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Proud Torontoians! Where to bring serious foodies from NYC?

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PeteM Sep 15, 2008 06:41 PM

I need to take a couple out to one dinner in Toronto. Need recommendations!

No preferences as to cuisine / atmosphere. Money is no object.

To complicate matters, they are serious, serious foodies from New York (one of them work in the industry, and they have seriously been everywhere in NYC), so they're not looking for just regular fine-dining venues. They're hoping for something that they can't quite get in New York.

Also, they have already been to Scaramouche, Splendido, Kaji, Hashimoto, Chiado, Lai Wah Heen, and Thuet, so they're not looking to go back.

A final wrinkle: due to our schedule, we would like the restuarant to be within:
East: Bayview
West: Allen Road / Spadina
North: Sheppard
South: Gardiner

Sorry for the trouble!
Any suggestions? I'm sure the collective wisdom of Chowhound can come up with something!!!

Thanks!!!!!!!

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  1. TorontoJo RE: PeteM Sep 15, 2008 06:59 PM

    Colborne Lane or Nota Bene.

    There's not a lot here that they can't get in New York. So either you have to go hole-in-the-wall ethnic (I'm exaggerating, of course) or you just have to go with a place that just does something very well. Colborne Lane is interesting (with some molecular gastronomy play), pricey and generally very well executed and Nota Bene is new from the Splendido gang and getting great reviews (particularly good if your guests like charcuterie).

    4 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo
      k
      KevinB RE: TorontoJo Sep 15, 2008 07:28 PM

      Oh, I disagree. My brother-in-law lives in Long Island, and he takes us out to New York
      Chinese spots all the time. I think the food is not up to Toronto standards. The hot-and-sour soup at four different spots was horrible. About the only thing I liked were the soup dumplings at some place in Brooklyn. They even managed to mess up simple noodle dishes - cold and tasteless.

      Pete, expand your horizons, and come up the 404 to Highway 7.It's only ten minutes north of Sheppard, and with your friends, you can use the HOV lane. Go west to either O-Mei or Ambassador. I promise you won't be disappointed, and your friends will be impressed.

      1. re: KevinB
        TorontoJo RE: KevinB Sep 15, 2008 07:31 PM

        Sorry, I do agree with you. I was including our Chinese restaurants in the "hole-in-the-wall ethic" category. :) Exaggerating the "hole in the wall" bit, of course.

        1. re: KevinB
          skylineR33 RE: KevinB Sep 15, 2008 07:50 PM

          In order to impress people in a chinese restaurant like Omei, you need to know what to order, otherwise you will just be given a regular menu with some unimpressive dish to order. Dishes like 4 ways Lobster or Alaska King crab, steamed the whole live French Turbot with steaming oil on soy sauce and scallion are some of the specialities in there.

          Another good one is the Full House on Hwy 7. Also, you need to know what to order in order to impress people. The perfect hand fried whole pigeon and Wok fried Maggie sauce giant lobster are some of the specialities in there.

          These are the food not quite available in NYC. However, it is best if going with at least 4 people to eat in a chinese restaurant up North in Richmond Hill and Markham.

        2. re: TorontoJo
          s
          Singar RE: TorontoJo Sep 20, 2008 08:54 AM

          Not sure about Colborne Lane, since they already have WD-50, Degustation, etc. As for Nota Bene, while it's an excellent restaurant, I'm not sure it is really so different from what they can get in New York.

          I agree, however, with the ethnic suggestion (especially Chinese).

        3. Notorious P.I.G. RE: PeteM Sep 15, 2008 07:26 PM

          Honestly?

          I would take them to Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu: 691 Bloor St. W at Clinton.

          You can't get Soon Tofu in NY that good (or that cheap) Unless maybe, maybe, you go out to Queens and even then I haven't found a place that Rivals Buk Chang Dong. Besides, after you're done you can cross the street for a Brown sugar pancake at Hodo Kwaja for desert (656 Bloor St. West, North Side)

          Or you can head down to Spadina/Bloor to Gregs for some Roasted Marshmallow ice cream which is equally nonexistent in NYC and is simultaneously one of the most mind blowing things I have ever put past my teeth.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
            duckdown RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 15, 2008 09:48 PM

            How does the Gregs roasted marshmallow compare to hollywood gelatos?

            I've tried hollywood's and its pretty good i thought, wondering if greg's is much different

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
              satoorisme RE: Notorious P.I.G. Oct 29, 2008 06:05 AM

              Honestly, I am going to have to disagree with you on the Buk Chang Dong place. I just had lunch there with my parents a few days ago... and IT SUCKED ASS! Banchans (the usual kimchi and soybean sprouts) were dry as hell and most importantly, soon tofu tasted as if it were a poor excuse for instant korean ramen soup with tofu. This is coming from a guy who grew up with homemade Korean food, folks. The place used to be really really good, but I hate to say this but after that one disaster of lunch, don't see myself going back there ever again!

              1. re: satoorisme
                Notorious P.I.G. RE: satoorisme Oct 29, 2008 01:51 PM

                Haven't been in awhile but I've never had a meal there that sucked ass as much as you describe. Hopefully they haven't gone downhill.

                However, Buk Chang Dong is like Alain Ducasse compared to the Soon Tofu you would get in Manhatten (excluding Queens) and it's less than half the price. Yeah, less than half, no exaggeration.

                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                  satoorisme RE: Notorious P.I.G. Oct 30, 2008 01:37 AM

                  For something as simple as soon tofu, that "less than half" price should be what they are charging anyway or even less. I'd be lying if I told you I knew anything about what they offer down in the big apple, but, I've had my share of some nastyass soontofus around t.dot and I used to think Buk Chang Dong as one of a very few places here where I could always count on getting just a simple and decent soontofu... until, well, now, I think it falls under the former category. I am guessing it's due to possible change in the kitchen (staff)... either non-Korean asian who can't cook Korean for crap or maybe they suddenly decided to follow the lead of many (not all) other Korean restos around here by putting ridiculously excessive amount of artificial flavourings in everything they make along with frozen ingredients that does nothing to help. Which would explain why the last meal I had there was like a total whackjob. For what it's worth, the food USED to be decent__ hell maybe they could pull it together back to what they used to be for all I hope__ uh but after that lunch? I think I am going to stick to my mom's homemade soontofu for now, thanks. I doubt that they'll lose any business though because there's always going to cheap Koreans going there, well, for a quick cheap bite and some non-Korean types thinking this is the real deal for some nice authentic Korean meal that just happens to be cheap. Sad, but whatever, they don't seem to care anyhow.

            2. p
              phoenikia RE: PeteM Sep 15, 2008 10:14 PM

              How about George, Globe (just slightly east of the Bayview extension, so I'm including it), C5 at the ROM or JK at the Gardiner? All their menus feature at least some local ingredients which would make them at least slightly different than what's found in NYC.

              I'm not a fan of the food at JKWB, but they do serve dishes that are different than what you would get in NYC.

              1. Notorious P.I.G. RE: PeteM Sep 15, 2008 10:27 PM

                I haven't tried Hollywood's Roasted Marshmallow and would be interested to see how it stacks up. Now I'm going to be thinking about it.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                  f
                  FeelinFineSunshine RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 16, 2008 05:04 AM

                  Roasted Marshmallow Ice Cream???? This is why I love this site! I'm going to Greg's today to get me some :)

                  1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                    thenurse RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 17, 2008 09:08 AM

                    I prefer Greg's. I find Hollywood's is more sickly sweet than Greg's. I'll quantify that by saying that I find all the gelato at Hollywood too sweet, I prefer Il Gelatiere.

                    1. re: thenurse
                      c
                      caitlink RE: thenurse Sep 20, 2008 06:01 PM

                      Is Greg's roasted marshmallow ice cream available now? I always thought it was seasonal. if it is available, I will go next weekend.

