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Toronto's top 50 restaurants

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grilledcheese Aug 24, 2007 02:37 PM

I have to come up with the top-50 dinner restaurants in downtown Toronto for a travel guide.

Below is my preliminary list (in no particular order).

I'd love to hear Hound opinions on what doesn't belong, or what I've missed. Thanks!

susur
splendido
canoe
jamie kennedy x3
pangea
scaramouche
senses
thuet
rain
chiado
north 44
bymark
c5 (rom)
perigee
didier
town grill
rosebud
harbour 60
george
amuse-bouche
cava
auberge du pomier
colborne lane
greg couillard's spice room & chutney bar
mistura
sopra upper lounge
milagro
czehoski
celestin
rodneys
oyster boy
starfish oyster bed & grill
fifth
truffles
crush wine bar
barbarian's steak house
ruth's chris
xacuti
teatro
windsor arms
rosewater
sequel
globe bistro
kaiseki-sakura
hiro sushi
cucina
coca
king's garden

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  1. Matt416 RE: grilledcheese Aug 24, 2007 02:42 PM

    Wine access just did a scoring/ranking of the top 100 restaurants in Canada, but I can't find a link to it. Anyhoo... that's a good list.

    Matt

    3 Replies
    1. re: robgm
      Matt416 RE: robgm Aug 24, 2007 04:57 PM

      Margaret swaine, one of the contributing writers (for Toronto), ate at the restaurant I work at at least twice in the past 6 months (taking notes, etc.), so I would be hasty to judge Wine Access' list as some kind of popularity contest.

      Matt

      1. re: Matt416
        g
        grilledcheese RE: Matt416 Aug 27, 2007 03:16 PM

        I picked up that issue of WA today, It's a pretty good list for Toronto. Thanks for the tip.

        btw, how do you know she was in your restaurant? Did she identify herself while there?

        1. re: grilledcheese
          Matt416 RE: grilledcheese Aug 28, 2007 09:39 AM

          I have been to wine tastings that she has attended before.

    2. Cookiefiend RE: grilledcheese Aug 24, 2007 04:08 PM

      I can only comment on one of your choice - was only in Toronto for a few days for a business conference- but I loved Bymark.

      Went twice over the 5 days we were there and each time was fabulous. I especially loved that they went out of the way for us to find a wine that would complement both our meals. Food was wonderful, we were thrilled with the wine and the service was great.

      :-)

      1. Rabbit RE: grilledcheese Aug 24, 2007 05:17 PM

        Lai Wah Heen, Vertical, Red's, Chez Victor... seems like some very fine chefs/establishments are not represented on that list...

        1. deelicious RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 06:10 AM

          Sushi Kaji is one of the city's very best although it is not downtown! I would put it on a Top 10 list.

          3 Replies
          1. re: deelicious
            a
            acd123 RE: deelicious Aug 25, 2007 07:36 AM

            I didn't see Burger Shack on your list. Shame :-)

            1. re: acd123
              b
              bogie RE: acd123 Aug 25, 2007 07:52 AM

              Exactly the same sentiment I was thinking! Not to criticize your list too much, but it's not exactly "chowhoundish" to me. I would like to see more cheap, homey, ethnic, neighbourhood joints on any list purporting to be a "best of".

              I don't need to know where the yuppie sheep go to eat, unless it's for the purpose of avoiding whatever tragically hip scene is currently in vogue.

              1. re: bogie
                mzmcgee RE: bogie Aug 28, 2007 03:22 AM

                Ha ha ha .... bring it!

          2. m
            millygirl RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 07:35 AM

            Please, please, pleaseeeeeeeeee remove Pangea and although I haven't been in many years, very surprised to see the Towne Grill. I would think that should go also. Not familar with King's Garden either but I would def. add Pastis to your list.

            4 Replies
            1. re: millygirl
              a
              anewton RE: millygirl Aug 25, 2007 07:41 AM

              I'd remove Ruth Chris's in a heartbeat. A chain, and according to steak afficionados on this site (other boards), not a very good one at that.

              1. re: anewton
                c
                cactusmush RE: anewton Apr 26, 2008 08:06 AM

                Completely agree. Ruth Chris's is just plain corporate - if you are going to put them in that list then ya might as well include Baton Rouge and other such under-acheiving but expensive places designed to sucker in the the out of town business crowd (who only go there because they are spending company money and can't agree - amongst themselves - to try something indie - so they make the "safe" choice)

              2. re: millygirl
                l
                lovegoodfood RE: millygirl Oct 29, 2007 07:33 PM

                I had dinner at Pangea for the first time last year for my 50th birthday and it was one of the best meals I'd had in a long long time. The service was friendly and attentive; the ambience was pleasant; the food was fabulous from beginning to end. The wine pairings recommended were enjoyed by all; the cocktails were fun and very tasty. We were a party of four. We still talk about it! I'm surprised to see so many negative comments and wonder now if we just had a great night by luck.

                My last few dinners at Scaramouche were so disappointing I don't think I'll ever bother to go back. Back in the day, that was 'the' place to go for special occasions and the more we could manage the better. For years, food was great, favorites consistently on the menu; wait staff a tad overbearing but tolerable. I had many fine meals there over many years, so no regrets, but I stopped going after my 45th birthday dinner was the final disappointment.

                Had someone else's birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris last month. Yuck. Awful environment; mediocre supersized food; absolutely nothing to recommend it. If I want to eat in a basement... never mind.

                Thanks for the list! I've been to a lot of them and look forward to trying more.

                1. re: lovegoodfood
                  m
                  millygirl RE: lovegoodfood Oct 30, 2007 06:22 AM

                  I am really surprised to hear that you've been disappointed at Scaramouche. I think this is the first negative post I've read on it. But then I couldn't help but notice you've given praise to Le Paradis and Bistro Tournesol - now it all makes sense. Like they say, to each his own, eh!

              3. h
                hungry_pangolin RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 08:42 AM

                Nix Pangea, Ruth's Chris, and, unless things have changed since the reopening, Windsor Arms (willing to admit that things might have changed). Add FatCat Bistro (the resto on Eg.W., not so much the wine bar on Roncesvalle). I'm tempted to add Pastis, as well.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hungry_pangolin
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                  chef223 RE: hungry_pangolin Aug 25, 2007 10:47 AM

                  Why are so many people adament on removing Pangaea , how come ?? Also I would Via Allegro and Opus to the top 50.

                  1. re: chef223
                    m
                    millygirl RE: chef223 Aug 25, 2007 11:33 AM

                    I've only been to Pangea once, and that was enough. It was about 2 years ago, and it may very well be what I consider my worst meal ever. Okay, I've had worse but not at that price point. We were with a group of 6 and everyone felt the same way. The food was overcooked, tasteless, boring and bland. My husband ordered rare beef, don't recall the cut but it was so over done he sent it back. He had tastes of everyone elses dish until his arrived. Even the 2nd order was overcooked. We were excited about the deserts and even they were dismal. Someone else in the party had liver, which was awful....again overcooked, shoe leather - you know the kind your mother use to make. I've heard the odd person recommend this place and it really surprises me. There are other negative examples I could provide but why bother. Honestly, it was just bad all round.

                    1. re: millygirl
                      j
                      JamesJT RE: millygirl Apr 22, 2008 08:10 AM

                      Pangea is completely forgettable. Once was enough for me, boring food, rude condescending waiter and cold design.

                2. g
                  grilledcheese RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 01:33 PM

                  Thanks so far, folks. Lots of good insights and suggestions.

                  I should clarify that I have to focus on high-end dinning, so sadly Burger Shack is out. Sorry, acd & bogie. :(

                  As for "downtown", yeah, Auberge is too far north. I think my cutoff will be in the Centro/North 44 area. (Not that there's anything wrong with Auberge.)

                  Keep the suggestions coming!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: grilledcheese
                    T Long RE: grilledcheese Aug 26, 2007 10:11 AM

                    Commenting on your "focus on High-end dining", I'm not sure why Hiro Sushi and Japango would be on your list. They have excellent quality food reputations, but their decor seems lacking for so called High-end status,....that is, if you exclude other establishments with top of line food for their bigger picture review then you should be consistent, imo. Perhaps defining your specifications would result in a better list and suggestions from CH.

