o

orlenalee's Profile

Title Last Reply

Patria

I wouldn't be surprised if they purchased their jamon from the site below:
http://hamlovers.ca/cat/en/119/0/Larg...

Business colleague dinner in/near Yorkville...~10ppl

Best to stay in Yorkville because it's cold and inconvenient to travel by taxi to other restaurants. Have Sassafraz set up a long table in the back with the next to the water fountain and ask them to plan a menu for $120 all included. The back area is quieter and if it's a weekday, it won't be busy. Choose your wine in advance if you want to save. This restaurant will definitely impress Montrealers (and I am originally from there).

I would avoid Annona in the Hyatt since they are already staying there and it would be boring to eat in the same restaurant as for breakfast.

One & Café Boulud are too expensive.

Il Posto is too small for a big group, it will be tight and the interior is old. The food is excellent but Italian food is everywhere in Montréal.

Patria

Why is 'Comparisons with Barcelona are meaningless?'

Patria

Amen, I agree with what you said. We were seated in the back and it was hot next to the kitchen. I wonder if we had the same waiter, some Italian who thought he was hot and knew his stuff because he prounounced the cheeses with an accent.

Patria

Just came back from Patria and I would agree with the comments from my fellow Chowhounders. Still I went because I was curious and missed the great food from Barcelona. We were 2 couples and although the food here is tasty, it's not what I had in Barcelona, I am told it encompasses all the regions in Spain. So the comment 'Meh' is right. We spent $280 for 4 including wine ($60, cheapest bottle and good) & tip.

Very important info: Paelle takes 45 minutes to prepare. So order it right at the beginning because you may be hungry if the tapas aren't enough. Beware, the price is $40 (vegetarian version) to $48!

All the dishes are meant to be shared as a group. Waiter said each person should order 3-5 dishes, they are small.

We had the jamon 24 months old (part of the sampler dish - $12) and the 36 months old ($30). It's thinly sliced and doesn't come with bread on tomato sauce (you can order it separately). Also, the ham is in a light colour, not dark red like in Spain. There's no free bread here. Although delicious, it wasn't like the one I had at Con Ravel in Barcelona with the shiny coat of oil and the fat in between. One friend said the ham at Black Hoof was better. Our waiter told us the ham came from Spain.

We also had 3 different cheeses that came with quince jam and two thinly sliced pieces of bread brushed with olive oil. I wish there was more bread. Luckily, my husband doesn't eat cheese so it was enough for 3 people.

Some other tapas we had included jalapenos sauteed in oil and sprinkled with sea salt, just like chips and unhealthy but wonderful. Red pepper stuffed with ox tail (highly recommend. Croquettes with jamon with aioli. Goat cheese with honey and walnut.
Tiny octopus on bits of potatoes - so tender and the best octopus I've had.

3 desserts: chocolate + olive oil, fried milk (dulce leche) + saffron ice cream, and churros with caramel. Only $6 each. Skip the fried milk, no taste and disappointing.

In total, we were full with 12 dishes + 3 desserts. We didn't try the higher end plates at $45. Dishes are $6 - $12

Now our waiter didn't like us and was condescending from beginning to end. He did fill up our water regularly and but was rude. I think it's because I didn't want to order Patria's own distilled water at the beginning and everything went downhill when I said we'll have 'Toronto's finest'. The rest of the evening, he made comments like: 'Did you think I was lying' (when he said the restaurant had to close at 9 for a private function and nobody showed up and he said they had to leave for another place?!). Also, don't let anyone pressure you to order ALL your tapas at once. He tried doing that many times by saying it will be slow in the kitchen and we were analyzing the menu and asked questions and wasn't sure about our decision. The menu is all in Spanish with big letters and in tiny English text next to it. Even if there was English, you're not sure exactly what you were ordering from the description. After the third time the waiter asked us to 'speed up our decision, I looked at him straight in the eye and said: 'We're taking our time like people do in Spain, we're in no rush'. I wasn't going to let this twenty something year old rush us and the restaurant was half empty on a Sunday night! I hope you don't get our waiter, I am sure the other guys are nicer and not pretentious.

Would I go again? No. But if you want to check it out, and try a unique experience, please go. Next time, I going to Cava!

Another tip: this is not a romantic place, and not recommended for first dates, it's very loud :-)

K/W area dining suggestion needed

I went to Nic & Nat's Uptown 21. The food and service were terrible when I came on Nov. 8 2012. My friend and I both ordered the lobster and shrimp and when it came out, the lobster tail had no taste and there were tons of potatoes floating in a red spicy broth. And the shrimps were not fresh. The waiter was horrific, he disappeared during our entire meal and never checked on us, we couldn't even find him. He wore glasses, dark hair and a bit weird - he started the evening by asking us . My friend is a prof at Laurier U and was shocked. I replied with a smart answer since he seemed to look down upon us.

When the waiter finally came around to take our plates away, I told him how bad the food was. He didn't apologize but had the nerve to say: I guess you want your bill then. No offer of a complimentary dessert or a I am sorry. I was horrified. He then proceeded to tell the or who stuck out his head from the cooking area to look at my friend and I. What horrible manners. He was too shy to come out and talk to us.

Don't come here. Being a Montrealer, I can tell you that this place isn't anything impressive. Because of the waiter's attitude and service, I am never setting foot in here again.

Kitchener/Waterloo

I went to Nic & Nat's Uptown 21. The food and service were terrible when I came on Nov. 8 2012. My friend and I both ordered the lobster and shrimp and when it came out, the lobster tail had no taste and there were tons of potatoes floating in a red spicy broth. And the shrimps were not fresh. The waiter was horrific, he disappeared during our entire meal and never checked on us, we couldn't even find him. He wore glasses, dark hair and a bit weird - he started the evening by asking us <What do you guys do>. My friend is a prof at Laurier U and was shocked. I replied with a smart answer since he seemed to look down upon us.

When the waiter finally came around to take our plates away, I told him how bad the food was. He didn't apologize but had the nerve to say: I guess you want your bill then. No offer of a complimentary dessert or a I am sorry. I was horrified. He then proceeded to tell the <chef> or <sous-chef> who stuck out his head from the cooking area to look at my friend and I. What horrible manners. He was too shy to come out and talk to us.

Don't come here. Being a Montrealer, I can tell you that this place isn't anything impressive. Because of the waiter's attitude and service, I am never setting foot in here again.

Restaurant Sant Joan and Can Ravell in Barcelona

You should call them between 12-3 pm. One of the waiters (elderly gentleman) speaks very good English so he can tell you. They don't take reservations but we didn't need to lineup.

May 22, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

I need a best restaurant list for Venice 2011- Splurge for 3 days

I made reservations for Antiche Carampane for 2 people and going in a few days. Could somebody tell me how much I can expect to pay - a range would be good so I know how what to expect. I read movie stars and politicians come here. Is there another restaurant that would be as good for seafood or/and meat but not as expensive so I can go on another night? We eat everything. Thanks!

May 13, 2012
orlenalee in Italy

Restaurant Sant Joan and Can Ravell in Barcelona

We were at Can Ravell today, we happen to be in that area and stumbled into their store/restaurant while shopping in that area. It was 4 pm my husband wanted to go in to check the prices for the ham at Can Ravell. I figured, why not, at least I'll have stepped in. I wasn't planning to eat there because we had reservations at Gresca that evening. There were a few customers inside to buy groceries but no customers eating at the 2 long marble white tables. So my husband politely asked the waiter if it was possible to have a quick bite and wine. The young waiter said no problem, I was surprised. Very excited, we sat down and looked at all the wines they were selling, it was an impressive collection. They even had maple syrup from Quebec (where I'm originally from) but sold it for $26 CA for 500 ml, 5 times the normal price but that's another story.

