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May 19, 2001 11:06 AM

Toronto seafood restaurants

  • n

We will be in Toronto for 2 nights in July staying near the harborfront. We're especially fond of seafood and would like recommendations of some good seafood restaurants in the downtown area. Thanks very much!

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  1. Sorry. Toronto is not a great seafood town - especially if you love seafood! We're too far from the source. Strongly recommend you try more local cuisine.
    If you INSIST, try Rodney's Oyster Bar (15-20 mins walk from Harbourfront).

    And Harbourfront doesn't have a lot of good alternative restaurant choices either. Any favourite 'ethnic' cuisines?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alan Gardner

      What do you consider 'local cuisine', as you suggest trying? I would be interested in knowing just what ARE Toronto's strengths?

      1. re: Stevens
        Alan Gardner

        I should have said local ingredients, rather than cuisine. The seafood is all flown in from the coast (and not everyday). Consequently it's not always as fresh and can be hit and miss.
        Most of the Chinese food here uses the freshest ingredients (as do many of the ethnic cuisines). Touring Kensington market will show what's fresh (and we regularly meet Chinese families picking leafy greens in our ravine system).

        Local cuisine is, of course, fast food for the most part. Although I do recall somebody saying a few years back that the perfect Toronto dish was Cheese and Bacon Quiche. The bacon (back, of course) represented Canada, the Cheese would be Ontario Cheddar (excellent) - and there were no real men in Toronto!

        1. re: Alan Gardner

          For a taste of what Canadian cuisine — not an oxymoron — is like, check out Patriot on Bloor West near Yorkville. It's upstairs from Chanel.

        2. re: Stevens

          Best sushi: Tempo @ College & Clinton


          Foccacia on Heyden near Yonge & Bloor

          Susur on King West (dinner for 2 starts at $400 but chef Susur Lee has been called one of the top 10 chefs in the world by Gourmet mag).

          Sarkis at Church & Richmond East. Chef Greg Couillard was one of the first chefs to do fusion anywhere over 25 years ago. Lovely room, smooth service, fantastic food.

          Best Indian: Dhaba on King West (it's just about to re-open). Spectacular.

          And while there are many great spots, there are even more touristy places to avoid. A good rule: if its in site of the CN Tower, it probably sux.

          A good book to pick-up is Now magazine's City Guide to Toronto. It's the local weekly entertainment rag's book about cool Toronto and finds out about new spots long before others seem to. They've got a website, too.

      2. s
        S. B. Cochran

        A few choices...........Enjoy!


        Biagio Ristorante - 155 King St E (Jarvis St), Old Toronto - 416/366-4040 - Traditional northern Italian bistro with professional service - Appetizer of fried shrimp and calamari; first course of sauced fettuccine with mushrooms and farfalle alla bolognese; main course of grilled salmon fillet on bed of fennel - Lunch of homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta or the homemade tagliolini (ribbon noodles) with fresh tomatoes and basil - L/2 with wine>~$75, D/2 with wine>~$100 - MC/V - Smoking permitted in ~10% of tables - M-F L>12-1430h, M-Sat D>1745h

        Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant - 346-348 Spadina Ave (Chinatown) - 416/979-3988, - Chinese seafood restaurant with live fish tank - Dim sum from carts served 09-1600h - Dim Sum Happy Hour M-F>09-1130h and 1330-1600h (C$1.68 a dish); Sat-Sun and holidays>09-1100h (20% off) - MC/V

        Canoe Restaurant - 66 Wellington St W (Bay St, downtown, on 54th floor of Toronto Dominion Bank) - 416/364-0054 - Canadian cuisine featuring Canadian ingredients - Also Canadian sushi bar serving regional seafood - Chefs Todd Clarmo and Anthony Walsh - D/2 with glass of wine>~US$75 (00) - M-F L>1130-1430h, M-F D>1700h

        *Chiado - 864 College (Concord Ave, W of Ossington) - 416/538-1910 - Portugese fish restaurant with fresh fish imaginatively prepared - Seasonal menu> Fresh fish flown in daily from the Azores> Marinated sardines, buttery calamari, cod in roasted garlic olive oil, squid with cilantro - Clams with tomatoes in covered copper pan called a cataplana; acorda (stew of seafood, eggs and hard bread cooked in clay pot); sweet caramel flan - Chef-owner Albino Silva - L&D - Casual - Res recommended - Entrees>C$15-25 - Open Sun

        Conchy Joe's Oyster Bar - 75 Victoria (Richmond St, downtown) - 416/360-5877 - Casual raw oyster bar; grilled Atlantic salmon, swordfish, pastas in casual lofty space - Happy hour menu>15-2000h - M-Sat L>1130h, grazing, take-out - Tu PM all-you-can-eat mussels - Beer brewed on premises - L, D, grazing, take-away - Entrees>C$8.99-15.99 - M-Sat

        Fune Japanese Restaurant - 100 Simcoe St (Adelaide St, downtown) - 416/599-3868 - Japanese with good sushi from boats floating along sushi bar's mini-canal; inventive cooked dishes - Res necessary - M-F>1130-1430h, 7d D>1700h

        Kensington Cove - 83 Nassau St (W of Spadina, S of College) - 416/597-6912 - Portuguese specializing in fresh seafoods - Good hospitality from owners Tony and Isabel Mendes - $$ - MC/V - 7d>1130-2330h

        Lazy Mussel Shellfish Bar - 12 Market (above Old Fish Market) - 416/869-0606 - Seafood> Oysters and other seafood in lofty lounge - $$ - L, D, grazing

        Le Select Bistro - 328 Queen St W (just E of Spadina) - 416/596-6405, - Casual French bistro with hanging breadbaskets - Good Moules Mariniere and Confit de Canard - Interior of the restaurant and zinc bar similar to Paris; patio in summer - One of Queen Street's original bistros attracting mix of professionals and artists - 3-course prix fixe D - MC/V - M-Sat>1130-2330h, Sun>12-2230h

        (Mövenpick) Marché - 42 Yonge St (Wellington St W, at BCE Place Galleria) - 416/366-8986 - One-price-you-pick food items - Pasta, meats, seafood and egg dishes cooked to order at individual cooking stations; breads, pastries and pizza baked continuously - Open area seating also with seating in La Brasserie di Nord area, Bistro du Vin area, and other areas - Open 0730-0200h all year - Entrees>C$5-10, D/2>~C$32

        Old Fish Market - 12 Market (just W of Jarvis, N of the Esplanade) - 416/861-9171 - Nautical and casual with extensive variety of fresh fish - All-you-can-eat mussels (C$13.95) (00) - Starters>$4.75-9.50; mains>$9.50 and up - MC/V - M-Sat>1145- 1430h & 1700h, Sun>16-2200h

        Rodney's Oyster House - 209 Adelaide St E (E of Jarvis) - 416/363-8105 - Eat ONLY at the bar for oysters (Washington State Kumamotos and Nova Scotia belons) , mussel chowder, slapjack (oyster) chowder, hot-smoked chum salmon cured with maple syrup, Bay of Fundy scallops on chanterrelles and oyster mushrooms, beer - At least a dozen types of oysters, clams (littlenecks, cherrystones, steamers) and bowls of periwinkles - ~$75 for 2 with drinks - M-Sat>1100h

        3 Replies
        1. re: S. B. Cochran

          Kensington Cove is long gone.

          1. re: Dimbulb
            S. B. Cochran

            Thanks for the information about the closing of Kensington Cove. I'll update my list.

            Any suggestions for similar?

            1. re: S. B. Cochran

              Amadeus on Augusta around the corner or Sintra on College.