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Chowhound's top 10 in GTA- 2015 version

1. Bar Isabel
2. Richmond Station
3. Jacobs & Co.
4. Splendido
5. Patria
6. Campagnolo
7. Pizzeria Libretto
8. Triple A
9. The Chase
10. Hawthorne

Jan 09, 2015
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Carnevino review

We knew we wanted to try a top steak house during this Vegas trip, but how to choose? So many options with such great reputations. We turned to Chowhound to help narrow it down, and the description of steak and style led us to Carnevino. We’re glad that it did – it was one a great meal and maybe one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. After a 3-cheese amuse we inhaled the octopus starter (along with a surprising Pinot Grigio), followed by the lobster anolini (with a glass of Chard/Sauv blend), and then tucked into our steaks: New York strip for me, bone-in Filet Mignon for my wife. It was, as I said earlier, one of the best I’ve ever had…no sauces for me, just meat prepared perfectly. My wife’s cut, while obviously not as flavourable as my own, was almost impossibly tender. We paired these beasts with a 2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo – not the varietal we’d normally choose, but when in Rome (or a cheesy facsimile of Venice, as it were) you go with the flow.

A note on service: our server knew the right balance of leaving us alone but being right there when we needed something. It takes an experienced server’s eye to know how to find that point. Maybe the best example of that eye was noticing my wife’s hand -- she’d recently cut herself and got several stitches, so when they came out to carve her steak tableside they simply went a step further so that she didn’t have to use her knife at all. We appreciated it immensely.

One other note: instead of standard instrumental music or cheesy faux-rustic-Italian-crooner, the speakers played White Stripes and Black Keys. Granted, we sat down to dinner at 10pm so perhaps the music changed throughout the evening, but either way: score one more for Carnevino in our books.

Mar 02, 2014
ltdan in Las Vegas

Chowhounds best 10 restaurants in GTA - 2014 voting

01. Bar Isabel
02. Richmond Station
03. Jacob & Co.
04. Canoe
05. Carbon Bar
06. Enoteca Sociale
07. Triple A
08. Bestellen
09. Museum Tavern
10. George

Niagara-on-the-Lake. 3 great dinners?

Cannot recommend Stone Road Grille highly enough...we eat there every time we visit NotL and are never disappointed. We love Ravine as well, down in Saint Davids. I've heard good things about Peller but haven't tried it myself. Likewise La Cachette (at Strewn). For something simpler try the Olde Angel Inn (definitely a pub, but sometimes that's what you need after a full day of wine) or a wood-fired pizza at Southbrook (but that might be for lunch only).

Treadwell is a little west in Port Dalhousie, but it's a must-visit. If you find yourself even further west, in the Beamsville/Jordan/Vineland area, I'd absolutely recommend Vineland Estates. Good Earth was nice as well, especially for a casual lunch on the patio. I'm not sure whether About Thyme is still open or not...I'd heard they closed, but their website says they re-opened on April 20. We enjoyed our meal there a lot so hopefully it's still kicking. I was NOT impressed with On The Twenty (the duck? fantastic. the rest? not so much.) in Jordan, or Zooma Zooma cafe across the street (extremely slow service).

So if you don't mind a drive, I'd suggest Stone Road Grille, Treadwell and Vineland should be your three. If you want to stay close to NotL, then I'd say Stone Road Grille, Ravine and Peller.

May 07, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

St. Lawrence Market - "World's Best Food Market" in National Geographic List -

Herne: on Sundays it's a flea market, but on Saturdays it's a farmer's market...a pretty great one too. We never buy produce from the south market, only the north.

Apr 07, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

beer bars or good beer menus

Volo often has a stash of it, but it too sells quickly. Volo also currently has the Dieu du Ciel Derniere Volonte, which is kind of IPA-ish. I had two last night!

Mar 14, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

beer bars or good beer menus

Volo and Beerbistro are in a class of their own, where even beer aficionados can stretch their legs. After that I'd say places like C'est What, the re-opened Smokeless Joe, Rebel House, Victory Cafe, Granite Brewery, Monk's Table, Cloak & Dagger, and The Only are the next best options for beer lovers to try a few new pints. Then places like Magpie, Rhino, Local, Ceili Cottage, Betty's, etc. have a solid selection, but likely nothing a beer fan hasn't seen before.