A few minutes later, a beautiful plate of ham + bread came out along with some wine from a decanter. And they played Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and my husband, (a big classical musical fan) and I felt really special. The waiter explained to us that the meat was cured for 6 years! This type of ham is unlike anything i've tasked, it's not salty, it's oily in a nice way and we learned it comes from the ham's natural oil and there's very little fat. There's no strange smell like the ham you see hanging at Carrefour. The wine was just perfect, rich and fruity. We were surprised nobody else came to eat at this time but I think the staff was extremely nice and courteous to serve us since we asked. We felt like we were in heaven chewing on every bite.

We paid the bill and looked around one last time. To our surprise, the elder waiter gave us a book written by Josep M. Bastista. We kept saying thank you and we left very happy. I am not sure when will be the next time I try this delicatessen and big thanks to everyone on the boards who highly recommended this place.

May 12, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

How to make reservations at GRESCA BARCELONA

I just called Gresca tonight and got a table for tomorrow (Sat) for the tasting menu (50 euros). They open at 20h30. The lady who picked up spoke excellent English. Hisop and Cinq Sentis were booked up so I should have thought of making reservations at those places much earlier! Too bad Gresca wasn't smarter in developing their Website and taking online reservations like all the other restaurants.

May 11, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

Thanks Debbiel. We waited 20 minutes outside Vinya del Senyor at 10:30 PM and left because there's no table. It's a Friday night, wrong time to be there. It wasn't snotty but there were only 2 waiters inside who were in a hurry to serve the crowd. The waiters from the restaurant across (santa maria del mar?) tried to wooo us to go inside but we had no interest. I will check out Zim tomorrow and get there early. I looked at Monvinic's site, it seems way more expensive and very upscale compared to VdS. Thanks for taking the time to write.

May 11, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

We went to Cal Pep and arrived at 2 pm, no lineup, and there were 4 empty seats at the counter. However, as soon as we sat down, a line-up of 10 ppl seemed to pop up. The food was fab, my type of place. We ordered 4 dishes and it was too much - the white beans and sausage (with some foie gras) came at the end after the fish and we were already full. We didnt' know what to order, and let the waiter make suggestions. We said we liked seafood more than meat. We started off with fried calamari, it looks ordinary on the picture but the batter is just to die for, some secret spices that's more than simply salt and pepper. Then we had clams, the sauce was was like a broth, garlic, olive oil and god know what but my husband drank it like soup. Then came the fish, not cod, he said it was something like <haig> but it was only served to us once the first 2 dishes were done. We had the head of the fish because I recognized the cheek bone. By then, we were pretty much full, not to mention my husband had eaten the complimentary bread (I didn't because I had a croissant for breakfast). Last came the sausage with white beans. This sausage didn't see to have much fat in it but I saw bits of the foie gras inside. It was not my fav dish. I did notice a dish that I would have preferred which were tiny fried fishes with an egg in the middle. Waiter brings it over and mixes it in front of you and the fishes look like noodles. We didn't order the fried artichoke since we had it at Sant Joan. Another popular dish was some hot green stuffed peppers that looked like they were stir fried, it looked amazing. And last, i noticed a special dish that came out of a skinny shell, maybe some squid. We wanted to order the prawns but the junior waiter did a gesture saying it's very expensive. The chef was working hard on the other end of the bar (near the washroom), we saw one couple order the tuna and the chef slicing a big fresh piece that came out from the fridge and then it was seared on both sides. The space is tiny so you will see all the action if u can get a seat in the middle area. We had 3 beers each, small glasses, and the senior waiter will keep refilling if you don't tell him to stop. Total bill came to 70 euros for 2 people. I highly recommend this place. Thx everyone for your comments!

May 11, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

Attached is a pic of what we ordered at Tapaç 24. I forgot to mention that after dinner, we walked along La Rambla near La Boqueria and one place had outrageous prices for tapas. Those are definitely tourist traps especially if they provide you with an English menu.

May 11, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

Thanks for your quick comments SnackHappy & Caganer. There was a big lineup at 10:30 pm so it must be a good place and we just didn't like what we ordered. Yes we had bravas but can't remember the rest. Tomorrow, we're going to Barcelonetta. I am thinking of either Cal Mano, Can Majo La Covada Fuma, Cal Pep or Kaiku. Any suggestions, only 4 meals left so don't want to make a mistake (lunch & dinner)? A friend suggested going to a wine bar - Vinya del Senor or Monvinic. I don't recall reading about these 2 places on Chowhound but if you have any experience, please let me know. Thanks.

May 10, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

favorite barcelona tapas

I wish I had read your thread before going out for tapas. We went to Tapas 24, it was awful, a big lineup and not worth the hype. We had some french fries, with mayo and ketchup on top, some croquettes that tasted like Chicken a la king inside and tuna salad with bits of potatoes, tomatoes that I could have made myself. And the black rice with the few strings of squid on top was a joke, rice was half cooked! Sangria was 16 euros for 1L. This place is a ripoff!

May 10, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

Sauc in its new location?

We went to Sauc for lunch today. We happen to walk by the Ohla hotel one night and went inside to have a look. It's on the second floor, inside a narrow corridor.. They have a tasting menu for lunch so we made reservations. Very easy to get reservations for lunch in my opinion. We were the only customers today, excellent service (2 people waiting on us) and great food. We had 5 courses: entree, 2 appetizers, cod or sausage as the main), dessert and bottled all for 74 euros for 2 people. A real bargain and we were very full. Lunch begins only at 2 pm. Excellent presentation for all dishes. Thank you to all who recommended we go for tasting menu at high end restaurants.

May 10, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

Lunch near Sagrada Familia? (Barcelona)

Fried artichoke and cod @ Sant Joan

May 09, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

Lunch near Sagrada Familia? (Barcelona)

We went to Sant Joan today. We called before to see what time they closed (4 pm) and asked if there was a lineup. When we arrived, one of the waiter looked at us strangely and asked if we spoke Spanish. We said no but we heard great things about the place and were willing to try anything. I guess they were surprised to see a Chinese couple show up and we didn't see any tourist. The restaurant was full of locals, which is a good sign. The menu is in Catalan on the wall, but you can use google translate. The elder waiter spoke great English and suggested we try cod and fried artichoke. Wow, it was sooo good and fresh, mushroom was juicy, cod was moist, potato was sweet, it's home cooked food at its best. It's not salty or heavy with sauces. We also had a bottle of white wine (5 euros only). We should have ordered water instead since it was a bit much for lunch and everyone was having water. The total came to 39 euros, and we left a tip since staff came by a few times to check on us. We were very full at the end. We didn't order dessert. It's not hard to find the restaurant, get off at metro Tetuan and it's a 5 mins walk. It's a good place to eat and then go to Sagrada Familia.

May 09, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

visit to Barcelona - reasonably priced

We had dinner at Cafe de l'Accademia near Jaume 1 (Carrer dels Lledó, 1). It's fabulous Catalan food, and not expensive. They have 1/2 portions and bring 2 plates for sharing. We called on a Monday night at 9:30 and they told us to come at 10:30. We arrived at 10:20, waited less than 10 minutes and got a table outside. We had bouillabaisse (amazing soup with praws), cod with tomato and olives (so fresh), rack of lamb and squid (looks like spaghetti), all in half portions. I shared catalan creme brulee with my husband. And we had a bottle of white wine. Total came to 90 euros. They gave us a variety of bread and a dish of tiny olives. It's delicious and really fresh, the sauces are out of this world, it tastes like you were in a top notch restaurant. I am from Toronto and have to been to the best restaurants over there but haven't had dishes that tasted this good. Must be because of the freshness. Service was very good, and we chatted with the French couple next to us. Restaurant is not far from La Rambla (we stayed between Placa Catalunya and Liceu). By 11 PM there was no more lineup and the place started closing at 12:30 AM. People eat late here.

May 07, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

visit to Barcelona - reasonably priced

Thanks SnackHappy!

May 06, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

visit to Barcelona - reasonably priced

Hi PBSF,
Thanks for your list of inexpensive places which I am putting on Google Maps. I am arriving in Barcelona next week. For Can Jordi, is the one located at Pasaje Posoltega, 4? There's also a Casa Jordi at Passatge Marimon 18. And I can't locate Can Mao. Thanks

May 06, 2012
orlenalee in Spain/Portugal

Italian pre-made desserts in restaurants (Bindi fantasia nel dessert)

Just had it for the first time! My Nephews told me they first had it in Victoria BC. Also available at the China Club in Hong Kong but you have to be a member or know someone who can get you in.

