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Best Seafood Restaurant in Toronto

r
rai Sep 23, 2006 01:18 AM

Does anyone have recs for a good seafood restaurant in Toronto please?

  1. m
    myriam5555 Jul 18, 2011 09:45 PM

    Agree with above posters re Rodney's and Joso's. Another favourite dish is the gindara (miso-glazed black cod) from Guu. Both locations have it on the menu.

    -----
    Joso's
    202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

    Guu
    398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: myriam5555
      1sweetpea Jul 19, 2011 06:56 AM

      My last meal at Starfish was on a Friday night. The noise in the place was deafening, service was at a snail's pace and the food was up and down. Oysters, as always, were impeccably fresh. The fish in the two bouillabaisse orders was overcooked and the broth was lacking in quantity, though it tasted lovely. Others at the table seemed happy enough with their mains, though. I am sure the kitchen was slammed that night.

      As for Ceili Cottage, I think that place is about vibe, brews and oysters, and not much else. I found the cooked dishes to be overpriced and uneven in terms of serving sizes, taste and cooking skills of kitchen staff.

      I quite enjoyed my lunch recently at Rodney's. The oysters and accompaniments were spot-on, the Thai seafood soup of the day was delish, others seemed pleased with their mussels, lobster rolls, scallop pasta and salmon.

      I would also like to mention Yuzu for its creative treatments of seafood and Pantheon for its skill with grilled squid and octopus. I can't say the same for the whole fish, but I have NEVER had such tender squid and octopus. WOW!

      -----
      Ceili Cottage
      1301 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

      Yuzu
      236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

    2. PoppiYYZ Jul 17, 2011 07:46 PM

      Forget Starfish.

      Ate there before and found it meh, but thought I'd give it another try. Place is nice enough but a table of six who thought they'd impress us all with how loud they are put a real damper on the atmosphere. Staff was nice enough to try and quiet things down, but without luck. But hey, that can happen anywhere though, right ?

      After another so-so meal (including oysters), I'll nevvvver eat there again.

      6 Replies
      1. re: PoppiYYZ
        Charles Yu Jul 17, 2011 08:05 PM

        Wow!! Interesting!!
        First 'thumbs down' given to Starfish on this board!! Are they going downhill? I don't think Patrick would let his flagship slip though??!! Need confirmation!!!! Since I ALWAYS head down there every September/October for the 'flats'!!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          PoppiYYZ Jul 18, 2011 06:54 AM

          It's because of the recs I kept trying.

          Personally I think the seafood scene in Toronto has been on a fast steady decline for decades. Even the small number of posts to a broad (and important) thread as this might be saying something. Maybe it's a more widespread than just Toronto. Possible cause : the growing crappy sushi availability.

          Anyway, let's just say Starfish doesn't do it for me. I do like the look, but food and overall "vibe" leaves me wanting. Maybe just my bad luck.

          If one is still willing to eat raw oysters, I'd suggest Rodney's (although the old location was much better IMHO).

          1. re: Charles Yu
            j
            JennaBean Jul 18, 2011 07:11 AM

            I was there two weeks ago. Same great food and service. My go to for seafood since it opened and that hasn't changed for me.

            1. re: JennaBean
              Charles Yu Jul 18, 2011 07:42 AM

              Guess Starfish has become the 'New SUSUR'?!! Ha! Either one loves it or hates it!!????

              1. re: Charles Yu
                c
                crawfish Jul 18, 2011 07:53 AM

                If we're just talking about raw oysters then I think it's all about the vibe. Rodney's. Starfish, Oyster Boy are all getting the freshest oysters available in Toronto, a city 1700k from the Atlantic Ocean. They are all champion shuckers so it just depends on your personal taste in restaurants. I like the more casual atmosphere at Oyster Boy but I know plenty of people who prefer Starfish.

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                Oyster Boy
                872 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1G3, CA

                1. re: crawfish
                  r
                  RogerDoger Jul 19, 2011 06:12 AM

                  What about Celi Cottage they always have Oysters on hand and it is even more of a casual spot? and an interesting vibe..

        2. DealCanada Apr 28, 2011 06:43 AM

          Zee Grill is my favorite, and my Dad's too. Every time he comes to Toronto he wants me to take him there.

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          Zee Grill
          641 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

          1. f
            Flexitarian Apr 20, 2011 11:05 PM

            Malena, hands down

            1. Muffin__Top Mar 30, 2009 08:06 AM

              Starfish hands down!!

              I really want to try Kaji one day.. its just so out of the way! Maybe when I move to High Park!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Muffin__Top
                p
                PhuFighter Mar 31, 2009 01:15 PM

                Ahh..I really liked Starfish the two times I went. I also quite liked Zee Grill too. I'll have to add Sushi Kaji to my list of places to try.

                1. re: PhuFighter
                  b
                  BarryBGood Apr 3, 2009 11:48 PM

                  No question that Starfish has always been a favourite. Definately top-notch and never disappoints.

                  1. re: BarryBGood
                    l
                    lightbulb May 3, 2009 01:15 PM

                    While I really like Starfish, I find the prices fairly steep. I ordered the fish and chips, which was the least expensive entree on the lunch menu, they were $19. Perfectly fine but not outstanding or worth that much. I recall a better example at Oysterboy for about $12.

                    At 1:30, we were one of only 3 occupied tables; I've never seen it that quiet.

                  2. re: PhuFighter
                    Food Tourist May 2, 2009 08:49 PM

                    Finally tried Zee (Phebe's) tonight...awesome oysters and terrific poke salad! Great lemon meringue sandwich dessert.

                    I also love Vertical for fish.

                2. W4W Toronto Mar 30, 2009 05:31 AM

                  One Restaurant at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto makes an excellent Alaskan cod, Chilean Seabass, and delicous scallops. If you are looking for flavourful, succulent, and impressive seafood this is the place to go to. Everywhere else is just serves pub food seafood if you ask us.

                   
                  13 Replies
                  1. re: W4W Toronto
                    Charles Yu Mar 30, 2009 06:36 AM

                    Interesting recommendation. However, your comment of 'everywhere else just serves pub food seafood' IMO is totally unfair, unsubstantiated and an injustice to some of Toronto's other fine 'seafood establishments' such as Chiado. Joso, Starfish and Zee Grill! who all serve innovative, well executed and delicious seafood.
                    BTW, Chilean Seabass is an 'endangered' species which most 'earth loving' restaurateurs have refused to serve!

                    1. re: W4W Toronto
                      p
                      phoenikia Mar 30, 2009 06:51 AM

                      How rebellious it would be if One was to serve Chilean sea bass. It's so hard to find Chilean sea bass these days since so many chefs in TO follow the seafood watch program.

                      http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=6

                      I double-checked the online menu at One, since I found it hard to believe any restaurant of Mark McEwan's would serve Chilean Sea Bass.

                      Bravo One! No Chilean Sea Bass in sight! Or on the menu! Perhaps the poster meant to mention One serves "sea Tasmanian sea trout" or "sea bream" - both are listed on the current menu.
                      http://www.dine.to/menus/menu_1890_do...

                      You might be the first poster to recommend One for seafood. Or anything else ;) !!!

                      Think of all the people who have been spending their hard earned cash on pub food seafood at Chiado, Sushi Kaji, Joso's, Starfish, Scaramouche, when all this time, they could have been dining at One.

                      1. re: phoenikia
                        1sweetpea Mar 30, 2009 07:14 AM

                        I love the Zee Grill and Starfish. I have only been to Sushi Kaji one time, but I thought I'd died and gone to heaven during the sushi/sashimi course. I've also been dreaming of a return to Hashimoto for another 8-course fantasy meal of fish that have no English translations of their names from Japanese. Impressive!!! I can't rave about Rodney's, mostly because I think they're very tight with their beverage "rules". Why can't I have a Diet Coke/Pepsi, or a Caesar, if I wish? I've been told that only wine or beer are appropriate with oysters, and that Rodney's doesn't "do" diet sodas. Sound a little like Terroni? You bet. I think it's bad business practice to insult your clientele by denouncing their beverage preferences as gauche. It's not like I'm asking for Heinz Ketchup for my raw oysters! Let the paying customer drink whatever he or she wants, as long as they keep paying top dollar for your offerings, that's what I say! Everybody wins. As a consequence, I'd head straight to Starfish for my dozen oysters ... and probably drink wine with them, since the wine list is pretty good at Starfish. I don't even order a Caesar or diet pop at Starfish. That's the joke of it. I just like the freedom to choose from a full bar or selection of non-alcoholic beverages, should I not be in the mood for wine or beer.

                        1. re: 1sweetpea
                          r
                          robb Mar 30, 2009 07:25 AM

                          I love sitting at the bar at Senhor Antonio. Great seafood and great wine to match.

                          1. re: 1sweetpea
                            p
                            phoenikia Mar 30, 2009 07:30 AM

                            I didn't realize that Rodney's was so strict with the beverage laws. Ridiculous.
                            If you ask me, a good Caesar matches better with some types of seafood (esp. pub food seafood ;-) !) than some wines and beers do.

                            Absolutely agree re: Kaji- amazing seafood. Best Japanese style seafood I've had in Canada.

                            1. re: phoenikia
                              p
                              pearlD Mar 30, 2009 07:49 AM

                              I can't believe this BS re drinking soda/diet pop or other foolishness...I'm the one who is paying the tab....I'll drink whatever the bloody hell I want...be it tap water, bottled water , wine or an alcoholic drink....gimme a break...what's next with these folks!!!

                              1. re: pearlD
                                1sweetpea Mar 30, 2009 07:59 AM

                                Maybe they've changed their policy recently, but when I first went, years ago at the Jarvis/Adelaide location, I was informed of this policy. I was an aspartame junkie and wanted my Diet Coke/Pepsi fix. I settled for tap water. They lost money on that battle. I've since become more of a wine drinker, but it's the principle of the thing. I've been there for brunch on a weekend and felt like drinking a Caesar. They made me a virgin one instead ("we don't carry vodka or any spirits -- only wine and beer"). Ugh! I sincerely hope they've realized the error of their ways. If anyone knows, please speak up.

