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Globe Bistro??

I had a night out at Globe Bistro and found the service to be appaling and the food to be even worse. I know that there is a new movement in menus that the food be local and everyone is getting behind the slow food movement ,but is there no originality left in the city anymore? All the menus have the exact same food items , Caribou Hind, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, Plough Man Plate, this place is nothing more than a rip off of an actual high-end Canadian restaurant in Canoe. Honestly this new movement is as bad , if not worse then the Tapa's craze of 2000. Please people don't waste your money on a pretentious nothing place like Globe, if your going to go and spend top end prices then please look for the places who do Canadian food well.

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  1. Hey chef223, thanks for your review. How was the service bad? And what was wrong with the food exactly?

    I've read very mixed things about Globe here. I actually think restaurants going local is a great idea. I've seen some places do it very well. I went to George last week, and I found their food quite good.

    And it's pretty obvious that Globe will not compare to Canoe. But neither do the prices. Is Globe really as bad as you say? Even for the prices? Either way, Globe really does seem like a place people should avoid. Seems very hit and miss at the moment.

    3 Replies
    1. re: stonedtoronto

      The vast majority of comments about the Globe over a considerable period of time and from established credible posters are positive. One negative comment and you're suggesting this "seems" to be a place people should avoid?

      1. re: JamieK

        I agree. Seems a bit harsh. I have been a few times now and had wonderful service, great food and found the staff to be extremely helpful. I have paid much more for meals that I have enjoyed much less.

        1. re: JamieK

          Ah, you're right JamieK, that was harsh.

      2. I was at Globe about a month ago, and had a very different experience. Service was excellent - water glasses consistently refilled, warm reception at the door, thoughtful and honest counsel on the menu.

        Our food was good, and we thought it very reasonable value for the money. We felt like they were trying to take some risks with the menu and generally executing their dishes quite well (crab appetizer was lovely, beef and duck were both very good, one of our desserts fell flat, but the apple pudding was delicious). And actually, you won't find caribou or a ploughman's plate on their menu (you will find a beet salad, and I'm sick of that dish too).

        I'm with Stoned insofar as I don't think it's fair to compare Globe to Canoe. Globe's mains are all under $35 with most priced a little lower (Canoe's mains start at $39) and the feel is much more like a neighbourhood restaurant than an expense account place.

        I'm certainly not trying to invalidate your experience, but "rip off" is a pretty harsh condemnation when some of your indictments just aren't ringing true.

        1. One of the best meals I've ever eaten was at Globe last summer - try going back in peach and tomato season. Then their menu is spectacular.

          1. Globe Bistro - quick update review
            Having read very positive and very negative reviews of Globe - Danforth & Broadview - here is a thumb-nail sketch of my experience.

            Total cost for four including tip but excluding wine $ 215 ( i.e. call it a $50 per head sort of place.)

            All the food was inventive and largely based on local produce. Presentation imaginative. Taste combinations often unusual, surprising and engaging.

            This is not a straightforward steak and frites type bistro. The food is closer to futuristic Nouvelle Cuisine. Our starters included arugula salad with walnut cream, root vegetable soup with some uncommon roots. Mains included duck breast and Jerusalem artichoke, a very fine vegetable pasta, suckling pig and brawn. Dessert , salty liquorice with an apple friter sort of thing with pumkin ice-cream etc. etc. . See the website GlobeBistro.com for accurate description.

            Extensive wine list, particularly of Canadian wine, little available under $ 45 per bottle.

            My guests were foodies from California and they loved the whole experience, food decor, and service.

            This is a place to go if you want a high quality meal that is different from run of the mill food. This is not a place to go if you want a filling, meat and potaoes type of meal.

            Hope this helps the rather polarised debate.

            See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578839

            for a further ten posts this month on exactly this topic.

            1. I had dinner at Globe last week and was extremely impressed with the food, service, and atmosphere. Since it opened I had heard mixed things and was never sure if I was willing to spend my hard earned money there. It turned out to be a thoroughly pleasant experience, and for what they offer, very fairly priced. The only small disappointment was the small portion of pork shoulder with my gnocchi - it was the day's special, and touted more as smoke pork shoulder and gnocchi, but the portion of pork was more like a large garnish. Delicious though! I absolutely loved the space, not too noisy (which is a reason I will never dine again at Gio's where I leave with a hoarse voice) and will definitely return.

              1. Chef223, are you actually talking about Globe Bistro on Danforth? If you're talking about top end prices and pretentiousness this is not the place I enjoyed a fantastic brunch this past Sunday! The first thing my partner and I noticed was the service. On the way to our table we were greeted by every staff member we walked by. The last time I experienced such a restaurant welcome was in Switzerland, the home of great hospitality!

