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Good Food in Hamilton?!

I would also add Incognito on John St for decent, well-priced bistro fare. My only criticism is that they don't change up the menu enough.
Affinity on John is a real treat for Chinese vegetarian - very fresh and innovative. They are the masters of fake meat :-)
For a splurge, I vote for Quatrefoil hands down. Seven Windows is decent, but Quatrefoil is really a step above everything else in the region.
I also put in a vote for Red Canoe - fun local cuisine with a good price point and great service.
Best splurge for brunch is Spencer's for sure - it's delicious & you really will only need to eat once that day!
For great Thai, try Pomelo in Burlington (Fairview just W of Guelph Line) - it's truly excellent.
Try the duck curry with the mandarins and lychees - it's so yummy. Thai Memory is good in Hamilton as well, but don't go if you are in a rush - there is only usually one person serving the
whole place. Good food though.

For the only sushi I'll actually eat W of Mye in Oakville, I vote for Sakai on Fairview in Burlington between Walkers Line and Appelby. They have pretty decent Korean as well - their dol sot bibimbop is delicious. The fish is very, very fresh - they even had super fatty toro the other day. I can't eat at August 8 - the fish is mushy and fishy. Ick.

For Indian, try Bombays Chutney in N Burlington (Dundas St near Guelph Line) - it's a friendly place with consistently good food. Their naan is very good. The "chicken lollipops" are really good and I've honestly enjoyed everything I have eaten there. In Hamilton, the best veg Indian IMHO is Himlaya (yes, they spell it like this) off on a little mall just E of Centennial Parkway. It's really only take-out but awesome. Their ras malai is awesome for dessert and the samosas rock.

Seven Windows
432 Aberdeen Ave, Hamilton, ON L8P2S2, CA

Thai Memory
25 King William St, Hamilton, ON L8R1A1, CA

A Graduation Situation - Hamilton

How about something inexpensive and nice? I would recommend Incognito on John St as my first choice, but it's closed Mondays.

The place that would totally fit your criteria if youa re willing to go for $15-20ish per entree is Bistro Paresien on James St S. It's casual, but elegant (a bistro in the truest sense!)

Another one is close to McMaster in Westdale: 1010 Bistro. All entrees less than $20 and it's a nice atmosphere with good food.

La Cantina is another good suggestion.

Make a reservation as it's likely going to be a busy weekend.

Have fun !

places to eat in Burlington/Oakville

I second the Spencer's rec. Was skeptical that it would be good as I expected atmosphere>>food. Went for brunch this Sun and was very pleasantly surprised. Not cheap ($34ish each), but excellent value - included mimosa's and all juice, coffee, tea etc. Food was not really buffet - more like part-buffet, part preparation stations. All was yummy - great breads, great omlettes, good saladas, nice cheeses and desserts, etc etc. I would take this over Mother Tuckers a thousand times over . I am totally looking forward to going for dinner.
Make a reservation - brunch was very busy,

Gluten Free Toronto

Please note that spelt is a form of wheat and is NOT gluten-free!!!!!

Gluten Free Toronto

My DH is Celiac and we have a lot of confidence in the smaller, chef-run restos. We have had excellent service with lots of options at: The Rosebud, Weezies, Kultura (although they goofed on a dish that contained wheat pasta!! That was easy to figure out though! I must say the food was mostly mediocre at best anyway), Tomi Kro, Dr Generosity in Bloor West Village, many Japanese restos (just bring your on GF soy sauce), Karuchie (although sadly closed), South Indian Masala Dosa....... There are more I can't think of right now......I think the best strategy is to call ahead and speak to someone before showing up, if they are reasonably confident about accomodating you, go for it, if they seem perplexed, find somewhere else!

Thai and Vietnamese restos are also a good bet - soy sauce is not used much and most noodles are rice based. Korean is a land mine as wheat is used to ferment almost everything in Korean cooking.......Japanese is a good bet if you stick to non-deep fried sushi.

For the splurge, Splendido and Treadwell (in Port Dalhousie, St Catharine's) were both able to provide excellent GF tasting menus!

Brock University Student looking for Inexpensive Good Eats in St. Catharines/Niagara area

For the yummiest lemon marangue pie (and tarts!) I've ever had, head to the Pie Plate in Virgil. The rest of their baking and lunches are decent too.

Sushi in Hamilton?

OY -I have to chime in here and say drive to Burlington and go to Sakai on Fairview bet Appelby and Walker's line. Ate at Matsu twice and was pretty grossed out by the soggy fish. I need my fish really fresh or I'd rather eat something else......IMHO sushi is either really good or it's bad.

Hamilton (and area) eats

Have to throw in my vote for:
Curry Cabana - Guyanese resto with awesome rotis on King St E near Walnut

Roti Hut - Trinidadian roti take-out at King E & Connaught

For some bistro meals, try:

Incognito on John St - lovely, fresh, local bistro fare in a relaxing atmosphere

Boo's Bistro on James St S - bistro fare with a S.E. Asian twist

Bistro Parisien - decent French bistro fare with friendly service and decent prices

For goods to cook at home, try "Punjab Food Mart - A world of delicatessens" - literally - everything from fresh roasted coffee, to indian spices, to Bulagarian cheese!!! It's awesome! Corner of Hgwy 20 and Queenston Rd (east)

Grace on College - I guess I don't get the buzz

I'll throw in my 2cents as I've been there twice - once in May around the opening and once 2 weeks ago.
- I love the atmosphere - think it's the perfect blend of funky but warm.
- I find the service to be friendly, and it was excellent on my first visit. But, on my last experience, fairly incompetent for the price range. We were 4 - each ordered an app and a main. 2 of us also shared some oysters. The server wasn't sure when to bring the oysters ??? I've always had them before my app - seemed kinda obvious. Then the server completely screwed up one of our orders and brought a 2nd app (smoked salmon salad) instead of the main he had ordered (the fish special). It took another 15+ minutes to get the actual main. The server did apologize and left the 'mistake' app to tide over my friend while the rest of us ate our mains. A pretty big blunder IMHO.
- The food was much better on my 1st try. I like the combos and the general sense of most of the dishes. I had the quail on the 2nd go and it was totally over-cooked. The other mains were decent, not great.

Overall, I'm hoping that they are going through the 'getting really popular and not sure how to deal with being so busy' growing pains and that things will have smoothed themselves out for my next try. If not, it will be my last as there are lots and lots of great restos in TO!

Business Dinner - Bloor/St George - Celiac concerns

My DH is Celiac and we find the best luck when we call ahead and explain the situation. This way there are no surprises for the kitchen or uncomfortable moments for your guest. Things you might need to mention beyond the obvious (wheat, rye, barley) are: Worchestershire sauce (contains malt vinegar which contains gluten), malt vinegar and items containing any type of malt or malt flavouring, and soy sauce (most types contain wheat).

Not too far away on College and Palmerston area is Grace - had 2 good dinners there recently and lots of Celiac-friendly choices. Otherwise, I have to confess that I can't seem to find anything I love near Yorkville. Exceptions are Jamie Kennedy at the Gairdner (but not open for dinner most nights). Haven't been to C5 at the ROM, but hear it's good.....

notl wineries and eats

Stratus' 2005 red is reported excellent, but I haven't tried it yet. 2005 was a very good summer for reds - late front = natural pruning of vines = fewer grapes to enjoy the long, hot summer that followed and lots of sugar and nutrients to the remaining grapes. Smaller yields, better wines....

For a casual lunch or break in the afternoon, hit "The Pie Plate" in Virgil - just down the road from Stratus. IMHO the best lemon meringue pie (they have little ones) I have EVER eaten. They have respectable salads and sandwiches for lunch too. It's a cute little house on the left hand side of the road if you are headed towards NOTL. Would be a good place to pick up a take-out lunch too.

The Peller resto is very good and the patio is gorgeous......I am never disappointed by their food.

Another thought would be hitting Treadwell in Port Dalhousie on the way there (lunch) or way back (dinner). It's divine and the setting beautiful (right on the canal with a gorgeous patio). I tend to avoid the restos in NOTL proper as they are so over-priced and the food generally sucks. Stone Road Grille and exception and I've heard good things about : - heard the pizza was great, but haven't tried it yet....

Savory Egg Pudding

Re. wheat allergy - I haven't tried it yet, but I would replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour replacement mix (typically a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour) this will avoid the "goopiness" of corn starch. You can buy pre-prepared GF flour mixes in many health food stores. I'll post again when I try this - sounds great!

May 16, 2008
jcanncuk in Recipes

Grace Restaurant

Trying to revive this one as I made a reservation for next week - anyone been yet???

SF Chowhound Visiting Toronto - Recs?

There is some pretty good Korean BBQ on Yonge St between College and Bloor just up from the Delta Chelsea. Ethiopian House is also just off Yonge within walking distance and is pretty good too.

You could also head to Mount Pleasant to Simple Bistro - very good value and in your price range. Worth the taxi or transit ride.

Also a good find for French in a funky down-to-earth environment is Batifole - good value here too.

Another bistro resto frequented more by locals than tourists is Weezie's (weird name, I know) on King East. It's cozy and food is fresh and delicious at a very reasonable price point.

NOTL Wine Tour with Dinner-Suggestions?

If you want to be in a group, there are lots of tours available - just google "wine tour Niagara". If you want to choose where you go and IMHO have a much better experience, hire a car and driver through any of the local car/limo services and decide where you go and when. Look for car/limo companies in St Catharine's and Hamilton - these generally have the best rates. Consider Peller as your last winery of the day and have dinner there or go to Treadwell in St Catharine's/Port Dalhousie and this will be on your way back to White Oaks.

Good restos in Hamilton (updates, please!)

Incognito, Bistro Paresien or One Duke would fit the bill for a pre-theatre dinner. All solid and as prev mentioned, Incognito is my fave on this list for quality of food, freshness, service and price. They have a new website: if you want to check out their menu

Good restos in Hamilton (updates, please!)

DBooth - I gotta argue with you here. First, what's your definition of "up scale"?? There are a number of nice, but casual eateries in Hamilton that I would not rate as "upscale" but that I am more than glad to frequent and that are better than many places in TO. I consider "upscale" to be the likes of Spendido, Scaramouche, C5, etc. etc.

Hamilton does have a lot of good, authentic, ethnic cuisine (Trinidadian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Guyanese to name just a few) thanks to the city's diverse population.

It also has a number of very decent bistro / casual eateries that would be good value even in Toronto. These include: Incognito, One Duke, Bistro Paresian, La Spaget, Amuse Bouche, and others.

Seven Windows is definitely in the stratospheric price point as far as Hamilton goes, and although the food is decent and the setting lovely, the service is so-so and the wine list seriously lacking. I agree that I would rather drive 45 min east for better food generally at a better price or a really excellent dinner at the same price. That being said, I think Seven Windows does fill a niche in Hamilton and if they did lower their price point a bit and provide a bit more friendly and relaxed service, I might go more often. As it is, it is on the "special occaision & local" list (meaning no time to drive to a better place in TO)....

Anyway, just my 2 cents. As for the other good Hamilton places giving us good value for our money and good, fresh food, keep it up!!

Good restos in Hamilton (updates, please!)

Is Sakai the AYCE one? I must confess that I hate AYCE - I don't enjoy eating that much & we usually save $ by ordering a la carte!!! We did do a la carte there once, but thought it was only so-so....

Good restos in Hamilton (updates, please!)

I am another Hammer newbie (relatively ~1.5 yrs) who frequents TO restos often and always looking for local finds. A couple of places that consistently do well:

Incognito on John St - new menu in last year or so - bistro food - very good quality meats and veggies, the best value overall for quality, service and price IMHO. Prix fixe for about $30 and also nightly specials. Very good wine list too.....

Curry Cabana - Guyanese rotis on King & Walnut - excellent, fresh, curries and rotis, yummy doubles. Also really like Roti Hut for Trini rotis as well.

Bistro Parisien - James St S - decent bistro food that is well-priced with a nice atmosphere and good service.

One Duke - Duke & James - local fare - Hungarian chef. Comfort food, but everything is made from scratch (don't go in a hurry!) and WAY better than most of the other bar/comfort food in town. Good thin crust pizza too. Folks rave about their ribs, but I don't eat ribs so can't comment!!

Looking forward to hearing your faves too! Where do you eat Japanese? I can't find anything decent closer than Mye in Oakville.......I hate mushy sushi.....

Need to pick a restaurant for dinner with husbands boss.

Splendido, Splendido, Splendido. The service is impeccible, the food divine, and the wow factor definitely on the menu :-)

Gluten Free dining in the GTA

Not to be a downer, but be really careful with miso soup. Red or dark miso is fermented barley and the miso used for soups etc is often a mix of the white (fermented rice) types and the red types so it's a common source of cross-contamination. You can make it at home using "pure" white miso that you buy.....just be careful :-) Glad to hear Benihana was accommadating though ...

Lebanese or Armenian bakery

Don't know which side of the city you are on, but if you ever happen by Hamilton on a Saturday, head to the Farmer's Market downtown. There is a really good lebanese stall about 1/3 of the way down the ramp and he has excellent Lebanese goodies and brings in his traditional flat bread (the big flat ones, not pita) from Mtl. I desperately miss Adonis.....

Calgary/Banff/Revelstoke visit report

We went to check out Revelstoke Mountain Resort and visit some friends and I could not resist tipping my hat to the folks at Woolsey's. I'd have given them the same rave review if they were here in Toronto. I was pleasantly surprised and they deserved some kudos :-)
PS - Revelstoke is beautiful if you've never made the trek across Roger's pass!!

Gluten Free dining in the GTA

Also be careful b/c some Celiac's have reported that the folks making the pizza are using the same ladle to scoop and spread the sauce on the regular and GF pizzas. Personally, I think cross-contamination is a major risk at Pizza Pizza unless they work out some sort of single serving packets of sauce and toppings just for the GF pizzas. No amount of gluten is safe for a true Celiac.....

ISO Wine Bar with no attitude

I have to say that although Crush is big, I was pleasantly surprised how laid-back the servers were and you could totally go there in jeans. Always an interesting selection...

Whole-Foods Substitutes in TO?

Also moved here from Boston and used to shop exculsively at Whole Foods for produce and meat so I understand. WF here is not quite the same - much more exclusive and expensive. I can't recommend Cumbrae's enough for meat. It's unbelievably good and all organic. For produce, I would strongly recommend signing up for a local organic food share where you pick up your box of fresh, locally grown organic fruits and veggies every week. There are many, here is a link to get you started. We use plan B.

There are many, many more. Thankfully, Southern Ontario is home to a lot of excellent organic farms so this is the way to go. There are a number of Toronto area farmer's markets with organics as well. Dufferin Market being one. There is a list here:

If you let us know where you think you will live, we can help more.

Calgary/Banff/Revelstoke visit report

Returned from 10 days in the area and thought I'd provide an update of our experiences. Many rec's from local CHers. Thanks!
The best of the lot: River Cafe - hands down winner here. I might plan a trip to Calgary just to go back :-) Location, food, service and wine list all excellent. The perogies were to die for - best I have EVER had (Willie's Guinea Fowl with mustard and creme fraiche the night I was there!!! Can't believe how great they were). All 4 diners loved their meals.

The others:

Divino - Wine list was pretty good. Service was good. Food was so so. I had the corbina (fish) special. When I asked what it was like (I had never had this type of fish before), I was told it was like tuna. It was more like a meaty white fish and nothing at all like tuna. Also, it was served cold on a huge pile of what can best be described as antipasto. It was weird, just plain weird. In fact, all 4 of us got tepid/cold food on unwarmed plates. Not sure what was up there. The wild mushroom soup as an app was good, not great. Dessert was good, not great. Enough said. I wouldn't be running back. I'd save my $$ and go to River Cafe again :-)

Crazyweed (Canmore) - interesting space but what's up with the palm trees inside? They totally distract from the modern, open interior and seemed really odd. I had the onion bajii onion rings as an app - a nice east-meets west take on the baaji. I really enjoyed it. The waitress was completely clueless. I asked for a rec for wine by the glass for the duck in red wine sauce and she shrugged and said "I dunno, something white maybe". Not really what I was looking for. The pinot noir I ended up choosing was decent, but I expected a bit more food/wine pairing knowledge from the server. Maybe the chef should consider suggesting a wine by the glass match for each of the main dishes on the menu so the servers can't mess it up? Our service was sketchy at best overall - never had our water glasses filled until we begged etc etc. Oh well. Food was good. The comments I read on CH re service were correct though......too bad, b/c minus the palm trees and the bad service, I might be pursuaded to go from very good to excellent on my overall view. Just not quite there for the cost.....

Now for a really pleasant surprise, we were in Revelstoke, BC for a few days and ate at Woolsey's - what a find! Terrific food, friendly and competent service, and nice, relaxed atmosphere. A great price point too. They have a pretty varied menu, which worried me a little at first. I stuck to the table d'hote for $35 and it was great - borscht followed by an excellent piece of halibut on lentils with lovely crisp julliened veggies. Nice. Flourless chocolate cake to finish. Just great. Can't wait to get back there. Oh yeah, and if you are there, get the sweet potato fries at the ski resort lodge - YUM!!!

And, last but not least, I just have to comment on my horrific lunch at the Fairmont Banff Springs Spa. I spent the day at the spa and the lunch menu, though typically over-priced, looked enticing. I ordered the Vegetarian Rice Roll bento which was really a Western take on the Bento, but promised to contain an assortment of crudites, a bocconchini/tomato salad etc and looked like just the thing. To make a long story short, the rolls were frozen (yup, actaully icy, crunchy frozen), the tomatoes were mushy (as in in the fridge sliced with the cheese on top for >24 hrs), the sliced basil brown and limp. ICK!! For >$25????? Who are they kidding? Anyway, hopefully someone there will read this and shape up the spa menu. Really, it can't be that hard.

Anyway, we loved the trip and still think fondly of the places we enjoyed. As always, you learn a lot trying out new spots.

Gluten Free dining in the GTA

My DH is Celiac, so this is an issue for us as well. If you are looking for a special night out, Splendido did their whole tasting menu GF for him when the rest of us had the regular. I thought that was pretty amazing. They goofed once - served lamb on barley risotto - he noticed right away and they literally whisked it away and had another GF lamb dish in front of him within 10 minutes. It was very impressive. You get what you pay for, I guess.

The other thing we look for is smaller, chef-run places......when you call for a reservation, call in the mid-afternoon when the folks answering aren't busy, explain everything, and ask if they can accommodate you - they typically can. Notable restos that have been very good and reassuring that everything was 'safe' are: Simple Bistro and Weezie's. Both 'got' it and paid careful attention to making sure everything was GF.

Sushi is also a great bet - just tell them you can't have anything with soy sauce or teryaki sauce (no unagi) and nothing deep fried. We bring our own little bitty Nalgene bottle (you can get them at MEC) with wheat-free Tamari and it works out fine.

Indian also works out too - just make sure to have them avoid any dish containing asefetida (it is a resin cut with flour) - in the small places they always know which ones these are. You can basically eat everything else except the naan and roti. Even the papadums are safe - made of chick pea flour. We do avoid the deep fried stuff though just in case of cross-contamination....

It's great to read CHers input re. 'safe' places for a Celiac as we are always looking for new places to eat! Keep it up!

Need rec for Calgary dinner

We will be in Banff for part of the trip - what would you recommend in Canmore/Banff? What is the best sushi in Banff these days?

Need rec for Calgary dinner

Price doesn't really matter as long as the food and service are very good. I should add that reservations are a must - nothing ruins an evening like standing around outdside starving for an hour.....

Will check out River Cafe - any other rec's from anyone?