JToronto's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please help me plan the ultimate 3-day dining experience in Toronto. Specifics within:

If you can get into Edulis, it would be my top pick. It is small and casual but definitely more "cozy" and not bar-like and loud. I am only in my 40's and already too old for Bar Isabel (great food but I do not want to stand in line for food or have to eat with a circus going on around me - been there, done that, I'm not 20 anymore!). If your mom likes tapas, Cava also has terrific food and is a much more civilized experience (although the interiors of Bar Isabel are admittedly gorgeous and Cava is a little bland looking). If she likes Italian, Buca is also excellent and though it is not really a "show", the people watching and the style/servers are fun.

Great date restaurants that are open on Mondays?

I really like Cava on Yonge north of St. Clair. Spanish tapas, quite relaxed, food is great. Recommend to reserve since it's a special occasion, but usually there is room to walk in (may be at the bar, which is fun for 2) on a weeknight

911 for TONIGHT. Mexican, nice patio, near subway...

Hacienda is probably closest to Summerhill station or possibly Dupont, but it would be probably about 15 min either way

upscale Asian downtown

We are entertaining a German professor and his wife who are staying in the downtown area. They have requested Asian food (and probably don't have great options back home), but we don't want to take them to the noisy, simple little places we might normally choose -- where is there still good, authentic food (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, fusion, etc) in a more upscale, quiet atmosphere conducive to a relaxed evening? Wondering about JaBistro, Lee, Bent.... other? (don't want the raucous Izakaya atmosphere, sushi is OK but prefer somewhere that has cooked options also)

2013 Food and Restaurant OPENINGS

any update? I live nearby and went by Sun evening... no life. But maybe they are just not open Sundays

Solo Diner in Yorkville area September

I have dined alone at Caren's and Le Paradis and agree that they make a lady alone feel very much at home. I also had a surprisingly great experience dining alone at the restaurant in the Park Hyatt... I don't usually like to eat in hotels but food & service were superb actually (though it is fancier/more expensive than the 2 above).

If you are willing to get on subway and/or want to escape film fest insanity, go up to St. Clair & eat at the bar at Cava - great Tapas and the bartenders/servers are always really friendly.

New Treadwell location in NOTL

thanks for the comments, I saw the new location unexpectedly on a vist to NOTL a few weeks ago and was heartbroken... no, really HEARTBROKEN... I loved the old place that much. I will try here, because I do love his food, but - oh, boy - that waterfall; NOTL has nothing like it. Why oh why?

Please Critique My Toronto Must-Try List (Updated and Revised)

Elle m'a dit has closed

I would add Ici for French and Cava for Spanish

+1 for Table 17 (bistro)

Does Eigensinn Farm restaurant still exist?

yes it still exists, I had dinner there Saturday and it was amazing. This isn't "just dinner" it's a major experience (you have to drive 2 hours, stay over, it's expensive, etc), but one well worth the trouble (at least once in your life). Once you get in touch they will give you all the info of where you can stay etc. definitely show up early to have time to meet the chickens, turkey, pigs, rabbits, ducks, cat, dogs etc on the farm. Don't wear fancy shoes!

Read pages of reviews- too many mixed for a definitive choice for dinner Friday in Toronto! Help me out?

Momofuku Shoto was amazing, but it is food as theatre (plan on this being your entire evening and budget). I also like Yours Truly, did not enjoy Actinolite. Have not tried the others. One of my current favourites is Table 17.

Brunch Suggestions To Impress New York Guests

No one has mentioned my favourite brunch spot - MoRoCo in Yorkville. They do amazing "cheesy french toast" and the eggs benny is great too. Very upscale, girly vibe, service is good, not cheap. More a "ladies who lunch" brunch than a "hipster" brunch, if you know what I mean. They also sell amazing chocolate and you get one on the side of your coffee!

Help plan a New York weekend?

Hi there, I am from Toronto too. It's not a meal, but for a lovely drink in a historic place, we LOVED the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station. It definitely has the historic cachet, and the drinks were very good too. Maybe it is touristy but honestly I"m not sure all that many tourists know about it. Very quiet when we were there 2 yrs ago. http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/g...

Mar 14, 2012
JToronto in Manhattan

Winterlicious 2012 menus are out - anything CH worthy?