                As for the food, the packed restaurant spoke for itself. I had and incredibly tasty quiche and salad and my partner had the vegetarian omelette of the day which came with a house made potato salad and sour dough toast. I'm a bread person. Their sourdough bread is unequalled! I think they make it in-house. I hate to keep mentioning Switzerland...but the bread is of European standards.

                We were seated on a banquette in the back part of the restaurant which was very elegant. I think the next time I go to Globe I will ask to sit in the front part of the restaurant which while still beautiful is a bit more casual with beautiful stone tables (Marble or some other material).

                We went to the restaurant on the recommendation of friends who live in the Danforth neighbourhood. Our experience was memorable and can't wait till our next visit.

                1. I had a great dinner at the Globe in late October, and a good brunch in November. The service both times was excellent.

                  I'm hoping the Globe will add more vegetarian/pescatarian savoury brunch dishes to the menu. I'm not a big bacon/ham/sausage eater, and I don't like waffles/pancakes/french toast, so I wished there were more savoury non-meat options. The brunch included a little amuse bouche smoothie when I went.

                  I didn't find Globe to be pretentious at all. The servers on both occasions were down-to-earth and competent. The management is professional. I had sent a comment to the restaurant via opentable, and management responded with an answer within 24 hours. They are trying their best to take care of their customers. Something I can't say I have noticed at the Oliver & Bonacini or Mark McEwan restaurants where I have experienced either rude or incompetent service.

                  Globe also has main floor, wheelchair friendly washrooms, which is a rarity in better restaurants in TO. It's on my shortlist for contemporary/continental dinners.It's one of the few restaurants I can think of which offers several dishes that would meet the demands of a picky/non-adventurous diner, while offering innovative dishes on the menu to appeal to the more adventurous diner.

                  1. I was there last week with 5 others, and we had a great time. It was a Tuesday night and the place was packed. No bad service, no bad food. Also, I don't see any "top end" prices. Do you eat out much? Where do you go?

                    1. Sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience. I've had wonderful food and service there and appreciate having it in my neighbourhood.

                      1. Was there last night, for the second time.....really good food, like the local idea, but the service was a bit spotty. Nothing too upsetting though. I plan to go back.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bluedog

                          I've had good experiences on the few occasions I've been here. I certainly had no problems with the service.
                          On a side note, did you know that this building used to be a bowling alley? Check out the hardwood floors next time you are there - still bowling style!

                        2. I logged in specifically because I had a great experience here tonight--something i did not expect.

                          I was afraid it would be terribly pretentious, and it is, a bit. But the service was competent and warm without being smarmy, and the food was excellent. We did not love everything (desserts were meh--bacon butter tart and beignets were fine, but not great), but the soup and entrees were delicious. It was local without being aggressive.

                          It was a lovely meal. I definitely recommend it. BTW, the wine is half price on Sunday, and the list is quite good.

                          I'm going to follow this thread. It's definitely an occasion restaurant for us, but one we didn't mind paying for.

                          124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: arugula

                            Hi Arugula,
                            I wonder if you were sitting anywhere near us. I was also there last night at a table of three and had a great time as usual. We got there at 6:00 pm and left almost 4 hours later. The half price bottles are a great deal, so we had two! I'm surprised you didn't like the beignets, those are one of my favourite desserts on the current menu. Since my wife wanted sorbet, I asked her to get the beignets also and she and our guest who tried one thought they were great. I mention Globe on CH on occasion, and now you know why.

                            If you had a good time, you should consider going to the winemaker's dinner on Jan 20. The winemaker's dinners are almost always excellent, and a good value.


                            1. re: foodyDudey

                              I haven't been posting here a lot lately but this thread caught my eye. I thought enough about Globe Bistro to give out a couple of gift certificates for presents last year. The food is not run-of-the-mill and delights with an experience that refreshes and renews ones sensibilities at a very reasonable price. Don't go there for the expected, go for an experience.

                              1. re: Poorboy

                                I've always eaten well at Globe and once, when i got a really tough veal chop, I told the Adrian (the maitre, I believe) who called me the next day and said the kitchen tried the veal and agreed that it was tough...they gave me a gift certificate more than the value of my dish to compensate.

                                Has anyone tried the steak with mashed potatoes at Globe. To die for - they're so tasty! Great patio in the summer too.

                            2. re: arugula

                              I really like Globe, it's the only nice place on the Danforth with serious food and a lovely dining room. I've had lunch on the rooftop terrace, Sunday brunch in the dining room, dinner in the bar area and our office Christmas party in the private room. All featured prompt, courteous and informed service - and lovely food. There was one lunch in the bar that was marred by the ditziest waitress I have ever encounterd, and even the normally competent hostess was off- she gave me the dinner menu instead of the lunch menu - it didn't say "lunch" or "dinner" at the top of the page, so I assumed it was the menu for lunch - I picked the least expensive thing on it, and when I becan eating I saw all these other people getting burgers and fish and chips - I should have remonstrated with the Hostess, but she had disappeared and I didn't have time. But that was the only bad experience.

