- Leslieville Sep 14, 2006 06:56 PM
Sierramum mentioned this in a posting the other day, but I thought it deserved more recognition. This sounds like a great introduction to all of our wonderful restaurants down here. I'm very jealous I didn't think of the name first!!
This looks great. I live in the neighbourhood and it's true that there's been a huge improvement the last few years. I'm in the middle of a project go live at work and will be swamped until the end of next week (and then I'm going to Paris for a week's vacation!), but maybe I can fit in a dinner or 2. Thanks for posting.
I'm thrilled about this event, and I hope lots of you will give these folks a try. Finally there's some very good food appearing in this part of town. We will definitely sample the places we haven't tried.
We've been mostly happy at Barrio (good, sometimes imaginative small dishes), Batifole (great place), Gio's (well, it's Gio's...the nose--very noisy, good food, always fun), Joy (Ted seems to be genuinely trying for excellence), POP (limited but tasty menu, warm service, and they care), Vert (unique, mainly organic, tasty, uncomfortable), and Verveine (I've heard they have been slipping, but haven't been there recently).
We've had mixed experiences at Baldini (new-see my post) and Toast (all over the map).
I'm really surprised that Gio is participating (I doubt he is short of business) and Edward Levesque isn't.
I do want to offer a major caveat about one of the participating places. Kubo Radio will happily take anyone's money, but they seem to treat those who don't fit their (undeclared) definition of what is young, cool, hip, and stylish with near disdain. As middle aged people (who happen to live nearby and eat out several times a week), we were made to feel distinctly unwelcome and uncomfortable. The circumstances were tangible--not merely our perceptions. Two reviewers from major newspapers seem to have had similar experiences. The food wasn't too good either. Some rave reviews for this place are posted on the board. If these posters weren't doing guerilla marketing, I'll bet they are in their twenties. (Gio's also caters to Kubo's target market, but we always feel welcome there. Food's better too.)
Wow! I'm surprized to hear that about Kubo. My husband and i have been there quite a few times. I'm late thirties, he's early forties, and we by no means fall into the young and hip category; nevertheless, we've always felt welcome and found the service pleasant (if a bit hasty), and the food tasty and good value, especially their prix fixe menu.
re: Full tummy
Maybe it was just ill trained or untrained staff, but we know others who had similar experiences and we don't plan on going back to find out. We certainly wish them well and I'm glad you had a better experience. Or perhaps you folks just look more stylish and cool than we do ;-)
We checked out Kubo Radio tonight as part of Leslicious. The service wasn't bad, but the food was mediocre (think raw green beans in peanut butter). The atmosphere was nothing less than irritating. It was difficult to carry on a conversation over dinner for the music (and other neighboring patrons shouting as a result). Frankly - we wish we stayed home tonight and cooked for ourselves.
i think the food at kubo is decent, but nothing i would travel out of my way for.
i have a weakness for the babycakes though (against my better judgement about their "frosting" versus "buttercream" approach), but in my informal survey of cupcakes of toronto, they're in the number 1 spot so far.
$25 at batifole sounds like a great deal...but the menu usually hovers maybe $5-10 above that...so it's not the greatest incentive...although i do love it there.
that leslie jones place is new to me...maybe i'll have to do a brunch test to see how they measure up.
Did Batifole today at Leslielicious. Beautiful hot bread, superb lobster bisque, roast cornish hen (good sauce; dark meat perfect; white a bit dry but still OK), bowls of frites with tarragon mayo and salad (for two; both impeccible), and frozen chocolate mousse with berries. Very French coffee (fine if you like it; too bitter for me). Generous portions and they did not stint for the promotion. Well paced service despite the full house. A strong 9.5 out of 10.
tried Batifole for the first time last week. quite good value, in my mind. very hearty, rustic dishes, great wine list. service was good, on a busy night (friday--place was packed when we left). the frites were great--love the tarragon mayo for dipping.
very glad to have so many great selections within 5 to 10 minutes walk of my house. have always enjoyed ed levesque's, both for dinner and brunch, and have found their service better than most in the area. gio's is always fun and the waitstaff have been friendly, helpful and willing to give you honest advice about wine (once the waiter recommended a wine that was $30 less than the bottle we wanted to order, and his recommendation was spot on). their 'sexy duck' has got to be one of the best values in the city (tasty roasted duck leg with sundried tomato).
verveine has been quite good every time we've been, again either for dinner or brunch, but i've heard from friends and neighbours lately that they've been a little disappointed with the service. maybe their reno will change that.
'sushi marche' is excellent, but has spoiled me for the discount sushi places that i used to enjoy frequently at lunch; the fish is just so much fresher that i really can't enjoy the cheap stuff anymore. highly recommend picking some up for a mid-week dinner when you don't want to cook.
barrio is good and i've never had a bad meal there but i can't say i've ever had anything outstanding. joy has pretty average food and a fairly dull wine list; probably the least impressive of the restos in the hood.
i'm looking forward to some of these new lounge places opening up. while there's tons of great places to have a nice meal, there are few places to grab a post-dinner drink.
Don't forget Baldini, a really solid Italian place that is starting to come into its own, I think.
I wish I hadn't spent so much money reno-ing my house and could afford to eat out more often. Leslieville has definitely become one of the best dining neighbourhoods around.
I have always had a good time at Kubo... and last time I was there it was superb.
Yes, it can be quite noisy, but I think that adds to the atmosphere in this case.
As for them being ageist, I'm an old git at 35, and they treated me fantastically... I think I'll be back with my girly sometime soon.