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Jun 12, 2007 09:48 AM

St Clair West

I want to go to that gelato place on St. Clair W that is supposed to be particularly good. Does anyone know the one I'm talking about, and how far down it is? Ideally, I'd like to go to that place after dinner somewhere in the vicinity; I always have a hard time seeing past the ramshackle exterior of St. Clair west of Christie, so don't generally go out there to eat. Any diamonds in the rough anyone can recommend? Thanks

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  1. I think you may be talking about La Paloma at St. Clair and Dufferin?

    I haven't been in a long time, so I can't really comment on quality (have been gelato-ing at Solferino lately).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rabbit

      St Clair and Lansdowne, southwest corner. The Big Ragu's on the same corner, too. Thematic, like.

    2. As someone who lives west of Christie in a very nice home between St. Clair and Davenport, I will look past your description of my hood as 'ramshackle' and give some of my rec's for the area:

      1) La Paloma is the best gelateria in Corso Italia (perhaps all of Toronto) and is indeed at St. Clair and Lansdowne

      2) The Big Ragu mentioned below was also very good but the loss of their chef recently has supposedly resulted in a downturn in overall quality

      3) Nama Sushi at Arlington and St. Clair makes what I consider to be the best dynamite maki roll in the city. Yum. Yum. Really nice staff as well (Korean though... not Japanese operated if you are that kind of sushi snob)

      4) Marcellos is a low-key, family sort of Italian eatery with very good pizza and pastas. Nothing fancy, but great, attentive service and good vibe

      8 Replies
      1. re: elkerette

        I would hardly call that area 'ramshackle'..have you seen the "Wychwood Park Enclave"!There are a huge number of restaurants/cuisines to choose from apart from those mentioned above...the area is very much on the 'upswing' when you see restaurants in profusion as on St. Clair (not all of them good but the same can be said for the Danforth or Bloor Street West in the Annex) I live somewhat nearby(Davenport & Dupont) but La Paloma is not my fave for Gelato, I do make the trek to Hollywood Gelato. We also go to Marcello's fairly frequently can be a crowd scene a lot of the time but we arrive at about 6:30 and that works out well.

        1. re: pearlD

          The Ruston and Ferro are both fun. I do miss living out there specifically for La Paloma. PearlD if you say Hollwood Gelato is better I have to go - where is it?

          1. re: Beef Pattie

            Hollywood Gelato is at 1640 Bayview (between Manor Rd. East & Millwood Ave.)
            I think it is patient however, it's generally really crowded and the parking can be a nightmare. If you lived near the St.Clair /Christie area, did you go to "Dutch Dreams" for their frozen yogurt cones mixed with fruit? Same kind of line-ups..patience is a virtue eh??

            1. re: pearlD

              Hollywood is very good, but I think the brand new il Gelatiere is even better (and both easily top La Paloma). You can give both a try, as they're pretty close to one another - I.G. is at Mt. Pleasant & Hillsdale and Hollywood is right at Manor.


              1. re: Chester Eleganté

                I will have to try both but find it hard to believe anything could top Hollywood.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Just try it Davwud...excellent, and already lineups on hot nights.

          2. re: pearlD

            In defence of the OP, Wychwood Park is not really visible from St Clair W. St Clair W, itself, *can* be a bit ramshakle...

            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              That's true about Wychwood Park but seriously..this area is undergoing some serious changes (and needed I might add) hopefully the 'quasi' St.Clair road changes will not be a huge factor...but there is a lot happening both south and north residentially (Real Estate is booming). It is far more amenable than even 5 years ago... I say 'go explore' and people will be quite surprised at the changes. Sorry if I sound terribly defensive but I grew up in the Bathurst to Dufferin corridor and I think it had a 'well-deserved bad rap for many years but the 'times they are a changin'

        2. This is my 'hood - lots of really great things happening here - and real estate is totally booming in the area - as are lots and lots of good places to eat. I have lived in the Annex, Little Korea and Leaside - and they ain't got nothing on the St. Clair West Strip. St. Clair is also one of the only areas in the city where you can find real, local owned cafes *still* popping up. (Yes we do have Starbucks - but we've also got the local stuff too.) La Paloma is still in my opinion - the best gelateria in the city. I just got back from Sicilia and the pistachio siciliana tastes like a bite of Sicily. You need not look for "diamonds in the rough" any more on St. Clair - lots of open diamonds gleaming out. Besides the ones already mentioned - for some amazing Basque baking and sandwiches and some of the best croissants in the city head for Pain Perdu. Also amazing in the sandwich and croissant department (also the macarons are melt-in-your -mouth) go to Patachou at Winona and St. Clair. I also like Filipo's. There is also a really cute knitting cafe West of Oakwood (I think it's Oakwood and Lauder) with amazing brownies and skor squares - called Alterknit - delicious organic/free trade coffee as well.

          Rag tag? Try interesting and not overly commercial! We are renovating! We are trying to look pretty for y'all! Where do you live jal - Rosedale? Hmph!

          4 Replies
          1. re: cinnamon_girl

            Would Alterknit be at St.Clair and Lauder? Oakwood and Lauder don't cross...

            I definitely agree with you cinnamon girl! I left that neighbourhood a few years ago, and even then it was great! And I used to *live* at Pain Perdu. Haven't yet tried Patachou.

              1. re: littlegreenpea

                Sorry - you're right! It's St. Clair and Lauder! Oh and I thought about it a bit more - what about Vanipha Lana - they've got the best glass noodles in town!

              2. re: cinnamon_girl

                Their pistacchio sicilia is my favourite too at La Paloma. It's better, albeit different from the pistacchio I've had at Hollywood. They do the traditional gelati really well at La Paloma.

                In addition to other restos mentioned, I'd recommend Dganz for an inexpensive but well put together dinner of Steak.

                We enjoy Marcellos a lot for what it does best--great thin crust pizza. I've eaten a couple times at Ferro and I don't get. The give you large portions, but it has been fairly bland fare. Their seafood plate is huge, but blah. I have enjoyed myself at the big Ragu in the past. Friendly people with solid food. I hope that things are changing there.

                I forgot dutch dreams. Their ice cream is OK. They do fancy it up with funky cones, candy, fruit and other add ons. They also sell some Dutch food, if you need your stroopwaffels or whatever. It's worth a visit just to see the storefront. Kitsch. Kitsch. Kitsch.

              3. La Paloma and Hollywood Gelato are both great!

                1. A couple of my favourites in the area are Khmer Thai, which is hit and miss depending on what you eat, but when it's a hit, it's very satisfying. Royal Caribbean Cafe is a nice place to get Jamaican-style Caribbean food (this area is big on Jamaican food as opposed to Trini or Guyana). It's no match overall for Albert's but is a pleasant dining experience with good service. Just yesterday I tried the brand new Pho Rang Dong at St. Clair W. of Duff (possibly the former Very Good Food?) - it's very solid. It's at least as good as Pho St. Clair down the street and is very spiffy inside. Good prices too. Anyone tried Big Thai across the street from there? How about the hole-in-the-wall Mexican takeout place on the s/s of St. Clair just west of Lansdowne?