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San Francisco Hound visiting this summer

My wife and I are making our first visit to Toronto this summer (principally to attend the Police concert) and want to experience restaurants that are uniquely (in terms of food quality, service and decor/style) Torontan (?). We'll be in town for four nights (staying at Hotel Le Germain) and love virtually all cuisines. My family is Calabrese, and from what I understand, Toronto has the largest Calabrese community in North America, so if anyone is doing "Grandma's" food well, we'd love to try it. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Once place you should follow is Globe Restaurant on the Danforth. It has been getting mixed but optimistic reviews. The chef attempts to use organic and local ingredients only, so it might give you a sense of what is in season locally.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mickeyj

      Funny you should mention Globe -- i just saw an episode of "Opening Soon" about the drama of getting that place open.

    2. It's "Torontonian" - since you asked :)

      You should check out this link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36486...

      1. Husky, the word you're looking for is Torontonian.

        Directly across the street from your hotel is a restaurant called Rain, which gets rave reviews. Very innovative food with an Asian twist in a beautiful setting. Its only connection with Italy is through its chef/owners, Michael and Guy Rubino.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FlavoursGal

          If you go to Rain, be prepared to go out for dinner afterward. You will spend a great deal of money on beautifully prepared food and will leave hungry.

        2. Can't help on Calabrian . . . but short walks away in opposite directions you can sample the culinary magic of two of Toronto's [read Canada's] most renowned chefs: Susur Lee and Jamie Kennedy.

          Susur offers his unique Asian fusion cuisine at two adjacent venues: the formal, high-end Susur at 601 King Street West, and the casual, hip Lee next door. Try Susur for an extravagant gourmet journey of discovery, Lee for tasty appetiser sized-tidbits in a hip and modern environment (my personal favourite: you get to experience all the talents of this remarkable chef without the formality and hefty price-tag next door). Both need to be booked in advance. See description and review at:
          http://www.torontolife.com/guide/rest...

          Jamie Kennedy is a young Canadian chef committed to local ingredients; his style is eclectic, adding unexpected twists to classic Canadian dishes such as poutine (with seasoned lamb slivers on top). He also operates two locations: Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar at 9 Church Street (east of Yonge), serving tapas sized portions of a frequently changing limited menu and a diverse selection of wines from around the world by the glass; and Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner located at the ceramics museum in Yorkville. See website at:
          http://www.jkkitchens.com/v3/restaura...

          Bon Appetit!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nelson

            Husky, if you do find yourself at Jamie Kennedy on Church St., make sure to eat in the Wine Bar, and avoid the adjoining Jamie Kennedy Restaurant. I've been to the restaurant and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I haven't tried the wine bar yet, but Chowhounders give it an almost universal thumbs-up.

            1. re: FlavoursGal

              Second that! I've been to both the restaurant and to JKWB, and I was overwhelmingly underwhelmed at the restaurant, but the WB was fantastic!!

          2. The Rebel House. On Yonge, north of Bloor. It's almost directly across the street from the Rosedale subway station.

            Visited Starfish on Saturday for the first time and was very impressed. If you're into seafood, you'll get a good sampling of some of our finest oysters.

            If you're a chicken wing person, St. Louis Bar and Grill, The Bistro on Avenue Rd. and the Chicken Deli all have the same type of wing which would have to be considered uniquely Toronto. There is also Duff's for REAL Buffalo Style Chicken wings.

            If you're a baseball fan and the Jays are in town, there is a buffet with tables overlooking the field that seems to get good reviews. The Dome also has another bar (Sightlines) as well as a Hard Rock Cafe.

            Make sure you get to the St. Lawrence Market. Also, we have lots of ethnic stuff so if you're into food from all over the world, you'll certainly be able to find cuisines here you can't in SF.

            Anyway, enjoy your stay here and do report back.

            DT

            5 Replies
            1. re: Davwud

              What do you consider to be a Toronto-style chicken wing? Just curious.

              1. re: julesrules

                Not so much a "Toronto Style" chicken wing. It's just that the ones from Chicken Deli/St. Louis/Tom and Jerry's are all from the same cook. He came up with the recipe and since they're all in the GTA, it's a style/flavour/whatever you want to call it that seems to be only here. I've never come across any like them anywhere else.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  Okay sorry wrong question, how would you describe this cook's wings?

                  1. re: julesrules

                    They don't have the vinegar twang that a Buffalo style does and there is certainly a garlic flavour to them. Probably a more tomatoey garlic chili kinda thing. I've never been able to nail it down.
                    It's been a while since I had them so you'll have to excuse me. They're really quite good. I just prefer others.

                    DT

                2. re: julesrules

                  In my (perhaps limited) experience, a Toronto-style chicken wing is any wing eaten while watching Hockey Night in Canada with Rabbit's hockey-nut father.

                  My quintessential Toronto dining experience is a pea-meal bacon sandwich with lots of hot peppers at the St Lawrence market.