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Houndworthy in Kingston?

It has been a few years since I've been to Kingston, and I'm going to find myself there for a few days this spring. I quite like Le Chien Noir, I think Chez Piggy is over-rated, and I'm keen to try Lukes! - c'mon, tete du cochon... I've got to try Lukes! Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Ciao, hounds!

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  1. I hear the chowline at the Kingston Pen serves a mean brisket >>>> I have heard the food at Luke's is Great , he now is largely buying Organic and local ... The problem is with Luke's is the hours are very inconsistant ( so after four or five times .... he has not been open for some reason or other ) .. also i have been iformed by everyone who goes there that the serve is appallingly slow . However i will continue to try and attend .. let me know how you get along !!!
    A suggestion i have for you is Aroma On Ontario Street ..interesting, great tasting tapas and mains an extensive wine list as well .. The chef there is very keen on local or high quality ingredients as well .
    Enjoy yourself .......

    1 Reply
    1. re: coffeecup

      I'm sure that the brisket isn't the only thing that's mean at Kingston Pen.

      Regarding Lukes(!), I gather that it would be advisable to reserve well in advance. What's the story? Is the inconsistancy of hours explicable? I checked the hours online, and they struck me as early-ish, but perhaps that's just a Toronto vs Kingston thing.

      Regarding Aroma, they seem not to have a website. Do you know whether they're associated with Aroma in London, Ont.? That place in London is a pretty pleasant Mediterranean joint.

      Thanks for the help.

    2. I haven't been to Kingston in a year but I always enjoyed Le Chien Noir (and I don't usually like French food), Windmills Cafe (on Princess) and... I'm blanking on this other place where they did great pizzas and some neat appetizers... I think it was called Wooden Heads.

      1. For sure what's been mentioned, plus White Mountain Ice Cream on Ontario and Pan Chancho for b-fast or lunch, on Princess.

        1 Reply
        1. re: thenurse

          They have some great salads for take-away at Pan Chancho--and a very impressive bakery.

        2. Regarding the hours at Luke's ... i meant that you show up when they are sup[posed to be open and they are just not open yet ..the be back in twenty minutes thing . Lukes folks set him up in the restaurant .. they own a winery in "the County" . As for Aroma ... no connection with the London place ; Breakfast / brunch at Pan Chanco ... Chez Piggy's bakery and take-out gormet food place ... good quality -Great Service - Woodheads has great Pizza - the place is always busy ... and its a loud restaurant .

          1. I'm not sure this qualifies as 'houndworthy' but i had an excellent casual dinner with friends at Woodenhead's Pizza. Great entrees and the wood burning oven makes everything taste that little bit better. Will definitely go again when I'm down that way.


            4 Replies
            1. re: yoyodyne

              I recently moved from Kingston. Luke's didn't impress me. Love Chien Noir too, but if you're into something different, you should try Aquaterra. I was skeptical at first (it's in the Radison) but the food was quite good and the wine list is incredible. If you're on the outskirts of town, Bella Bistro is quite good, too (Collin's Bay and Bath Road). Both the menu's can be found online, I believe. Enjoy your trip!

              1. re: Mackers

                The one experience I had at Luke's (admittedly for breakfast a year or so ago) was so so. The in-house smoked salmon was incredible, but the meal was marred by the service - the server's seemed to be under the impression that they were doing us a favor by allowing us to patronize the joint - I would have eaten cardboard at a certain point. A friend who would consider herself a pretty die-hard regular of Luke's has not returned after a service experience that could only be described as horrendous. Maybe it's one of those things that comes with all of a sudden being an "it" place, but something to keep in mind.

                1. re: Mackers

                  I'll second Aquaterra. I had the tasting menu there a couple of months ago, with Niagara wine pairings, and it was great. I was there for business on a Monday night, and Luke's! was closed (I had been hoping to try it.)

                  1. re: Gourmando

                    Mrs FoodyDudey ate at Aquaterra last week and reported that she really enjoyed it, I guess I'll have to go try it out also.

              2. With out a question, you need to try Casa Dominico (behind City Hall). Great food and amazing service. My suggestion try the Steak in Barolo Sauce (rare if possible). One of the most flavourful meals I have had in years). I moved from Kingston to Toronto a while back and I am planning a trip simply to return to my beloved restuarant.

