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Eleven

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Brad Moore's "Eleven" at Front and Jarvis (formerly Ninth Gate) is supposed to be long open by now, and I hear they have a Sunday brunch. But every time I walk buy it seems vaguely closed...

Is it open? Has anyone been? What's the food like? How's the brunch? What's the price range?

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  1. Eleven is definitely open. It probably looks "vaguely closed" because the lighting is quite dim. I go past several times a week and there has never been more than a handful of people inside. Haven't been in yet although I keep meaning to give it a try.

    1. Tell me more? What kind of food are they serving?

      11 Replies
      1. re: OnDaGo

        Moore describes it as “contemporary world comfort cuisine”.

        There are menus on the website - http://www.eleventoronto.com/ - although they don't include prices, which concerns me a bit.

        1. re: gregclow

          Hmmm. Indeed. Lack of prices always drives me crazy...

          1. re: mainja

            It's specifically identified as "temporary" - cut them some slack! It's actually the old Ninth Gate site!
            http://www.ninthgate.ca/
            But I agree, prices should ALWAYS be known.
            The appetizers are around the $8-12, the mains are about $18-25 and the sides were $4-6, desserts $8.

            And it's part of the 'plate-sharing' trend in that area (JK, Colborne Lane, Kultura etc). Not a bad entry - total bill (before tip) around $150 including a bottle of wine.
            Best items (for me) were the 'Crunchy Pawa Squid' , the sides (Spiced Onion Rings, Manchego mash) and the Carrot Toffee Pudding for dessert. Mains were competent (Sesame Duck, Seared Tuna) but didn't really excite me and I found all the servings lukewarm, too cool for my liking. I want my food hot.
            But another visit is certainly warranted. Based on the chef's history I'd also want the spicing ramped up a bit.

          2. re: gregclow

            A friend told me that the service was atrocious, and the food tasted okay.
            Dinner for 2 came out to $250 (with wine).
            I was thinking about checking it out soon since I'm around the corner.

            1. re: Suresh

              Do your friends buy expensive wine?
              My post (immediately above - and first person, not second-hand) identified $150 for two, including wine.

              1. re: estufarian

                Can't confirm yet, but I'm guessing it was at least 2 bottles of medium priced wine.
                They said service was still bad during a second visit

                1. re: Suresh

                  Given the bargain hunter wines they carry at Eleven, I'm surprised anyone could rack up that much. I think they're good choices, but they are of the lower cost variety. Didn't notice much that was expensive, but then I wasn't in the mood to care.

            2. re: gregclow

              the website seems to be down, is it just down 'cause of normal interweb gremlins, or has the place closed already?

              1. re: mainja

                i was there saturday night. it is not closed.

                  1. re: Googs

                    oh, i really liked it! then again I was a fan of Xacutti, and I am a vegetarian( i mention this because i have heard some criticisms of how expensive it is, but for us it was very cheap)- almost everything we had was great.
                    we ordered tapas style
                    let's see, we had the fritters (i thought just okay, husband loved), root vegetable rice cakes- very good,
                    then we had the papaya salad (really good, interesting flavour), ginger beet salad (good but slightly bland)

                    then we had the manchego truffle potatoes ( i would go back for this alone, it was fabulous, rich, flavourful- worth every calorie), some sort of rice which was delicious, green beans (i think) and the mushroom asparagus stirfy - also outstanding.

                    for dessert we had a flourless chocolate cake with some sort of peanut brittle ice cream- so good- it was more of a molten lava cake, and i don't generally like that.

                    two complaints on the menu are 1) the wine- there is not much on offer- but what we had was actually not bad ( a shiraz, details are fuzzy), and 2) no espresso! shocking. i know they specialize in tea, but still...

                    anyway, i found the service to be really friendly and attentive- and the dishes didn't arrive en masse, even though we ordered without direction- things came out exactly as i would have timed them. i was pretty happy with the place. also, it was almost at capacity, which was cool, with people still coming in just before 11pm (not sure when kitchen closes)

          3. I went for brunch this weekend.

            I enjoyed the food (Cardamom biscuits and salmon benedict) but the service needs work. They seem to have issues with brewing coffee..it took FOREVER. Our server disappeared after serving our dishes and never came back. I would probably go back in a month or so in hopes that service gets better.

            As for brunch prices, I would say most brunch mains go for $10 - 17. The sides (croissant, donuts, biscuits, etc) range from $3-5.

