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Cantonese CHOWMEET II -Thurs. Nov. 29th - THANKS Charles!

I was at the table next to Charles' and have to say that my husband and I really enjoyed last night. Thanks again, Charles. What a great opportunity we had to try so many exquisite tastes. I was impressed with the variety of tastes and by the amount of time involved in creating some of the dishes. Am still in awe with the way the chicken was carved....and the taste and texture of the chicken skin will stay with me for a long time. An added plus was getting to know other chowhounders and swapping tips and information.

Nov 30, 2012
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ursa vs Campagnolo

I was underwhelmed by the food at Campagnolo. Given all the hype, food was ok but nothing special. Just saying this because I did have my hopes up and had convinced my SO to take a chance from his usual faves. The burrata and roasted grapes were good, yes, but not too special and the pasta with fennel sausage I could definitely throw together at home.The service was interesting. Since I do want to return to give it another chance, 'nuff said.

Aug 05, 2012
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Soda Bread

Wychwood Barns on Saturday morning, though I haven't been recently. I'm not an expert but it tastes pretty good. Irish lady who makes and sells it. She also does a nice open faced smoked salmon sandwich on soda bread.

Oct 01, 2011
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Scotch egg in Toronto

i agree with the Table 17 rec. Very good Scotch egg, and with the cheese, creton(/) and pickles, it is a very tasty plate.

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Table 17
782 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4, CA

Sep 28, 2011
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Super lunch on a snowy Wednesday- Globe Bistro

Thanks for the great review. A truly great restaurant is not just about the food, but how they treat the customer. I am adding Globe to my list.

Feb 02, 2011
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Small plates restaurant

Would definitely second Origin. Went on Friday for the first time. Great sampling of small plates. would recommend for breadth of choice. Sound level too high for my liking, but that seems to be the way these days - "high energy" is how it might be kindly described. Definitely worth it for the food, though.

Sep 26, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Frank's Kitchen

I wholeheartedly concur. We went last night and were duly impressed. Everything from the freshly prepared bread through the house made charcuterie and pasta dishes to the mains (definitely recommend the pork 3 ways) was excellent. The pricing is very reasonable. The portion sizes aren't huge, but that is just fine with me. Small but good wine list with some available by the glass, again not too expensive. When I get round to it, will link to my blog post. Thanks for the recs. Chowhound always work for me.

May 22, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Quick bite near the Tarragon Restaurant

Haven't tried it for a while, but Universal Grill used to do a pretty nice brunch/lunch. Also at Christie and Dupont in the Faema building there is a good spot for some Italian food, nothing fancy, but its always busy and the coffee is great. Sorry I can't remember the name right now. They do some nice pizzas.

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Universal Grill
1071 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6G3N4, CA

Faema Cafe
672 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M6G1Z6, CA

Mar 25, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gilead Cafe serving dinner in new year

Had dinner there for the first time on Friday evening. The place was hopping. The vibe is reminiscent of Palmerston's in the '80's. Simple but inviting decor. The food was great. I especially liked the smoked pickerel starter. We were served a delicious amuse bouche of a tiny arrancini in a beet coulis. Duck as a main was perfectly cooked. The prices are very reasonable, though you need to order sides separately. Jamie's frites are available but are not on the menu - you have to ask for them. Will definitely return, but have a feeling that it will soon be mobbed.

Mar 16, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

2010 closings

Its not the space you are thinking of, pearlD. It is actually west of Spadina on the north side, There was a pizza place there before, I just can't remember the name right now. It is a semi-basement area, right beside a small parking lot for an alternative medicine building. Sorry this is so inexact. I do agree with you about the spot east of Spadina. That is an eyesore, and has been so for a very long time.

Feb 02, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

food and drink after the symphony

Great question. We have been tussling with this for many years, because we like to eat after the symphony/theatre, instead of before. We have tried several places, but the challenge is always finding a kitchen open that isn't just serving pizza/snacks/fast food. We have found that sitting at the bar at Nota Bene works well for us. Alternatively we have taken a short cab ride and gone to Harbord St to eat at Loire or Harbord Room. It can be hit or miss though, in terms of the kitchen being open for half decent food. I'm interested in the recs of others.

Jan 29, 2010
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Slider Buns?

What a fab idea, LexiFirefly. I happen to have some frozen pizza dough in my freezer and unfortunately it didn't come with instructions. Should I try to roll it out and if so how thick? Help, I'm not a baker.

Dec 11, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Whats your Special Chowfind

Great idea for a thread, Jelly Belly.
We went to 93 Harbord last night based on Chowhound recs. We regularly go to Loire and Harbord Room, but decided to try 93. The mezze are quite wonderful. I especially liked the parsley dip, tabouleh and green olive dip. The mains were also pretty good, though I probably overindulged on the first courses.
We normally wouldn't have tried this restaurant if it weren't for this board. Thanks for the rec. fellow Chows

Sep 02, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Party Sandwiches

Sage sandwiches are the best. I'm sorry, but when it comes to everyday sandwiches, making them are "no brainers". Time to call for your bffs to help you out and make them. But if you want something a little inventive, then you have to try a place like Sage.Having said that I realize that you are/were in a bind, so you may have to go with the overpriced everyday sandwiches...good luck with whatever you do.

May 21, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bloor/Bathurst dinner idea

Thanks for posting your experience, Nyleve. I respect your judgment, so was happy to hear that you enjoyed it. I still dream of the saag paneer, myself.
Just wondering how busy it was.

May 02, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

anyone seen Blu del Moncenisio or Blu del Mon Viso / Monte Viso?

Whole Foods might be worth a try. They do take suggestions if they don't carry it already.

Apr 28, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Maroli - just have to post!

So glad to hear that you liked it. Sounds worrying though, that according to peppermint pate the restaurant is empty. Hope things get better for them. I would hate to lose them, now that I have found them!

Apr 28, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Favourite Kitchen Gear Store(s) in dwntwn TO?

I second Nella's on Bathurst. They had a great sale on pots and pans the other day - the name escapes me but they are made in PEI (I think). Its a great place to browse because you can find some items that are a little bit different. They will also sharpen knives, but you have to wait for around 1 week to get them back as they send them to another location for sharpening, but it is the real deal.

Apr 28, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Maroli - just have to post!

I have been meaning to order from Maroli for a while and finally did it tonight. I just want to let fellow Chows know that this is a great place to order from. We ordered the meal for 2 and were told that we might have to wait an hour for delivery - as they said they were busy, but that is normal for Orderit.com where we sometimes order from, and we were ordering direct from the restaurant so that wasn't a problem . For $37 we got vegetable bhajis (3) with a condiment sauce, then we had Malabar chicken and Chicken curry, with Palak Paneer and a large portion of basmati rice along with 2 rotis. The food was great and the standouts were the chicken curry and palak paneer, The rotis were a tad oily but the perfectly cooked basmati rice made up for that. I am always looking for a good delivery service for South Asian food and this worked for me tonight.Just wanted to let you all know. The delivery area, according to their map is Dufferin, St Clair, Avenue Rd and College. I am adding them to my list of go to places for ordering in.

Apr 18, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

canadian food gifts for US visit

When I travel to visit friends or family I like to take Dufflet's packages of Canadian treats. My favourite is chocolate covered blueberries.

Jan 26, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's the best affordable fine dining in Toronto?

Just posting my update on Loire. Was there last night. Just wondering if the portions have shrunk? Still delicious tastes, but the first courses were microscopic. Service was patchy. Then again it was Saturday night. Would like to report happier things.

Jan 11, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee?

We visit Jamaica often and have good friends there who do drink coffee. They swear by "High Mountain Coffee" and buy it from the producers or even just in the local supermarket. It is stamped with a "best by' date. It is not a dark roast coffee and tastes very mellow. Having said that I often use it in my espresso machine and it tastes great. I guess what I would say is to check for the freshness. Always important.