                    1. re: T Long
                      g
                      grilledcheese RE: T Long Aug 26, 2007 10:33 AM

                      Japango is not on my list (yet).

                      I agree about the decor of (at least ) Hiro.

                  2. Bueno RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 04:31 PM

                    Sushi Kaji is a must. I'd submit that it's the best sushi in Canada, let alone Toronto. If it were in Markham, I'd still at least attempt to convince you to include it. :) It just feels wrong otherwise.

                    And FWIW, I also feel Pangea does not belong.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bueno
                      w
                      Wil RE: Bueno Aug 28, 2007 07:50 AM

                      While Kaji is good, have you been to the places in Vancouver? There are at least three places that are as good if not better than Kaji out there.

                      1. re: Wil
                        t
                        tjr RE: Wil Sep 12, 2008 07:18 PM

                        Which places?

                    2. h
                      hungry_pangolin RE: grilledcheese Aug 25, 2007 11:03 PM

                      On further reflection, I'm not tempted, I *DO* recommend Pastis. Arguably it is not the most creative cooking in the city, but it has, in my experience, a high level of consistancy of very good technique and product, and has never once disappointed me. The room is lovely, the service is attentive. Must be on your list.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: hungry_pangolin
                        Charles Yu RE: hungry_pangolin Aug 26, 2007 07:01 AM

                        I totally concur! BTW, the fish soup, the calves liver and the profitoros are just a few of their awesome tasting dishes.

                        1. re: Charles Yu
                          m
                          millygirl RE: Charles Yu Aug 26, 2007 08:37 AM

                          What about their escargot ravioli - fabulous!! And the service is impeccable.
                          The salmon is always cooked to perfection also. In fact, we haven't been in a couple of months - must put it on the list.

                      2. Rabbit RE: grilledcheese Aug 26, 2007 10:11 AM

                        In a travel guide, I'd probably want to put the Drake Hotel on the radar. I'm not arguing that it's one of Toronto's best places to eat, but it's become kind of a landmark, and worth a visit for out-of-towners who like that boho scene.

                        BTW - who is your audience... is there a specific tourist demo that you're targeting or a certain feel you want for your guide (Wallpaper guides are pretty different from Lonely Planet)?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Rabbit
                          g
                          grilledcheese RE: Rabbit Aug 26, 2007 10:35 AM

                          I hear you about the Drake.

                          Demographic is "well to do".

                        2. deelicious RE: grilledcheese Aug 26, 2007 12:42 PM

                          I would add Noce over a few of those on the list.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: deelicious
                            Recyclor RE: deelicious Aug 27, 2007 11:54 AM

                            I second Noce, had a great meal and enjoyable evening due to decisive friendly service...although a little traditionally decorated for my taste, a nice room regardless.

                          2. l
                            LemonLauren RE: grilledcheese Aug 26, 2007 06:12 PM

                            are we talking about just food? or about the whole experience? because, as great as they are, i wonder if your "well to do readers" would enjoy/fit in at places like coca, czehoski, even xacuti (so college st!) or the supperclubs and lounges. do they like dim lights and thumping bass? and as for ruths and barberians, might they be put off by the steakhouse vibe? just a thought.
                            and i might give c5 and spice room a little time before making any binding judgements.
                            that being said, i would love to see Riz, Across the Road get some airtime. (or JOV or Square...oh wait....RIP)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: LemonLauren
                              Charles Yu RE: LemonLauren Aug 26, 2007 08:10 PM

                              JOV is closed!!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                deelicious RE: Charles Yu Aug 26, 2007 08:13 PM

                                RIP means Rest In Peace - as in closed. So not sure why they were added.

                                1. re: deelicious
                                  l
                                  lolo RE: deelicious Aug 26, 2007 08:36 PM

                                  King's Garden is closed aswell!!!!!!!!!

                                  1. re: lolo
                                    g
                                    grilledcheese RE: lolo Aug 26, 2007 11:57 PM

                                    King's Garden on Front St.?

                                    When did it close???

                                    1. re: grilledcheese
                                      T Long RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 08:25 AM

                                      Do you mean King's Garden on King Street...I just called their phone #, but only got a "mailbox full" response. Can we get confirmation about Lolo's post?

                                      1. re: T Long
                                        g
                                        grilledcheese RE: T Long Sep 4, 2007 09:44 AM

                                        Right, King St. It is closed. I went by.

                                  2. re: deelicious
                                    l
                                    LemonLauren RE: deelicious Aug 27, 2007 07:58 AM

                                    sorry, was just feeling wistful for my favourite restaurants long gone. shamefully off topic.

                              2. Recyclor RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 11:59 AM

                                ..I believe Teatro recently changed ownership, might want to check how it is doing, & based soley on a review I read here The Fifth sounds awful these days...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Recyclor
                                  s
                                  Snarf RE: Recyclor Aug 27, 2007 12:13 PM

                                  I would definitely exclude chain steakhouses such as Ruth's, and if you're looking for consistency, both Truffles and Windsor Arms have changed exec chefs in the last year, so should be reassessed.

                                  Among the missing from the list, I would agree with Lai Wah Heen and Fat Cat, and suggest as well Zucca.

                                2. a
                                  alisonb RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 12:11 PM

                                  one of my new faves is foxley.

                                  1. p
                                    Paula from Toronto RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 12:21 PM

                                    What about Centro?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Paula from Toronto
                                      b
                                      bassman RE: Paula from Toronto Oct 23, 2008 07:13 PM

                                      I've been to Centro several times over the last couple of years (as a guest of someone) and found it to be pretentious and over-priced for a so-so level of dining. Entertainment can be very good.

                                    2. pescatarian RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 12:25 PM

                                      I do not believe that Cucina belongs on this list. Mediocre Italian and not "upscale".

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: pescatarian
                                        Recyclor RE: pescatarian Aug 27, 2007 12:40 PM

                                        I was there sunday afternoon about 2 weeks ago, espresso was excellent, pizza crust was thin & doughy, personally I prefer more of a light crispness...

                                        1. re: Recyclor
                                          pescatarian RE: Recyclor Aug 27, 2007 12:44 PM

                                          I was there in the winter and both my dinner guest and I felt that the pizza lacked some oomph in terms of basic tomatoey flavours and the salad was oily and flavourless. Even if it was better, it's a mid-range trattoria, therefore, I don't believe that it falls into the fine dining category, which the OP seems to be gearing this list towards.

                                          1. re: pescatarian
                                            Recyclor RE: pescatarian Aug 27, 2007 12:48 PM

                                            ...agreed...

                                      2. l
                                        LeTimmy RE: grilledcheese Aug 27, 2007 10:54 PM

                                        Have to agree with the other's on the removal of Ruth Chris(chain restos are blah) but not too sure on anothers suggestion for the Drake even though I'm there religiously. Good list. Lots I've been to and many on my "to do".

                                        1. TdotFoodKing RE: grilledcheese Oct 12, 2007 05:53 AM

                                          Take Rain of that list. Terrible, how are they still in business?

                                          Tourists I guess.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: TdotFoodKing
                                            p
                                            placebo RE: TdotFoodKing Oct 18, 2008 09:27 PM

                                            I have to agree. The food is all show, too fussy, and has 137 ingredients, so no real flavour.

                                          2. d
                                            DDD RE: grilledcheese Oct 29, 2007 09:38 PM

                                            I'd remove czehoski. I agree with adding Kaji and Via Allegro.

                                            I'd like to see a list of top 50 restaurants where two can dine with a glass of wine for under $80-100.

                                            1. Charles Yu RE: grilledcheese Oct 30, 2007 06:18 AM

                                              Its incredible! Only 3 months after the initial posting and the listy is already way out of date!!
                                              Agree with DDD, Czehoski should be out. King's garden is closed, should be replaced by Lai Wah Heen. Lucien and One should also be added. Though a bit far, Sushi Kaji should be on ANY Top 50 list!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                e
                                                erly RE: Charles Yu Oct 30, 2007 09:57 AM

                                                Celestin and Kaji, both excellent
                                                There are many on the list that I really don't think belong on any list, but would rather be positive.

