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Toronto Restaurants that are an *EXPERIENCE*

Stop Bill C-10

Mephisto

TRIBE Member
had an awesome dinner at nota bene earlier this week. that suckling pig/boudin noir tart is fucking great


au pied de cochon last weekend aka foiestock 09 was killer too
 

dr. claw

Member
anyone eaten at THE DRAKE HOTEL? is their food good?

we are doing a b-day there and apparently they have a $50 prix-fixe menu.

The food is hit or miss, but I've always had great service there. Bear in mind that I generally go on weeknights as the douche factor is greatly mitigated.
 
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Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
anyone attend the TORONTO TASTE event yesterday? it was awesome. it was my second time attending this event ever (the first was in 2001) and it was just as amazing as i remembered. http://torontotaste.ca/

the chefs that participated were:

Herbert Barnsteiner of Corner House Restaurant
Wanda Beaver of Wanda's Pie in the Sky
Yannick Bigourdan of Splendido
Olivia Bolano of All the Best Fine Foods
Sal Borg of Sanci's Tropical Foods
Donna Dooher of Mildred's Temple Kitchen
Roberto Fracchioni of Millcroft Inn & Spa
Keith Froggett of Scaramouche
David Garcelon of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Linda Haynes of Ace Bakery
John Higgins of The Chef's House, George Brown Chef School
Hans Kienast of Longo's
Martin Kouprie of Pangaea
Fawzi Kotb of Caviar Centre Inc.
David Lee of Nota Bene
Didier Leroy of Didier Restaurant and Catering
Brad Long of Veritas
Bradley Macdonald of Sassafraz
Gordon Mackie of Far Niente
Kevin Maniaci of Inn on the Twenty
Roberto Martella of grano
Christopher McDonald of XOCOCAVA
Mark McEwan of North 44 // Bymark // ONE // mcewan
Maggie McKeown of Great Cooks on Eight
Jamie Meireles of Oliver & Bonacini at the Toronto Board of Trade
Hart Melvin of Gelato Fresco
Brian Morin of beerbistro
Jess Ostlund of Ruth's Chris Steak House
Amar Patel of Indian Rice Factory
Reg Pearce of Sodexo
Robyn Perlmutar of Pauline's Pastrie
Marisa Rocca of Trattoria Sotto Sotto
Dufflet Rosenberg of Dufflet Pastries
Claudio Rossi of Studio Cafe, Four Seasons Hotel
Albino Silva of Chiado
Marc Thuet of Petite Thuet
Scott Vivian of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens
Kelvin Ramjattan & Tessa White of Harvest Kitchens
Bruce Woods of Centro Restaurant & Lounge
Anne Yarymowich of FRANK Restaurant, Art Gallery of Ontario

we sampled foods from every chef and winery that was in attendance and, unlike crappier events like the FOOD & WINE EXPO, the TORONTO TASTE event is 'all you can eat, all you can drink' and the chefs that participate do their best to outdo each other.

most interesting taste belonged to kevin maniaci (inn on the twenty) who presented white chocolate spaghetti with maple cured bacon, followed by pulled pork ice cream with asparagus and a beer chaser.

best overall offering went to david lee (nota bene) who presented thick wagyu beef burgers (meatball shaped and very rare inside). this was so delicious, i went back for seconds.

other notables were bradley macdonald (sassafraz) who presented lobster sandwiches and a bunch of folks that focused on raw fish (arctic char was a common theme) and tartar.

mark mcewan's showing was weak (small piece of raw fish on a mini-bed of greens) considering he was the poster-dude for the event. it was very tasty, but it did not stand out amongst the stellar competition.

we left very full, drunk and with a bag full of bread that thuet was giving away. (i made a lightly toasted sandwich this morning out of his whole wheat sourdough and think i may never buy bread from anywhere else again.)

this event rates a 10/10.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
forgot to mention that we did the EIGHT YEARS OF SPLENDIDO dinner on may 16th. it was extremely well done.

as tasting menus go, it was on par with my best experiences at perigee and kaji. the menu (which is on splendido's website) is the following:

SPLENDIDO’S BEST OF 8 YEARS MENU

Amuse Bouche
Grilled Octopus
Cookstown Fingerling Potato & Bacon Salad
2001

Poached White Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms
Wild Leek Vinaigrette
2002

Big Eye Tuna Tartar
Truffle Scented Chilled Ratatouille
2003

Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster
Potato Gnocchi
2004

Burnbrae Farms Egg Yolk Raviolo
Prosciutto Crisp
2005

Pecan Smoked Pulled Beef Brisket
Orecchiette Pasta
2006

Richview Farms Sous-Vide Squab Breast
Boudin Noir, Thyme Squab Jus
2007

Banana Grand Marnier Soufflé
Chocolate Sauce
2008

$125 per person, excluding taxes and gratuities


they also threw in an extra course, which included fois gras, so that was very much appreciated.

the overall bill, which included wine-pairings for one, was around $430. (pricey, but probably one of the 10 best meals i've ever had.)

vise - were you there on may 16? i looked around but did not see anyone that looked like what i expected you to look like.
 

Vise

TRIBE Member
vise - were you there on may 16? i looked around but did not see anyone that looked like what i expected you to look like.

Yeah we were there. Pretty sure we were sitting at the table next to you too. :D

Anyways, not sure how I haven't posted about it yet but the meal was awesome and service/wines were top notch as always. Overall it may have been just a tiny bit behind the last full tasting we had at Splendido (March 2008) but that may have been due to the company; it was an outstanding meal nonetheless.

Our menu was pretty much the same as yours with a few slight changes... we asked for a foie course to be added so was treated to a half serving of their foie gras torchon/charcuterie board which was excellent, their duck prosciutto is deadly good and the foie/chicken liver mousse were both amazing. We also opted for the 'Torched Cumbrae Farms Wagyu Beef Ribeye, Lake Huron Sturgeon Caviar' instead of the Raviolo and it was fucking fantastic of course. Our bonus course was a tempura style soft shell crab on brioche w/sauce gribiche which was among my favourites overall (if you didn't get this one you missed out big). We also got both mains so I had the squab and my wife had the 'Pan Roasted East Coast Halibut, Baby Leeks, Olive Oil Nage' which of course I ended up eating most of as well.

Our bill was a bit north of yours but my wife also had a champagne pairing to go with her meal hence the damage... it was her b-day dinner though so no regrets, money well spent on an awesome meal.

Oh yeah, was interested in checking out Toronto Taste but I always seem to forget about it... someday soon I hope.
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
went to sidecar last week after hearing positive reviews from freinds, on here and in the media:

massive waste of time - first off the menu, was mostly what you would expect from a wedding hall in brampton, it included, roasted chicken, baked salmon filet and a very boring steak frites, then a couple generic pastas and a duck confit,

that was essentially the entire menu (as far as entrees)

for aps, there was a basic green salad, a ceaser salad, a very normal raw tuna app and a mushroom soup;


now don't get me wrong, i love places that take generic sounding dishes and jazz them up to turn them into something great (scaramouche sometimes does thus and achieves great results) but this was not the case at sidecar,

the baked salmon consisted of a poorly cooked piece of salmon covered in maple butter (drenched more like it) with some green beans on the side, the other two entres were the same, nothing special, actually not even done as well as you would get in the hall in brampton for a 400 person wedding (think ruber chicken)

as for the service, it was completely disjointed, the servers were hopeless, we ordered wine by the glass, they came to our table to pour, we had to educate them on where the 6 oz line is on a standard wine glass (manager came by to apologize)

atmosphere was fine, loud, not good enough for how boring the food was,

desert was pathetic, we got a flourless choc cake, which was actually just two pieces of chocolate (as in a chocolate bar - yeah i realize a chocolate bar doesn't have flour in it, but we were looking for a cake) with a bunch of wip cream on the side

total thumbs down, have no idea what people see in this place

went to black hoof two weeks ago and it was incredible, still have faith in this thread :)
 
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Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
Our bonus course was a tempura style soft shell crab on brioche w/sauce gribiche which was among my favourites overall

went a couple days ago, recieved this as well but i think i got tartar sauce with mine :p got another course of breaded and fried lamb brains resting in a tiny bead of frissee lettuce and some vinaigrette. that was pretty bomb

chef brought out some Roquefort with the inhouse mostarda di miele right before he took us for a walk around back of house so they had time to get the soufflé ready for our table to finish.

yeah we went with the champagne to start too so that was a good sized dent once the bill came on top of our wines by the glass for each course.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
Yeah we were there. Pretty sure we were sitting at the table next to you too. :D

lol, you should have said something! i kept staring at everyone there that was under 35, but since no one made eye contact with me, i assumed you weren't there. also, i thought i had met you before through pablo/spinz, but the guy i met looked nothing like anyone in the restaurant, so i probably met a completely different person. :)

now that i read your review, you've tweaked my memory of the meal. we also had the wagyu beef ribeye lake huron sturgeon caviar (i got this option while the wife got the other option which was the ravioli). i recall thinking that the wagyu was good, but sliced too thin for my liking. (when i see the word ribeye, i expect a thick chunk at least.) the ravioli was excellent; it had warm runny egg yolk inside. we also got both main courses. (i didnt love the halibut or the squab, but recall liking the squab a bit better. both were good, just not as good as previous courses.)

and we also got the soft shell crab bonus and, you're right, that was one of the best courses.

damon - hope you'll have a blast. i certainly expect that you will. whenever there's a choice between two options, get both. :)
 
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TaCk OnE?

TRIBE Member
I loved the best of splendido tasting menu. Everything was very good all around, but the tuna tar tar was probably my favorite dish, it just sang.

service was perfect the whole nite, and we both really really ejoyed the meal.

I would say that was my favorite meal I've had in the city. Perigee and colborne lane were both outstanding for various reasons, but this meal was firing on all pistons the whole way through.

In other food news, I got a kaji gift certificate for my birthday, so I'll finally be making it out there as well. stoked.
 
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emiwee

TRIBE Member
Reading about everyone's experiences at Splendido is making me beyond excited for my reservation this Wednesday night.
 

futronic

TRIBE Member
I'm more than willing to accept that. Not to mention that proper spelling, pronunciation and grammar is important.

-- Jay aka Fut
 
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JAR

TRIBE Member
any of you foodies read this book:

41q0gNbeDiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


this may have already been posted, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway. a thorough and well researched book that manages to be both entertaining and informative. it's definitely changed my seafood eating habits. any thoughts?

good review/synopsis:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article682516.ece
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
any of you foodies read this book:

41q0gNbeDiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


this may have already been posted, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway. a thorough and well researched book that manages to be both entertaining and informative. it's definitely changed my seafood eating habits. any thoughts?

good review/synopsis:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article682516.ece

Yup, Joel and I have both read it. It's made us think twice about shrimp consumption (grown in poop! ew!). We tried to swear off tuna for a while because of the really awful fishing situation for tuna - but I have a hard time saying no to tuna at a sushi restaurant.

Truly, that book has made me think about my seafood consumption - but it is difficult to make the change.
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
^^ wouldn't mind reading this, aren't a lot of things grown in poop though? i always just assumed that most organic veggies, and animals would be contstantly in some other animals poop, maybe i'm wrong
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
Has anyone gone to Lukes! Gastronomy in Kingston?

They have a nice package which includes dinner, 2 nights at a b/b, spa etc., and I have read about this guy about 5-6 years ago in the Star, only to see another writeup in the Toronto Life magazine now.

Wondering what people thought?
 

Vise

TRIBE Member
Has anyone gone to Lukes! Gastronomy in Kingston?

They have a nice package which includes dinner, 2 nights at a b/b, spa etc., and I have read about this guy about 5-6 years ago in the Star, only to see another writeup in the Toronto Life magazine now.

Wondering what people thought?

Read the Toronto Life article re: Lukes, sounds interesting but dunno... how much is the tasting menu there? Kingston isn't exactly high on my list for a romantic weekend away (hah), if anything I'd rather stay somewhere in Prince Edward County and then head there for a dinner one night assuming someone would be sober enough to drive back.

Aside from that, heading out for dinner next week Tues night and undecided on where to go... thinking Nota Bene again, Black Hoof again (if they are open) or perhaps somewhere different like Harbord Room, Loire, Grace, etc. Anyone have other suggestions?
 
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