When it gets to patio weather -- which might be soon, by the look of things -- Bier Markt (on the Esplanade) and Against The Grain (on the waterfront, by Sugar Beach) are decent choices for a cold one. Likewise Betty's and Rebel House for their backyard patios.

Mar 13, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Which Terroni resto

No, it's a smaller menu. Maybe 4 or 5 starters, same for entrees, always a few specials too.

Mar 13, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Which Terroni resto

La Bettola (Victoria/Richmond) is really good. Not as big, busy or loud as the one on Adelaide but good (same) food.

Mar 12, 2012
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dinner Downtown Before Cirque du Soleil

I've eaten at La Bettola a couple of times, but somehow haven't tried Osteria. I've had no complaints at all with La Bettola though...small but interesting wine list, tasty food, nice decor, not huge portions (which is fine with me) and it doesn't have the attitude of their big sister Terroni around the corner.

106 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

Sep 26, 2011
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dinner Downtown Before Cirque du Soleil

Well, since dannyboy opened it up to pubs... :)

Agreed, Against The Grain has great views and great beer list. The food's never blown me away though. Beerbistro and C'est What are both in the zone you mention and have (in my opinion) better food, but Beerbistro might fail the "not too many suits" criteria on a weeknight. You won't have that concern at C'est What.

C'est What
67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

Sep 26, 2011
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Dinner Downtown Before Cirque du Soleil

Mercatto (Adelaide/Toronto) is good. So is La Bettola (Richmond/Victoria). Origin (Church/King) is good but you'd be hard-pressed to fill up for $100. Likewise Trevor and Lucien (both Church/Front) or Wine Bar (Church/Front).

Maybe Veritas (King/Sherbourne) or Gilead Cafe (Eastern/Gilead) or some place in the Distillery since they're closer to the Cirque venue?

15 Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3, CA

234 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

Sep 26, 2011
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Annapolis Valley wineries

Last time I was there only Grand Pre did a tour. L'Acadie let us taste a limited number of their wines, but if there's any way you can get your hands on a bottle of their Alchemy, do it. Gaspereau was incredibly friendly and happy to let us taste whatever we wanted. I wasn't that impressed with either Blomidon or Muir Murray, though Muir Murray had just opened when we visited. Since then Pete Luckett's vineyard has opened as well; I haven't been but it's meant to be very nice.

If you're looking for food options Le Caveau (at Grand Pre) was fantastic. Between The Bushes (over toward Blomidon) and The Port Gastropub were highly recommended but we didn't manage to stop at either. Paddy's (on Main Street in Wolfville) had good microbrews if you need a wine break.

This map might help: It also shows the only B&B I'll stay in when visiting the valley.

Aug 31, 2011
ltdan in Atlantic Canada

Trip review: Riposo 46, The Wright, Cafe Sabarsky, Strip House, Gottino, Sweet Revenge

On a recent weekend trip to NYC we tried a variety of places, some of which were recommended, some of which were Chowhound finds and more than a few were just happy circumstance.

We ate in neighbourhoods away from our hotel (Distrikt; 40th/8th) most nights, but our best dinner in the area was at Riposo 46 after seeing a play. It was jammed, and the only table available was a tiny one near the back (by which I mean the kitchen and bathroom) but it was actually fine. The hostess was quite nice, assuring us we’d be well looked-after, and we were. Our wine glasses were never empty long, and our food (grilled asparagus with prosciutto, parmigiano & truffle oil to start; shared grilled flatbread with proscuitto, rapini and mozzarella main) was excellent.

The only other places near our hotel where we ate were craft beer places like Shorty’s and The Pony Bar, which I’ve reviewed over at BeerAdvocate.

Our first full day in the city took us up toward the upper east side, so we ate at The Wright in the basement of the Guggenheim. We didn’t expect much as it was more out of desperation than anything (we were STARVING!) but it turned out pretty well. We sat at the bar (not out of necessity; there were empty seats but we often prefer the bar) and had the prix fixe lunch menu. There was nothing spectacular about my cauliflower soup or organic chicken breast, nor my wife’s mushroom risotto, but they were more than enjoyable. And, most importantly, they gave us some energy to go tromping around museums the rest of the afternoon.

After lunch had settled and we’d burned a few calories walking up and down the Guggenheim, we stopped in at Cafe Sabarsky for dessert. Klimttorte for me, Apfelstrudel for her, both mit schlag (with cream), and Kleiner Mokka all around. The gentleman next to us was eating a wurst the size of a Louisville Slugger, which I would have ordered for sure had we not just eaten lunch.

Our most substantial dinner of the trip came at the Strip House. I liked this place. I find many NY steak places to be old-man caves, but Strip House felt like more like a late-night lounge. After some pre-game stretching (read: glasses of wine at the bar) we took our table and proceeded to make pigs of ourselves. My scallops disappeared quickly; my ginormous ribeye not so much. My wife liked her crab cakes (her first time trying them) and her filet mignon. Her steak was perfect; mine was done a little more than the medium rare I asked for. I would have liked a little more tenderness with our bottle of Frog’s Leap cab sauv, but it certainly wasn’t off by enough to be sent back. I think it was about 14 hours before we ate again.

Our final two stops bookended a visit to Greenwich Village, NoLita and SoHo. Gottino, a recommendation from the excellent little NYC guide, was a tiny, quiet Gastroteca where we ate a small, simple, tasty breakfast at the bar. Prosciutto (ye gods...I didn’t realize until writing this up how much prosciutto we ate on this trip), eggs, chocolate crepe, toast and, of course, wine. Our day ended at Sweet Revenge, which we found by shaking my wife's iPhone and seeing what fell out of Google Maps. Sweet Revenge bills itself as 'NYC’s only cupcake, beer & wine bar', so personally I think the universe was calling us home. Our cupcakes were fantastic, the wine was ok, and I didn’t try the beer but it seemed pretty decent (Weihenstephaner!) for a fancy cupcake joint. What a great, random NYC find.

We ate ridiculously well this trip, and have paid penance in the gym ever since. But...SO worth it.

Cafe Sabarsky
1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Riposo 46
667 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

52 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

Sweet Revenge
62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

The Wright
1071 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10128

Strip House
13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Feb 20, 2011
ltdan in Manhattan

Stone Road Grille

Found out about this place on Chowhound, and since we were Niagara-on-the-Lake for just one night we decided to try it out rather than Peller, Hillebrand or the like.

It was packed when we arrived and, despite the fact that we’d made reservations a month ago, we had to wait half an hour for a table. My mood might have been soured had the host not been a bizarre combination of charming and unhinged.

Anyway, the meals. In a word: superb. I started with — and I’m quoting from the menu here — the scallops wrapped in smoked duck breast bacon, sweet onion puree, mache salad, icewine salmis vinaigrette, paired with…well, with the giant glass of Fielding Pinot Gris the host had poured me while we waited. My wife had a truffle and asparagus risotto paired with a 13th Street sparkling white. She declared it the best risotto she’d ever tasted, but admits to not having tried that many. As for me, I don’t even really like scallops and I loved this.

My main was the Charlie Baker fried chicken with buttermilk potato puree, braised leeks, sauteed greens and bubbly sauce, while the wife had the grilled flat iron steak frites with sauce béarnaise and garlicky beans. We sought out a wine that would work with both (!) and settled on a 2007 Southbrook “Whimsy” Cabernet Franc. And wow, did it work. We were still enjoying it when our strawberry & rhubarb clafouti arrived.

Perhaps the oddest part of the night was when we asked for a cab. Despite being warned by a friend about the scarcity of cabs in the city, we were hopeful...but we were to be disappointed. The nearest one was 30-40 minutes away...where were they, Buffalo?!? Anyway, much to our surprise, the semi-crazy host pulled around in a giant purple minivan and offered to drive us to our hotel. Weird, but pretty cool too. More than made up for the long wait for a table, and also made for a great laugh the next morning.

The hotel staff and winemakers we spoke with the next day all asked where we ate dinner, and all seemed envious when we told them. When the locals (especially those with good taste in wine) give you the approving nod instead of the semi-pitying smile, you know you made the right call. Highly recommended.

Stone Road Grille
238 Mary St, Niagara-ON-the-Lake, ON L0S, CA

May 09, 2010
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Parrsboro: Bare Bones Cafe

I grew up near Parrsboro, and went to school there, so I know all too well the paucity of decent restaurants in the town. The old familiar joints -- the tavern, the pier restaurant, Berry's -- serve mediocre pub food at best. So when I heard about a new cafe by the name of Bare Bones serving more interesting fare, I added it to my 'to do' list on my recent trip back to see the folks.

I visited as part of a large group for dinner during the week (there wasn't room for us on the patio, unfortunately), including three kids. My meal (Grilled Buffalo and Warm Rocket Salad w/ Sun Dried Blueberry and Port Jus, followed by Crisp Roasted Breast of Chicken w/ Sesame and Scallion Potato Rösti and Soy Ginger Cream, all with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, followed by the Warm Chocolate Sin Cake & White Russian Milk Shake for dessert) was good, though the main was a little heavy on the cream and the starter's buffalo was grilled a little more than I would've preferred. The service had some hiccups -- one appetizer and one entree arrived several minutes after the others, while the rest of our dishes grew cold -- but that probably had as much to do with the size and makeup of our group as anything.

While it wasn't the best meal I'd ever had, Bare Bones is MILES out in front of any other meal I've ever had in Parrsboro, and is the only place I'd actually recommend to a friend who was passing through.

Jul 20, 2009
ltdan in Atlantic Canada

Halifax: Fid Cuisine

My wife and I ate at Fid for our fifth anniversary last night. Fid's been there for years but we'd never tried it, and until recently I'd never even heard of it. Not surprising, I guess; most of my knowledge of Halifax is from when I lived there as a student, and Fid certainly isn't in a typical student price range. Here's how our meal broke down (some of it is from the website's outdated menu, some is from memory):

Amuse-Bouche: green curry mussels. I don't particularly care for mussels, so I tried one (not half bad, really) and donated the other to my lovely wife. Happy anniversary, baby!

Appetizers: my wife had the caramelized scallops (which included some other bits of meat; quail maybe?) while I had the goat cheese. Both were very good.

Mains: My wife had the beef tenderloin with kale (if I remember right) & artichoke. I had the pork belly with choy sum and a pureed sweet potato that we both agreed was amazing. This was my first time having pork belly; it was tender and very tasty, but *really* fatty and rich. I'm glad I spaced it out with the rest of my food. We had this with a powerful New Zealand Pinot Noir (can't remember which, but it was strong enough to keep up with my wife's beef while not overpowering my pork) and cleansed our palates with a tea-flavoured sorbet.

Dessert: ginger creme brulee for the wife, outstanding molten moelleux au chocolat for me. She had a ten-year-old port, I had a local Grand Pre Muscat dessert wine.

The service was smooth, helpful and impeccably professional. The room itself was a bit different than I'd expected...small and crowded, but still comfortable. Fid will be high on my list of places to go should I, or anyone who asks me, decide on a special Halifax dinner.

Dec 28, 2008
ltdan in Atlantic Canada

"That Corner Spot" at Front & Jarvis

Just went there with my wife. My veggie burger (the faux-meat variety, not the earthy vegetable or [shudder] orange hockey puck type) was excellent...had a tasty little aoili on it. My salad was very fresh, so I guess their claim of buying produce fresh from St. Lawrence Market is true. My wife wanted a serviceable brunch where they got her eggs right...mission accomplished. Good local beers: KLB for her, Mill Street Tankhouse Ale for me, both nice and cold. Second what estestest said about the music too: I heard Mogwai, New Pornographers and Death Cab, among others.

Huge patio too, good for people watching if that's your thing. I hope this one sticks around...this corner's been cursed for since the Golden Griddle fled the scene.

Oct 12, 2008
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Halifax: Il Mercato

Some friends and I ate at Il Mercato Friday night. I'd been to Da Maurizio (the more upscale restaurant, owned by the same people) but hadn't eaten here, so we gave it a try. Overall I was impressed. More of a busy, bright, bustling spot than Da Maurizio, but the food was still very well done.

Very tasty bread and a few bottles of Chianti to start. I ordered the shrimp and the salmon; others in my party had steak, lamb and salmon. Oddly enough, no one got a pasta course. My meal was excellent, as was the glass of white I had with my fish. We all ordered dessert. My caramel praline cheesecake was excellent. The double chocolate cheesecake (I stole a few bites of a friend's piece) was also excellent, but don't take it on unless you're a chocolate fiend and have some room to spare. It was daunting.

