Marooned in Toronto, Help!
I'm a Boston hound, in town for business and didnt make it out tonight (!!@@#$$$%! american airlines).... anyway, I have the whole day tomorrow and all tomorrow night to occupy myself and I'd like to eat my way to happiness.
So - two questions:
1)I'm at the marriott on 90 bloor at intersection of bloor and yonge, in the yorkville area (I think). What good places are within walking distance?
2)I love ethnic foods of all varieties, particularly chinese though - what are toronto hounds favorite spots for authentic dimsum as well as sichuan food? Other indian or ethnic standouts? I can hop a cab to anywhere reasonable. Please include a location or approximate address so I can track it down.
Thanks for any advice in advance, happy to return the favor if you're ever in Boston!
welcome! you'll enjoy your stay if we have anything to do with it...walking distance from you are a few buzz and chow -worthy stops, particularly Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner (amazing lunch, great local wines, international flavours with a nice dose of comfort) and L'unita (never been myself, but it's all the rage...ambiance, italian, etc). check out the place links below.
oh, and this thread seems relevant for dim sum and other food adventures:
Jamie Kennedy Gardiner
111 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S, CA
134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA
For Chinese, there's Dynasty less than a block away. But, if you have only a day, I would hop on a cab and go to Lai Wah Heen inside the Metropolitan Hotel for the 'best'. You won't get this quality of Chinese in Boston ,not even in NYC! Since you are by yourself, I would also concur with Lemonlauren's suggestion of Jamie Kennedy winebar. Sit at the counter, order a few tapas size dishes with wine and watch the chefs at work!
If you like browsing, and have some time in the morning, head down to St. Lawrence Market. It makes for great wandering, and great snacking - either get in a cab, or take the subway (get on at the Bloor/Yonge station, go southbound to Union, and walk east about 3 blocks).
Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, which somebody else mentioned, is right around the corner from the market, on Church Street. It would make an ideal place for lunch, if you go to the market, or dinner, otherwise. They have a policy of accepting only a limited number of dinner reservations, so you'd still likely be able to get seated (which you may well not at L'Unita). It's a great place for solo diners, in particular - there's a chef's bar, where you can sit and chat with the cooks and your neighbours, and sample a lot of really good, locally-provenanced food. http://www.jamiekennedy.ca/v6/restaur...
KingCarnivore, just wanted to make sure that you picked up the differences for the 2 different Jamie Kennedy locations mentioned above. JK at the Gardiner (mentioned by LemonLauren, first) is not the same as JK Wine Bar (which is the one you want for this eve). Click on Chloe103's link and the different addresses will be there. Enjoy!
i personally find the service and atmosphere at rol san to be too much for me. there have been a time when i felt a dish was old/overly cooked and was yelled at for being ignorant as to how it should have been made.
if you'd like some cart service i've been happy with the real old school cantonese feel of forestview restaurant although some other ch-ers aren't as enthused due to some potentially greasy items. otherwise for quick menu ordering, i go to the back of kim moon bakery and get some great items there. not as impressed with their clay rice pots but the chicken feet, haw gow, etc are great.
It's interesting that you mention there have been times a dish at Rol San seemed old/overly cooked, because that was my experience at Forestview.
The food on the whole, just didn't seem fresh. We tried at least a dozen different dishes. Some of the fried items tasted as if they had been fried in old/stale oil, and a few of the steamed dumplings seemed like they had been pushed around the room a few too many times. Some seafood dumplings' fillings were tough, as if they had been oversteamed. We arrived well before 11 to miss any line-ups, so I was surprised that some dishes already seemed like they'd seen better days. Maybe both Rol San and Forestview have problems with consistency, and I just ended up eating there on one of Forestview's off days.
Although it's outside of Chinatown, it's easily twice as expensive as Rol San or Forestview, and the portions are on the small side, I have found the dim sum at Cha Liu, north of Yonge and Eglinton, to be consistently delicious. Over maybe 8-10 visits, I haven't had any dishes that I thought tasted stale or non-fresh, although the fillings in their cheung fun are usually skimpy. Mind you, it always ends up costing over $25/ person.
I've always found the dim sum at Dynasty to be fresh-tasting, too.