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Nov 12, 2008 05:37 AM
Discussion restaurant on Danforth

Walked by last week...the door was open and one could see that its going to be a beautiful space.
I asked a contractor, when will it be opening. He said "there should be a soft opening Wed or Thursday, Nov. 13 or 14th.
He even got me a lovely card for a free appetizer.
I checked out the its still not up and running. (nice music
)I'd call first...416-465-5522.

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  1. It was open last night when I walked by. Has anyone gone yet?

    18 Replies
    1. re: Zengarden

      I got on a mailing list for them. Official opening is tonight with drinks and canapes.

      1. re: Cam D

        I signed up over a month ago, but didn't get any email. Do you think my email address wasn't hip enough?

      2. re: Zengarden

        I went for drinks last Friday, but I didn't order any food. Beautiful space, nice decor, very loud sound system. The crowd was a mostly beautiful, late 20s-early 40s crowd, but the crowd looked like a drinking crowd rather than a foodie crowd. At least a couple people looked like the type of people who don't like to eat. The chef is the same chef that has been at Trapezzi, as far as I know.

        foodyDudey, don't feel bad. I also signed up for their mailing list a few weeks ago, and have not received an invite to the Grand Opening. I am a regular on the Danforth, as are several of my friends, and I don't know of anyone who has been invited. Not sure if the management team has been taking lessons from Le Petit Castor :-) lol

        1. re: phoenikia

          I'm surprised that they haven't even updated the site yet, and when I called the number on the site I got into a voice mail system which has not been set up completely, and nobody has ever answered.

          I've been looking in each time I walked past, as I wanted to try it out in the first week.
          They have the same chef as Trappezzi, Steve Wilson.

          Which restaurants on Danforth do you like best? I'm wondering as I see various posts here saying there aren't any good places. I'm curious why nobody has written up a report on Lambros, and Lolita's Lust is rarely mentioned, although they have good food and are often packed.

          1. re: foodyDudey

            I've seen write-ups on Lambros, and I thought that they were here. I've only been there a few times, but thought it was wonderful.

            1. re: foodyDudey

              I've been meaning to try Lambros for about a year, just haven't gotten around to it yet;) I like the fact they have some non-Peloponnesian dishes on the menu, like fava, etc.

              Haven't eaten at Lolita's Lust.

              Generally, I like Mezes and the Ouzeri the best, especially for their mezes. Kalyvia would be my next pick, for their mezes. I haven't tried any of Kalyvia's mains.

              I used to recommend Pantheon, but I ate there this past Tuesday, and the grilled calamari wasn't as tasty as I remembered, and their spanakopita wasn't great, but then again I might be getting more selective.

              Avli was great 5 years ago, but the food on my last 2 visits was not very good.

              For a quick bite, I like the spanakopita and loukamades at Athens Pastries.

              For late-night avgolemono soup, I like Zorba's east of Pape. For a late-night gyro or a village salad (their salad is actually better than most on the Danforth), I go to Messini. Messini's serves an authentic gyro, with fries wrapped up with the meat in the pita.

              Kokkino used to serve a good seafood pikilia (platter with various dishes/dips) and a good version of kopanisti/tyrokefteri, but I haven't eaten there for over a year. The only item I like at the Myth is the spanakopita.

              For coffee, frappe, and espresso, I like 521 and Caffe Frappe.

              A little closer to Broadview, I like the brunch and dinner at the Globe Bistro. I've been meaning to try Mambo.

              1. re: phoenikia

                I've been to Lambros about 5 times, and it's always been good. The only thing I don't like is that one or two dishes that have hot peppers in them are quite hot, and that doesn't go well with wine.

                We've been to Lolita's Lust about 3 times since August, and the food has always been excellent. The service has been good also. None of that "where is the waiter" syndrome that you can get in some other places.
                Sometimes we've just ordered 4 or 5 appetisers between the two of us, you just can't go wrong with any of them. We like almost every appetiser,
                especially the feta cream tiger prawns. Here is the dinner menu: Maybe it's time to go there tonight!

                1. re: phoenikia

                  Seconding Athens Pastries. I like their galaktoboureko, so many calories, but so tasty.

                  Also like the spanakopita at Acropolis Bakery, although I've only done take-out there. If memory serves, I think there are a small number of seats and tables at the back.