                      1. re: caitlink
                        s
                        Snarf RE: caitlink Sep 21, 2008 07:18 AM

                        Is there a season for marshmallows?

                  2. s
                    stapler RE: PeteM Sep 16, 2008 05:12 AM

                    Perigee for truly inventive canadian cuisine and superb service.
                    Kaiseki Sakura for outstanding imperial Japanese court cuisine, not sushi.

                    On second thought, just go to Perigee. You'll have a memorable meal. Avoid JKWine bar, it's v. average.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: stapler
                      e
                      EarlyDrive RE: stapler Sep 16, 2008 06:04 AM

                      I second Perigee and the suggestion to take them out for an excellent Chinese meal.

                      Also, Madeline. It's got good reviews on this board and a stellar review from Joanna Kates this past weekend. There was a short review of it in the New York Times last week so they will have heard of it. As well, it might be interesting for your guests to see Susur's last post here before he goes to NYC, in case they end up checking out his place in new york.

                      1. re: EarlyDrive
                        s
                        stapler RE: EarlyDrive Sep 16, 2008 06:58 AM

                        Eh, I find the food at Madeline kinda run of the mill. Nothing compared to Perigee...

                        1. re: stapler
                          m
                          millygirl RE: stapler Sep 16, 2008 05:54 PM

                          Ditto. I found it okay, but nothing special. Certainly not a place I'd revisit, or suggest to impress. We had about 25 items (party of 4) and the only real hit of the night was the starter of deep fried green beans.

                          My top recs would be Scaramouche, Nota Bene (confess not been yet) or Mistura. Can't go wrong with either those three.

                      2. re: stapler
                        p
                        PeteM RE: stapler Sep 16, 2008 07:19 AM

                        Ahhh! So sorry! I completely forgot to mention: the couple had the "Taste of Perigee" menu (~24 courses, > 5 hours) with wine pairing with Pat Riley about two years ago. They were very impressed.

                        But after such an iconic experience, I don't think they're looking for another visit to Perigee. So I'm still stuck!

                        Thanks though!!

                        1. re: PeteM
                          Charles Yu RE: PeteM Sep 16, 2008 03:57 PM

                          Serious foodies from NYC?! If that's the case, I'll definitely go Cantonese. Instead of Lai Wah Heen may be Lai Toh Heen this time?. Or, as eluded to by skylineR33, head up to O'Mei in Richmond Hill for some 'One of a Kind' Giant Lobster four ways! Nothing comparable in NYC. Worth the drive!
                          Forget about the Colborne Lane, George, C5, Nota Bene....etc. NYC has its basket of much better Micheline star(s) restaurants in the likes of wd-50, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon...who are cooking up similar but better tasting and more adventurous cuisine. And I havn't even mention the 2* or 3* temples of Daniel, Gordon Ramsey, Per Se or Jean George!
                          BTW, Pat Riley left Perigee months ago!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            BokChoi RE: Charles Yu Sep 17, 2008 02:49 PM

                            I would unfortunately have to disagree with the Nota Bene comment (though I agree with the George, and C5 comment). I actually found Nota Bene to be better than wd~50. I have a post on the NYC board about my experience there. But to each their own - I just do not think you should completely rule out Nota Bene. Forget George though, IMO. Very lackluster experience when I went a while back.

                            I would compare Nota Bene to Perilla from NYC and at the same price point. Satisfying all the way around - though the tastes were much more stellar and I would liken that to my experience at Degustation - my favourite NYC restaurant right now.

                            Cheers!

                            1. re: BokChoi
                              skylineR33 RE: BokChoi Sep 17, 2008 04:57 PM

                              Why do a NYer want to eat at Nota Bene or any Japanese establishment especially when the person has eaten everywhere in NYC (Per Se, Babbo, Masa, Yasuda) and looking for something they can't quite get in New York according to the original message ?