            1. We went to Eleven for brunch at around 11:30 today. It was less than half full and service was ok. The menu had a lot of items that were on the Xacutti brunch menu (like the cardamom biscuits, bombay scramble, toblerone fondue waffles and coconut pancakes...).

              We ordered:

              the Salmon Benedict with curried hollandaise (bf said the 1/2 croissant it was served on didn't do the job as good as an english muffin),

              the Waffle with caramelised banana and toblerone fondue (I loved this... The waffle was not crisp through the center but i didn't mind at all. It had a faint lime flavour. The toblerone fondue was actually poured over and didn't have as much nougat as I expected but it was still delicious. The fruit side was very small so I'd recommend getting the sausage or bacon side option instead)

              The wild mushroom crouton omelet. The mushrooms weren't "wild" as advertised but the omelet was nice and moist and the filling was generous. The bf like it the best.

              All the food was hot and nicely presented. The homefries were crisp and adequately spiced. I don't usually like homefries as they can be greasy, crumbly or not well browned.

              My one complaint is their organic teas are expensive, ($6.50), and their fresh juices are very small servings. I liked that it wasn't busy or noisy (i'm used to the table to table and line ups of queen and dundas west).

              I'd like to go back for more of the brunch items but we'll likely return to try the dinner menu.

              3 Replies
              1. re: chocabot

                It seems Toronto Star restaurant critic Amy Pataki will have some less-than-flattering things to say about Eleven this Saturday in the Star.

                Stay tuned!

                1. re: danthediner

                  There's also a review today (Feb 28th) in Eye.

                  **

                  11th comment in the post about Eleven. :) Because the number seems to follow me around.

                  1. re: danthediner

                    DTD, I would consider that an endorsement. Now I'll have to check out Eleven.

                2. After reading 3 reviews of Eleven today I have only this to say. I'm stunned that anyone would think that Jarvis & Front isn't ready for spice. The St Lawrence Market area has been in dire need of a great resto for a long time. It's a shame to think that the epicentre of epicures, The St. Lawrence Market, hasn't one good place nearby that reflects the culture of the market goers. Far from being unready. We're overdue. Bring on the spice.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Googs

                    The review of Eleven in the Star today wasn't exactly glowing. It pretty much stated that the food was overpriced and bland.

                    1. re: dragonflygrl

                      Makes me wonder if Joanne Kates (G&M) and Amy Pataki (Star) even ate in the same restaurant.

                      But yes, according to The star, small portions, BIG prices!

                      1. re: danthediner

                        Did anyone bother to check if Kates and Pataki ate the same dishes? It's a huge menu with lots of Xacutti leftovers. If they ate different food then they could quite understandably have different experiences of Eleven, no? Not defending either clueless hack...

                  2. My favourite line was in the Toronto Star review, when Amy Pataki mentioned that oversalting:

                    "A single forkful of the the creamed lentils served with black cod could provide all the sodium needed by a herd of deer in wintertime, so painfully is it over-seasoned."

                    Hilarious!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pinkprimp

                      I went to Eleven Saturday night with two others. I like to keep an open mind and hope that our experience was an aberration, but I wonder if it was. We arrrived about 8:15pm. Our waitress appeared promptly to take drink orders, and was also prompt about checking on when we were ready to order food. Her descriptions of wine options were good, and she was helpful about answering our menu questions. A good start! We ordered appetizers and our main courses about 8:40pm. As we were deep in conversation, it was about 9:30pm when we realized that a long period of time had elapsed with no food arriving (including no bread - not sure if they don't serve bread, or if they forgot to deliver it to us), and no indication of when it would arrive. We waited 10 more minutes, and decided then to flag down our waitress to inquire about status. It was now one hour since ordering, and still no food. She assured us that the appetizers would be delivered shortly, and she went in the kitchen to check. She came back with a "there was a glitch in the system" explanation, and told us that due to the glitch, appetizers and main courses were going to arrive together. Appetizers arrived about 10 minutes later (approx 9:50pm) and main courses shortly after 10pm. We couldn't help but wonder whether the "system glitch" was a computer glitch as she suggested, or a forgetful waitress or kitchen staff member. No further explanation arrived, but she was apologetic and offered us a free drink or dessert. As we were not having any more drinks, she did deduct 2 appetizers and dessert from the bill. By the time our food finally arrived, our pre-dinner drinks were long finished, and our bottle of wine intended for dinner was almost done. It would have been very difficult for the waitress to salvage our evening at that point. I think a more clear explanation of the delay would have helped more than deducting a few items from our bill.
                      It is a shame when the subject of food comes up at the end of the comments, but here there are some good things to report. I thought portion sizes and prices were reasonable. Our appetizers (rice/root veggie balls and calamari) were very ordinary - rice balls were bland. However, 2 of our 3 mains were very good - yougurt chicken and pork tenderloin. The salmon was overcooked, and the sauce was not a good match with it. We had one dessert (toffee pudding/cake?), and it was excellent.
                      If it wasn't for the service issues, I would be looking forward to a return visit.

