have one or two out for sampling.


Where can I buy a good peanut sauce?

T&T supermarkets - If you like making stir-fries, you'll love this place.



Second Healthy Butcher. If you go to the Eglinton / Avenue location, they also have all the organic produce that you would need, as well as in-house made stocks. Any time that I've asked them for bone marrow bones they have them.

What's a good place for groups 10 - 20 people in north end of Toronto?

You could try the convivial little back alley way of Spacco. I've been to a couple of large group outings there (typically in the summer - great patio) The food's moderate as well as the price. But there are pool tables, and an adjoining jazz club for the wanderers in the group. Grano also offers a unique environment with the food being better than Spacco's.