- june Jun 12, 1999 04:59 PM
Anyone been to Toronto recently? Going and would love
to have the names of some good places to eat. Love all
kinds of food. Open to all suggestions.
For Thai food, I love Thai Magic; I believe it is on
Yonge. They prepare a lobster dish in a coriander-
chile-garlic sauce that is addictive. Lai Wah Heen, in
the Metropolitan Hotel on the edge of Chinatown is
usually my Sunday morning destination for Dim Sum. It
is a rather civilized setting in a beautiful room; you
order off cards instead of carts, but it is some of
the freshest,lightest, tastiest Dim Sum ever. I
partcularly crave a taro-wrapped bit of scallop that
is deep-fried to a lacy-crispy coating without a trace
of grease. Don't miss the pea leaves with garlic-
tender and delicious. I also recommend Chiado, a
Portuguese restaurant. They bake wonderful breads on
premises and I had an utterly satisfying lunch making
a meal of the house breads served with complimentary
olives and a wedge of moist sheep's milk cheese
drizzled with fruity olive oil accompanied by an order
of grilled Portuguese sausages; juicy and spicy. Add
a few glasses of wine and you have simple
re: Susan Marme
Yes, Lai Wah Heen is refined but also extremely good.
Can you recommend a more typical destination for Dim
Sum? I've been to two others that I thought were just
pretty average-can't remember the names. I did get a
tip, tho, from a Chinese friend of mine to bypass
Toronto and head immediately to Scarborough. They have
a huge Asian population and incredible food courts,
stores and restaurants everywhere. We may join her for
an eating excursion in the near future so I'll post
I used to live just off the Danforth (what Bloor
Street turns into as it goes east over the viaduct),
which is known as Toronto's Greektown...
Although most of the Greek restaurants there serve up
the usual stringy pork, over-garlicky tzatziki, and
globby rice, there are some real finds. Avli is, I
think, the best -- small place with lots of great
dips, spreads, and grilled meat dishes.
I lived in Toronto for 36 of my 37 years and am still
up in the air about what to recommend, assuming I'm
not too late in my recommendations. There's a ton of
decent stuff but not that many that I'd highly
recommend. Although, Chiado, around the corner from
where I last lived, (as already mentioned) is
definitely a great choice. The fish special is always
a solid thing to go with, as are the fresh anchovies
and/or sardines--perfectly grilled and spiced. Also
try the octopus, if available. The fish is fresh,
fresh, and they don't mess around with it too much.
The wine list is strictly Portuguese and excellent.
God knows what to choose so put your self in the hands
of the waiter. Last time I was there I was introduced
to the doctor who delivered me. What that all meant, I
don't know. My parents, though, thought it was kind of
cool to see the two of us shaking hands.
East from there, on College Street, is a small and
decent Italian restaurant called Giancarlo, which was
an old standby. Good Italian wines, and reliable
Italian staples--veal chop, osso buco, decent pastas,
roast chicken, etc. Very good wine list, but a tad
expensive. A little further east on College is
Ellipsis, which a friend, Nancy Barone, owns. A great
spot for breakfast and brunch. Very good bakery
attached to it.
The sushi in the city is okay but not worth going out
of your way for. Others have offered their opinions on
Chinese and I would go with the Scarborough
suggestion. Not sure of exact spots but there must be
some guidebook that lists them. A ton of good downtown
spots--I'd aim for the hole-in-the-wall variety. Maybe
Lee Garden on Spadina. Also good Pho in the same area,
even a bit west.
I won't go into the high-end stuff (I'll only mention
Prego on Bloor Street, N44 on Yonge Street, and Lah
Wah Heen in the Metropolitan Hotel), unless asked, but
if you are at all interested in the best steak in
town, try House of Chan--a Jewish owned steakhouse,
fashioned like a Chinese den of pleasure, whose motto
is "Our Chow is the Mein Thing." I kid you not, their
steaks and lobsters rival Palm and other NY mainstays.
It's on Bathurst Street near Eglinton. I grew up going
there and learned that there was such a thing as the
Hope this helps.
I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE PERSON WHO SAID THE GREEK FOOD
ON DANFORTH WAS STRINGY SHISHKABOBS AND GARLICKY
TZICKI. I HAVE LIVED IN ASTORIA AND TORONTO. THERE
ARE VERY GOOD GREEK RESTAURANTS ON DANFORTH. TRY
PAPPAS GRILL OR ASTORIA.
ALSO, IF YOY CAN MAKE IT ON A SATURDAY MORNING, GO TH
THE CARROUSELL BAKERY IN THE ST. LAWRENCE MARKET (FRONT
ST. EAST OF YONGE) FOR A BACK BACON AN A BUN AND
Had a great meal at North 44, a seafood restaurant.
Pretty swanky, expensive (although cheaper than US
equivalent thanks to the exchange rate), kinda the
Canadian equivalent to tall food.
Have said it before in other connections but worth
looking for and checking out a current edition of
"Where to Eat in Canada", a non-commercial Canadian
produced reader guide to worthwhile restaurants
throughout Canada that is updated annually and edited
by Ann Hardy. The old version I have lists 38 places
in Toronto, from high end to more intriguing
chowhoundy places. The guide is selective, and we
found it highly reliable in Quebec province (tho we
haven't been to Toronto). hope that whatever you try
you report back on!
YES, IT IS TRUE THAT THERE ARE MANY NEW CHINESE
RESTAURANTS IN SCARBOROUGH THAT ARE FEATURING VERY HIP
AND CHIC NEW CHINEESE CUISINE, BY A WHOLE NEW
GENERATION OF "ORIENTAL CHIEFS." SO? THERE ARE MANY
EXCELLENT MOM AND POP PLACES ON SPADINA THAT HAVE GREAT
AND CHEAP TRADITIONAL FAVORITES. AS WELL, BE SURE
TO CHECK OUT THE ITALIAN SANDWICHES AT CALAFORNIA,(ON
CLAREMONT) AND BETONDAS OR SAN FRANCISCO'S,(ON CLINTON)
ALL IN LITTLE ITALY NEAR CLINTON AND COLLEGE.
BON APPITET' ANNE
Thanks for all your good advise for restaurants in
Toronto they were great! The award for best meal
definitely went to Chiado. Great service, Great food,
Great wine, great time!!! They even went out in 122
degree temperature and hailed a taxi for us. Chinese
food at Lee's garden was good and fun. Marche was
even good for Breakfast. Found a restaurant called Far
Niente that was nice. Only disappointment was Red
Tomato. Great city, can't wait to go back.