                  Obviously I am going to have to up my BQ (beauty quotient) if I want to eat at these new Toronto restos.

                  1. re: Pincus

                    Yep, Acropolis has seats and tables at the back. They also have lunch specials each day, in addition to their pastries and breads- I had a decent slice of pizza and a salad for about 5 bucks last year.

              2. re: phoenikia

                I just called Localco and they said today is the grand opening, so I'm going over there in an hour. I told them I had put my name on the list and didn't get an invite, and that others also didn't and they said that was not good... I'll report back on the weekend.

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  please do!! Im really curious about the menu and prices.

                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    went the other nite...nice space, nice bar staff, and great grilled calamari/grilled octupus.
                    Didnt see too many people eating though.

                      1. re: phoenikia

                        Thanks everyone. I emailed them and they kindly sent me a menu for viewing. Short but sweet, here it is:

                        Marinated Olives with Grilled Bread and Rosemary-Chili Almonds

                        Dips Plate – Hummus, Olive Tapenade and Spicy Feta Dip

                        Grilled Calamari, Grilled Octopus and Braised Baby Greens

                        Mesclun Greens with Charred Peppers, Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts in Rioja,
                        Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Vinaigrette

                        Baby Romaine Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette, Shaved Aged Parmesan,
                        and Grilled Alberta Strip Loin

                        Yukon Gold Frites with Smoked Paprika and Rosemary Aïoli

                        Filo Pie with Spiced Braised Chicken and Kefalograviera Cheese

                        Pan-Fried Salt Cod Cakes with Lemon-Garlic Yoghurt

                        Steamed Mussels with Mastiha, Tomatoes and Garlic Confit

                        Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin in a Mustard Seed Crust with Pommery Honey Drizzle
                        with Caramelized Onion and Lager Relish

                        Char-Grilled Spiced Lamb Spareribs with Honey-Balsamic Glaze

                        Roast Alberta Beef Sliders with Fried Onions and Gorgonzola

                        Chicken Wings with North African Barbecue Sauce

                        Spicy Shrimp and Dill Dumplings in Ouzo Butter Sauce

                        Daily Specials Available

                        1. re: hungryabbey

                          And it's called "Localco" why, exactly?

                            1. re: hungryabbey

                              because that's the current buzzword in the restaurant biz.

                              I will post my review about localco when I have time, but I''ll tell you that the four items we ordered were nothing special. I found that the Roast Alberta beef sliders particularly stood out as an item that was overpriced. Each of the 3 were like tiny beef sandwiches with about 1oz of thinly shaved meat in each. I mistakenly expected they would be small burgers as I didn't read the menu carefully . I'd say this item should sell for $13 tops., especially when you see the appetisers available one door to the east in the same price range.
                              I'll be interested to see what other people think after eating here. I tried a bit of all three deserts and they were great, so don't forget to order those. I just didn't find the food all that exciting, and I had my expectations set higher after reading where the chef has worked in the last 15 years, and also because I know what I can get at Lolit'as Lust which is right beside them.

                              1. re: foodyDudey

                                My fiance went a couple of nights ago and he said pretty much the same thing...overpriced, nothing special food.
                                But he said that the atmosphere and decor was good.

              3. Oops. Missed this and posted a missive elsewhere.

                This place is a cliche, wrapped in a tired idea, falsely advertised as local food, and deep friend in incompetence. This place is a club, and most of its business comes after 11. The food is at best poor, and the decor is a parody on Toronto taste. It looks like a two-bit Kultura crossed with the Globe, but it's more expensive, and frankly, not creative. If I were Kultura, I'd sue.

                I was appalled. We tried four tapas. The cod cakes were mostly mashed potato, and oddly, not salted, though they were accompanied by a nice salad. The worst were some spicy shrimp dumplings that looked like they were PC hors d'oeuvres, but managed to be worse: five triangles of bland, dry shrimp with an ouzo and Ikea mustard dill sauce. Awful. Hungry, we asked the waitress for a recommendation, but she seemed to steer us away from everything but the sliders. They were fine. But we spend $120 dollars and left unsatisfied.

                Most annoying was being seated two feet away from another couple, right up against the window in an empty restaurant. The other couple complained about being crowded, and left after chatting with us. We complained when they were replaced by another couple who also felt crowded. Six of us will never go back.