Service was very good: attentive, not smothering. Our server helpfully recommended food and some places to try after our meal.

Great experience and great food. I now have two Bertossi restaurants to visit on my next to Halifax. God help me if I ever try Bish.

Aug 24, 2008
ltdan in Atlantic Canada

Old Germany Restaurant in Amherst, NS

For visitors of Amherst, NS or travelers passing across the Nova Scotia border into New Brunswick:

Last night some family members and I ate at the Old Germany Restaurant in Amherst (at the corner of Church & Albion). I normally don't hold out much hope for restaurants in this town (my family lives nearby so I visit often) but I was quite impressed with this place. It's run by a very nice (and very German) couple who've lived here for about five years.

The food was excellent, and there was a LOT of it. My brothers had pork and beef, I had a delicious piece of talapia in a mustard gravy, my sister in law had a curry, and my cousin (who's vegetarian, and I would have thought lost in a German restaurant) had a spinach souffle. We also had three kids (ages 5 to 8) with us; they all got what looked like a giant chicken fact it was a very nice breaded chicken breast with big home-cut fries. Good option for a kids menu!

I had fresh bread, a tasty garden salad, the talapia with lots of mashed and two large beers for $22 after tax! An added bonus: they had proper German beer (Lowenbrau!) and a good wine selection, both surprising for this area. The ambiance was a little odd -- it's in an old Dairy Queen and they actually still have some of the plastic booths! -- but it's more than made up for by the service, food & value. Highly recommended if you're in the area.

Aug 01, 2008
ltdan in Atlantic Canada

Changes to RSS feeds?

The RSS feeds still aren't working properly for me. It doesn't look like this is going to be fixed any time soon, so I've unsubscribed.

Mar 20, 2007
ltdan in Site Talk

Good cheap lunch around Yonge and Bloor

Yup, the Ritz is still in Roy's Square. There's a great salad place in the Square as well, if the Lettuce Eatery is too crowded.

Mar 08, 2007
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great "business dinner" spot near Four Seasons?

The obvious choice would be Morton's, right across the street. I guess it depends on what you mean by "top dollar".

Jan 14, 2007
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rebel House - What to order?

Bison burger (which I miss, now that I've gone veggie) and the spinach apple salad are excellent. The poutine (if that's your thing) is apparently quite good. A friend of mine swears by the ribs. I also used to like the sausage plate (changes daily, but always interesting).

The beer, of course, is the main draw. There's always lots of good stuff on tap; I'm partial to the Neustadt 10W30 myself.

Jan 13, 2007
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Winterlicious at Canoe

After being foiled by the busy signal in previous years we finally got 'licious reservations last summer and again this year. Last time I went it was well worth it; excellent food, exceptional service.

As Cinderella said, it's really just luck. Give it some random stabs today (and tomorrow; they hold non-Amex tables for Thursday).

Jan 10, 2007
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cheap Lunch in Bay & Bloor Area

There's a lot of good stuff in Roy's Square (enter either on Bloor just east of Yonge or on Yonge just south of Bloor) like the Salad House (salads, soup, wraps, etc., all well under $10), Ritz (Caribbean; the jerk special is $3.99), Biryani House (daily lunch special for <$8) and a few other places I haven't tried (Chinese, Thai & Greek places, I think).

If you want organic/vegan food try Camros on Hayden (just east of Yonge, south of Bloor). If that food's not your thing, it's worth going just to pick up a brownie or some amazing carrot cake for dessert.

Jan 04, 2007
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

A Taste Above

I'm moving down to that neighbourhood in April. Hopefully it's open by then!

Dec 11, 2006
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cava Cave-in?

I was there a couple of weeks ago and also had very good service. Early reports were that the service was terrible, so I took my experience to mean things had improved. By the sound of things improvements are still happening.

Dec 11, 2006
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)



Dec 08, 2006
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)


It's pretty laid back. I've eaten there many times, and worn anything from jeans and a casual shirt to a suit.

In all my visits I've only ordered from the menu twice. Pick one of the specials; they'll let you change it however you'd like. Failing that, I found both the linguine di mama ninetta and the sausage & quail plate (back when I still ate meat...sigh...) to be excellent.

Dec 08, 2006
ltdan in Ontario (inc. Toronto)