Nov 20, 2011
orlenalee in General Topics

Sushi Couture for Nice Dinner Out?

Sushi Couture doesn't have a licence for alcohol yet. But the fish is amazing, and a good deal. Do try the Greece Tai that is blowtorched. If you like Japango or Yamato's sashimi, you will love Sushi Couture and its top notch quality. I haven't tried the Omakese.

-----
Japango
122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

Yamato
18 Bellair, Toronto, ON M5S1M8, CA

Sushi Couture
456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

AME - Anyone been?

Koko Share Bar is awesome. I live in the area and it's always packed. Do go for their signature dish where you pay $25 pp and you make your own sushi. The fish really good. Also consider going to Sushi Couture in the Annex (Bloor and Bathurst).

-----
Koko Share Bar
81 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON , CA

Sushi Couture
456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

Fine dining recommendations in Paris

Hi Lucille, We went to L'Auberge Bresanne yesterday. Let me tell you that if you are looking for a real authentic old fashion French cooking with excellent service, this is the place. You must make a reservation, the place was packed at 10 p.m. We arrived at 8 PM and there were already 3 couples there. We had jarellet de veau, super tender in a rich brown sauce which I wonder how they made it. My husband had a starter : poached eggs in wine sauce, to die for. He had duck breast, and our friend had filet de boeuf with friends. The waiter or sommelier recommended a 10-year old Bordeau wine, excellent. The waiters are all young, friendly and spoke good English. We had tap water, and they were fine with it. You must go to this restaurant. The total came 109E for people (we were so full we didn't have coffee and dessert). I think I will go back again before I leave Paris!

May 10, 2009
orlenalee in France

paris eating in the 12th

Hi Hungrybob, we just returned after a nice meal at Le train bleu inside the Gare Lyon. I am sure you've heard of it. We were very impressed by the decor and the service. We weren't dressed in anything fancy but we were treated like royalty. We kept staring at the ceiling and art on the wall. We had the 49 euros fixed priced meal and the best part is the wine was included. We were 3 people and I had a full half bottle of red and my husband and friend and a full bottle of white. The appetizer (red pepper stuffed with goat cheese, asparagus and squash puree) were just amazing. The main, magret the canard served on a slice of grilled pineapple, was a bit overcooked. Presentation was fantastic. Desert was excellent (chocolate tart and sorbet). We can tell that many people chose the prix fixe. It's not a hidden treasure but you will be blown away by the experience. We asked for tap water and nobody looked down upon us. The waiter gave us an over the top service. We gave him a tip because he was so nice.

May 10, 2009
orlenalee in France

dinner thoughts in Paris for 5 nights

I just want to add that you must make reservations. I called l'Ami Jean and it was almost complete for next week in the 8 pm time slot and they only had 10 pm left. I also emailed a few places but didn't get any answers so it's best to call.

May 06, 2009
orlenalee in France

[Paris] My brain is fried...

I agree with brendastarlet. I have been reading this board and Pudlo Paris for a week now, and my husband wants me to put everything on Google Map and try to match the restaurant near the places we'll visit. I also created some grid on an Excel spreadsheet but it's too much work. Finally, I've booked 3 restaurants (Le Train bleu , Hier et aujourd'hui and Chez Janou). I have no clue which arrondissement I'll visit each day so I'll get up, look at the weather and then decide from there on. If I pass in front of a restaurant and there's lots of people in it, I'll go in and order. My brain is totally fried, all I think of is boarding the plane in a few days and finally eating a real croissant and baguette!

May 03, 2009
orlenalee in France

Restaurant Dans le noir in Paris

I made reservations for this restaurant but would like to hear from Chowhound members if it's worth trying. I want to try the concept but worried the food may not be as good. Thanks!

Apr 28, 2009
orlenalee in France