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New Vietnamese sandwich restaurant opening August 2 at 158 Islington just north of Lakeshore Boulevard

Will give it a try and report back.

Dinner tomorrow night - Cosme, Contra or Marea?

Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and helpful comments. I tried to update a couple of times while we were in NYC (from my iPad) but they didn't post.

Anyway - in the end we kept the reservation at Cosme; partly due to availability elsewhere (Marea wasn't available at our preferred time and Contra was closed Monday and it turns out we couldn't go there on Tuesday when they had a table). It's a good thing we went to Cosme (you'll have to read to the end to find out what that means!)

So - we had a delightful time at Cosme. (I'll add pics to this when I get unpacked). The service was excellent (more about that later) and overall we enjoyed the food, particularly one dish which was a knock out stand out for us.

Briefly we had:

- chips (really good) and pumpkin seed salsa (also very good) - complimentary and they happily topped it up
- the pork rind appetizer with radish, avocado and hot sauce. Well you had me at pork rind. Fun dish - best part was the really delicious hot sauce
- thinly sliced raw scallops with poached jicama in wasabi/cucumber/lime sauce - this was our stand out dish. (also had thinly sliced jalapenos). Superb flavour combo - light yet deep (is that possible?)
- king crab tostada-y thing - have to look at my notes and the pic. Good - especially when I covered it in the leftover scallop sauce
- burrata with salsa verde - we love burrata and this was very good, but we should have ordered something else because it wasn't anything new
- Fluke with pork jowl, purslane and black garbanzos - this was a close second to the scallop dish. The fluke was perfectly cooked and the flavour combination was excellent
- should have ordered the duck carnitas - the tables on either side of us did - I thought it would be too much food but it wasn't as big as billed (for 2) and looked terrific.

It was a significant birthday for my husband and they kindly offered a piece of birthday cake. But the real surprise came when we asked for the bill. Friends of ours had asked where we were going for his birthday dinner and when the bill was presented they had already arranged to pay for it. Which was such a lovely thing for them to do! (and the staff were so charming about it - they were so genuinely excited to bring the bill - already paid for. The Hostess said "we were so pleased when you arrived and we knew we had a surprise for you" ---- made for a lovely evening).

Thanks again to everyone - We go to NYC often and now I know our next two restaurant choices!

(also went to La Masseria for lunch at 48th and 8th --- a client's choice. It was OK)

Otherwise it was more about the theatre - saw 3 great plays.

Dinner tomorrow night - Cosme, Contra or Marea?

I've had a reservation at Cosme for a few weeks but some very recent reviews have concerned me. Probably over thinking it but it's a special occasion for us. Alternatives are Contra or Marea (both available - Contra would be Tuesday night). I like the look of Marea's prix fixe menu but I was originally drawn to Cosme for the Mexican flavours. Any recent Cosme experiences? TIA

Jun 28, 2015
ElizabethS in Manhattan

Toronto Costcos - which steaks do you buy?

I did some googling and it appears that since last year mechanically tenderized meat must be labeled.

Toronto Costcos - which steaks do you buy?

Thanks everyone - we'll have a look at the rib eye whole piece.

Toronto Costcos - which steaks do you buy?

I'm aware of mechanical blade tenderizing but (naively?) thought it didn't apply to better cuts of meat/better purveyors. Is that wrong?

Toronto Costcos - which steaks do you buy?

We have been buying better steaks lately - have particularly enjoyed "American Prime" from St Lawrence and Michaelangelo's (Mississauga). I know a lot of people rave about Costco meat - we've not bought much in the past. Any recommendations for particular cuts of steak? (in Toronto stores - the closest is Queensway/Etobicoke). TIA

New veggie side dish recipes, please!

I made this yesterday - Cauliflower Cake - really good! (added garlic and some chives I had kicking around)

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

May 20, 2015
ElizabethS in Home Cooking

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Is Spitfire Grill rebranding already? Sign up saying "Kitchen on 6th" opening Spring 2015?

Alder "Re-Launch" menu - now prix fixe

Just got an email from Alder - it looks like they're moving towards a set 5 course menu ($65/$35 wine pairing). A la carte menu only available at the bar and patio.

I wonder if it's because business has fallen off at that location or due to the closure of wd50

Apr 29, 2015
ElizabethS in Manhattan

Chiles Rellenos - Meh?

Here's a post I did last year on another site with info regarding making Rellenos - the tip I read here about removing the seeds first really helped

I read a recipe on Chowhound that called for removing the seeds BEFORE roasting by making a long cut at an appropriate place. This turns out to be a great suggestion. I could get most of the seeds out and the pepper maintained much more structural integrity after roasting.

Another tip was to use toothpicks after stuffing the peppers (claiming many restaurants do) - that also worked although it added a bit of a challenge handling the peppers (I removed them before serving)

The final tip was to freeze the stuffed peppers for 20-30 minutes which I did - can't say if that helped but the outcome was terrific.

