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Indian Takeout?

lahore tikka on Gerrard in the India Bizarre is reliable -- the renovations that have been happening there for quite some time make it look not as good, but the food is tasty and the naan a beauty.

Sep 09, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

TIFF prix fixe a hit at The Drake

cool -- glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the Banff tip. I hope to be out there this winter and will try out this spot while there.

Good munching.

Sep 08, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hidden Gems in East Toronto?

Hanoi 3 Seasons on Gerrard, just east of Broadview offers a good Northern Vietnamese menu at a reasonable price. All dishes come with a veg option.

Sep 08, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thai at Keele and Steeles

I don't have many 'good' lunch options around my office, so the prospect of a 'recommended' spot near-by is intriguing. A group of us went for Thai at 2150 Steele Ave. W at a place that has changed names a number of times, recently known as the Bamboo Hut. I think it's now called Thai Hut or something like that, but if you Google Bamboo Hut you'll get a bunch of hits.

Anyway, we made reservations (recommended for 4+) and were seated promptly. There was a line at the door, and those people waited a fair length of time. The service was pretty slow -- it was busy, but it was slow none-the-less. The menu offers many typical Thai dishes (spring rolls, pad thai, red and green curries, tom yum soup, mango salad)

I tried both the veggie and chicken fresh spring rolls, which were really tasty. They came with a typical sour sauce filled with crushed peanuts. A nice addition and the spring rolls were very fresh.

Our mains came at various times during our sitting, which sucks for those waiting to get their meal (or the too-polite among us). I tried the spicy basil chicken plate. When it finally arrived, I was impressed. The veggies were cooked just enough to still have a crunch and there wasn't an over load of sauce. The rice was standard fare, and good. The spice was good and the basil came through in waves with the tender chicken. For the tempo of the place (busy lunch crowd) the quality of food that came out was impressive. The timing was off, which happens.

With a mineral water the meal cost was $15 with taxes and tip. Not too shabby for the quality. Whether the wait was worth it is up for debate. My boss would likely vote no.

I don't think I'll return for a sit-down meal at lunch -- I just can't take 2 hours off work! I will eat the food again opting for pick-up on the next go around. The peanut dish looked pretty tempting, as did the black-bean chicken plate.

Happy eating.

Sep 05, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

TIFF prix fixe a hit at The Drake

of course -- $45 plus tx/gratuity. I think it's $75 with the wine pairing. It was just over $100 for two with a drink each.

Sep 04, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

TIFF prix fixe a hit at The Drake

Thanks. Looks like a great site to sponge from.

Sep 04, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

TIFF prix fixe a hit at The Drake

I always love taking advantage of the great eats that surround the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I caught wind of a prix fixe menu at the Drake Hotel through their e-newsletter (The Ake) and thought I might try it out. I was surprised to actually get a reservation, as I have had difficulty in the past. But it was easy enough to get one online using opentable.com -- a really great option! The price for this meal was so low that I went with somewhat lower expectations.

I sat up on the skyyard, which has been recently tarted-up and looks great. I always love a patio experience, especially with the weather we've had over the past couple of weeks. Service was prompt, attentive and quite knowledgeable. The meal started with a lobster-mushroom ragout that is exquisite. It's topped with a cauliflower mousse and caviar, adding a wonderfully creamy feel, without drowning out the other flavours of the plate. This dish was warm enough, but not hot and could have benefited from this. The main was a delightful beef short rib with beets and potato purée. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and rich, but not overpoweringly so. Hints of lemon zest was a tasty touch. To top it off, it came with a full bone filled with marrow! What a treat, indeed, and tasted great once poked out of the bone and eaten alone or spread on a fork-full of potatoes. Although a lack of greens usually lets me down, the early fall theme and artful presentation this plate provided more than made up for it! The meal was finished with a nice-sized piece of apple brown Betty, like Mom used to make. It had the perfect custard -- not overpowering and an excellent compliment to the plate.

I have to say I was absolutely stuffed at the end, so go hungry! Unfortunately, I did not try the wine pairings offered at an additional cost and imagine they would have complimented the meal nicely, since I know from experience that the Drake's sommelier knows her stuff. The price without pairings is so affordable that this prix fixe is not to be missed!

Good eating and happy TIFF'ing.

Sep 04, 2008
cafriis in Ontario (inc. Toronto)