                                                1. re: erly
                                                  p
                                                  piru RE: erly Apr 22, 2008 12:11 AM

                                                  ORO ORO ORO!! THE BEST ITALIAN FOOD I VE EVER TRIED!! A MUST!

                                              2. s
                                                southernbelletx RE: grilledcheese Apr 22, 2008 09:45 AM

                                                Zucca anyone. I thought it was delicious and I was on one of the worst dates of my life.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: southernbelletx
                                                  Googs RE: southernbelletx Apr 27, 2008 02:32 PM

                                                  The thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat!

                                                  At least it wasn't a total waste. Adding Zucca to the repertoire was one of the best resto experiences I've had in Toronto.

                                                2. n
                                                  Natnic RE: grilledcheese Apr 28, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                  Other than Mistura and Harbour 60 do any off these places serve tasty food or is it pretensious susar rubino crap?

                                                  1. f
                                                    FBTO RE: grilledcheese Apr 28, 2008 09:57 AM

                                                    is this list limited to a particular food type? Don't see too many ethnic restaurants? No Mexican (still look for a good one), Indian (tonnes out there, and some very nice ones), Thai, Persian....etc? I guess I should name a few of them....let me review my list, and see if there is any I can recommend. What are the parameters. I saw Centro and south. What else?

                                                    1. s
                                                      Snarf RE: grilledcheese Apr 28, 2008 04:43 PM

                                                      RIP Hiro Sushi and Xacutti

                                                      1. Charles Yu RE: grilledcheese Sep 11, 2008 06:42 PM

                                                        Time to revisit and revise the list. Its way out of date!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Charles Yu
                                                          t
                                                          tjr RE: Charles Yu Sep 12, 2008 07:19 PM

                                                          Agreed!

                                                          1. re: tjr
                                                            e
                                                            Eastwind RE: tjr Oct 15, 2008 08:47 PM

                                                            What would be your updated list?

                                                            A cool article from early this spring: http://www.eyeweekly.com/food/feature...

                                                            I've read articles that Toronto has a bit of a "ceiling" on the high-end restaurants. I wonder if that is starting to change (I know the GTA area has a lot of wealth, as well as a lot business/tourist travelers in-and-out of the city). It'll be interesting to see what happens with the high-end hotels/condos that will enter the city in the next few years (One Bloor West, Trump, Shangri-La, Ritz-Carlton, Thompson Hotel Toronto, Four Seasons new property (will this mean the end of Truffles, the rest of current F & B establishments, and the current FS property?), Maple Leaf Square Towers) when it comes to the food & beverage.

                                                            1. re: Eastwind
                                                              Charles Yu RE: Eastwind Oct 15, 2008 09:15 PM

                                                              The current financial turmoil will definitely have a say with regards to any future 'fine dining' addition to the city. However, IMO, Truffles will always remain as FS's main dining establishment in town. Dining rooms in almost all major Ritz-Carlton properties are potential Michelin star candidates, hopefully Toronto's will be one too. ( SF RC has 1* ). Trump and Shangri-La are both ideal destination for Michelin celebrity chefs like Joel Robuchon, Thomas Keller, Jean George, Daniel Boulud or Gordon Ramsey to open up. If one or two of them decide to have an off-shoot here, I'll be ecstatic! Hope the economy will recover by 2010 and fingers crossed!!!

                                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                e
                                                                Eastwind RE: Charles Yu Oct 16, 2008 09:04 AM

                                                                Do you see Truffles moving to the new property (the current property is going to be torn down, correct?)? Hopefully it gets a slight makeover if it does. I don't believe the first batch of properties will open until late 2009, so I think things will start to turn the corner with the economy. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the food and beverage establishments.

                                                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                  t
                                                                  tjr RE: Charles Yu Oct 16, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                                  Gordon Ramsay is looking to open something in Toronto; he talked about it when he was here earlier this year.

