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Dec 13, 2008 04:27 PM

Eddie Leveque's Kitchen - they were nice (and the food was good!)

After reading several less than stellar reviews on this board, my hubby and I decided to throw caution to the wind and try out this restaurant on Queen E (in our 'hood). We were pleasantly surpirsed by both the service (professional, prompt, friendly but not overly so) and the food (small menu, but well executed). Uninspired flat breads met us soon after sitting - not thrilling, but the pumpkiny hummus-ish dip was nice. Starters: grilled calamari for moi and soup of the day (scallop and clam chowder) for him. I thought the calamari was stellar - perfectly cooked with salty black olives and chewy chic peas...soup was for my taste a bit bland, but scallops were delish. Mains: croquettes on braised oxtail with rapini for me, sirloin meatloaf with garlic mash and green beans for Mike. Now, I don't claim to be an expert in either croquettes or oxtail, but both seemed to be the perfect food for a cold pre-winter night..although if I have to pick - perhaps the croquettes were a bit over-cooked (too hard on the outside) - though the inside was warm and cheesy and rice-y yum. The meatloaf dish, while very nicely prepared (and a good sized portion) was missing a little something in my opinion, but Mike did not complain...plate was cleaned. We also ordered a side of beer battered onion rings, just because (really, really good but made even better with a wee bit of ketchup...blasphemy perhaps to some).

There just was not room for dessert, although I did covet the cheese plate. Add in a 500ml of Cotes de Rhone (29.00) and the total bill was 98.00 for two before tip. I really liked the bottle of water (tap, but a nice presentation anyway) provided for us (so easy to please) as well as the timing of the meal - unhurried but we weren't waiting forever - as well as the variety on the rather smallish menu. Would I go back? Sure - there were several dishes I was eager to try. Hopefully this restaurant is taking the less than glowing feedback to heart and trying a little harder to please!

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  1. I have been twice in last year, and found it very much as you describe it to be. It remains on my list of sem-regular haunts. Would prefer the flat-bread to be switched to something else from time to time, same dip gets a bit boring. Had liver one time and it was grilled to absolute perfection. Another time had anchovy risotto that aimed high but missed the mark - the fish absolutely overpowered the other ingredients. I still enjoyed it and give them A for effort. Staff has been consistently attentive, but chilled. Winelist has always satisfied me.

    Would love to hear some other recent experiences...

    1 Reply
    1. re: SNACKeR

      I spoke to Edward on a recent visit which is a little harder now since he is back at the helm in the kitchen for dinner. He seems like a renewed and revitalized chef and has his spark back creatively in the kitchen. Brunch there has always been awesome even thought it is almost always JAMMED in there. He has been there before Leslieville revitalized. I think 5 or 6 years. And he is still there. That has to be for a reason. It is consistenly a solid place that I would go to eat. Reasonable wine prices and selections. Unpretentious good food and a cool room.

    2. This is good news, as we have avoided the place for several years now. Frankly, we will continue to avoid it in the short term, but if this type of news continues...

      1 Reply
      1. re: embee

        I went there last week for brunch. I was expecting lousy service, as what I've read on here. However service was excellent. I was first to arrive, with friends who I was meeting there. So I was in line. Edward was chatting up with me and other couple who were waiting in line. Servers kept coming by giving us heads, saying table will be ready in 5mins. During Brunch our server was quick in getting our drinks and meals. Coffee was refilled quickly. Overall service was great.

      2. So good to read that things have gotten better. Edward has enormous food sense and potential. But his temperment..... He must have straightened out and found Jesus.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

          or he found an email from his accountant, hilighting the steady decline in business.

          I've sworn of EL's and never understood why it was so highly rated. Even if the service was good (and I have never ever heard of someone having good service there), the food was good, if not ok.

          for those prices, I would like great.

          1. re: atomeyes

            I've never eaten there and one reason was because of the reviews here. I remember there was one especially bad one this summer, which I sent them a link to. I didn't get any response, but maybe they've been getting other feedback which prompted the change.