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foxley- on ossington

I think at 207 ossington- Tom Thai is the chef- we went last night and it was amazing! The fish dishes stole the show and if I were to go again i'd have only fish dishes, I think. And I don't typically eat much fish at all. The wait staff were obviously so happy, and Tom himself was so chilled out- it had a really nice feel. casual room- oh just go!

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  1. I was just reading about this place.

    Are they open for lunch? I can't seem to find a web-site for them...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Davedigger

      it had a on-a-shoestring kind of vibe, wouldn't surprise me if they don't have a website- they only opened last week. I don't know about lunch...sorry.

      1. re: nummanumma

        they are not open for lunch, just dinner. i am looking forward to trying more fish dishes since i only had the skate last time (delish), but i'd say the meat items are yummy too - pork belly and beef cheek both really good.

        1. re: Kasia

          we had beef heart, and I just couldn't do it. I tried it, but I couldn't get over 'it' you know? the ribs were huge freddy-flinstone style and just so heavy after all that gorgeous fish! But I immediately thought of about four people who would die for those ribs.

          1. re: nummanumma

            having grown up with organ meats as staples, i am happy they're finally standard fare in restaurants, but i do understand they're not to everyone's taste:) which fish dishes did you have? i wonder how much he'll change the daily menu. i imagine they'll be more veggie options once the seasonal produce start coming in.

            apparently, they'll be a patio at the back as well. if we

            1. re: Kasia

              yes-he said it was going to be long tables- sort of picnic style. It sounded great- maybe a market-type area?
              We had the ceviche..can't remember which fish this was but it had crispy garlic, it was so good...then tuna tartare with capers and avocado..the speckled trout was amazing!

    2. i've never been to tempo and have no idea what tom thai's cooking is like... could you go into more detail about flavour profiles and why it was so amazing?

      it's pretty much in my new hood and knowing what i should expect in terms of ingredients and cooking style will help dictate who i drag there with me.

      7 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        it's hard to describe exactly. before tempo he's worked at youki and cafe asia, all of which did a kind of asian fusion cusine. at foxley, the dishes seem more mediterranean with a greater focus on grilling, although many dishes are clearly asian-inspired (like the beef cheek in coconut curry, for example). menu is all small plates, great for sharing. on the day that i went the menu was fairly evenly split between meat (some organ) and fish/seafood dishes, with very limited veggie options. so except for complete vegetarians, there is enough on the menu to satisfy different palates.

        1. re: Kasia

          hmm... alright. what about cost? i haven't noticed that any mentions (toronto life seems to be the only one really) include that although the concensus is that it's affordable.

          did either of you dip into the alcoholic offerings and find the menu to be varied but worthwhile? i'm debating hitting it up tonight or tomorrow but the key would be wine for the folks i'd like to sup with.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            if you search a little further down the board, you'll find an earlier review of mine, plus someone else's who went a few days after me. dinner for two (5 dishes) with a bottle of wine came to $97 plus tip. we thought the markup on bottles was so reasonable that it was a better deal than drinking by the glass. the other poster (from the previous link) seemed to have sampled several wines and thought the selection was good.

            1. re: Kasia

              I cannot wait to try this new spot out... it's just around the corner from my favourite bar, the Communist's Daughter!

              And I always loved Tom Thai's food at both Youki and Tempo.

              Organ meat?

              Yummy.

            2. re: pinstripeprincess

              the wine list was good- we tried an albarino that we both enjoyed. we had five dishes (more than we needed) and SIX (shhhhh) glasses of wine- with tax and tip was $170.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                I am the "other poster" mentioned in Kasia's post. We drank two temperanillo blends. One from Nepethe, Australian, $40 for the bottle and one from Finca Antigua , Spanish, $38 for the bottle. The Finca Antigua was more complex and a better balance with the food. As far as cost, we ate a ton of food (nine dishes) and three bottles of wine for $235 before tip.

                1. re: vinojoe

                  Went last night and found it to be a great addition to the neighbourhood. It's small though - only 36 seats incl the bar so I imagine when word gets out this place will be packed. We ordered the seabream (amazing), the pork belly (very very good), tuna tartare and the skate. Everything was well prepared and the flavour combinations were really interesting. We also had the dessert, no alcohol and the bill came to $80.

          2. Hi everyone. I'm new to these boards, but it was only a matter of time (some of you know me from the egullet boards). :-)

            I was at Foxley Bistro last night and really enjoyed it. Here's a copy/paste of my mini-review from the egullet board earlier today:

            source: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

            I was happy to see that there was no wait at all, it being the long weekend and plenty of folks having fled to their cottages (the waitress said it had been packed the previous night, Friday).

            Overall, I was quite happy with my experience at Foxley and would definitley return for more tapas, if not for more wine by the glass tasting (a great selection and they're going to be adding even more). I was pleased to see a good mix of Spanish, South American, Australian, German and Ontario wines on the list (almost all available by the glass -- I love the chance to try different ones throughout the night).

            The menu was as I had heard and expected -- Latin with Asian influences -- and it really worked. I loved the variety.

            A run down of our tapa selections:

            .:bluefin tuna tartare w/crispy capers and avocado salad (super-fresh, excellent
            )
            .:grilled lemongrass-stuffed jumbo shrimps with mango salad (delicious but only ideal for two people -- one huge shrimp for each person to peel and really get your hands dirty with; they thoughtfully brought a bowl of warm lemon water after the shrimp experience)

            .:lamb and duck prosciutto dumplings (great combo of ingredients but just a little too crispy/overcooked for my liking)

            .:grilled sideribs with caramelized shallot glaze (a winner at our table, really tender, you need to enjoy somewhat sweet sauces for this one, and again, ideal for only 2 people to dig into)

            .:stewed beef cheek in tomato, cinnamon and salsa verde (very tender and delicious combo of ingredients -- cinnamon and salsa verde? it works)

            .:braised duck leg in pomegranate reduction (another winner at our table, only complaint being that it's not really the ideal "tapa" serving -- it's not conducive to sharing)

            .:all 3 sides of asian greens and steamed rice (excellent flavours all around)

            The service was friendly and very professional. For a place that just opened last week(!), I was very surprised at how smoothly the entire evening went.

            The ambience was cozy and just what I expected from a local neighbourhood bistro. The decor is simple, while being warm, inviting and modern. I love the contrast of the exposed brick wall with the modern finishes throughout the space. Rustic v.s. modern chic -- and a great use of the long narrow space (reminiscent of many of the small bistros, bars and retail spaces in Soho, NYC).

            I enjoyed my Foxley experience and would definitely return. Especially since they'll be adding more wines to the menu and opening a large patio out back in about a month. This is really a great new addition to the West End -- and definitely ideal for bar-hopping in this up and coming 'hood (some ventured in for drinks at the bar and the high tables at the back after 10pm).

            I doubt it will be long before Foxley is packed every weekend. Just remember that they don't take reservations (though the bar is great for checking out their wine selections while you wait!).
            ~

            [There are some pix of the food and their menu at the above link, too, courtesy of another member, Renka]

            1. I had the fish too but WOW this place is PRICEY. they charge the same as for Lee (Susur's jaw-dropping food on King) folks, and the portions are small, very small. We had dinner for 2 people, it cost us $80 per couple with wine, but we were very hungry when we left. OVERPRICED. Tom, get real, you're on Ossington. What about food for artists? That's our hood man. If you have little stomachs and big wallets, this is the spot for you.

              1. If you love tapas, have a huge wallet and tiny stomach, GO. Come on chef Tom Thai, get real. WHy are you charging the same prices as at Lee Restaurant, on King (Susur Lee's extraordinary restaurant) and have these teeeeeny portions. Nice room, great location but the area has a lot of artists and younger folks. We left hungry. Meal for x2 with wine, $100, plus tip and we were not satiated. Won't return unless the prices come down or we win the lottery and afford it!

                8 Replies
                1. re: yomomma

                  To harangue an excellent, innovative chef like Thai for serving food that's beyond your price range is kind of like criticizing Mercedes for making the SL 500 and charging more than you can afford. Or, in the spirit of your complaint—that Thai should get real and serve only the neighbourhood's starving artists—it's kind of the same as a young art lover complaining that a painter's being unreasonable charging more than $100 for his work.
                  The solution is to eat elsewhere—not to give the chef hell for it. I'd much rather see Ossington develop a great mix of restaurants with different price ranges than be a ghetto for nothing but pho and Jamaican patties.
                  And I don't see why only restaurants on King or Queen St. should be allowed to charge $100 or more for a meal for two with wine.

                  1. re: pimentdespelette

                    I totally agree with your comment, pimentdespelette.

                    As a resident of Parkdale, I'm actually thrilled to see a new place of this quality open up nearby. Why shouldn't we have a range of restaurant choices -- from low to high end? And a worthy chef in our 'hood?

                    Re: yomomma's comment on portions: Being an avid fan of Lee, and a person who has lived in Spain before, I don't believe that the tapas portions at Foxley are small in the least. On the contrary, I found that all of the dishes that I cited above in my review were exactly perfect for two people to share [I especially found the Beef Cheeks, the Side Ribs and the Jumbo Shrimp to all be hearty servings for, again, "tapas"]. And that's exactly their concept at Foxley -- tapas with a Latin/Asian twist. [If anyone has been to Kultura, I can say that Foxley's tapa portions are definitely much larger -- and less expensive -- by comparison].

                    The wines by the glass [including Cava], were reasonably priced. Furthermore, the server told me that they are striving to only include LCBO wine selections, so as to keep prices low and to allow satisfied customers the chance to actually find these wines in their local LCBO if they choose.

                    It will be great when they open up their back patio in about a month. I'm sure it will be quite busy -- whether it's with locals or Chef Thai's fans from other areas of the city. I'm looking forward to it.

                    1. re: pimentdespelette

                      no offence, but this is a terrible 'review'...try and add some substance about the quality of the food, not what your expectations (ridiculous as they may or may not be) were.

                      1. re: diesta

                        I agree. I think it would be beneficial to at least mention the quality/taste/impression of the food itself [in addition to comments about pricing/proportions, etc.]. All of these factors come into play and people appreciate hearing about them.

                    2. re: yomomma

                      which did it cost 80$ per couple or 100$?

                      1. re: nummanumma

                        And, it may just be me, but EITHER (80 or 100$) for dinner and wine for two seems cheap to me. Reasonable at worst. Am I crazy or does anyone else think that???

                        1. re: troutpoint

                          I think a number of people, including me, saw the price point very reasonable for the quality of food and wine that you get at foxley.

                          1. re: Kasia

                            That's pretty solid mid-range, I'd say.

                    3. We ran a brief review last week: http://tinyurl.com/2jq7by

                      I am so happy that a restaurant of this quality is right around the corner from my apartment. I saves going down to King or up to Harbord. Location aside: good service, creative pairings, reasonably priced.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: weatherbie

                        It took us far to long to hit this fab bistro. I can't understand the complaints from either group of people. This place is clearly a go to spot, not just a place in the hood for locals. How do you not like five star food in cozy restaurant without pretension? The food is very rich and I could understand someone with a very light pallet not liking that. It’s also almost all meat, so don't bring a vegetarian. As for price.... it’s very inexpensive. I know many starving artists, and I’m an artist myself, willing to spend $40 bucks a head on drinks at a bar... so $50-60 bucks a head for amazing food should not be considered expensive.
                        My last experience with Tapas was terrible, never go to Coca. Before that I was at Torito’s for my birthday which was very good but did cost a pretty penny. Foxley’s was on my list for a year and I regret not going sooner. Get the ribs, get the pork belly (ask for it last for desert). Take a couple of friends so you can try more food than if you were just a couple. Go to Foxley’s, you will not regret it!

                        1. re: abailey77

                          Coca is under new management. i'm gonna wait until the transition is complete before i form an opinion. i was a Foxley for the 2nd time just after new year. it was a default choice because our first choice was closed. my first trip there was disappointing only the ceviche and duck was above average. i felt that after all the raves on this board, it shud have been way better. the second trip was better. lowered expectations made for a pleasant surprise. duck again ruled. skirt steak with chimicurra (sp?) sauce was excellent. what disappointed me this time was my fav from last time, the wahoo ceviche. it was like the fish was not marinated long enough.

                          the lack of consistency will keep me from rushing back.

                          1. re: dickiegreenleaf

                            When did Coca switch over?
                            I was there in the summer twice and thought the dishes we got were great
                            Of course i was in about 2 or three denison wiessbeers deep on both occasions so that could have made an impact :)

                            I agree that the ceviche there is (or was) fantasatic. I had oxtail there that was good too. This was approximately around Feb 08. My previous visit was around the summer of 07 and I had a good experience there too.

                            Is Tom in the kitchen every day?

                            1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                              Coca is under management of Globe Bistro now and i think it happened some time after last summer.
                              http://www.globebistro.com/
                              http://www.cocatapas.ca/

                              1. re: JamieK

                                change over happened in late November. they plan a light reno and grow wine list.

                                1. re: dickiegreenleaf

                                  What happend?
                                  I've enjoyed several meals at Czehoskis and now noticed that Nathan is gone from there and I also see that he is gone from Coca (although my experience there was piss poor) and that Coca is new management?

                                  As far as Foxley's goes, the pork ribs and pork belly were our two top favorite dishes. Sorry to all you fish fans. And I loved the Lamb in La Lot. The dumplings were too rich for me but my companions enjoyed them.

                                  1. re: abailey77

                                    when did u go to Coca? was it in Dec? as far as i'm concerned, Dec and Jan are transition months. i'll wait and see what happens after that. i live around the corner and would love to see Globe quality at Queen West prices; if they can pull it off. i frankly have never been impressed with Czehoski's food. prefer to drink there than to eat.

                                    1. re: dickiegreenleaf

                                      It was before the transition, and it was poor execution that killed the experience. Not enough food runners for a Saturday night, our food regularly came up luke warm and needed to be re-cooked, re-heated doubling our wait time for dishes. The host/manager was also rude, sat us and then latter came to our table and asked us who sat us there. Our Table was on the second floor, very close to the door and jutting into a walk-way..... we were being bumped into quite a bit, by staff. A rice dish had bones in it. After two hours we were still very hungrey.

                                      I liked Nathan's Pallet. I had had a wounderful beef brisket done up with orange and esspresso at Czehoski's. Friend's had a wonderful "French Pizza" done up on puff pastery. Many Items seemed interesting at Coca, but poor attitude from staff and miserable execution killed the deal (and I wait tables and am forgivening of mistakes.... but I could see that no one was running food, hense it was cold). As no one I know has had a good experience there I have never been asked or felt the need to go back.