                                                          2. sugarcube RE: grilledcheese Sep 13, 2008 06:04 PM

                                                            Went to Bymark yesterday with two buddies and was the perfect choice for our university reunion!

                                                            Although the space was surprisingly small (I thought it would have been the same size as Canoe) it did not detract from the coziness it exuded when we were acutally seated.

                                                            For appetizers my two buddies got the daily soup (crisp pancetta nestled in the bottom of the bowl with creme fraiche was soon drowned in a creamy nutty coloured soup; delicately poured from the waiter's kettle)
                                                            I ordered the Crisp frites with butter braised lobster and classic béarnaise
                                                            “poutine style'- the lobster was unbelievably tender, the frites were crisp and did not carry a note of greasyness and the sinful bearnaise held a buttery sweetness.. it was poutine 'pimped' to the nth degree!

                                                            For mains one ordered the seared day boat scallops with dungeness crab, sweet pea ravioli, sautéed buttered spinach and vichy heirloom carrots (three plump and beautifully seared scallops sat atop of ravioli pillows... it looked awfully lovely and according to my buddy it tasted just as phenominal)

                                                            My other friend ordered the Roasted artisan chicken with sweet pea and fava bean ragout smoked bacon, wild mushrooms and hand thrown noodles (while it didn't really appeal to me, he gave me a piece of the chicken to try and it was flavourful and moist. however it just didn't have any wow factor to make it something i'd order)

                                                            I went for the famed Bymark burger 8 oz. U.S.D.A prime beef with brie de meaux,
                                                            crisp pancetta, grilled porcini, shaved truffles & crisp onion rings. I ordered it rare (which you can't do with any typical burger as noted by our waiter). oh my- it was divine.. tender and juicy meat with the earthness of the truffles and porcini.. the crisp nuggets of salty pancetta and the creamy brie.. it was all just too salivatingly good!
                                                            My only slight disappointment was with the onion rings. presentation was great: a tower of large golden brown rings were stacked atop one another. however upon biting into one-- I received a mouth full of oiliness. more grease than onion taste. :(

                                                            for dessert we chose the trio of desserts (minature versions of their warm chocolate tote, creme brulee and churros). the creme brulee was smooth, creamy and flecked with vanilla seeds. like any good brulee the best part of cracking into the burnt sugar crust). the chocolate torte was all right,it was moist, but nothing spectacular (it wasn't a molten chocolate cake.. which I have a soft spot for).. although the peanut butter ice cream it came with was a pleasure to eat. the churros left something to be desired: to me the interiors tasted like unpleasant flavourless raw, chewy dough :( the pisatchio brittle that accompanied it was the only enjoyable aspect of the churro dish.

                                                            the service was prompt, attentive and very helpful ( as a keener I asked a couple questions and appreciated the waiter's patience and kindness in providing me with answers to the best of his ability)

                                                            when our bill arrived, a platter of three small white chocolate chip cookies with a garnish of raspberries also was set in front of us. it was a welcome surprise.

                                                            I'll definitely return but give the desserts a pass next time.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: sugarcube
                                                              e
                                                              erly RE: sugarcube Oct 16, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                              Agree with Bymark.
                                                              My best meal in T.O. in recent memory, and the fish was much tastier than the $$$$$$fish at L"Arpege two weeks ago.
                                                              Zucca never disappoints.
                                                              Kaji, as close to a perfect tasting menu as I have ever experienced in this city.
                                                              Celestin is not exciting, but always assured of good and well prepared food.
                                                              Had an excellent meal at Rosebud recently, as well at the lower price point.
                                                              However it was my first time, and we may have been lucky.
                                                              We still like George, which has fallen off the radar.
                                                              Truffles and Splendido at the highest pricepoint.
                                                              The "glass ceiling" will be broken by the influx of celebrity chefs, despite the recession....
                                                              although... we dined at several 3, 2, and 1 star restaurants in September, there were empty tables, and the hottest restaurant in Paris at the moment 2* Le Cinq was three quarters empty at lunch.