Jan 11, 2009
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's the best affordable fine dining in Toronto?

Have now been to Loire twice. Once with husband and once with the rest of the family. Really like it, everyone was pleased. Good, though not extensive menu, which I think is a good thing. Very competent chef and the maitre d'/sommelier makes some excellent wine matches by the glass or bottle.

Dec 04, 2008
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Boneless chicken thigh recipe needed

That should have read "tiny" knob of butter!

Jul 29, 2008
l_izzie in Home Cooking

Boneless chicken thigh recipe needed

Mix chicken thighs with olive oil and sea salt. Sear on inside part first (i.e. not the skin side!), turn and do the same on other side. As they are just cooked through, place a time knob of burrer on each thigh then a splash of balsamic vinegar and a grind of pepper. Serve immediately. Simple and delicious. Now a family favourite at our house.

Jul 28, 2008
l_izzie in Home Cooking

Breakfast in Toronto - Bloor West/Avenue Road

For breakfast on Sunday there is also L'Espresso - on south west corner of Bloor and St George. It offers an Italian style brunch, with some nice omelettes and paninni. Their range of coffees, is great. They also have a nice side patio. Went to Boba the other night, the food was good, but the service wasn't. Then again, it was one of those "on again off again" patio evenings, so the staff was overwhelmed. There is always Bar Mercurio on north side of Bloor just west of St George. It is the big brother of L'Espresso and has a comprehensive Italian menu. I love their pizzas and my family who have wide ranging tastes always enjoy the scope of the menu. It is reasonably priced with a good selection of wines available by the glass.

Jul 05, 2008
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Celestin - jump start on summerlicious

I think it is around $18. Didn't have it this time, but have in the past. It is a very smooth, densely flavoured pate. Delicious and decadent. It is served on brioche. Hope you enjoy iCelestin as much as we did. It will be very busy but they seem to be prepared. If you like seafood, the lobster is definitely worth having.

Jul 04, 2008
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Celestin - jump start on summerlicious

Enjoyed an early summerlicious dinner tonight at Celestin. I have been to some sad, tired, ho hum summer and winterlicious events, but the dinner tonight at Celestin is a great example of what can be done with local produce for $35.Four apps ranged from the usual mixed greens through to a spicy bisque. SO had the bisque, I had the house cured salmon with buckwheat pancake and red caviar ( the other app I believe was a ravioli - can't remember those details). A nice touch for my hungry SO was the inclusion of 2 appetizers that are popular, from the regular menu for an extra cost - The braised rabbit ravioli and the Quebec farmed foie gras tourchon. This (the rabbit ravioli) worked for us as a joint appetiser with the other first courses. We both had a broiled half lobster with Dungeness crab gratin. It was wonderful. Was tempted to try the lamb ribs- the house made pea essence sounded great. I think the vegetarian option was a risotto with mushrooms and wild leeks - can't remember the mushroom type though. Dessert was a choice of dark chocolate parfait or strawberry raspberry concoction with (I think) kirsch gratin. We both had the chocolate but the strawberry dessert passing by us looked worth trying.
There was a good choice of wines available by the glass - although the cheapest was $9.95. However the servings were very generous.
What can I say? Its always problematic to try to cater for large crowds, but I have to admire the spirit that Celestin has in making the effort to deliver good food within a budget. It is not an easy task.
We had a good experience tonight. I know that they are expecting a good turn out, though they do have some spaces left - especially early evening. We plan to return.....I have to try those lamb ribs.

Jul 03, 2008
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Late lunch on the way to Belleville

Leaving Toronto mid- day on Saturday and need a recommendation for a good lunch on the way to Belleville or very close to Belleville. Sorry this is so last minute.

Jun 27, 2008
l_izzie in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Help to make hot pepper sauce w scotch bonnets

Wow, thanks to both of you for some great ideas. Now I just have to decide: to cook or not to cook?

Jun 05, 2008
l_izzie in Home Cooking