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stoobiedood's Profile

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Great Food & Wine Avenue/St.Clair area

Bistro 561 (in the apt. bldg at 561 Avenue Rd., just north of St. Clair) is a very good little spot (30 seats or so) with an eclectic international menu, good food and good service. Not nearly as expensive as Scaramouche, nor as well known (a neighbourhood secret), although a restaurant has been in that location since the apt. building was built. Try the butter chicken.

Yonge & St. Clair dining options

Absolute, on the south side of St. Clair near Deer Park Cresc. is very good. I had dinner there a few months ago, and lunch there today. The service is professional, friendly, and unobtrusive. The food was excellent both times. Today I had sweet corn soup to start ($4 or $7, sm/lg) which was a light smooth puree with thai curry, basil, and a dollop of wild crab meat. Lovely light foccacia on the side with a rosette of (room temperature!) butter. The special was wild crab and tiger shrimp crabcakes on a fresh croissant with a green salad w vinaigrette. Usually $13, it was $11 on special. Lightly seasoned, a gentle touch with the mayo on the croissant, and a perfect vinaigrette. A glass of Kim Crawford Sauv.Bl. was $10. I've not had their desserts, but they have a large display case with some tempting sweets. The only drawback is that the lighting is quite harsh at night, especially for al fresco summer dining, when their outdoor seating is under the glare of orange sodium-vapour lamps. I hope this place succeeds -- the neighbourhood has more than enough chain restos with plasticized menus.

A little futher afield (but still a 10 minute walk), Bistro 561 is also highly recommended. It's in the ground floor of the apt. bldg at 561 Avenue Rd., just north of St. Clair. Seats about 30, eclectic international menu, and very good food. We've been there three or four times and will go again. Service is very professional and usually very prompt, although we did experience some slowness on our last visit (only). Decent wine list, and not indecently marked up. Delish butter chicken.

Brownes Bistro on Woodlawn at Yonge is very traditional and very reliable also; be sure to try the house-made lamb sausages.

Where is the best Mexican in Toronto?

I went with friends a few months ago to Frida on Eglinton West (west of Bathurst). The food and service were both very good, but the menu is more upscale than your basic burrito/guac. There's a review here: