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szrah's Profile

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Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

Thank you for this wonderful advice and suggestions. I think Elizabeth or Senza over Tru makes sense. Which would you recommend/how are they different?

Mar 20, 2014
szrah in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

Thanks for the advice! Question about the Purple Pig. I don't eat pork, is it worth going if 'pig-items' are not an option for me?

Mar 20, 2014
szrah in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

Thank you for the recs.! Naha looks like a great deal for lunch. Would you recommend Sable over Avec, or are they just different in cuisine on offer but both solid?

Mar 19, 2014
szrah in Chicago Area

Anyone interested in dining at Alinea next week?

I'm visiting Chicago Mar. 24-28 and noticed Aliena has tickets available on Mar. 26th for 2 at 9:15 at $225/ea. and Mar. 27 for 2 at 9:00 at $235/ea. I'm travelling with someone not interested in splurging that much but I'd love to go. Would anyone be interested in accompanying me?

Mar 19, 2014
szrah in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

Hi everyone,

I'm visiting Chicago for the first time with a friend from Mar. 24-28 and pinning down some places to try. We like affordable to high-end eats, but on this trip have room for one meal that is >$100 pp, we both don't drink which lowers prices somewhat. This is our restaurant itinerary so far based on recommendations and reading some Chowhound threads:

Dinners: Avec, Girl & The Goat (reserved), Frontera Grill (reserved), Tru (reserved)

Question on Tru, my friend is only comfortable with the prix-fixe at $125. Is it worth going if not getting "The Experience" option?

Lunches: Au Cheval, any lunch recs. greatly appreciated

If anyone has input into whether there is a must eat missing from our dinner list (<$100 pp) or maybe a better swap in for Tru if the prix-fixe isn't worth it, that would be helpful.

Also trying to think of other good places for lunch, two potentials are Hot Doug's and Black Bird.

Thanks for the advice in advance!

Mar 19, 2014
szrah in Chicago Area

Full Fondue Dinner

Being from BC, I have many memories of fine fondue dinners in Whistler. Is there anywhere in Toronto metro area where one can I find a great fondue dinner (i.e. cheese, meat, and dessert fondues)? Thanks.

Nov 23, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy Channel Island/Jersey milk

I'm looking to buy what is known as Channel Island or Jersey milk in the UK (it's sold in gold topped bottles over there). It's a creamy milk at about 5% fat, more than whole milk. Do you know where it's available in Toronto? Thanks.

Nov 23, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Michelle's Brasserie in Yorkville Question

I might drop by when it's late on a weekend, they serve until 2 am, but otherwise no.

Sep 18, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Late lunch / tea in Yorkville

I would avoid ONE, it's overpriced and pretentious. The Lobby Bar in the Four Seasons is pleasant, but also overpriced. I haven't been to C5 and MoRoCo. I would recommend Annona, it's not groundbreaking cuisine, but competently executed and well priced. If you book on OpenTable, they are a 1000 point restaurant (though that may only be for dinner).

Sep 18, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Special Dinner in Ottawa

Le Baccara. It is exceptional.

Sep 18, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to buy Hildon sparkling water

After a few trips to the UK and US where they've served it, Hildon sparkling water is a favourite of mine! They used to sell it at Whole Foods, but no longer do. Does anyone know where it can be bought in Toronto or ordered online in Canada?

Sep 18, 2009
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Can't find skate in Toronto restaurants!

If I recall correctly, skate is currently on the tasting menu at Splendido.

Mar 06, 2008
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Top Ten Restaurants in Vancouver...

I would add Diva at the Met and Le Crocodile to the list.

Dec 25, 2007
szrah in Western Canada Archives

Diva at the Met Hotel in Vancouver

Diva is one of the top restaurants in the city, and I am sure you will enjoy your experience. I would highly suggest the truffled gnocchi as an appetizer, and the dark chocolate almond bar for dessert.

Dec 25, 2007
szrah in Western Canada Archives

5th element - any thoughts?

Terrible. Service, food, and atmosphere. This restaurant is trying to be something it is certainly not.

Nov 29, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

lounge for drinks and nibblies?

Avenue at the Four Seasons in Yorkville.

Nov 28, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Susur Review

I read about the differing opinions of Susur on here, and decided to go and judge for myself. I was disappointed with Susur, primarily because of the service, and secondarily because of the inconsistency of the quality of the food.