                              Head up to Richmond Hill for chinese food ! BTW, I like George better than Nota Bene and I have been to both recently.

                              1. re: BokChoi
                                Charles Yu RE: BokChoi Sep 17, 2008 05:11 PM

                                Hi BokChoi!
                                My response was a 'blanket' approach. It was not my intention to compare Nota Bene with wd-50 or individual TO restaurant with corresponding NYC ones. Actually, with wd-50's eclectic cuisine, a comparison with Colborne Lane will be more appropriate.
                                Anyways, my point is that, when it comes to 'western cuisine', NYC on the whole has much more and superior choices than TO.

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  BokChoi RE: Charles Yu Sep 17, 2008 06:47 PM

                                  Hi Charles. Thanks for the clarification. I would agree that NYC by far outshines Toronto in terms of culinary sophistication. Things are much more exciting over there because they are not afraid to take chances. Also, they try not to gouge you either every time you head out. I've often posted to previous questions about out of town visitors that they should not expect to try stellar, standard fare while they are in Toronto (French, Italian, etc.) as other places do it much better. Ethnic food is where Toronto shines with prices that are hard to match elsewhere. Here's a link to another thread about visitors from out of town that posters have written to: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/543691

                                  Forgive me for jumping to Nota Bene's defense so quickly as I misinterpreted your comment. I just wanted to protect Nota Bene's reputation because I really treasure the fact that they have priced themselves at an excellent price point and have delivered solid food. I want to ensure other restaurants follow in their footsteps in Toronto.

                                  Cheers!

                            2. re: PeteM
                              s
                              stapler RE: PeteM Sep 17, 2008 05:55 AM

                              Wait, wait, Perigee has a new chef and he's fab. It's not the same old Perigee anymore.

                              But if you can't do P again, do take them to Kaiseki Sakura. Instead of a wine pairing you get a cocktail pairing and they are fabulous. Fabulous!

                              1. re: stapler
                                p
                                PeteM RE: stapler Sep 19, 2008 11:23 PM

                                Oh I know Perigee has a new chef. He is not exactly new: Chris Brown, son of owner Victor Brown, has been at Perigee as a line cook / sous chef since 2003.

                                For that reason, I simply can't believe the new Perigee, without the complete open kitchen (without the shield), without the 26 course "Taste of Perigee" menu, without Chef Riley... etc, would be such an upgrade over the old one that it warrants a second visit (especially since they don't come to Toronto often, so they would really like something special and as i mentioned, something they haven't been before)

                          2. Notorious P.I.G. RE: PeteM Sep 16, 2008 04:32 PM

                            There's a chance they've had really insane cantonese if they've gone out to Flushing. If so, I would suggest Sri Lankan. Hard to find in NY. Get some Dosa's and Kottu Roti. New Devi is a bit out of your travel guideline as is Hopper Hut and Madras so I would go to South Indian Dosa Mahal at 1284 Bloor St. West just east of Lansdown.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                              Charles Yu RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 16, 2008 04:51 PM

                              Flushing's 'Northern Chinese and Taiwanese' cuisine is very good but authentic Cantonese?! No where near Toronto's standard!. ( especially those establishments in the Markham, Richmond Hill and Scarborough area ).

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                Notorious P.I.G. RE: Charles Yu Sep 17, 2008 08:41 PM

                                Dunno, I thought Imperial in Flushing was pretty good all things considered but I honestly haven't been to O'mei in a long time and the last time I was there I wasn't that impressed. I heard they changed owners though so maybe I should make the trip up. Don't get me wrong, I agree that Cantonese in general in Toronto is far better, I just wanted to suggest something vastly different from what you would get in ny and the surrounding area.

                                This is a really hard post to respond to in general as people have varying opinions on what is best in our city and what a shining representative should be for someone from another city. An added factor of difficulty is the fact that in ny you only think you're deprived of a certain food category until it opens up, or you stumble upon it randomly while in an area you've never been to before.

                                Here's a question to PeteM, would your friends be into soulfood? Harlem on Richmond at Jarvis is definitely worth a try and better than a lot of soulfood places in Manhatten. I find that a lot of soulfood places in ny with legendary status have fallen off as of late.

                                1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                  Charles Yu RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 18, 2008 06:19 AM

                                  Hello NP.I.G! I too have been to Imperial in Flushing. Its ok by NYC standard. However, foodwise, I find most Chinese restaurants along the Richmond Hill Hwy7 corridor, ranging from Full House, John's B-B-Q House, O Mei, TenChaiKee all serve better food. Yes, you should make the trip up and try out O Mei's Lobster 4 ways with a few friends or family members! Happy Chowing!

                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                    Notorious P.I.G. RE: Charles Yu Sep 18, 2008 09:49 AM

                                    Everytime someone mentions that Lobster 4 ways my mouth waters. I will make the trip up very soon!

                                    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                                      s0memale RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 20, 2008 09:25 PM

                                      It is well worth the trip. I've must've been to O-mei at least 4-5 times over the past 3 weeks (people from out of town visiting). Simply amazing.

                            2. t
                              Toronto Fastfoodie RE: PeteM Sep 16, 2008 04:34 PM

                              For sure you have to go to Scaramouche pasta bar for the amazing food with a breathtaking view of the city. Go quickly before it disappears.

                              Don't bother with steak houses. NYC just does it better. For a quick, delicious lunch in the Yorkville area, I love Montreal Bread Co. and Crepes a GoGo. Finally, you have to do dim sum. Bright Pearl is a real experience. Oh! One more thing...The Empanadas in Kensington. Better yet, anything in Kensington Market. I could go on and on...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                                p
                                PeteM RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Sep 19, 2008 11:25 PM

                                Since they have been to Scaramouche, I'm not sure if Scaramouche pasta bar is really worth a visit. I thought the food there is decent at best, much less so special to make that their only dinner in Toronto...

                                1. re: PeteM
                                  s
                                  synergy RE: PeteM Sep 20, 2008 05:48 AM

                                  Can you tell me more about Scaramouche pasta bar? Thanks.

                              2. b
                                blogs RE: PeteM Sep 16, 2008 06:53 PM

                                you might think about taking them to the Brick Works farmers market on Saturday morning, downtown location, several good eating options, many different food suppliers, bakers etc. and a unique Toronto location

                                1. estufarian RE: PeteM Sep 17, 2008 06:58 AM

                                  They've already been to what I usually recommend - Chiado, Hashimoto and Lai Wah Heen - and most other places are swamped by the NY selection. Ethnic indeed could be the edge, but NY Indian is consistently better than Toronto.
                                  I do like the upscale Chinese suggestion - but, of course, outside your parameters. Lai Toh Heen is just a watered down version of Lai Wah Heen!
                                  Which leaves only 1 place (for me) already twice recommended - Kaiseki Sakura - and I really don't know if New York has anything comparable as I haven't visited many Japanese in NY.
                                  Other than that, I can't think of any ethnic 'fine dining' that isn't done equally well in NY.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: estufarian
                                    Charles Yu RE: estufarian Sep 17, 2008 05:25 PM

                                    Hello estufarian! FYI, NYC's Sugiyama around Broadway and 8th serves up an excellent Kaiseki meal. Even better than our Kaiseki Sakura.

                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                      estufarian RE: Charles Yu Sep 18, 2008 08:04 AM

                                      Thanks for the recommendation - doesn't help our potential visitors, but I checked their website and indeed it is more than comparable - and provides another option for me when I visit NY.
                                      But after wd-50 of course!

