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Oct 20, 2007 07:53 PM

Chowfind at Main and Danforth

Just returned from Bistro Camino on the Danforth between Main and Vic Park (across the street from the Canadian Tire).

The restaurant used to be Japanese, but the owner decided to change things up and has now gone with a French/Mediterranean kind of theme.

Basically, the menu is a lot of more of the European "standards." Coq au Vin, Duck L'orange, Beef Stroganoff. So if you're looking for super-inventive stuff, this probably isn't the place for you. There's zero high-end attitude and the prices--incredibly cheap (though we don't want to let them know this) for what you get. For starters we had the beef carpaccio appetizer ($6) and then I had the Coq au Vin ($13 including soup or salad) and my hubby had the ox tounge. Both were good, though I thought my husband's was great--very tender and well-seasoned. Mine was slightly oversalted, but for $13 (which also included steamed veggies and roasted potatoes), I was quick to forgive this slight miscalculation.

Desert--a fresh fruit tarte with a chocolate custard was great, while the creme caramel was good, but in fact more a japanese-style pudding.

Our total bill for the carpaccio, 2 mains (which included sides and, as I said choice of soup or salad), 2 desserts, 2 glasses of wine and one pop came to $62 with tax. While Bistro Camino doesn't have a hip vibe (feels a bit like a fresher 'old school' restaurant) or a hot location both the service and food were excellent value for the money. And while I love the food of many cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants, sometimes it's nice to go for an inexpensive meal where the tables AREN't lined with plastic table clothes to haul away the post-meal dishes. We only found out about the place because it was written up in a local Japanese newspaper (my mate is from Japan). The only thing I managed to find online in English was this:

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  1. Fabulous ! Thanks for the review! Im goign to keep my eyes open for it next time I drive down the danforth

    1. Thanks for the detailed review, always good to hear about another find in the 'hood'.

      Bistro Camino
      2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

      1. I have been knocked out by the value and quality at Bistro Camino. I moved into the neighbourhood and had only found one small Thai Place that I liked. When it sht its doors (now is Goodys) and I was starving, I wandered into Bistro Camino and have been there at least once a week ever since, both alone and with others. The menu has a lot of old dishes such as coquilles St Jacques and Lobster thermador and has lots of variety. I have enjoyed everything I have tried. The sauteed pickeral for around $15 is a favorite of mine. It came with a choice of 2 soups or a salad. The mussel soup was very good and I have it every chance I can. Friends have tried others and enjoyed them. The meals come with vegetables and there is always a Japanese influence of some sort such as lotus root. Roast beef comes with freshly grated horseradish, grated at the table. Last night my friend had the roast lamb special $20- it came served medium rare and was delicious. She also received soup, salad and dessert- tiramusu which was pretty good. Not as good as Grano but better than most I have had. The portions for everything are generous. Service is friendly but can be of varying speed depending upon how many people are there. There is usually only one server. The dinnerware is more upscale than you would imagine for the restaurant. Napkins when dropped on the floor are replaced with a fresh one without asking. The decor leaves something to be desired but given the prices, there probbaly is not a lot of extra cash around for decorating. I am so happy to have found this reaturant virtually in my backyard! I hesitated to post about it, wanting to keep it my only little secret. But then decided I wanted the restaurant to be a success, so that it is not forced to close due to a lack of business.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mariadisantos

          thanks for the update, I had kind of forgotten about it and now I am intrigued yet again.. I will make an effort to get out there for sure.

          1. re: hungryabbey

            Based on the comments here, a friend and I decided to make the trek to Bistro Camino for dinner. Overall review: two thumbs up.

            Yes, the area is less than posh, and yes, the restaurant's decor isn't glamorous, though not grungy or anything. But the food is really, really delicious. At really, really good prices.

            I started with one of the day's specials, which was sauteed oysters and bacon on mixed greens with a light balsamic dressing. The oysters (6? 7?) were still plump and gently briny, the bacon (possibly pancetta) and dressing were a lovely complement. For the main, I had the beef stroganoff. It was clearly made a la minute, because the meat was still rare and tender. The mushrooms and onions in the rich sauce were plate-licking good (I refrained) with the sour cream on the side (I did not refrain). Perfectly cooked veggies artfully arranged, accompanied.The main came with a choice of soup, and I had the potato and corn chowder. Yum! Gently creamy, sweetish from the corn, no mealiness at all. Gorgeous.

            My friend, a lighter eater, had the other soup of the day as her starter - a minestrone with chick peas. She was very enthusiastic. Note, though, the soup is not vegetarian upon close inspection. For her main, she had the Angus filet salad. A generous portion (we guessed about 5 oz, maybe more) of fresh-grilled filet, to her specifications, on field greens, with a tasty dressing.

            Desserts followed. The lemon-coffee panna cotta was devoured promptly. My creme brulee was a bit pedestrian, and not freshly-prepared, but still tasty.

            Everything was plated beautifully, and the service was... perhaps a smidge laissez-faire, but the server was knowledgeable and efficient when needed, so it's a minor quibble. And again, at the prices...

            My meal of a starter (oyster-based, mind), a full-sized soup, a main, a dessert, and a bottle of fizzy water was $45 after tax. I call it a steal. I neglected to notice my friend's bill, but the soup was in the $5 range, the salad around $9, and the dessert around $6. Also a steal.

            There were many other things on the menu that we wanted to try, so we will definitely be going back. Thanks for the heads-up, Chowhounders!

        2. That's awesome! I just walked by it on Friday night and wondered what the deal was. Glad to hear it's good. Looks like there are a lot of papered up storefronts in that area, so hopefully there will be some more good options. The area sorely needs it. Say, did anyone notice the new shawarma joint that opened on the corner of Main and Danforth last week? Has anyone been as yet?

          2 Replies
          1. re: currycue

            We ventured into the new shawarma place at Main and Danforth on its opening day during their special buy one, get one half price. We usually head up to Lawrence and Pharmacy for Farhat's, so we were hoping this might give us a closer-to-home shawarma fix. Unfortunately they only serve chicken, and although they have a large assortment of sides (including pickled turnip), the lettuce was decidedly brown, and they were very stingy on the filling. Two shawarmas equals one at Farhats. I guess we've been spoiled by great shawarmas, but this place just doesn't cut it. My daughter had their falafel and her verdict was that they were just okay.

          2. Decor in the east end is hard to find. Luckily good food isn't. It does test a lady's mettle though, entering some establishments.

            Here's another link with some more info: