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JToronto's Profile

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special evening in Vancouver for Toronto couple

We are Toronto foodies who never get to the west coast. Very excited and looking for a place that is: 1) an event (thus, probably high end - we want to make an evening of it; 2) great food; and 3) (optional, but ideally) not something we'd get in Toronto
The obvious answer was Vij's but "event" for us doesn't mean standing in line for hours and maybe flying back home without dinner.

So we do want somewhere that takes reservations. We are NOT interested in tapas, bar food, gastropubs, or charcuterie places (unless you can convince me they are way better than the million we have tried out here). We don't have any food restrictions. We do prefer somewhere you can talk (ie no super-loud music or club atmosphere places).

Globe Review of America in the Trump Tower

agree review was hilarious. Have not eaten there (and now won't), but honestly would have been inclined to skip a Toronto restaurant calling itself "America" anyway. Not featuring American cuisine but actually calling itself America.... feels like a bit of a pompous slap in the face to Canada somehow. So with that name.... the attitudinal aspects identified in the review seem less surprising. It's a shame because this is a great restaurant space with an amazing view and Toronto could use another really good, upscale room with a view (to add to Scaramouche and Canoe)for the business crowd and special nights out.

Diwan at the Aga Khan Museum

agree about the name and the humour! I knew Pat back in his Perigee days and I believe his mom was Lebanese so this may be more "back to roots" than you would at first think

2014 Restaurant and Food Store CHANGES and CLOSINGS

OK the hint I heard was "something with a European cuisine we don't see much here and from a climate similar to Canada's". Scan-Can?! I will follow Chris in any direction....

2014 Restaurants and Food Store OPENINGS - Part II

Flor de Sal is open in the old "Corner House" location near Dupont/Davenport. Beautiful reno of the old house. We ate their during the "soft opening" and it was good... not blown away, but on my list to try again once chef Roberto Fraccioni (ex-Monk Kitchen) hits his stride. They seem to be going for very upscale with valet parking and high prices. It might be a challenge in this location.

Luxembourg City and Strasbourg in November

We had 2 good meals in Luxembourg last year and I would recommend both places. Clairfontaine and Le Bouquet Garni. All in all, I probably found the food a bit more "gourmet" at Clairfontaine - also, it was our anniversary and they really made a fuss over us. However, Le Bouquet Garni is in a marvelous old historical building with a very cozy and special feeling, and the food there was really good too, so it's probably more a personal preference. I don't think you would go wrong with either one.

Sep 10, 2014
JToronto in Europe

Istanbul special occasion with a view

Mikla was great, definitely has the "special" feel. I don't remember exactly what we ate, but we really enjoyed the food. Try to arrive about half an hour before sunset, and let them know it is an anniversary. Ask for a table on the terrace.

Sep 10, 2014
JToronto in Europe

Berlin special occasion dinner

Thanks Linguafood - I forgot to mention his birthday is on a Tuesday night. So Horvath is closed (too bad, it looks more like what I was hoping to find). Is Weinbar Rutz really a special occasion kind of place? I found limited photos on the internet but it looked like a bar....Herz und Niere also looks quite new/trendy/casual. This is a real special occasion, so we're looking for something that will feel very pampering. Hugos's and Facil look like possibles (though also very modern). Maybe I just have to accept that Berlin is all about ultra-modern and isn't going to have that historical elegance I had imagined!

Sep 09, 2014
JToronto in Europe

Berlin special occasion dinner

I am bringing my husband to Berlin for an "important" birthday and was excited to take him somewhere very special for dinner. I am looking for fantastic food (taste & presentation), but also a special environment. We tried the place in the Parliament but it is full. I have a long list of "top" Michelin starred places, but at first glance they all seem hyper-modern, fusion etc - I can get that at a very high level in Toronto and New York, so I was disappointed not to find somewhere more reminiscent of "old Berlin". Our ideal place would be walking distance to Brandenburg Gate (but willing to taxi/subway for a great place), focus on local produce and/or a modern twist on traditional northern German food, and have a beautiful, historic interior (or a great view?). If that doesn't exist, would put great quality food first on the list. We also appreciate beautiful service (would rather a "stuffy" waiter than one who is intrusive). Hotel concierge's suggestions really disappointed me as they all seemed to be super-modern, trendy, Asian influenced - sorry but if I want that I'll go to Asia! or stay home! Wondering about Katz's Orange, Pauly Saar, Facil, Vau? Is Fischer's Fritz too French? What about Lorenz Adlon? Appreciate any help, thanks

Sep 09, 2014
JToronto in Europe

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.

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? 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