I managed 2 winterlicious dinners this year and I was actually impressed. I have mixed feelings about this event - it's a great chance to try new places, and of course it's nice to save some cash, but whereas some places use it as a chance to showcase the chef's best and gain new customers.... others give substandard food & service and rush you through like cattle. Anyway, 1st pick this year was Annona at the Park Hyatt. I don't usually like dining in hotels, but this is actually a charming room, quiet and with ambience (plus a nice view of Yorkville). Service was excellent, especially given that I was a woman dining alone (too many restaurants will give the solo woman diner a tiny table near the bathroom and ignore her all night, apparently because "women don't tip well"). Service was very friendly and the sommelier even came over to chat about his wine selections, although it was obvious I wasn't going to order a whole bottle on this visit. Appetizer was small but tasty guinea-hen leg, main was superb halibut on a creamy barley "risotto", dessert was choice of two mini-sized selections - I had the molten chocolate cake (standard) and the bread pudding (superlative). Not rushed, all very pleasant and has inspired me to return with a friend, order a bottle of wine and do the thing up right. Second experience was at Luma (TIFF), also good. Dining with a friend; good/attentive service, place was a little busy/noisy but not insane. Ambiance definitely more "sceney" but not to the extreme. Food was very good, interesting pureed beet soup to start, main was chicken breast with chorizo - a bit unusual but it worked. Dessert was another bread pudding, very good (not quite up to Annona's). Enjoyed it, would go again but not rushing back. Congrats to both restaurants who played winterlicious well.

New British restaurant to open on Yorkville Ave

Really?! Have you been to London recently? Spent a month crossing the UK last year and believe me, those apocryphal stories of mushy peas are HISTORY. Lots of good chefs, 100 mile/farm to table/slow food concepts almost the norm there now - it's really fresh and good.

Savannah dinner besides Pink House - need help desperately...

following up: we went to Pink House (food excellent, service kinda bad but in an endearing way - would go again) and Garibaldi's (meh - would skip next time).

Feb 08, 2012
JToronto in Southeast

Stock in Trump tower, opened yesterday.... anyone tried it yet?

considering going this weekend. Boy am I in need of a new favourite fine dining place, given everything in Toronto right now seems to be cafe/bistro/take-out. Anyone tried it?

CH Best of the GTA for 2012 - Results

Thanks for this! I've been away for a year so didn't vote; most of these are new to me but from "what I hear" few seem to be "fine dining" - can any hounds help me decide where to start with trying new places I might like? I like calm, quiet, course by course places - not sceney/trendy $20-burger jumped-up cafes... (from this list I like Harbord Room and Cava, didn't so much like Black Hoof or Marben, haven't tried the others... also like Batifole which was at least mentioned, always found Chiado a bit dull)... any I should try?

Any place one can buy Kouign Amann in SF?

oh...my... goodness!!! We also discovered this in Brittany and fell in love, couldn't believe it had not made its way to North America given our sweet "tooths" over here - what a treat to discover it exists in SF! An exhaustive search here in Toronto was unsuccessful and my husband's attempt to bake it was also quite a disaster. I am off to SF this weekend and will try to track this down. By the way, to those who said it was "leaden"... I do think it's pretty much supposed to be. As best I could tell in Brittany, the goal was to see how much sugar and butter could be packed into a single square inch of space. This is very much a guilty pleasure!

Savannah dinner besides Pink House - need help desperately...

thanks very much, that looks perfect on the website - will try it and report back!

Oct 26, 2011
JToronto in Southeast

Savannah dinner besides Pink House - need help desperately...

We will be visiting Charleston & Savannah. Charleston picks were easy (Cru, Hank's) and Olde Pink House in Savannah seems obvious too BUT we have a 2nd night in Savannah and I am really struggling. We will be in the Historic District and would prefer something we can walk to (willing to walk 30-40 min). Most of the recommendations I have seen either seem very fancy/similar to Pink House (Elizabeth's, Vic's, Alligator Soul), or look like pubs (Crystal, Moon River, B.Matthews). We are from Toronto so we are used to lots of options of casual, reasonably priced, small, chef-run, locavore places. I guess we are hoping for the equivalent but with seafood/southern food rather than our own ethnic places. Not a chain, not a steakhouse, not a burger joint, not something we can get better at home (molecular gastronomy, 7 course tasting menus, Italian, Asian, etc). Does such a place not exist, or am I mistaking the ambiance of the places mentioned above?

The Olde Pink House
Savannah, GA, Savannah, GA

Alligator Soul
114 Barnard St Ste Lowr, Savannah, GA 31401

Oct 24, 2011
JToronto in Southeast

Quebec city long weekend - advice on food choices

Foodies from Toronto spending 3 days in Quebec city - not our first visit - in late September. We want to focus on French food (traditional and/or "with a twist"), especially locavore places and those who do lighter dishes or work well with vegetables. Staying in lower Old Town and won't have a car but willing to walk up to an hour for good food. We have a continental bkfst included at our hotel, and really can't do 3 big meals a day. We have been to Le Saint Amour in the past and frankly, it wasn't especially memorable for us, so despite great reviews here we likely won't go again. Have been to the Laurie Raphael in Montreal, enjoyed it but would rather try something unique to QC.

Please critique our choices; happy to have other suggestions too!

Friday - daytime visit to Choco-musee Erico for cake or icecream, dinner Le Pain Beni
Saturday - daytime trip to Paillard for croissants, dinner at Panache
Sunday - brunch at Cafe du Clocher Penche, late lunch/early dinner somewhere very casual on a terrace - salad/sandwich and a glass of wine - advice?

Also - any very sophisticated, quiet places with well-made cocktails? We don't need the rotating restaurant view, been there done it, rather have a great bartender

Le Saint Amour
48 Rue Sainte Ursule Vieux, Quebec, QC G1R, CA

weekend brunch downtown?

Brunch-mad Torontonians in town for a weekend seek unique/delicious brunch spots for Sat or Sun mornings. We will be staying in the Loop so prefer within a 30 minute walk - Loop, South Loop, River North, West Loop... Would prefer not to wait in line more than 30 minutes so if you suggest super popular places that don't take reservations, please suggest a strategy (eg. show up when they open?). Remember we are from out of town so it doesn't matter if the place has been around forever, as long as it is still good.

I am considering the following but open to all suggestions: Heaven on Seven, Frontera Grill, Orange, Wishbone, XOCO, Bongo Room.

We prefer a substantial style of brunch to fill us up all day. We don't like buffets.

Thanks in advance

Oct 26, 2009
JToronto in Chicago Area

Trip Review: The Gage, Publican, Alinea, etc.

We did tea at the Peninsula the last time we were in Chicago. We are also from Toronto and have done at all the best places here. Agree it did not compare. The lobby is lovely but very open and lacking in the cozy or traditional atmosphere that I feel best suits "teatime". Service was a bit haphazard, and the treats were just "OK". Perhaps try 4 Seasons (though I have not tried it in Chicago, the Toronto 4 Seasons does a lovely tea)

Oct 14, 2009
JToronto in Chicago Area

Group of 15, somewhat private setting!

"The Chef's House", the new restaurant at George Brown, apparently has a private room for 16 people. Their website says they will customize the food for you or even do a theme dinner. I'm waiting for an opportunity to try it!
Another thought is Czehoski. Their upstairs isn't much bigger than that, you could check if they would let you bookout the entire upstairs for your group. Might cost a bit more, but it's not that expensive a place.

Frank Brunch @ The AGO Review

Wow, that's encouraging. Toronto Life just reviewed the place and totally trashed it; the reviewer ate there a number of times, tried most of the dishes, and only found 2 "acceptable" dishes; the rest of the food was apparently terrible. I had almost written the place off. Maybe they only do well for breakfast? Anyway, based on your experience I'm going to give it a try!

Quick call ahead take out, what are your tried and trues?

Hi Duckdown, I know this is off topic but I'd really encourage you to try dining out. Most of us feel awkward on our own. I finally forced myself to try it a few years ago and it felt like an accomplishment. Now I am over my "phobia" and can try that great place I just heard about when I'm traveling or for whatever reason, don't have a dinner companion. I'll usually ask the hotel concierge for somewhere it is "normal" to eat at the bar, or that is known to be friendly to lone diners. Communal tables work too. Otherwise I call ahead and ask to sit in a corner so I can see the whole room. On your own, you can focus more on the food and ambiance. It's fun, once you get over feeling a bit out of place.

Small lovely wine bar/cafe?

it's a while since I've been there, but Caren's was nice. Surprisingly unpretentious given the location. The food menu is limited. They have a lovely patio in the summer. I like Crush, but it's a lot bigger, certainly way more than 10 tables!!

Restaurant Openings, 2009 (Toronto)

The Chefs' House (George Brown College's student restaurant) opened in Nov but then closed for more than a month over the holidays. It opens again Jan.19, apparently. For me this is a new opening since I didn't get there in their brief pre-holiday period!

Lunch recommendation Queen & University

Hi Marniee, I guess we may need to know more about what your friends like/expect. For example... I love the Queen Mother too but I'd meet up there with some casual university friends, on a day when we're all in our jeans; whereas I'd go to Nota Bene or Osgoode Hall with business contacts I'm trying to impress. Or my mother, on her birthday. All good options but entirely different style.

Breakfast in Yorkville area Dec 27?

I have no idea what will be open Dec. 27 so you will have to call, but my current favourite in the area is Moroco on Yorkville Avenue... tucked away back beside the Clarin's spa, easy to miss; looks like a candy shop outside but behind is a full restuarant. I've also heard good things about the Le Pain Quotidien branch that just opened in Yorkville, but have not been there myself yet.