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Jul 22, 2008 02:17 PM

Byzantium and C'est What this evening.

The Mrs. wants to try these two places out tonight. It's her choice (I had other places in mind) so 4 of us, me the Mrs. and the son with his friend will start at C'est What for dinner and then migrate over to Byzantium to finish out the evening.
I take it that C'est What is rather more pub fare and Byzantium would be good for desert and martinis.
Any suggestions for either of these places?
I'll let everyone know how it went later tonight.

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  1. Food at C'est What is kind of underwhelming... but they have a fantastic selection of beer! It used to be one of my go-to places based on beer selects and location. Sweet potato fries are not-bad.

    I've only had cocktails and pickies at Byzantium. OK spot, but not good enough that I remember the particulars.

    1. You're aware Byzantium is a "gay" bar, right? Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;}

      1. Stick with the martinis at Byzantium. Their desserts are not consistent.

        6 Replies
        1. re: tjunmin

          Interesting evening....
          Got to C'est What at about 7PM and had to walk past Spring Rolls, Spring Rolls was packed... <shudder>.....
          Oh, we walked through a park on the way and went past La Maquette, checked out the menu and the seating area, I WILL be checking this place out this summer for sure. Nice patio seating area.....
          We arrived at C'est What and walked downstairs, I didn't realize this place was downstairs.
          Upon arrival the signs at the Host Stand said we should seat ourselves and we did. A few minutes went bye and I was wondering where the service was however a waiter eventually drifted over and declared that they were a little busy as many customers were leaving to go to a show and many just arrived. Hey, I appreciate that, if I was trying to make a show, I would want a little consideration and I was all for that.
          Three of us ordered the various beers and a glass of wine of wine for the lady.
          Yes, the food offered is of the typical pub type foods.
          Nothing special here except the atmosphere, a couple of pool tables and a nifty little fireplace seating area.
          We ordered Artichoke & Parmesan Dip and Yam Frites to share before the meals arrived.
          These were all very tasty, but again, nothing to write home about.
          Two of us ordered a Sheppard's Pie as mains and one ordered a Lamb BUrger while another order the Jerk Chicken Roti.
          Lamburger comments:
          Was served with tzatziki and a very generous amount of frites. Was cooked medium and this was as it comes, you do not get a choice on how it is served.
          Jerk Chicken was a very large wrap and had a "heat" level of about 6-7 out of 10. Tasty but again, nothing overly impressive.
          The Shepherd's Pie was served as an individual order. All in it's own dish. One of us ordered a brown gravy on the side and the other plain.
          While the Shepherd's Pie was plentiful, I can see why one of us ordered the gravy on the side. It was bland.
          There was an ample amount of melted cheese on top of the pie, but all I can say is bland. This was remedied by adding salt and pepper and my hand was close to the ketchup bottle and was itching to use it, but I made it through the meal.
          At best, C'est What is a pub looking to establish an identity in my opinion. They have kept the menu short, good idea, but need to do what they have on the menu much better or they can play to the market they are in which is casual and make a living at it. I just get the impression that they can improve if they want to. While using the "facilities" the paper towels were being restocked and the washroom was clean. A BIG plus for a pub type place.

          Byzantium was the next stop this past evening.
          I am sorry to say that we did not get to try anything off of the menu as we did not have much of an appetite thisevening. Maybe next time.
          Yes, we will go again.
          The atmosphere was clean , fresh and the service was impeccable.
          The martini menu is astounding and I tried 3 different ones. All of them very smooth. I am still partial to a traditional martini and bring on the olives please.. :)
          I managed to order the Creme Brulee as a desert and there were three small dishes of different types served with some fresh berries. It was excellent.
          I noticed a few places in "The Village" that I want to try and will give them a go soon enough. There was a piano lounge that caught my eye as well, Statlers.
          So many areas, so many places to go...
          In response to the one poster.... yes, I am aware Byzantium is in The Village, they didn't mind at all... :)

          Oh.... There is a Chowhound Toronto Facebook group out there...

          1. re: Poorboy

            Thanks for giving such detailed feedback, it's always appreciated.

            Your description of C'est What mirrors my experiences. I think their identity is based around their vast selection of Canadian microbrew beers. The food and service are way down the list. I tend to eat first and go there only for beers nowadays -- too many mediocre food experiences. The basement decor is cozy, but probably more suited for winter than summer.

            1. re: Poorboy

              If you recall the names of the places in The Village that caught your eye, perhaps I can tell you a thing or two about them.

              C'est What has been in business far too long for them to start considering tweaking. What you got is what it is, c'est what?

              1. re: Poorboy

                It seems slightly odd that you would go to so much trouble to describe the food at C'est what. It serves the very best beer in town. It is a pub, Who cares what the food is like?

                1. re: nickmuz

                  The very best beer? Welcome to Chowhound nickmuz. Describing the food is what we do.

                2. re: Poorboy

                  Let's keep things in perspective here. The food isn't earth shattering but it's not crap either. I rate C'est What's food as better than most pubs especially those that have the usual suspects on tap.