The service was definitely my primary complaint with Susur. My party of five's arrival was adequate enough, and our coats were taken in due course. We were then seated. At this point our waiter arrived, and began explaining Susur's menu selection process. His attitude was slightly patronizing, exemplified by his description of what foie gras is after a member of my party simply misheard what he said. This, however, was not a major problem.

The service became spotty as more dishes arrived. In one instance, the server of our dishes did not know what they were and retreated to the kitchen to find out. He never came back to describe them. In another instance, our servers misplaced the dishes on the table
and had to swap them between several different people. Then they had to confer among themselves as to what the description of each was. One would think a restaurant of this calibre would not make mistakes like these twice.

It took a serious turn for the worse when our waiter arrived to take our beverage order for dessert. He suggested some kind of tea, but we respectfully declined and ordered our own drinks. Soon the dessert towers arrived, as did our cups, but no beverages with them. We finished dessert, and still, no drinks. Finally a latte of one member of our party's arrived, and yet tea and coffee (which one expects are easier to provide quickly) had not arrived a full 15 minutes or so after we ordered them. After we had finished our dessert, the tea came (the staggered nature of drink delivery is interesting here), and our waiter proceeded to open up one of the tea pots, and sniff it closely to discern whose tea it was. This was exceptionally inappropriate. A member of my party informed him one of the teas he brought was wrong, and he proceeded to ask her to try the one he brought, pouring it for her, to see if "this would be alright". The fact he expected a diner to try steaming hot tea right away so he would not have to go correct his mistake was unsettling. At this point, coffee, a full 20-25 minutes after we ordered it, had not arrived. When it was finally requested for again, it was brought in thirty seconds, with the justification that "a fresh pot was being made". No apology was provided, merely that the coffee was "on its way".

This is not say that the service was roundly deficient. Beverages were filled up quickly, and many of the servers were polite with their descriptions. Yet the problems aforementioned, not to mention the lack of a "you're welcome" at any time in the evening when we thanked our servers for some of their excellent descriptions, was not what one expects here.

The second issue here is food. Now, let’s be clear, some of the dishes we had were of excellent quality. These were, specifically, a Cornish game hen dish complemented by a variety of sauces, a sablefish nestled in a wonderful broth, and a tender and succulent scallop. Susur underwhelmed with some gnocchi (which was relatively bland and plain, in the context of the other dishes), the amuse bouches (some of which were actually unappetizing), and the intermezzo sorbet. Additionally, no red meat was served at our table, though there were some tantalizing options on the tasting menu template. I'm not sure why this was the case, but it detracted from the experience. The declining size of each dish model did not detract from the experience, but it didn't add much either.

The ambiance of Susur was a plus. The room does not try to be dramatic, but it is relaxed, calm, and spacious. The servers were all of the 'hip, young, and trendy' type. I have nothing against this personally, but some balance would be welcomed. Susur was not bad, but it was not exceptional either. Paying well into $100 per person should mean nearly flawless service (or at least apologizes when mistakes are made) and consistent food quality. Susur does not fulfill these criteria, and to me therefore, the experience was a disappointment.

Nov 03, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

$60 for three courses, inclusive of tax and tip.

I'm a recently re-located Vancouverite, and am hunting for some good Toronto eating spots. My budget is $60 for three courses, inclusive of tax and tip. I'm fond of Italian and French cuisine especially, but am not averse to any suggestions you may have. A contemporary atmosphere is a plus.

Thanks in advance!

Oct 28, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Two days, two nights in Vancouver

Lumière is great, though expensive for the city. Definitely check out Diva at the Met for dinner, it's one of my favourites. Villa Del Lupo and Don Francesco are great too, but more suited for a romantic evening. I love the Four Seasons for lunch, but some disagree, it's a bit traditional but it's tasty.

May 08, 2007
szrah in Western Canada Archives

$50ish-$60ish for 3 courses without wine

I've read plenty of great fine dining spots on this board, but what about good food a notch below? If anyone has been to Vancouver, something comparable to some of the places in Yaletown or a restaurant like CinCin. Something around $50ish-$60ish per person for three courses without wine...any ideas? Preferably somewhere a bit 'hip'.

May 08, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Toronto fine dining?

I asked a friend of mine, and they recommended Susur. Unfortunately, I've heard some qualms about the service. I'd like somewhere that has top notch food and service (price isn't an issue). What would you say are a few of the best fine dining establishments in the city, and what are the reservations you have about them, if any?

May 06, 2007
szrah in Ontario (inc. Toronto)