                4 Replies
                1. re: arugula

                  This is a club, not a restaurant, and it looks like most every club in club land. If you went there for the food (which I did), they didn't really want you, and they probably don't really give a shit. They make their money off booze. It's a place for the trendy, not the discerning.

                  Anyway, the food was absurd. I tried the shrimp dumplings in ouzo slime. /shudder/ I actually finished it to see if there was anything anyone could possible like about the dish. Soggy deepfried dough, fishy bland filling, and slimy ouzo with frozen dill.

                  1. re: Istanbully

                    I wonder how much business they get. After seeing the work being done on it for many months, it sure is a letdown when I was expecting a nice restaurant. I walked by yesterday and noticed how there is absolutely no view of the inside if you are outside. It makes me wonder what else goes on besides people ordering mediocre food. It's weird passing by and seeing people in suits loitering outside at midnight. Well I guess I just have to walk a bit farther if I want good food.

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      Why wonder? THe post you are replying to had the answer. It is a club first, not a restaurant.

                      1. re: foodyDudey

                        I hadn't visited Local Co. for a few months after becoming turned off by their charging of cover on the Danforth (later at night when it becomes more of a watering hole) and after reading some of the reviews on here. I ended up trying maybe 8 different hors d'oeuvres when I was there for an private event last week.

                        The catered dishes were quite good, and better than I expected. I thought they were serving more carefully prepared and generally better tasting food than most places on the Danforth apart from the Globe Bistro and some of the better dishes at Lambros. I still haven't dined at Lolita's Lust, so I don't know how their food compares to Local. But most of the hors d'oeuvres I tried at Local were better than any starters I've had recently at Allen's or Trapezzi, or any of the family style Greek restaurants I've visited lately. Not close to the same quality as Kultura or Nyood, and not worth that level of pricing, but better than chain food and most family restaurants. I'd say the food is roughly at the same level as dinner at Brassai or the Brant House. Maybe this is what they are after, since they are drawing a similar crowd late at night.

                        Local is owned by at least one if not more of the partners behind Trapezzi, and AFAIK the 2 restaurants are still sharing the same executive chef, Steven Wilson.

                        Asparagus brushed with chevre and wrapped in prosciutto, spanakopita, crab cakes, roast beef and gorgonzola sliders, bite-sized olives covered in goat cheese then pastry which were baked, mushroom crostini, Greek sausage and pepper skewers, bite sized vegetarian pizzas, bruschetta, lamb ribs, a filo cylinder and some sort of marinated beef skewer are the dishes I remember. Most of the hors d'oeuvres I tried do not appear on their regular menu. I would order their roast beef and gorgonzola sliders if they were on a regular menu- have to say I did like them much better than the Keg's sliders.

                        The only item I tasted that is on the regular menu were the sweet potato fries, which were a little limp (as are most sweet potato fries in TO- these were similar to Allen's version), but the spicy aioli was quite delicious.

                        The servers were surprisingly sociable, courteous and professional.

                        I didn't try any food when the restaurant first opened in the fall, but I wonder if the restaurant has been trying to improve their food quality and menu after reading this thread and other less than glowing reviews in the press.

                        The current regular menu no longer has the shrimp dumplings that Istanbully described, or the wings, mussels, or cod cakes that have been described negatively in this thread. It looks like the restaurant has paid attention to its critics. As a side note, I'd be surprised to hear anything positive about a Greek-owned establishment from a poster named Istanbully. The current menu is considerably shorter than the earlier menu that was posted, and it looks like several dishes have been removed. Currently, there are only 11 share plates and 4 mains listed on the website's menu.

                        So to answer your question, foodyDudey, they do cater private events, in addition to serving mediocre food off their regular menu, and serving drinks to suit-wearing club types late at night;)

                  2. I decided to give Local Company another chance. It's been almost 9 months since they opened. I was at Local for a networking event in April (see above post from April 13, 2009), and the food that was catered for the event had been decent.

                    Our first two share plates were pretty good- a grilled octopus covered with tapenade and grilled calamari with roasted garlic combination, and a dip plate ($11.75) including a citrusy hummous, a tapenade and a spicy cheese dip (with a silkier texture than kopanisti/tyrokefteri). The dips only came with one piece of pita bread cut 6 ways, and we were a party of 6, so we asked for more pita bread. There was enough dip on the platter for 4 whole pitas, maybe more, so it's almost a given that customers will request more.