                    2. We made a reservation for two for dinner at Eleven this Friday evening. We had had several really bad service experiences at Xacutti and had vowed never to return there. However, we had always liked the food at Xacutti so we decided to give Eleven a try.

                      At eight-thirty the restaurant was about half full. Not much ambiance. Seemed understaffed. No one offered to take our coats. Upon confirmation that we had a reservation, we were seated by window with a view across Jarvis to the (closed) darkened St. Lawrence farmer's market building.

                      We were offered a "cocktail", which we declined - opting for the wine list instead. A group of people at an adjacent table were using flash photography to take pictures of each other. Some entertainment was provided by a passer-by with a suitcase who seemingly attempted enter the restaurant through the window beside our table. Most of the few other pedestrians that passed our window simply looked cold.

                      We ordered a $45 bottle of Viognier, two salads (the Baby Greens with toasted Almonds, Mango and Goat cheese, Lemon & Pepper - $11, and the Gingered Beet Salad - $7), Black Cod with Black Lentils, Tomatoes & Cream ($18), Seared Tuna with Tapioca Cumin Fritters, Tamarind Green Chilies and Cucumber Yogurt ($24), and the Green Beans Stir-Fry with Lentils and Coconut ($4).

                      The wine and the salads arrived fairly promptly. The baby greens were what you would expect. The gingered beet salad was a disappointment. The beets were soggy – as if they’d been prepared at least several hours before – we had expected and hoped for something with some crunch.

                      Seventy-five minutes into our visit, by nine forty-five, the few remaining guests were starting to pack up and there was still no sign of our entrees. Having at that point consumed a half serving of baby greens and two glasses of wine, I was seriously hungry and asked our waitress if perhaps she could offer us something else to eat while we continued to wait. (Why wasn’t there any bread?)

                      We were offered an apology and told that our she had intended to offer us free deserts, but would see what she could do in the meantime (nothing).

                      Fifteen minutes later our mains miraculously arrived. By then the wine was finished and I was ready to leave. The black cod was nice, the green beans were excellent. The seared tuna with tapioca cumin fritters delicious but unfortunately stone cold. However, we were both so hungry, we would have accepted anything.

                      When I was able to flag our waitress down to mention that the tuna dish was cold, she expressed surprise and brought a small plate with four cumin fritters that were indeed warm and very nice.

                      After a long fast it always takes a while for the stomach and brain to re-establish communication. Hence we ordered our free deserts (Cinnamon-Ginger doughnuts with coffee ice cream and Flourless Chocolate with Cashew Brittle Ice Cream). Both were sweet, filling and served promptly. Espresso or cappuccino did not appear to be available, so we concluded with regular coffee.

                      Excluding service, our check came to $171.10. After I asked our waitress for the wine list so I could verify the cost of our wine, our check was re-issued, this time for $130.85. It turned out that the “computer” had priced the Viognier incorrectly. We left shortly before eleven. I don’t think we will be back.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: chowdingk

                        Had dinner there last night as a continuing B-Day celebration with my wife. She wanted to check it out, glad it was not my idea.

                        There is a serious lack of direction in the Front of the House with the service. Walked in without a rezo @ 6:45. There were 3 other couples dining. Sat for 12 minutes before the staff realized no-one was at our table as they were chatting at the bar, polishing silverware (at 7pm on a Sat night??!!) in plain view as we tried to catch their eye. I had a martini which was made improperly, ordered it dry - too much vermouth. Canada is notorious for being the land of bad cocktails - way too small on the pours and no understanding of a classic cocktail (but that is a rant for another day). My wife ordered a glass of Viognier. The server brought a glass of Syrah! Pathetically incompetent right off the bat.

