New Yorker ISO Best Restaurants in Toronto
Any price range, within 5 miles of downtown, any cuisine -- places different from what one can find in NYC. Only have two days and two nights there.
So far have thought of Senses Bakery, Bistro 990, Centro, Lai Wah Heen, Nectar, Pangaea, and Splendido....
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While Splendido and Pangaea are definitely great restaurants, I think you have many similar upscale options in New York i.e. Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, etc. Nectar has gotten many hit and miss reviews so not sure I'd put that on my short list - haven't been to Centro since they renovated but again, not sure if it's a unique experience.
I would, however, keep Lai Wah Heen on the list - either for dinner or perhaps even nicer, for an upscale dim sum lunch. Another option is Chiado, a high-end Portugese restaurant. I think these 2 places are "different" than what you'd find in New York. And although I don't think that JKWB is too reminiscent of The Stanton Social, I do like the food there and also at Lee so both of those are good rec's.
For a couple of other uniquely Toronto chow experiences, consider a stroll through St. Lawrence Market on a week-day or Saturday morning (complete with the ubiquitous peameal bacon sandwich) and a grazing tour through Kensington Market (complete with papusas, falafel, burritos, empanadas, lattes, etc.).
re: peppermint pate
Lai Wah Heen and Chiado are good recs. Lai Wah Heen is a little stiff in atmopsphere, but it really is the best dim sum this side of Hong Kong. Chiado is excellent high-end portuguese -- a bit of a rarity in NYC.
A walk through the St. Lawrence Market (even not on Saturday when the farmer's side is open) or Kensington are also absoltuely excellent suggestions.
Susur is the most unique (not avail. in NYC) of the high end. The amount of well-done east/west fusion and the reverse serving (largest portion first) are truly different and the food is excellent.
I can't really think of anything else not available somewhere in NYC at a similar quality/price point/presentation.
The third vote for the same places. Lai Wah Heen and Chiado are different from New York - most others in this thread have similarities to places you can try at home.
And if you make it to Chiado, try the pata negra prosciutto (on the bar menu but you can order it at the table) - also not available in NY. Normally I'd add Susur, but my last visit wasn't up to the usual standard.
As a New Yorker can trust James Beard I would go to CANOE. The chefs at Canoe will be going down to James Beard in New York this November. This is truly one of Canada's best. The 54th floor of the TD Tower gives a nice view as well.