                                      1. re: estufarian
                                        Charles Yu RE: estufarian Sep 18, 2008 05:02 PM

                                        This is why I find Chowhound so fascinating! Two knowledgeable 'foodies' ( BokChoi and yourself ) from the same town, but have a totally diverse view on the same restaurant! In this case, NYC's wd-50. In my case, wd-50 is also one of my favourite restaurant. The Egg Benedict and the Knotted Foie.( still wondering how they made this! ). What amazing creations! Not to mention the desserts?! Nota Bene better than this Michelin 1*?! Hmmmmm??

                                  2. s
                                    synergy RE: PeteM Sep 17, 2008 10:53 AM

                                    This NYer, who loves Toronto & has been to visit too many times to count, always goes to Chiado and Lai Wah Heen. I never tire of either as we can't get good Portuguese in NYC and I think Lai Wah Heen is exceptional food along with the atmosphere there. I do not recommend going to any Italian places in Toronto. I've been to a good handful over the years and they always seem mediorcre. Keep in mind that NYC has so many fantastic Italian restaurants that a visitor to Toronot is comparing it to...if they are serious foodies they have been to NY's best, Babbo, Del Posto, as well as the less "chi-chi" italian places that are great. NYC's italian restaurants are the best after Italy IMHO. I have yet to find a great fish place in Toronto. I've been to Joso's...and a couple of others that I can't remember the name. I haven't been to Starfish yet that gets great reviews on this board & will probably go there in Oct. (I have reservations at Chiado & Lai Wah Heen for my Oct trip already too).

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: synergy
                                      p
                                      PeteM RE: synergy Sep 19, 2008 11:27 PM

                                      Hi,

                                      As I mentioned in my OP:
                                      "Also, they have already been to Scaramouche, Splendido, Kaji, Hashimoto, Chiado, Lai Wah Heen, and Thuet, so they're not looking to go back."

                                      (Also I added Perigee to the list because i forgot to include it)

                                    2. cutecook RE: PeteM Sep 17, 2008 01:24 PM

                                      Trevor is good or Luciens. both on Wellington and Jarvis. Spice Route is a pretty neat place to eat as well.
                                      Good luck!

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: cutecook
                                        TorontoJo RE: cutecook Sep 17, 2008 02:21 PM

                                        I've heard nothing but bad things about the food at Spice Route. Only good if you want to drink and check out the opposite sex.

                                        1. re: TorontoJo
                                          nummanumma RE: TorontoJo Sep 17, 2008 05:30 PM

                                          compelled to agree- don't even consider the Spice Route for these out- of -towners- same for Trevor.

                                          1. re: nummanumma
                                            s
                                            Snarf RE: nummanumma Sep 17, 2008 09:20 PM

                                            Wondering if the reference might have been intended to be Spice Room and Chutney Bar, Greg Couillard's place. I have been four times in the last couple of years, and have yet to have a less than fantastic meal. Room's a little dark, but he's definitely and consistently on his game these days.

                                            Best Sunday brunch in the city as well, in the beautiful courtyard.

                                            1. re: nummanumma
                                              m
                                              millygirl RE: nummanumma Sep 18, 2008 04:07 AM

                                              Ditto on Trevor's - the place is a train wreck!

                                          2. re: cutecook
                                            troutpoint RE: cutecook Sep 18, 2008 06:29 PM

                                            Please search trevor on here before going....It is terrible. I was ging to say that "tevor su*#s. but I didn't want my post to be pulled....

                                            1. re: troutpoint
                                              t
                                              theresah RE: troutpoint Nov 21, 2008 07:28 AM

                                              I cannot agree with you more. After spending over 200 for a tasting menu, while sitting in their private room (table across from the kitchen watching the staff drip sweat into the food). Trevor needs to make some adjustments.

                                          3. g
                                            goodcookiedrift RE: PeteM Sep 18, 2008 08:53 AM

                                            Everyone is suggesting more mid to high end resto's than just your little hole-in-the-wall haunts that arguably are always better when traveling. And considering one of your friends works in the industry, they will be floored by good, home cooking from these local holes.

                                            New York while littered with great Japanese food, has very little in terms of good inexpensive sushi. It's something that baffles me to no end. Take them to Sushi Marche or even Manpuku.

                                            Caribbean Food - Unless your foodies are out in Flatbush or Franklin Ave. alot, West Indian food is virtually non-existent in the city or even gentrified areas of Brooklyn. Any of the handful of roti shops frequently discussed on CH are sure to impress. And if you are feeling adventurous, hike up to Eglington West for probably one of the best concentrations of Jamaican food this side of Kingston.

                                            Caplanskis - I can't beleive no-one suggested this? A unique take on a very Jewish-Canadian fixture. Smoked meat sammies and poutine are a must for any American friends. This without fail, always seems to excite my NY friends.

                                            If they like coffee, this is a definite must for them...Mercury, Manic, Lit, Dark Horse, etc. New York has a serious void in the coffee world. You basically have Grumpy in Chelsea and Greenpoint...nothing else.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                              GoodGravy RE: goodcookiedrift Sep 18, 2008 09:12 AM

                                              Grumpy happens to have Clovers. You can get good coffee at places that don't use Clovers.

                                              1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                                JamieK RE: goodcookiedrift Sep 18, 2008 02:14 PM

                                                Caplansky's - great suggestion.

                                                -----
                                                Caplansky's
                                                356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                                1. re: JamieK
                                                  estufarian RE: JamieK Sep 18, 2008 03:20 PM

                                                  Now let me get this right. You're suggesting that New Yorkers come to Toronto for Deli! So there's no decent Deli in New York?????????
                                                  Maybe they can get some bagels here too.
                                                  But I will give you the poutine (once).

                                                  1. re: estufarian
                                                    JamieK RE: estufarian Sep 18, 2008 03:54 PM

                                                    point taken. okay -- poutine then.

                                                    1. re: estufarian
                                                      g
                                                      goodcookiedrift RE: estufarian Sep 18, 2008 04:07 PM

                                                      Estufarian - If you want to use that logic, then you may as well not eat in Toronto at all.

                                                      Of course New York has deli and by that accord has 99% of things Toronto has and probably better. But you know what? Caplanski's is different than the deli's I've been to in New York. In fact, its different than the smoked meat that i used to eat when i lived in Montreal. Caplanski's pretty much stands out on its own and by that token I think its worth a visit.

                                                      And that bagel comment is absurd considering Toronto bagels are different than Montreal bagels which are different than New York bagels.

                                                      How so Toronto of you. Not visiting an establishment because its not perceived as the "best" is kind of doing your tastebuds a disservice.

                                                      GoodGravy - No, Clover's don't make a coffee shop great. Not at all. But what Grumpy does offer is a wide selection of varietals and baristas who know what they are doing. And in New York, that's a rarity. The Gimmee on Mott is ok, but nothing I'd make an effort to go out of my way for.

                                                      1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                                        JamieK RE: goodcookiedrift Sep 18, 2008 04:15 PM

                                                        I think the est's bagel comment may have been tongue-in-cheek.

                                                  2. re: goodcookiedrift
                                                    n
                                                    Negaduck RE: goodcookiedrift Sep 22, 2008 12:46 PM

                                                    Burrito Boyz and Gandhi.

                                                    1. re: goodcookiedrift
                                                      grandgourmand RE: goodcookiedrift Oct 29, 2008 08:03 AM

                                                      Good point on the lower-end options.

                                                      Caplansky's is a good suggestion. No harm in trying the local version of a classic.

                                                      Another sandwich place that could amuse them is NY Subs. Nothing NY about the place. But a lamb satay sub is a good option.

                                                      And aside from Chiado as a high end portughese option, why not go for a portuguese roast chicken. The one at St. Lawrence market is pretty good.

                                                      For something at the higher end, I noticed Canoe wasn't on the original list. As discussed several times on this post, NY probably has better high end options. But in this case at least, you're getting the Canadian flair in the ingredients.

                                                    2. Notorious P.I.G. RE: PeteM Sep 18, 2008 11:13 PM

                                                      It may be a little bit out of your travel parameters but...

