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Balsam in the Beach - anybody been?

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Phoenix May 17, 2007 01:32 PM

This place opened where Peppino's used to be. Saw one poster who said he went but could not get in, but no reviews about the food. Anybody actually eaten here yet? Any reviews?

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    richard.b RE: Phoenix May 17, 2007 08:23 PM

    i've eaten once with my g/f..small place maybe about 30 seats (+ front & back patio coming this summer) the idea behind it is "sharing plates" instead of tapas....and they have things from soup (we had 1/2 tomatoe & 1/2 mushroom) + salad + pasta + pork belly + dusted shrimps....for an intimate setting, great service, great food, a wine list packed with great steals; definitely check this place out

    1. estufarian RE: Phoenix May 18, 2007 03:42 AM

      Yes, it's pretty good.
      More upscale than most places in the area, and a little more formal too. Liked the Braised Pork belly and the Espresso/Cocoa crusted tenderloin. The Vanilla/Rosemary Rack of Lamb seemed to overdose on the vanilla and the rosemary wasn't really noticeable, but the lamb itself was good.
      And it was packed on a Wednesday... so make a reservation.

      6 Replies
      1. re: estufarian
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        The Macallan 18 RE: estufarian May 18, 2007 07:38 AM

        Also had a chance to make it down last week. It's owned by a long time former OliverBonacini manager from Jump. Service, food, and ambiance was wonderful. Agree its definately the place to enjoy an upscale dinner in the Beach. Great wine program as well.

        1. re: The Macallan 18
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          millygirl RE: The Macallan 18 May 27, 2007 09:32 AM

          Anybody happen to read the review on Balsam in Toronto Star yesterday. They got killed!!! It was brutal.

          1. re: millygirl
            The Chowhound Team RE: millygirl May 27, 2007 12:59 PM

            Folks, we've removed some off topic responses. If you'd like to share your own thought on the chow at Balsam, please do so here. However, if you'd like to discuss local reviewers, please post on the Food Media and News board, where food reviewers are discussed. This helps us keep this board focused narrowly on the goal of sharing tips on where to find great chow in Ontario.

            1. re: millygirl
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              Aardvark RE: millygirl Jun 3, 2007 07:50 AM

              I read that review and it was very negative. They definitely did get killed. I believe they got 1 star which the legend signifies as terrible. I recall that both food and service were bad but I think they really slagged the service.

            2. re: The Macallan 18
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              amalie RE: The Macallan 18 May 27, 2007 01:04 PM

              The Macallan 18 - Could you elaborate on the wine program at Balsam?

              1. re: amalie
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                ejcoooper0 RE: amalie Jun 2, 2007 08:33 PM

                I agree that the ambiance is nice. The four of us felt that the vegetable sides that you order, as an extra, were tasteless. I understand that it is a "tasting "menu, and the portions were small, but two scallops ???. Our waiter was not knowlegable about wine. He opened the bottle and poured the wine up to the top of the glass - no breathing room. The food was okay....but not rushing back.

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