                                                              1. re: erly
                                                                Charles Yu RE: erly Oct 16, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                                Wow! Bymark's fish is 'much tastier' than L'Arpege! Now, that's something! But then, I'm not too surprised since I always find L'Arpege's cuisine one of the most 'subdued' amongst the Parisian 3*s.
                                                                Talk about fish, I had an 'amazing' piece of Lake Huron Sturgeon at Starfish last week. It was literally out of this world - the taste and the texture!! Again, much tastier than the $$$$ fish I had at NYC Le Bernadiin a while back - another over-rated and uninspiring 3*! IMO.
                                                                BTW, when did Le Cing dropped from 3 to 2*?
                                                                To this out-dated list, may be one should delete Xacutti, King's garden and Susur and add Nota Bene, Lucien and Zee Grill. The latter, I found often overlooked by foodies for its very good seafood!

                                                            2. KayceeK RE: grilledcheese Oct 16, 2008 06:22 AM

                                                              I'd remove Didier from the list. I've been there twice recently and was less than impressed both times, with the level of service and freshness of the fish.

                                                              1. e
                                                                e8ghtmileshigh RE: grilledcheese Oct 22, 2008 10:58 PM

                                                                you can't put rosebud and north 44 on the same list

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: e8ghtmileshigh
                                                                  estufarian RE: e8ghtmileshigh Oct 23, 2008 09:07 AM

                                                                  But I have them both on my bottom 50 list!

                                                                2. l
                                                                  LYuan RE: grilledcheese Oct 23, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                                  King's garden!?!?!? Are you kidding me??? Talk about overpriced, average ho-hum cantonese food...

                                                                  For sushi, I'd say Le Cafe Michi over Hiro, and I don't see Il Mulino, which I think is one of the top Italian Restaurants (not to mention a fantastic wine list) in GTA.

                                                                  1. b
                                                                    bassman RE: grilledcheese Oct 23, 2008 07:42 PM

                                                                    I like Sopra's filet, and most of the rest of their menu. As a performer there for about a year, I found the food and service consistently good. Let's face it; most of the higher-end places are pretentious as hell. I couldn't care less about their trappings, as long as the food and service are at an expected level.

                                                                    Consider Cajun Bajan for an excelent quality-to-price ratio. I am far more impressed with this type of find than I am with the exhalted food bastions.

                                                                    PS, Ruth's Crisp sucks, Harbour 60 is very good, but does a great meal for two really have to cost $600 to $1000 or more?

                                                                    What about Lucy's Seafood, Lousiana, The, yes, ....The Tulip? It seems to me that the opinions of many people are infuenced more by trappings and persona than by palate.

                                                                    But then, I'm just one person, with one person's opinion.

                                                                    1. sugarcube RE: grilledcheese Oct 29, 2008 05:57 PM

                                                                      I've been meaning to try George, but the resto has kind of fallen off the radar... any thoughts on it for those who have dined there?

                                                                      Also, what are your comments on both Splendido and Scaramouche? I want to head to Scaramouche first before they move locations. I've heard about Scaramouche's signature coconut cream pie (by former pastry chef:Joanne Yolle's?).
                                                                      What other 'must order items' are there from these two restaurants?

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sugarcube
                                                                        skylineR33 RE: sugarcube Oct 29, 2008 08:43 PM

                                                                        I always enjoy the food at George, lots of flavour and nicely balanced.

                                                                        I prefer the food at Splendido over Scaramouche. The must order item in there include the Pork Belly, if one like Nota Bene's strong and heavy flavour suckling pig dish, this one is even better IMO and not as heavy. The other dish that is always on their menu which I love a lot is the Souffle ! Here is a pic of it. A must try there !

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                                                          sugarcube RE: skylineR33 Oct 30, 2008 06:01 AM

                                                                          Thanks for the information SkylineR33.

                                                                          Oh yes, the boudin noir tart at Nota Bene was divine :D (I know many mentioned it to be heavy, but I didn't find it to be so.. maybe because I just like to eat a lot.haha) If that is just the tip of the iceberg then I would be enticed to try the Pork Belly at Splendido. It would probably be even more decadent.
                                                                          I noticed Chef David also has an affinity for cooking items sous-vide- have you triedsome of these dishes? How were they?
                                                                          Do you opt for the tasting menu or the a la carte?
                                                                          Thanks!
                                                                          p.s. gorgeous pic of the souffle!

