I am blaming it on habitual visits to the LCBO tasting counter (has the opposite effect of eating before grocery shopping), but I now find myself with about 15 cases of wine in the basement.
Don't think I want a cabinet for storage as I am looking to about a 300 bottle capacity, and like to think I am handy enough to frame and insulate a 'closet sized' space in the basement for storage (~125 sq ft).
Main contenders for small cooling units appear to be :
WhisperKool XLT (a bit expensive and noisy)
Can anyone recommend ('from experience' is preferred) a small wine cooling unit that is fairly quiet but functions well and leaves some money for vino?
Had planned on going to Ruth's Chris, which I have not visited for years, but decided to give Harbour 60 a shot after all of the positive comments I had read.
Made the reservation late in the day so we were seated in the basement, which was fine, glad to just get a table for four and was assured the menu and kitchen were the same. Customer parking behind the restaurant was also a nice feature for a downtown restaurant.
The wine list was very extensive, but the least expensive local reds had red dots beside them in the list. These were wines that were commonly available from the LCBO, how difficult could it be to maintain stock? Even these were in the $70/bottle range, Trius was one of the labels that comes to mind. My dinner guests and I all commented on the steep markup for these common, and out of stock wines.
Want a bottle of '82 Pommerol? They have it, but you need to cough up the
We opted for one of the least expensive French reds, a Merlot from the Bordeaux region with 'Cadillac' on the label? The only options were the $17 and up wines by the glass, so we tried the bottle.
The feta, olives, pickled hot peppers and bread they brought were ok, although certainly not on the same level as the starter offerings in other Toronto restaurants at this price point.
One of the questions I always like asking if I want a Ceasar is whether or not they can put extra anchovy on my salad, it satisfys two desires; the need to know that they make their dressing on site, and the fact that I really like extra anchovies on my Ceasar.
One of my companions ordered the lobster bisque, another the parmesan truffle fries. The bisque was ok, but more of a thin stew, slightly gelatinous and having a sheen to it that bespoke some other agent than roux or potatoe as a thickener. Chunks of lobster and potatoe none the less, and I thought it smelled appealling, but the person actually eating it was less impressed, is bisque normally chunky?
The parmesan truffle fries were better than average fries to start, with ok white truffle flavoured oil, a sliver of substandard parmesan on top and a rosemary sprig stuffed among the fries, all served in a paper cone. Hey wait a minute, this is pretty reminiscent of Jamie Kennedy's offerings, but I think that someone should make a couple trips back to JK's wine
The Ceasar salad was pretty pedestrian, same grade of parmesan as the fries and a carbonized sliver of 'double smoked bacon' on top.
I believe based on this we all ordered Medium, as this is what I normally
The steaks were HUGE, another guest used the word vulgar to describe the size. At least 1 1/2" thick and as big as your face. I cut into mine, grey throughout, I cut again (dim lighting mind you) more grey, the waiter suggested I try one more time, paydirt, but that means that more than half my steak was cooked throughout, and maybe half was red and warm in the middle. They offered to exchange it, but that would have thrown me out of sync with the rest of my party, and ( perhaps this is only in my paranoid mind ) I consider it a dangerous proposition to tell a cook that they screwed up and ask them to do it again.
The flavour and texture was ok, I've certainly had better rib steak for less, most recently
The lamb serving was large but not as American sized as the steaks, they elicited
Sides, which are extra, were garlic mashed, spinach, both ok, and a second order of the fries.
Desserts offered a very enjoyable creme brulee, and an interesting presentation of smores,
We ordered a round of Grand Mariner after dinner and the waiter offered to put it on the house for the issue with the doneness of my steak, very generous and good customer service. The Grand Mariner also came warmed in nice big snifters, another good point.
Dinner for four people with the cheapest bottle of red wine available?
The service was very good, eager but not quite expert.
Overall, I'm afraid I don't understand the appeal, and I don't think the meal would
At this price point, I don't feel that you should have to visit a second time to try for an