                                1. re: pearlD
                                  r
                                  RogerDoger Jul 17, 2011 08:18 PM

                                  Most Oyster places do not serve hard alcohol, Starfish does not serve rye, rum gin, etc.. But they have vodka as it is used on Oysters.. no idea about their pop situation.. but without stocking liquor for mixed drinks I can assume they would not stock a lot of "mixers"..

                                  1. re: RogerDoger
                                    jayt90 Jul 18, 2011 04:49 PM

                                    Vodka and oysters? Didn't see that on their menu. Can't imagine any flavor from vodka, at any price.

                                    1. re: jayt90
                                      s
                                      Snarf Jul 18, 2011 08:56 PM

                                      Believe it or not, I had a fairly interesting chile-infused vodka as an accompaniment on a tray of various extras for oysters at Big Daddy's. It worked very well. There was also a brief point in time when The Miller served their original consultant-designed menu which featured oyster shooters with small dollops of various fresh saucecs.

                                      1. re: Snarf
                                        f
                                        fryerlover Jul 19, 2011 04:56 AM

                                        Yum........miss those Big Daddy's oysters with vodka, fresh horseradish, lemon and 6 other sauces. The one near me had buck a shuck during happy hours, however they closed last year and I've yet to make it to the ones downtown. They had the most sauces for oysters I've seen so far.

                          2. re: W4W Toronto
                            j
                            jarusoba Mar 30, 2009 10:50 AM

                            What? One. I wouldn't go there any more. Such a wannabe high-end restaurant. Apart from huge servings, there is not really any character.

                            Methinks they are serving pub food seafood and pub food everything!

                            1. re: jarusoba
                              1sweetpea Mar 30, 2009 11:06 AM

                              LOL! Perhaps, but even a pub will serve a Caesar or a diet soda. I can't say much about the food, since I never got past the oysters and a simple green salad. However, I went one time with 3 others. Two of us had oysters, while the other two had salmon. One said it was cooked perfectly, while the other mentioned that theirs was dry. Dry! What a crime! I'll spend my hard-earned dollars at Starfish, knowing that the oysters rock and the kitchen knows how to handle fish and seafood. I've kicked my diet pop and salt-lick Caesar addictions, but I still won't go back to Rodney's. I won't reward bad business practices with patronage, especially not when there are other places more deserving of the repeat business.

                          3. Charles Yu Oct 7, 2006 02:42 AM

                            Finally had a chance to eat at Zee Grill tonight. Totally agree with you, Fatboy44! Food was fantastic! The three of us shared 4 appertizers and three entrees. Standout appertizers, beautifully plated and ultra-delicious, include the grilled calamari, the clam and corn chowders and the crab cake. Entrees of roasted baby pumpkin with seafoog stuffing and the Atlantic halibut with shaved white asparagus and porcini broth were both superb! Now, I don't have to drive all the way downtown to Starfish to have great seafood and oysters!

                            1. Charles Yu Sep 24, 2006 01:10 AM

                              For 'Western style', definitely Starfish. Fish alone, Chiado. For Chinese, I love O'Mei on Hwy7 in Richmond Hill. Their house speciality Wok Fried Lobster is second to none! No one else in Toronto can come up with a tastier lobster dish! Finally, for Japanese, Sushi Kaji.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                f
                                fatboy44 Sep 24, 2006 04:26 PM

                                I consider myself a seafood addict so that is what I mostly looking for. Had some very good seafood in Montreal a few days ago at Brunoise (not a seafood house per se, but very credible). Then I come back to Toronto and even though I like Starfish we had the best dinner again at Zee Grill. That is my recommendation. Last night I had sea scallops with duck prosciutto, salsify puree and champagne saffron cream, incredible! Starter was a lobster roll. It looked like a spring roll when I saw it first but the skin was made of asian pear and was served chilled with trout caviar. Pretty impressive. Cheers.

                              2. c
                                CChan126 Sep 23, 2006 10:59 PM

                                My favourite seafood restaurants are Starfish on Adelaide or Joso on Davenport.

                                1. e
                                  embee Sep 23, 2006 02:28 AM

                                  Try XamYu on Spadina.

                                  1. b
                                    bestandworst Sep 23, 2006 01:46 AM

                                    My personal fave for oysters, fish chowder and lobster too is Rodneys on King W.

                                    But then again, the Spicy Shrimp and the Onion Ginger Lobster are fantastic at Wah Too on Centre St South of Dundas.

                                    Greek style for calamari (grilled and fried), octopus or whole fish you cannot beat Pantheon on the Danforth.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bestandworst
                                      NovoCuisine Sep 23, 2006 08:30 PM

                                      I like Rodneys too. Only place I've ever had a live scallop.

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