Any thoughts on Truffles and North 44 in Toronto?
Those 2 restaurants were recommended to us, but I haven't found much information about the 2 restaurants on this board, except in passing, so does anyone else have more information/impressions about those 2 restaurants? Thanks.
I haven't been to either place in a while, so my comments may be somewhat out of date, but both are excellent restaurants, although quite different.
Truffles is very formal, in the style of a Michelin-starred classic French restaurant. It is probably the only restaurant in town that I feel requires a suit & tie (I don't know if the restaurant actually mandates this, but it only seems appropriate!). The service is impeccable, but very formal. The food is excellent, but usually not very inventive.
North 44 has excellent food, perhaps more creative than Truffles. The service is also excellent, but much less formal. If Truffles has the feeling of France, then, to me, North 44 has the feeling of LosAngeles!
They are both equally expensive (main courses in the $30-40+ range) and I think both are equally dependable. It really depends on your mood and what kind of an evening you are looking for.
Chili summed up the essential difference very well. But the service at Truffles is extraordinary, and the tables are further apart there. Also, with their tasting menu they'll put together a series of wines by the glass, which North 44 doesn't (or didn't) do.
Cost is about the same for both. And if you're staying at the Prince, North 44 is closer.
re: Alan Gardner
Alan (or anyone else out there), have you been to Truffles recently, i.e. since the new executive chef for the Four Seasons took over? I believe his name is Robert Sulatycky (?spelling) and he's originally from Vancouver. I remember him from his excellent finish at the Bocuse D'Or culinary competition a couple of years ago, which was aired on Food Network. I believe Thomas Bellec remains the chef at Truffles, but that Sulatycky was going to be involved in changing the menu. Just curious to know what it is like now...
I would also appreciate any comments from those who have sampled his food in Vancouver.
Speaking of truffles...I'm a huge fan of Robert Sulatycky! On vacation I had dinner at his restaurant in Vancouver about a year ago. It was one of the most memorable meals of my life. I started with the most delicious French-style fish soup. I still dream about how good it was with the tasty rouille and croutons. Then I had veal prepared 3 ways. Three is a charm!
I recently went to Truffles at the Four Seasons because I saw a picture of him on the front cover of Where Toronto magazine. Dinner was magic! I'm so excited he's here at the Four Seasons. I started with heavenly scallops cooked inside their shells with truffles, simply amazing. Then I had a spectacular squab dish. You must have it when you go!
I was at North 44 last week actually. Very good. Probably the most serious restaurant I've been to in T.O. Other than Susur. They have little blurbs describing the different spirits on the wine list. Weakest points: Bread is typical and bad, service is great but, it's not world class, lastly just nothing to make you feel special. I don't know what I'm looking for but at $190 for two before wine, I'd like something cool. Maybe just a tiny amuse bouche or some candies for afterwards.
That said, you can get a table for dinner most nights, and you can have a great meal. If we wanna make comparisons North 44 would be a hot place in Manhattan. And despite what Mel Lastman would have us believe, that's the standard for "World Class Cities".
P.S. In my opinion the items on the menu which most often rise to transcendance are the desserts. Gosh.