                    Other friends at the table ordered the risotto, beet salad, grilled chicken. All looked quite ordinary.

                    A friend and I decided to share the honey balsamic lamb ribs, the goat cheese/sundried tomato/spinach filo rolls and the ginger soy salmon (the waitress said she loved the salmon, and she was particular about salmon). The glaze on the honey balsamic ribs was tasty, but the meat didn't taste sweet like Ontario lamb. I'm guessing that it was NZ or Australian lamb- it had that slight offtaste I detect with non-Ontario lamb purchased in Ontario- not sure if it's what the lamb eats, or how far it's travelled- but it has a taste I don't like. The filo rolls were very cheesy, and somewhat greasy- sort of a bad modernization of spanakopita. The sundried tomato was non-existant. The salmon was pretty bad. A little overcooked, commercial kind of taste to the sauce, somewhat fishy tasting like it might have been prefrozen. Tasted like what I imagine a Highliner teryaki salmon would taste like. The fishy taste transferred onto the poor carrots, peppers and fennel underneath the salmon. Not good.

                    Service was well-intentioned but flaky, and very slow. Our dishes were cleared after the first round, but no cutlery or side plates were brought for the second round. We had to ask for cutlery, and it was handed to one of my friends, who handed it out. I wouldn't mind this type of service in a bar or truckstop, but this place is charging restaurant prices, and booking tables through opentable like real restaurants. The server who delivered our meals (different person than the person who took our orders) was also our busboy, and he kept trying to clear plates before the rest of the table had finished eating.

                    Since we were a group of 6, a mandatory service charge was applied- something like a $40 tip on the $270 bill. We had ordered a $48 bottle of wine, and 3 or 4 glasses of wine, in addition to 5 share plates, 2 risottos, 1 salmon main and 1 chicken main.

                    On the topic of bread

                    Maybe 20 minutes after we arrived, a small loaf of bread, cut into quadrants (which would make it difficult to use with any dips) was dropped on the table. Over the next 30 minutes, we ate 3/4 of the loaf. When our dips arrived, they came with 1 pita bread, toasted and cut into 6 pieces. We asked for more pita bread for the dips , and another 2 pitas, toasted and cut into 12 pieces arrived. After we finished the dips and pita, another loaf of bread (not asked for) was dropped on our table, and no one ate any of it.

                    Local Co. charged $2.86 for our extra order of pita bread. I let our server know that it was ridiculous to serve only one pita with the amount of dip they are serving, especially when the dip plate costs $11.75. And terrible that they would charge for extra pita bread, when the dip requires it. I mentioned that we were already paying the $40plus for service, and yet they were still going to charge $2.86 for pita- closer to $3.50 with tax and service. Our server said it was the restaurants' policy to charge for any extra pita.

                    I had read all the negative reviews, but I've dined at Trapezzi, also owned by the same management, at least 2 dozen times over the last 5 years, and I expected Lobby would have settled into a halfdecent level of service and food by now. It hasn't.

                    It is also very, very loud, even before the nightclub people arrived. A few times we plugged our ears, as the dj ran into technical difficulty of some sort with the volume control. The management doesn't care that people might be trying to finish their meals. Even by 9 p.m. it was almost impossible to have conversation. This place is all about the drinks, the magas, the wannabes and the bimbos. This is not a supper club that cares about supper. But many of you probably already knew that;)

                    Dinner at Local Co. is one of the biggest rip-offs I have experienced in Toronto.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: phoenikia

                      Thanks phoenikia, your review seals the deal for me. I wasn't really interested in trying it anyways, but now I know not to even think about it.

                      1. re: phoenikia

                        I'm under the impression that the owners have been convinced that the place isn't working and sometime in the next month or so "Local Co" is going to be "re-launched" with an actual local focus menu, not clear if they will also solve any of the other myriad problems reviewers have identified.

                        1. re: bytepusher

                          I've noticed that the menu is different - it's in the front window and seems to have some new items on it. The black curtains are now open so you can see inside, the greeter in a suit at the podium outside the front door is MIA, but I just can't be bothered to try it out again. Has anyone else been recently?