Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

prairie_dog's Profile

Title Last Reply

WTF is up with the noise level in Toronto restaurants?

This doesn't happen in Montreal or New York. It seems to be a fad. Excessively cautious restauranteurs follow the herd, like unsophisticated wine drinkers. Remember when the latter used to always ask for "a nice chardonnay" because it was almost the only grape they'd ever heard of?

Please Critique My Toronto Must-Try List (Updated and Revised)

L'Ouvrier is my favourite restaurant in Toronto. The tasting menu is inventive, has generous portions, and costs a remarkably low $50. The wine pairings are superb. Maybe put this in your fine-dining category?

Your favourite Toronto restaurant

I've had favourite restaurants in Toronto over the decades: Fenton's, Perigee, and the like. Now I've found another. My ladyfriend and I went to L'Ouvrier for their tasting menu on a Saturday night in Sept., 2014, not expecting a great deal, despite the good on-line reviews. I was sceptical about the neighbourhood, and Toronto restaurants do have a peculiar habit of jacking the sound up to unreasonable levels on weekends, something you don't find in equivalent restaurants in New York or Montreal. And they had forgotten to record my reservation. They seated us anyway. And wow!

The tasting menu was six course plus an amuse to start, which consisted of two raw oysters. What an amuse! Then each of us got different, delicious, inventive salads, which we shared - a nice touch that Perigeee used to offer. Then a rather complex, entirely delicious steak tartare. The two mains were first a "cauliflower ravioli." Misnamed! This dish should be called heaven! The second main was pork belly with corn, etc, etc. A tiny bit dry, but still utterly delicious. Then we got two desserts to share. Another Perigee touch.

The service was friendly, but not unduly so, and good. I gave a bigger tip than I have done in many years.

And the wine pairing! So many tasting menus offer offbeat wines that might be fascinating but which you wouldn't necessarily want to have again. At L'Ouvrier each wine was superb, including the dessert wine, which was a well chosen port.

The restaurant's motto is "allowing 'fine' dining to become accessible to l'ouvrier (the working man)." Maybe that explains the preposterously reasonable price: $50 for the tasting menu, and the unusually generous amount of food in each course. Not only is the food terrific, but the prices are ultra-reasonable. I can hardly wait to go again, although I think I might avoid the weekend. The staff kindly lowered the volume of the music, but it still got a bit noisy after 8:30 because of a huge birthday party going on. I recommend this place whole-heartedly.

Prince Edward County

By far the best meal I ever had in PEC was at the Carriage House restaurant in Bloomfield. For your special meal i would definitely go there.

Critique my "must try" list for Toronto!

Rebozo has decent food, but it's a tiny hole in the wall - no atmosphere at all.

Critique my "must try" list for Toronto!

Kaji trumps all other Japanese restaurants, and maybe most in any category.

where is the spiciest good food in Toronto?

I want to take a friend out for a birthday dinner, and he likes really spicy foods. What's the best choice for us?
It should be open on Sunday.

All day dim sum in downtown Toronto?

I tried Sky Dragon and won't be going back either - some of the food was no
tceably stale.

Sky Dragon Restaurant
280 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T3A5, CA

Asian Legend Rave

What a disappointment! The decor was pleasant, but everything went downhill as soon as we sat down. We told the waiter we did not want anything sweet, and yet he recommended a shrimp dish that was way to sweet and tasted ketchupy. Some online reviews had recommended the beef wrapped in onion pancake (#11), but the pancake was heavy and oily - not good! The other dim sum items were lacking in herbs and quite tasteless. The dan dan noodles, recommended by some on line, were bland and oily. We asked for a serving spoon for the noodles, and they brought a useless little soup spoon. I have never had so disappointing a meal in any restaurant in Toronto and will not go back.

Need Asian restaurant recommendation in Toronto DT and GTA

Too many abbreviations! What in heaven's name is TST?

What is the best restaurant in Yorkville?

We were at Spice Room on Nov. 7, 2009, and would not return, for four reasons:
1. They lost our reservation
2. They had the shortest wine list imaginable: 3 mediocre whites and 3 mediocre reds
3. The food was overly salted to an extraordinary degree
4, The service was glacial

Spice Room
55 Avenue Road, Unit #127, Toronto, ON M5R 3L2, CA

Fine Dining for BDay in KW area

My family went to the Aberfoyle Mill in late Oct. of 2009 and were impressed with the menu and every item we ate, from appetizers to dessert. Their pistachio crusted spiced salmon was especially delicious, even if slightly overcooked, and the white chocolate and pistachio cheesecake was a big hit too. The atmosphere is charming, and overall we would say the food was inventive and just plain delicious.

Seeking Stratford Dinner Recommendations

My family does not agree about the decor, not at all, as we like it a lot. What we object to is the minuscule portions on the plate.

Seeking Stratford Dinner Recommendations

We used to enjoy Rundles and The Church, although both are pricey. In recent years they've both taken to giving birds' portions, and it's frustrating when the family wants to go out for hamburgers after an expensive dinner. And The Church has become a bit precious, with unlikely combinations of offbeat ingredients that don't always appeal. We have enjoyed Down the Street and Pazzo, but our best experience was to go right past Stratford to the Aberfoyle Mill, about an hour's drive east. Their pistachio crusted spiced salmon was especially delicious, even if slightly overcooked. The atmosphere is very enjoyable too, but reservations can be necessary. It was full to the rafters the Sunday night we went in late Oct. An added advantage is that you can attend a matinee, have a pleasant dinner at the Mill, and be back in Toronto by 9:30 p.m.

Bloomfield/Harvest - Worth the drive from TO?!