                1. Casa domenico is perhaps the most overrated restaurant in Kingston ... i have never had great srvice there and food has been under epectation every time . i know several others who had equally dissapointing evenings there . i think the Chein Noir and Aroma , woodheads Chez piggy - Pan Chanco are your best bets . As for Aqua Terra a in the the food is generally quite well service is hit and miss ...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: coffeecup

                    I can't speak for Aroma (never been), but Chein Noir was overpriced for the quality. Chez Piggy's food was bland. I agree with Aqua Terra. I had a very good meal there but overall I've heard it is hit or miss.

                    Pan Chanco is absolutely amazing. I would recommend it to anyone.

                    Interesting comments about Casa. What did you have specifically? If it was the pasta I completely agree - it's nothing to write home about. But I found the Secundos (sp??) very applealing. Granted I haven't been there in over a year - maybe quality/service has dropped.

                  2. Ok, so the discussion thus far has basically named all of the highest end restaurants in the city. I would also like to add that there are some really interesting "little" finds that you might like to try. For example, there are 2 or 3 cambodian places that I really like, especially as this is almost impossible to find in TO. I think the one I've been to is Cambodian Village on 327 KING ST E. A google search will lead you to the others.

                    Also, depending on your circumstances, you may want to drop by Card's bakery (261 KING ST E ) and pick up some cinnamon buns (early! as they sell out fast). Best I've ever had, other than my grandma's.

                    Also, Tango is worth a visit (oddly, also on King: 331 King E). Decent, uncomplicated bistro food at very reasonable prices. Also a reasonable but uncomplicated wine list. More vibrant atmosphere then Chez Piggy or Chien Noir, I've found. it's reasonable enough that some students can afford it, but not so cheap that's a hangout. Just a nice mix.

                    I also quite like the meat pies at the Toucan. Good for lunch.

                    The Kingston Brew Pub makes a reasonable ale. Its been years since I've been there, but the food used to me so-so to all right for a pub.

                    And always always always pick up at least a pound of coffee from Cooke's fine foods at 61 brock. It's the best deal I 've ever seen: $9/lb and they are masters at roasting and blending. Try the Chez Piggy blend for a good medium brew. The store is also worth seeing, very old fashioned tin cieling and hardwood shelves.

                    Finally, Tara Natural Foods is worth a drop-in. Think Big Carrot meets Harrowsmith. Ain't nothing really like it in TO. My secret find there is the wildflower honey which they get from some place just north of Kingston. It was my secret ingredient in baklava for years: it's very cheap and tastes a little like lavender. Some of the best honey I've ever had outside of Delphi!

                    Avoid Casa Domenico. Despite RocketRM's reco, its completely overrated IMHO (sorry RocketRM). Ate there 4 or 5 times in grad school, and always regretted it...

                    And avoid Atomica, next to Chien Noir. The Chien Noir guys own this as well, I believe, and its supposed to be a young hip gourmet wine bar. Overpriced and overrated. We dropped in late one evening and had some kind of pizza flatbread thing. I think it was supposed to be funky, but really not good. At least IMHO. Disinterested partying servers.

                    Hope this helps, and hope you have fun!

                    PS And I'll add my 2 cents for Pan Chancho. Personally think its surpassed the mother ship, and maybe Chien Noir as well.

                    1. Oh, I forgot to mention the Sleeping Goat on Princess. Or is it the Sleepless Goat... anyway, it's pretty casual; lots of neat (and hearty) vegetarian and eclectic foods with a lot of their own unusual home-made desserts and an interesting breakfast menu that I never had the chance to try. They also had some salads as well that were quite good.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                        Hold the Bus to Kingston .. The Sleepless Goat on Princess Street is a worker owned co-op and has fair trade coffees and some neat vegetarian dishes. BUT ..apparently worker owned co-op means let no man or woman EVER clean the place .. I don't know anyone i know ( and i used to go there regilarily ) bothers to go back beacuae of the apprent no cleaning rule they have in place , Just imagine the Kitchen ... i don't know what is up with our city's health dept. ... but please don't ever suggest anyone you care about ever go to " the goat" . as for little cambodian village .. a great , affordable option .

                        1. re: coffeecup

                          I admit it deep seem a little... casual but those things tend to not bother me as long as I don't see anything really offensive. I haven't eaten there in almost two years so perhaps it's worse now. (Sounds like Kingston might be well served to copy Toronto's more transparent public health system re the way restaurants are inspected for food safety.)