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OBSCURE OR RARE Cuisine in City of Toronto

Aravind on the Danforth near Carlaw is a restaurant specialising in cuisine from Kerala, a province in India. I've really enjoyed it the few times I've been over the last year (opened about a year ago). The chef is an older man from that area, and his lovely son runs the front of the house. The food is really interesting - used to be only vegetarian and fish dishes, but they have started to include a few meat choices on the menu recently. Food pairs nicely with the Ontario wines they feature. Prices are a bit on the high side, but quality and service are exceptional. Worth a try!

Peruvian grocer - looking for Aji paste!

Great, I will head over to Salamanca on Baldwin. Thanks for the tip. Do you know whether they (or anyone around K Market) make empanadas ? I'm not sure whether Jumbo Empanadas is still open, and the homemade version seems too ambitious to tackle on my own for an upcoming dinner party.

The Washington restaurant we went to was Las Canteras, in the Adams Morgan area. We actually wanted to try a place called Inti, but it had just closed down earlier that week (after many years). Las Canters was just up the street from there, and was excellent. Trio of tiraditos (cebiche) were incredibly tasty, Pisco sours tasted just like the ones we'd had last summer in Santiago, the wine list was interesting and the atmosphere very cosy.

Peruvian grocer - looking for Aji paste!

Can anyone recommend a place to find Peruvian or south american products downtown...?

I'm trying to replicate a delicious chicken dish I had recently at a Peruvian restaurant in Washington DC called Aji de Gallina, the key ingredient of which is a yellow pepper paste called Aji or Aji amarillo paste.

Just waking up to the wonderful flavours of Peruvian cuisine, and need some direction (and a good shop).

Best pick for good Peruvian food with nice atmosphere ?

I was in Santiago last August (also colcagua valley wine area) and the best meals we had were at Peruvian places with young chefs from Lima. Unfortunately Toronto (where I live) does not have any good Peruvian places, despite having a sizable expat community from there.

Best pick for good Peruvian food with nice atmosphere ?

I'm heading to DC this weekend, and looking forward to trying a higher end Peruvian restaurant. We're staying near Dupont Circle, and won't have a car. Prefer ceviches and fish dishes to meat plates, and hoping for a spot with a cosy atmosphere that will be conducive to lingering for awhile with some wine.

Any recommendations ? So far I've seen mentions of Inti, El Chalan and Las Canteras in Adams Morgan. Which one of these is best ? (or others?)

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El Chalan Restaurant
1924 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Graze the Bench?

I did go to this event last year, and enjoyed it. Part of the reason may have been that the weather was glorious, and a few of us rode our bicycles between the wineries. Food was 'hit and miss' (I'm not a meat-eater), but the live music (mostly) was a real treat and the chance to sit outside and 'graze' and sip wine at wineries that mostly operate on a small-scale was fun.

Seems things may be a bit more constrained this year - I see something about having to buy a "pass" and the music only being available to passholders. That would be a shame, and unfair to those of us who are not carnivores, as almost all of featured dishes have meat.

Anyone been to Il Mulino recently?

Heard about the change in ownership in the last while, and wondered whether anyone could report on what has changed (if anything, same chef I understand) over there?

We're thinking of going there this weekend with my parents and extended family for a birthday dinner. Looking for good food, interesting but not too innovative dishes (one young child, a few elderly not so adventurous eaters), and a warm and comfortable atmosphere that is not too loud or casual. Would this fit the bill? Any other recommendations in midtown / north Toronto area?

Birthday dinner - DNA or Graziella ?

Coming to town to celebrate my birthday with some good friends on Friday night. Looking for an interesting place for dinner that is not too loud, preferably in or near Old Montreal where I'll be staying.

Considering DNA, but wonder if it would be too loud to carry on conversation on a Friday night. Also thinking about Graziella - which has better atmosphere (hoping for cosy and lively but not too loud) ? More interesting food? Any other (better) suggestions?

thanks!

Shang menu at Lee and Madeline's

thanks, RJ; I hadn't noticed the earlier posts. Has anyone out there tried the Shang menu at Lee yet?

Shang menu at Lee and Madeline's

Interesting...so there are 2 different SHang menus being served at each of the Toronto spots? Is it true that a 5 course tasting menu is available for $60 p.p. ?

Shang menu at Lee and Madeline's

I just heard that through April, a version of the Shang menu (Susur Lee's new restaurant in Manhattan) will be available at his Toronto spots, Lee and Madeline's.

Has anyone tried it? Is it the usual reservations nightmare?

Long weekend in Toronto

For really interesting and innovative Greek food, try Lambros on the Danforth. It's several cuts above the other spots on the street, although Avli (right next door, rooms are adjoining) also has an interesting menu. Chef at Lambros experiments with different sauces and dips for each dish, all with a light touch and light years away from the overgrilled skewers and overgarlicked other stuff on offer at most greek spots.

Interesting wines as well (some Greek, some not).

I would also add Cava to the list - really interesting spanish tapas, some traditional and some not, all very tasty. Wonderful wine selections as well. It's up at Yonge and St Clair, so either a fifteen minute taxi or twenty min subway ride from hotel.

Enjoy!!

New Bakery in Leslieville

Where is this place located exactly - I'm in the area, but haven't noticed it yet.

Best Hot & Sour Soup in Toronto

I just tried the hot and sour soup at Chinese Deli at St L Market yesterday, and while I liked the flavour of the broth, I found the ingredient list a bit thin (only mushrooms and tofu). Would be better if they added a shrimp or two...

What really compelled me to add to this thread was the comment about the soup at Pearl Court on Gerrard st E. I used to really like it and considered it a "standby" (I live nearby), but went there this past Sunday night and it was truly awful! Spoon and bowl smelled strongly of bleach, but even after we requested new spoons, I couldn't even finish my portion. Broth was watery and totally lacking in flavour, few ingredients and very very bland. Something has obviously changed in the last while - to be avoided at all costs.