                            3. I've had both good and bad meals in the few times I've visited. Last time was in the summer. I had pasta with wild mushrooms. The pasta was almost uncooked and I had to crunch through it. I should have sent the dish back but didn't.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: merlot143

                                I've never had an overcooked or undercooked meal at Globe. And if I did, I'd say something because they will want to make sure you are happy, not give you an excuse. You should have sent it back.

                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                  Point taken, but really, that plate of pasta shouldn't have left the kitchen in the first place.

                              2. I went to the Cave Spring Winemaker's Dinner last night and at $99 per person, it was really phenomenal value. Here's the menu:

                                1. Canapés and amuse-bouche (wine pairing 2006 Blanc de Noirs Brut): I remember a goat cheese crostini and a scallop mousse. Nice start.

                                2. Honey roasted celery root bisque with smoked elk brochette, lovage oil, radish cress (wine pairing 2008 CSV Riesling): This was a fantastic soup, a very pure concentrated celeriac flavour, and the elk brochette nestled in the bowl was delicious, with a sliver of elk liver in there that was nice and unexpected. The Riesling was easily my favourite wine of the night and I can see why it scored a 90 from Wine Spectator. I may buy a case later this week.

                                3. Wild Lake Huron Pickerel with hemp flour spaetzle, amber turnips, compressed Niagara apple (wine pairing 2007 CSV Chardonnay): A really delicious piece of fish that was perhaps a touch overcooked for my taste, and the crispy skin could have used a bigger hit of salt. The spaetzle was terrific and I loved the compressed apple, I need to mess around with my FoodSaver and see if I can approximate this trick at home. The wine was unusual, definitely a little edgier than your average Chard, but maybe slightly too oaky for me.

                                4. Duck Egg Raviolo, confit leg ragout, crisp shallot, lambs lettuce, Toscano (wine pairing 2007 Estate Pinot): My favourite dish of the night, I am a sucker for all things duck as well as breaking open a raviolo and getting nice oozy yolk everywhere. The confit was amazing when mixed with the yolk, and the Monforte Toscano added an extra hit of salt that made the wine go down real easy. Speaking of the pinot, it was quite good but will probably be better in a couple of years.

                                5. Intermezzo - Local Sea Buckthorn Berry Gelée with another glass of Blanc de Noirs Brut. Nice little palate-cleanser, the berry gelée tart rather than sweet.

                                6. Aged Wellington Co "Bistecca Fiorentina" with garlic-infused canola oil, sunchokes, fennel, BC porcini jus (wine pairing 2006 La Penna). This was a really great piece of meat, I believe a bone-in striploin. Not sure it was a true Fiorentina as it missed the big hit of rosemary not to mention the taste of the charcoal grill, but I was very happy with the dish - the porcini jus was outstanding.. The wine was very interesting, their take on a Tuscan red that they achieve through air-drying the grapes first, I would recommend seeking it out.

                                7. Artisanal Canadian cheese: Thornloe Ontario stilton, Upper Canada comfort cream, earth chardonnay chevre, honey comb. All served at proper room temperature and all delicious.

                                8. Toasted pine nut "Mille Feuille" with tobacco poached Niagara pears, 4 spiced Anglaise, and chervil cress - loved this, not a big dessert guy but this was a nice balance of sweet and savoury.

                                Both desserts were served with the 2007 Indian Summer Late Harvest Riesling which I enjoyed tremendously, just slightly sweet rather than cloyingly so in the manner of icewines, and very rich-tasting. I will get a few bottles of this as well.

                                Both the guy from Cave Spring (son of the founder, I think) and the chef chatted between courses to explain what we were eating and drinking, and it was fun and educational. Incidentally, it was held in the private room upstairs with communal tables, which I approached with some trepidation as the median age of the other diners was probably 15-20 years older than me. But we had a great time, good conversation fuelled by the generous pours throughout the evening. Total bill with tax and tip was $280 for two, really outstanding value given the meticulous and hyper-local food, the thoughtful pairings, and that we were quaffing so much wine, with many of bottles that for the most part would be $80 and up in the restaurant. I would really recommend these Winemaker Dinners at Globe.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: childofthestorm

                                  How successful were the wine pairings?

