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Hawker Bar

I ordered most of the menu for take out tonight. It's the sacrifice one must make when you have kids. But the ice cold beer at home makes up for it .I must say that the comments above reflect a pretty pretentious, jaded crowd. I'm grateful that Singaporean food has made its way back into the city centre.

The wings were perfectly cooked and lovely without the sauce, with it...fantastic. I'll pass on the satay next time. The fried seam bream was a winner. My son complained that I was eating too fast (true). The Hainese chicken is credible. The son-in-law egg is worth the effort. Ya, the sauce's consistency was odd but it smelled and tasted delicious. The cucumber salad needs more oomph.

I'm looking forward to dining in soon. I hear that the liquor license is days away.

Real Tabbouleh

Curly parsley is an alternative that will express less flavour but will withstand the dressing and tomatoes. Tip: remove the liquid pulp and seeds from the tomatoes (it helps make it drier).

Jan 22, 2011
parisodeon in Recipes

Enoteca Sociale edible highs and drinkable lows

My wife and I had dinner on Friday evening 7/9 and we found Enoteca Sociale very charming. Our waiter could have been more relaxed but I'm very rarely out for a meal for the service.

I chose the $35 set menu and found it excellent value. Despite including a starter, primo, secondo, and dessert, It wasn't gluttonous at all. The starter was overly crusty sweetbreads on arugula. Sweetbreads are delicate and need to be treated with care. The breading was more suited to squid rings at a sports bar. (I wish I had the sardines and mozzarella instead.) Luckily the bucatini all'amatriciana was brilliant and just the right amount. The oxtail over polenta was deeply delicious and something I expect more in cold weather. The dessert was the cherry ricotta cheesecake: very well made with marinated cherries. Yum.

The lows have to go to the wine. ES has a Enomatic wine dispenser which is supposed to preserve wine that is served by the glass. While I like the different measures that let you try many wines without having to order a full bottle, the wines I tasted were very ho-hum. The monica di sardegna "ammostus" 2008 was very mute and tired. The Plozza Grumello di Valtellina riserva 2005 was also disappointingly underwhelming. The Fiano di Avelino I ordered for my wife was appropriately zippy and minerally but still lacking freshness. A bright spot was the prosecco from Terre Gaie.

For those who find the noise level too high as mentioned in another post, eat outside or against the windows inside. By the way, while it's near Ossington, the crowd is decidedly more mature (at least on a Friday night) and the atmosphere more chilled out than the Libretto zoo.

I'd eat there again and try the $45 menu or a la carte next time but will be very circumspect about the wine list. So whoever selects the wine for Enoteca, please taste more and don't settle for mediocrity. Terroni has a better selection.

Enoteca Sociale
1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Ruby Watch Co.

My wife and I wanted to celebrate our 8th anniversary (Apr 20) and dropped our son at my sister-in-law's Riverdale home and drove down to Leslieville to see what's happening food wise. It was great to see lots of choice. It was early enough to catch some still open furniture stores. I knew that Ruby Watchco was open and we took a chance, walked in at 5:30 pm and voilà, we snagged bar seats for 6 pm (when it opens). I personally love to eat at the bar in most places (after an eye-opening experience at Union Square Cafe in NYC). The bar staff are usually cool.

OK, let's get to dinner. Yes, prix fixe. No problem, I love the balls it takes to say you eat what I want you to eat -- a trend started many years ago in France. And Lynn has balls. I also appreciate the $49 price that efficiency brings about. I don't remember the starter (sorry) but the main was slow roasted sirloin with braised short-rib gravy. The sauce was lovely. The sirloin was cooked to medium, much more done than I like. The accompanying mac n cheese was awesome. So too, the slow cooked button mushrooms. The asparagus (?) side was low key. The room was full and so were we. Before I go on about dessert. A short comment about the wine. The list is interestingly stocked with mostly Canadian, US and Northern Italian wine. Even if you order a glass, it comes in a handsome carafe. So we ordered a glass of wine each (PEC pinot noir) and it may as well as have been plonk because it was served at room temperature (25°C). I asked them to stash the carafes in the fridge and for a couple of ice cubes (the travesty, I know). The cool-down did justice to the wine. So I later order a Washington Syrah and lo behold it's too warm again. What? The first message didn't get through? Even chilled the wine was, blah. RW: please store and keep the wine in a wine cooler. Zoltan - sort them out, for cuss sakes. OK, back to dessert: cherry cheesecake. The cherries tasted OK but probably out of a can. The centre was more creamy than firm and not quite cheesy enough. The pastry base was too thick and hard. I left most of it. So for a restaurant open for one 1 month, it was very good. You'll feel like you've walked on the set of Restaurant Makeover with Lynn fussing at the pass and Cherie up front greeting guests. BTW, Cherie is more beautiful in person than on the show and a very warm host. Just don't tell my wife.

Sliced pork belly

too bad it's sliced. If it was whole, this brilliant recipe from Moro restaurant in London would be heaven:

Mar 19, 2007
parisodeon in Home Cooking

Montreal 2 nights next week-help

yes Au pied de cochon is good but you've got to make a rez. It's more rolicking big fatty food than subtlety and finesse. Avoid the "everything in one dish" where you sample a bit of everything. Nice wine list. Touque is more the gastro pantheon and perennially rated the best though I've not been there for a couple of years. We're headed to MTL in April, so any further advice is appreciated. There's an interesting thread from last year: