Barberian's Steakhouse--anyone been there recently?
I've made a reservation next week at Barberian's on Elm Street as I'm dining with a friend who loves steak.
What kind of experience can I expect there?
Your steak will be amazing, the veggies and the rest will be adequate, and the apple beignets for dessert will be a hit.
But there's more sizzling here than just the steak. The owner has one of the best wine cellars in the city, if not the best.
Old-school service from professional waiters - but in general they don't know the wine list in depth - for that, consult owner Aaron Barberian, who takes great pride in his cellar. Brilliant steaks (or chops) - the rest comme ci comme ca....after 10 pm they do a great cheese fondue and a wonderful Salzburg nockerl (sp ?) - a rum soufflé. You can go in jeans and sneakers or in a suit and be treated the same. Enjoy !
I was at Barberians about 6 weeks ago and I was disappointed. I had a New York strip and it was probably the worst steak I have had in quite some time. Certainly not steak house quality. It might have been an off night and I haven't been back so I can't confirm that.
Their wine list is extensive but I prefer a restaurant where you can get a good list of quality reasonably priced wines. Everything that I saw on the wine list was over $100 per bottle with the exception of 3 or 4 on the first page that were the typical $10 LCBO plonk that I couldn't bring myself to pay $40-50 for.
I love Barberians. Extremely old school dining room, but then take a look at the futuristic wine cellar with seating for 40 on one long table. A stunning room.
Whenever I've eaten there the steaks have been excellent. I also love the pickles they put on the table when you first arrive. After asking for the recipe the chef emailed it to me a couple of days later.
I've been to Barberians four or five times over the span of five years. The last visit was back in August. Every visit has been exceptionally good. The steaks were excellent as well as the service.
Barberians has been over the years, and remains, one of my favorite Toronto restaurants for steak. It has location and character. It has wine (a must for me) and Aaron Barberian has recommended some tasty bottles that weren't beyond affordability.
They also have private rooms you can book where you can combine a board meeting, work session or private gathering at a strategic downtown location with discrete service and a satisfying meal.
(And I always loved the dill carrot & pickle basket)