By far the best restaurant I know of within driving distance of Toronto is the Peller Estates restaurant. The food is excellent, service and views good too, and you can do a tour of the winery. The only limitation is that Peller Estate wines are not as good as Vineland Estates or Cave Spring. But the Peller restaurant still trumps Inn on the Twenty in my books.

Cowbell - Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

Three of us had dinner tonight at Cowbell, encouraged by the very positive reviews by Amy Pataki in the Star and another in Now. We were sadly disappointed and definitely will not be back. The food was never even as good as mediocre. Note to chef: ordinary french fries are not frites. The service was not at all professional. The waiter left us sitting there wanting to order, when he wasn't all that busy, and then when he did take our order he forgot to put in to the ktichen. The restaurant was inexplicably full, and the noise level never fell below a dull roar. Ugh!

vegetarian thai + vietnamese

I second the motion. We love Cafe 668, although it is a little hole in the wall. Fortunately, they will be in a new space, they say, in April of 2007. My favourite dishes are: #1 (the house salad), #75 (spicy tofu with coconut cream) and #91 (eggplant with black bean sauce). The Vietnamese hot and sour soup is lovely too.

Help me get started cooking fish!

May I suggest the main dish from my personal #1-company dinner?

The recipe follows. I got it from a Vancouver newspaper decades ago). I typically serve it with couscous cooked with dates and mint OR my mother's wonderful rice pilaf and a stir fry of veggies with Hoisin sauce.

1. Stir together:
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt (a 175 gram container)
Works even better with French Vanilla yogurt,
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- salt and pepper
2. Heat 11⁄2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet and cook 4 skinless salmon fillets for 30 seconds a side
NOTE: Pan must not be too hot or butter will scald
3. Add yogurt mixture
4. Gently simmer uncovered for at least 8 minutes, turning once. NOTE: my son likes it cooked longer.

Jan 15, 2007
prairie_dog in Home Cooking

What to do with a bottle of Pernod.

In Paris I had the most fabulous shrimp with Pernod. My attempt to duplicate it follows:


1. Make a sauce in the pan with:
- Not quite one jigger of Pernod
- ~1/3 of a stick of butter
- Sautée ~4 green onions, chopped.
- Thicken with a teaspoon of corn starch in a bit of cold water.
- Add cooked shrimp.
2. Serve with rice, preferrably.

Jan 15, 2007
prairie_dog in Home Cooking

INDONESIAN restaurant??? Keen to find a good one

Thanks all, but I'm getting discouraged now. Bali was very good, and Garuda, in my opinion, could not compare.Maybe some of the Indonesian people in Toronto will open a restaurant? We're ready for a new trend, surely!

INDONESIAN restaurant??? Keen to find a good one

I love Indonesian food, including rijstafel. My favourite Indonesian restaurant, which used to be on Avenue Rd. just north of Lawrence, closed years ago. Can anyone recommend a really good one in Toronto or environs?

Best All You Can Eat Japanese in Toronto GTA

Well, Teep, you've had better luck than me, then. I recently went for dinner to Masa, on the grounds that Now Magazine said it was he the best AYCE in the city. NOT! The rooms are cavernous but pleasant, and we liked the decor, but they didn't offer any of the above sushi that I mentioned. They said it was too expensive to be included.

Bangkok Garden re-opening...finally!

My experiences at Linda have always been positive, sometimes marvellously so. For a meal with several courses, the proportions should,not be any larger. Linda serves inventive dishes that you don't get anywhere else.

Best Thai Restaurant

I can't say whether it's best or not, but I like Sorn Thai on Yonge north of Eglinton. And it's true, Salad King is not the best, but Linda, usptairs from salad King, is divine. They have a special set menu every month, which they prefer to serve during the week - on the weekend reservations are needed and and you must specify if you want the set menu. Linda, the proprietor, is very personable, and the food is high-end and inventive. Fabulous!

Joy Thai - any good?

Joy Thai is good, and I love their panang nuer red curry beef - very distinctive - and Amy Pataki, who in my experience is quite reliable, gave it a good review as one of the "top five restaurants you've never heard of.". But on balance I prefer Sorn Thai (on Yonge, north of Eglinton by about 7 blocks). My son still prefers Joy Thai.

Best All You Can Eat Japanese in Toronto GTA

I disagree totally that AYCE sushi is never a good idea. Kimono on Eglinton (just west of Avenue Rd.) is terrific, and I've actually stopped going to my regulars (Sasaya and Takesushi) because of the good food and service at Kimono.

Perigee, Susur, or ???

I have been to Susur only once, and found it hyped and precious - inventiveness can be overdone. I would not go back. On the other hand, I've been to Perigee numerous times, and have had there the best meal of my life. They're not always up to that exacting standard, but hey! Susur isn't even close to it.

PerigeeVSGeorge, Democracy in ACTION!

Perigee is my favourite restaurant in Toronto. The dishes are often stupendous, and you can never be sure what exactly is giving you the taste heaven they offer. The wine pairings can be often a revelation, and they will honour your rpeferences between old-world style and new-world style wines. (I loathe new-world with all its overpowering oak.) It's great fun, too, to be able to sit close to the action and see the preparation of the food you're about to eat. If you want, they can print out what everyone in your party ate and drank. I also like that they enquire about your likes and dislikes, allergies, etc., before they begin serving, and they take that into account. George is good, but simply cannot compare.

Best Sangria and Tapas in Toronto?

Torito, in the Kensington market area is very good indeed, but they don't take reservations.

Thai Restaurants w/ seafood-Any Suggestions?

My family goes often to Sorn Thai on Yonge, north of Eglinton by about seven blocks. They have a fabulous mixed seafood dish, although it is rather spicey.