                        The service was horrible - slow, pretentious, and down right annoying. We arrived with the idea of sampling some food, as we were on our way to see the legendary Buddy Guy - the show actually made me forget that I even had dinner last night! Great Blues legend, unbelievable performer with a high level of musicianship from his band. A must see!

                        We ordered the calamari for an app and then halibut and duck for our entrees. It took forever for the calamari to come out of the kitchen. A surprise since we made it known we were going to the show, and the hostess was happy that we were leaving before 8, as that's when they needed the table.

                        The calamari was great. It was breaded with a flaked pressed rice ingredient I have never had before. Great crunch and very tender.

                        My wife's halibut was fantastic - the sesame duck breast was ok. Descent flavor, but as someone posted earlier, the food was luke-warm. No excuse as they were not busy. The entrees took forever as well. I also ordered a hot and cold rice with a yogurt sauce. The rice was incredibly crunchy. Not sure of the history of rice made in this style, as the hot was spicy hot and the cold was the temperature that it was served. Very weird item. Did not enjoy it.

                        There is no sense of urgency or attention to details here. Seems like a chef who has some talent with his ingredients and creativity, but no-one with a clue as to how to run and drive a restaurant. Too many other great places in Toronto to bother going back.

                        1. re: kkleist

                          Not a single slow food resto could serve up a 3 course meal in an hour. It was an unreasonable expectation.

                          1. re: Googs

                            "A surprise since we made it known we were going to the show, and the hostess was happy that we were leaving before 8, as that's when they needed the table."

                            It sounds like the restaurant didn't agree that being out in an hour was an unreasonable expectation.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              From Slowfood.com: "Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world."

                            2. re: Googs

                              I always thought "slow food" was a philosophy of how food should be gathered and sourced, not an excuse for not cooking things quickly.

                          1. re: artificialard

                            Funny. I have to wonder if they even ate at the same place. Hubby & I had the exact same dishes on the weekend. I found it to be one of the best brunches we and I have had in this city in a long time. The scramble is intended to work with all of the elements upon which it's served to achieve the desired flavours while making each bite slightly different. The curry of the benedict elevates its flavours without overwhelming the salmon. Love the grilled bread. Such a nice little touch.

                            I don't dispute they have service issues. During our brunch experience, though, I observed the two servers working very hard. One even took a reservation while on her way to retrieve orders. It seems to me that for the price of one busperson they could improve their reputation and their sales. Open up the wallet already.

                          2. I was just trying to find the restaurant's website, and it now comes up as "The Garden @ Eleven". The dinner menu does not appear to resemble a Brad Moore-esque style. Does anyone know what's going on? Does it have a new owner/chef and therefore a new menu? From the postings, this must have happened very recently??!! I was just about to make lunch plans here, but will reconsider if things have changed.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: wephie

                              I know chefdb is not always up to date but there doesn't appear to be a new chef -
                              http://www.chefdb.com/pl/10945/

                              -----
                              The Garden @ Eleven
                              11 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5E1N3, CA

                              1. re: wephie

                                Apparantly, they've changed chefs. Pat Riley(Perigee) is now heading the kitchen. Went for dinner the other day, menu was refreshing and very tasty, but the decor is the same from the old eleven. The wine list is also a carry over from eleven, but I was promised that a new wine list was being put together to better suit the cuisine. Will definately be back to check it out.

                                1. re: Mystrail

                                  We're supposed to be going Saturday to celebrate my wife's B-day. Would you still recommmend going? What is the atmosphere like?

                                  1. re: robb

                                    The atmosphere is casual - but the decor from eleven gives a sophisticated and trendy vibe to the room. Music is typical resto-jazz and not too loud. Patio is a lilttle bland, but the food more than makes up for it. You should check it out.

                                  2. re: Mystrail

                                    Had lunch there with colleagues on the first day it opened for lunch as the Garden. They were essentially serving the brunch menu until they developed a more specific lunch menu. Food was good and reasonably priced (brunch priced, essentially!) And we were the only ones in there! Would give it another try once they're truly up and running for lunch, and I would also try it for dinner. Nice to have another option not too far from the financial district. Had a large patio, BTW, although the corner of Jarvis and Front is quite loud...

                                    1. re: wephie

                                      wephie, are they still serving brunch during lunch times (or around that time) on weekdays? I'm always looking for great weekday brunch spots.