I did two types of batter - one the traditional egg white/egg yolk and the other flour/egg/panko (not technically a chile relleno but awfully good!)

The egg batter recipe (the Chowhound one) had an interesting technique for coating the pepper - putting a dollop of batter in the hot oil then placing the pepper on it and spreading more batter (pic in the link below) - it worked well and the batter looked beautiful upon serving (no gaps)

http://www.chow.com/recipes/29565-chi...

I also made tomato sauce from our fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions and dried hot chilies from last year - it was OK but a little too sweet (the onions I guess). Rounded off the meal with roasted corn removed from the cob and pan fried in butter and smoked paprika. Topped everything with some sour cream and cilantro.

It was time consuming but I love doing fiddly stuff. While the traditional rellenos were very good we both really liked the Panko ones as well - nice for a change (also the panko ones would clearly hold well meaning you could prepare a bunch slightly in advance).

I know you might laugh at all the work for something many of you can get down the street but not in Toronto!

Apr 25, 2015
ElizabethS in Home Cooking

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Too much competition for the strippers?

NYC first visit (kind of) - where to eat to feel like you're in NY!

Great list which I plan to borrow for our next trip!

In the LES you might want to make note of Alder - 2nd and E10th (Wylie Dufresne's small plates restaurant) We enjoyed our meal there last year.

If you're walking south of Houston you might enjoying wandering through Essex Street Market

http://www.essexstreetmarket.com/#wel...

In that same area is the Tenement Museum which is a fascinating visit. They have a couple of food themed walking tours

http://www.tenement.org/tours.php

Have a great time!

Mar 24, 2015
ElizabethS in Manhattan
1

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Went last night - food was delicious. More later.

Upscale Toronto Indian Restaurant

There is a new Indian restaurant opening in Mimico this month that describes itself as "Modern Indian". I'm going in a couple of weeks and will check back in (although I'm hardly an expert!)

http://tich.ca/

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

I wonder if their business has suffered somewhat since the TD Bank closed - a lot less foot traffic in that block now.

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Review in the Star this weekend for Goodlake

http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine...

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

We order from Chinese Food Gallery (on Dundas) - food is good and consistent.

http://www.chinesefoodgallery.ca/

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

I had that rapini pizza and it came with hot peppers on it - have they changed it? (I did have to ask for more though)

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Yes

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

I saw they have signage up - but are they open?

UPDATE

Just found their Twitter feed - soft launch this coming Saturday

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Went again yesterday for brunch and it was just as good. This time I had the Huevos Rancheros and my husband had the Mexican Omelet with Chorizo. Service was very quick especially considering they were quite busy. So nice to see hordes of young families in our neighbourhood.

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Appreciate your valour!

Mimico, New Toronto & Long Branch restaurants - revised thread!

Same owner there though?

Where are you still eating that you were 20 years ago and is still good?

I'm mad at Swiss Chalet - called to order delivery last week and they are now charging $2.95. With two chicken dinners that took it over $40. I cancelled the order and went to a new local place for take out. It was great.

Where are you still eating that you were 20 years ago and is still good?

But then why is that restaurants you wish would make a come back still up? Seems similar?

Looking for some planning advice in Rome

There is a SPAR on the other side of Via del Corso on Via di San Claudio (right on via del corso/left on Via di S Claudio and then a couple of blocks). Good for basic provisions and open Sunday as I recall.

We stayed nearby (on Lungovetere Marzio) and had a lovely lunch at La Buca Ripetta. Spahetti with clams was on their menu (and still is on the website) and their other pastas were delicious (plus meat secondis). It's showing as a 9 minute walk via Google maps.

http://www.labucadiripetta.it/intro.html

Have a great time!

Aug 26, 2014
ElizabethS in Italy

A Week in Lucca, September

We spent a month in Lucca in early 2013 - loved it. Some restaurants we enjoyed within the walls are:

- All'Olivo
- Buca di Sant Antonio
- La Nonna Clara (pizza oven hot at lunch)
- Gigi Trattoria - by the SPAR

We ate at L'Imbuto in the art gallery - at the time it was highly recommended (still is) but we thought it was still a work in progress. Worthy of consideration.

Outside the walls (need a car -- both an easy drive from Lucca on the same road)

- L'Antica Locando di Sesto - a restaurant we returned to often on both our visits to Lucca. Lovely family who own it and delicious Tuscan cuisine.

- Ristorante Butterfly - we had a stunning lunch there---beautiful setting and excellent tasting menu. We chose the meat (land) menu but there is also a sea menu I believe.

Aug 24, 2014
ElizabethS in Italy

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

I just watched that segment again - I think while Jaimee's was completely sealed it was undercooked (watched the whispered judge comments too) - looking at the yolk I would have to agree that Cutter's appears more correctly cooked.

Aug 19, 2014
ElizabethS in Food Media & News

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

I thought the girl on the left (sorry don't know names) ravioli was fully sealed?

Aug 19, 2014
ElizabethS in Food Media & News