                                                                          1. re: sugarcube
                                                                            skylineR33 RE: sugarcube Oct 30, 2008 11:23 AM

                                                                            I have only tried the foie gras cuit sous vide and enjoy it a lots ! Highly recommended too, the dish goes really well with the sea salt on the side.

                                                                            Personally I like ordering the a la carte (3 courses + dessert, which is quite a lots of food to me) at Splendido, the tasting menu, one time it came with a mini size souffle which was not really inflated.

                                                                      2. e
                                                                        e8ghtmileshigh RE: grilledcheese Nov 6, 2008 11:45 PM

                                                                        susur is closed, tuets name is changed. north 44 is just a name

                                                                        1. j
                                                                          jarusoba RE: grilledcheese Nov 15, 2008 05:50 PM

                                                                          I have tried all of the restaurants in your list. I don't agree that Susur, C5, North 44, Bymark and Hiro are on the list.

                                                                          Susur was just like a wanna-be. The dishes were not prepared well. Maybe it was just one time that I went there and it disappointed me. But I did not go back again. Anyways, it's dead now.

                                                                          C5 is famous just because of its location. The service and food were sub-par.

                                                                          Bymark and North 44 are famous because of the celebrity chef status of the owner. The food is terrible. The only thing that may appeal to some people is the large size. And even that would turn me off.

                                                                          Hiro sushi used to be good. But the last time I went was the last time I would go. It is a huge no-no to serve Japanese meal with broken and chipped bowls and dishes. And most of their dishes are chipped. They are not good any more.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jarusoba
                                                                            Charles Yu RE: jarusoba Nov 15, 2008 07:08 PM

                                                                            I totally AGREE with you and I admire your guts for posting your opinion on the captioned 'overated 5 ' which I believe for sure will attract lots of flak!!

                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                              t
                                                                              tjr RE: Charles Yu Nov 16, 2008 08:15 AM

                                                                              I had some good meals at Susur, but those were a long time ago, and now that it's gone, I won't miss the awful meals I've had there as well. C5 isn't very good either, and Hiro isn't even in my top 5 sushi restaurants in the GTA. I think having Ruth's Chris on a list like this shows its value anyways.

                                                                              Disagree with Bymark though; I've never had bad food there, and there are some menu items (lobster poutine, burger) that I absolutely love and could probably eat everyday. Can't say the same about North 44 though, which, while I've enjoyed some of the meals I've had there, I don't like as much as Bymark.

                                                                              1. re: tjr
                                                                                e
                                                                                erly RE: tjr Nov 16, 2008 10:38 AM

                                                                                I am surprised that you would eliminate Bymark.
                                                                                I agree with you about the others though.
                                                                                Never liked Susur, not that he wasn't capable, he just didn't deliver.
                                                                                The single bet dish that I have had in T.O. this year was a black Cod from Bymark.
                                                                                Have only been there a few times, but each meal was excellent.
                                                                                To add a little controversy, I am probably the only person here who would eliminate Nota Bene.

                                                                                1. re: erly
                                                                                  Charles Yu RE: erly Nov 16, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                                                  Eliminate Nota Bene! Wow!! Talk about controversial! Curious what makes you say that. I guarantee BokChoi will come to its defence!! Ha!
                                                                                  Never was impressed with Bymark's food. I once had a supposedly fork tender braised brisket which turned out to be bland in taste as well as dry and tough. May be the 'fish' line-chef can do a better job.

                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                    BokChoi RE: Charles Yu Nov 16, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                                                    Charles Yu,

                                                                                    You are just so correct! But I respect that many others may not have enjoyed their experience. If my memory serves me correctly, erly found the restaurant too noisy and I can see how that would detract from a wonderful experience. I however have always had a wonderful time there. I would definitely return. I still have not tried every single menu item - the rabbit pasta is definitely next on my list - the tiny bit I sampled last time left me wanting more!

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