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Toronto restaurants

  • j
  • june Jun 12, 1999 04:59 PM
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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.

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  1. 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
    perfection.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Heidi

      Chiado is definitely worth going to - very much like
      being in Lisbon (down to the funky-tasting olives and
      olive oil). Really the only place I would really like
      to get back to in TO.
      Not crazy about the dim sum place, too refined for my
      tastes (formed in HK and Taipei a while back).

      1. 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
        back.

        1. re: Heidi

          Sorry, I do not know the Toronto Chinese restaurant
          scene very well anymore - used to live there many
          moons ago, only occaionally visit now.

    2. j
      Jake Klisivitch

      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.

      1. d
        Douglas Pepper

        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
        Jewish mob.
         
        Hope this helps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Douglas Pepper

          Not leaving for Toronto until July.If there are any
          other ideas let me know. Still getting things in order
          for the trip. Plan on trying as many of your
          suggestions as possible. Thanks again.

        2. 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
          COFFEE.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dt

            Back bacon on a bun - that is REAL Canadian food...
            Follow it up with fish and chips for dinner (supper)
            and a few Molsons Exes and you have had an exemplary
            Canadian day foodwise.

          2. 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.

            1. 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!

              1. 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

                1. 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.