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Dec 9, 2007 08:51 PM

"One" by Mark McEwan Review

2 went for lunch at 2pm thinking "lunch", but brunch appears to be all day on Sundays. Busy, then thinned out to 3-4 tables by 3ish. We ordered the crostini (both kinds - one squash and one white bean) and thought they were very nice - each order is 2 long thin crostini with a generous spread on each. We split the squash soup (loved it - friend scraped at bowl with was pretty sad really), and the beet, walnut and quebec blue cheese salad (great presentation / yummy).

Unfortunately, we had also ordered the avocado and chicken club as well as frites with a garlic dip to split as well. Way too much for 2 ladies. Garlic dip was very garlic-y. This was okay though, because it prevented one from dipping in too much (mayo know how it is).

Service was okay. Only got one cup of coffee / no refill nor offer. Nice staff. Food came out way too fast - had to send it back to be brought out later - and I never do that. They remade it with no fuss at all, and an apology / joke as well. Also, food did not come out in order that we ordered it (e.g. crostini was ordered first, but soup was served first). No big deal.

Ambiance was beautiful in the main room and cavernous in the bar area. Could be a lot more interesting in the bar. Looked like someone came in and took a couple of tables out. Maybe they did...I don't know. Lots of nice light. Great views of street but private.

Kids: I don't think so.

Temperature: Great!

Washrooms: Friend went / no comment. Got lost on way there.

Season: Winter.

Comfort: Chairs were amazingly comfortable - best in the city. Benches not so supportive according to friend. Tables extra long.

Extras: Little mini bench by your table to rest your bag / purse; coat check; reservation confirmation; staff are "cool" with splitting things. Great coffee. Guys (and girls I guess), patron-wise, the men were cute - we're not looking, but couldn't help noticing.

Value: Good to excellent. Lunch / Brunch @ $50 pp (no alcohol). Almost totally worth it.

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  1. Hey, did you go this Sunday past?

    I was there at 1:30 with my mom & cousin for my cousin's birthday lunch/brunch/Xmas shopping excursion. My mom had the lemon ricotta pancakes, cousin had the omelette, and I had the pork shoulder sandwich and ordered a side of tempura onion rings.

    The food came out very quickly, my cousin was a little perturbed as she had ordered an eggwhite omelette, which it was obviously not, but no biggie. My mothers pancakes looked wicked, and I liked the touch of bringing a little carraffe of syrup with butter layered on top. I immediately saw problems with my sandwich, in that structurally I thought "How the hell am I going to eat this thing without making a mess?" and I was a little disappointed by my onion rings, I expected to them to be battered in the tempura that you get in sushi restaurants (that's called panzo...right?).

    Everyone of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal, but I will say that I did in fact have trouble eating the sandwich, it fell apart, but I was able to control the mess somewhat so it didn't look like a two year old had mushed it up...but seriously, a sandwich that is 6 inches high and 2 inches do they not expect a mess? But that aside, it was delicious.

    Service was ok, or server seemed overly friendly to the point of insincerity...he could have toned it down a bit. And, same as you troublebunny1, no refill coffee was offered, but we did ask, which he was more than happy to accomodate (although at $4 a cup, there had better be refills for drip coffee)

    My only qualm was that while waiting for my mom & cousin to return from the ladies room, I thought I would treat myself to a Campari while waiting at the bar. The bartender said "No problem" but then after about 5 minutes or so of frantic searching, she could not find any. Little disappointed, but again no biggie.

    As for your statement regarding the aesthetics of the male patrons, even though it was probably not directed at me, I will take the complement....thanks.

    A last little note, after our meal, we ended up at Holt's, and lo, who should be standing by one of the makeup desks? But Mark McEwan, standing amongst a number of fuschia Holt's shopping bags, looking like he would much rather be cooking, or anywhere else other than shopping....

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lazar

      Do you mean panko for the onion rings? That's a different kind of batter than used for normal tempura -- it's much flakier.

      1. re: furhead

        Panko's not a batter, it's a Japanese bread crumb.

        1. re: DAB

          furhead & DAB,

          Thanks for the correction, I can now hold my head up high and proud.

          Thanks again.


    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. +

        One Restaurant
        116 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 1C2, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: JamieK

          I was with a group at One for lunch today. For the most part, the food was superb. Highlights included the steak tartare, duck confit, roasted beet salad with blue cheese and walnuts, and the macadamia nut tart with cinnamon ice cream. The one real standout was the frites with truffle and reggiano: the scent of the truffle oil filled the whole room when they brought them in, and they were cooked perfectly and delicious. The risotto with chanterelles was very nice, but a little more cooked than I like (not quite enough "bite" in the rice for my taste, but my companions loved it). The only disappointment for me was the bowl of onion rings. They looked great, and the dip was delicious, but they weren't crisp enough. The batter had a mushy consistency inside that didn't appeal.

          It ain't cheap. Lunch for 8 with only 5 drinking (one round of cocktails and two bottles of wine) was a cool $1,200 after tip. Service was very good.

          1. re: Gourmando

            Gourmando, is the steak tartare at One different from the tartare at Bymark? It's excellent at Bymark imho.

            1. re: orangewasabi

              I haven't had it at Bymark, so I can't compare. At One, it was served in a moulded cylindrical shape with a raw quail egg in its shell "cup" on top, with thinly sliced crostini and some greens to the side.

              1. re: Gourmando

                sounds similiar, I'll just have to try it at One, I suppose. For the sake of science, and all