                                                      MEDIEVAL TIMES!!!

                                                      ...is a great place to go for a memorable dining experience. Especially if you can wrestle a sword away from one of the knights.

                                                      (provided they haven't been to Medieval Times in Jersey)

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
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                                                        Beef Pattie RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 19, 2008 04:35 AM

                                                        and you get a paper hat!

                                                        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
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                                                          PeteM RE: Notorious P.I.G. Sep 20, 2008 05:07 PM

                                                          I believe they're looking for great food, first and foremost. So I'll have to say no to this suggestion.

                                                        2. e
                                                          escoffier RE: PeteM Sep 19, 2008 01:06 PM

                                                          Hmmm...perhaps a stroll through Kensington Market? Wrong side of Spadina, but not too much.

                                                          1. e
                                                            eatereater123 RE: PeteM Sep 22, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                            When I lived in NYC, I would visit Toronto twice a year. And I thought Toronto outshone NYC for:

                                                            - Chinese: Shanghainese, Chiuzhou, and Cantonese were abundant and mediocre in NYC. See Skyliner33 and Charles Yu's postings for recs.

                                                            - Dimsum is atrocious in NYC. I would take them to Dynasty or Pearl Harborfront.

                                                            - Roti. I never saw a roti in NYC. Now I haven't met one that I don't like. Well, I have met several. My favorite is at Bacchus. Say what you like, this is one food that hasn't hit NYC's radar yet.

                                                            - Hakka Chinese/Hakka Indian - I don't like it but there is a novelty value that you can't beat. Nataraj on Bloor is a very good interpretation. Looks like Indian, but tastes like Hakka Indian.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: eatereater123
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                                                              janetzuccarini RE: eatereater123 Oct 30, 2008 05:25 AM

                                                              I would take my guests from New York to the following restaurants:

                                                              1. Nota Bene: Was just rated the number one restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine (also on the list is Harbord Room which I enjoy and Lucien which I do not enjoy)

                                                              2. C5: The room and the view are beautiful plus the food is quite good.

                                                              3. Perigee: A very interesting dining experience

                                                              4. Kaiseki Sakura: The tasting menu is outstanding (Japanese - no sushi)

                                                              5. Foxly: Tom Thai really gets Pan Asian food and the price point is reasonable.

                                                              1. re: janetzuccarini
                                                                satoorisme RE: janetzuccarini Oct 30, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                                Ditto to Foxley. Their lamb & duck proscuitto dumplings and frog legs are to die for... it really grows on you afterwards.

                                                                1. re: janetzuccarini
                                                                  OnDaGo RE: janetzuccarini Nov 21, 2008 09:22 AM

                                                                  Clarification: " Nota Bene: Was just rated the number one restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine " This is actually rated the number one NEW restaurant in Canada.. lot less competition as they had to open this year...

                                                                  1. re: janetzuccarini
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                                                                    MegTor RE: janetzuccarini Nov 21, 2008 11:04 AM

                                                                    I would also second:
                                                                    Foxly
                                                                    and suggest Mini Market or Supermarket for modestly priced asian fusion, with giant cocktails
                                                                    Harbord Room (for local sourced food, good microbrews, relaxed atmosphere)
                                                                    Niagara St Cafe (local souced as well, EXCELLENT Canadian cheese dessert selection

                                                                  2. re: eatereater123
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                                                                    MegTor RE: eatereater123 Nov 21, 2008 12:39 PM

                                                                    With regard to Roti, my west indian friends recommend
                                                                    in the downtown area
                                                                    Island Foods at King & Dufferin

                                                                    and highly recommended
                                                                    in the east end (Scarborough)
                                                                    ACR Rotis & Doubles, 2680 Lawrence Ave. East (at Midland)

                                                                    in the west end (Rexdale)
                                                                    Drupati's, 925 Albion Rd. (at Islington)

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