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Recs around Yonge/Bayview and York Mills

Here's a reply 7 years later and I couldn't agree more. I'd seen this place many times driving down Bayview and a friend and I finally checked it out last night. The menu looked interesting, the food looked fresh, the sauces looked tasty. But man, can looks deceive! Every dish was bland and tasteless. Putting hot sauce on just made it hot and tasteless. No marriage of ingredients - just a bunch of stuff thrown into a pot (microwave?) and quickly heated up. And to top it all, this place apparently got the Best Thai Food in Toronto award from Eye Weekly in 2008 and 2009. Makes you despair for the average taste bud.

Any great restaurants in the Newmarket/Aurora, Ontario area?

I'm a downtown Torontonian who dines out a lot and who happened to be in Newmarket for a weekend. Our friends recommended Bijoy, close to Wellington and Yonge in Aurora. It exceeded my expectations on several counts:

1. The setting in an old house was very pleasant. We had a table by a back window from where we could see the cardinals and finches congregating around the bird feeders.
2. You can bring your own wine. I doubt that we would have found a bottle of 2004 reserve Vino Nobile de Montepulciano for $43 ($28 LCBO plus $15 corkage fee) at any Italian restaurant downtown.
3. The service by the co-owner was knowledgeable and pleasant, informative but unintrusive.
4. The food was wonderful, all three courses, and the prices more than reasonable. For example, I had roast duck breast with a spicy orange sauce, roasted vegetables, and rostii potatoes for $24. My partner had tenderloin in a mouth-wateringly delicious sauce for the same price. And for $6 we had the best Pavlova I've tasted outside New Zealand.
5. Apart from these fairly routine choices, the menu was quite extensive. We would have no trouble going back and trying different things.
6. They also do breakfast and lunch. We saw the menu, and again the prices were incredible: $6.50 for eggs benedict. And given the quality of what we had at dinner, this would not be your typical diner Hollandaise out of a packet.

They've only been open a couple of years so I don't think they have the profile of some restaurants in the area, which makes it more of a find now.

serious non-chain coffee in downtown Toronto

I agree with most of the other replies to this post - Moonbeam, Alternative Grounds, etc. - but I want to offer a suggestion to people in the financial core who may think they're stuck with Second Cup, Timothy's or Starbucks. Try Ooh La La in the Richmond-Adelaide Centre (there's also one in the CBC building). They have a Continental Dark roast that rivals any of the independents and far surpasses the big chains.