                                  1. re: dubchild

                                    For the most part very successful, although the general consensus was that the duck egg raviolo with the salty confit and Toscano kind of overpowered the pinot. Aside from that, I think they were spot-on and the Cave Spring folks seemed really pleased with the choices the chef had made. The best pairings IMO were the bisque with the Riesling, as the green rootiness of the soup really matched well with the apple and green-herbal notes in the wine; and the savoury-sweet Mille Feuille with the only-slightly-sweet Late Harvest Riesling, the rich golden quality of the wine playing beautifully off the pears and Anglaise.

                                    Not a big shocker that the Rieslings were my favourites of the night, I guess.

                                  2. re: childofthestorm

                                    Hi childofthestorm, thanks for the write-up, now I don't have to do one. Were you sitting right near the window? I was at the next table, Tom from Cave Spring was sitting beside me most of the time and we had an interesting conversation.

                                    I've always recommended the winemaker's dinner, they are incredible value and we often meet some interesting people at our table. I'm surprised at how few so-called Chowhounds attend these.

                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                      Yup that was me right by the window - I think it was your reco that spurred me to check it out and reserve, so thanks!

                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        Your welcome! We's been to every winemaker's dinner they have had. That was another that we thought was great.

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          FoodyDudey-- we seem to be eating together as often as people who know each other. I have to say I like your taste. I perk up when I see your name.

                                          1. re: arugula

                                            And I always perk up when I see arugula on my plate! :-)

                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                              Well, my experience at the Globe was fairly negative. We were four people, and two had entrees that were pretty bad. My friend's fish was overdone and my wife's sweetbreads were very overdone and dry. One salad seemed to have water as a dressing. The other appies were good, but i wouldn't go back. The service, however, was very attentive. BTW, it was a Monday evening.

                                              1. re: gilbert1111

                                                I assume it is possible.. did you mention this to them? I don't eat there on Mondays. The executive chef is Kevin McKenna and he probably has Monday off, but still no excuse for that. But if you mention a problem, it would surely be taken care off. I've had many good dinners and not a single bad one there. I mention the winemaker's dinners in other posts as those are always very good.

                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                  Thanks, foodyDudey, perhaps another try is called for.

                                                  1. re: gilbert1111

                                                    After reading the positive reviews I decided to take my girlfriend there. I was not happy at all. The food was undercooked and I felt the service was substandard. When you need to raise your hand to get service that, to me, is a sign that a place is understaffed or, as was my impression, they were pandering to some regular customers that appeared to know someone there. Won't be back.

                                                    1. re: Tony Brutto

                                                      When were you there, Tony? There are very few people who mention undercooked food or bad service at Globe. I was there on Friday night and even though it was packed, our service was fine and appeared to be fine at the other tables also.

                                                      1. re: Tony Brutto

                                                        I've always maintained that globe is one the most inconsistent restaurants in Toronto. Sometimes it's good, but when its bad, it horrible. I stopped going a year and a half ago, after another very disappointing meal.

                                                        My SO used to go all the time, returned recently and found that she didn't appreciate the food any longer.

                                                        Victor in the St. Germain hotel is another very inconsistent restaurant. When the food is on, it's great, when the food is off, the vegetables aren't even cooked properly. I'd still go there before setting foot in Globe again.

                                                        30 Mercer Street, Toronto, ON M5V 1H3, CA

                                    2. I've had some excellent meals there. Perhaps it's better to summer or fall?

                                      I've had some real surprises there-things that I didn't think I'd like that ended up being exquisite.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: arugula

                                        Looks like the Globe varies over time. Anyone have a view on how it is in June 2012

                                        1. re: Herne

                                          We were just there for Fathers Day brunch last week. What a major disappointment from start to finish. Service very poor (while our waiter was very nice, he was very inept) ranging from putting down a cup of hot coffee next to a baby (it was fathers day so lots of kids there), not removing wine glasses from the table after it was clear we were not drinking, forgetting the milk and sugar for the coffee, never offering refills of the coffee, having to track him down for the bill. Please note the place was not busy. Then we noticed that while filling up the water glass of the person at the next table, he spilled some on her dessert! She was kind about it but her dessert was ruined.
                                          But far worse that that was the meal. Three of us ordered the daily omelette. There is no way, no how those were made from real eggs, the colour and consistency were either powdered or some liquid. Had to look for the 2 mushrooms and cheese that were in it. We asked for a side of some sort of bread, we were told we could purchase their bakery basket ($10!!) otherwise there was nothing. With eggs? No bread available? Have I missed something? Then to the other meal ordered. The french toast sounded lovely on paper but was simply a slice of bread pudding or a slice from a premade french toast casserole. I will never go back.

                                          1. re: breezey

                                            Well that about brings my interest to a close.

                                            Any one have other ideas about a place that might sit 8 people with at least passable food on the Danforth?

                                            1. re: Herne

                                              For brunch or for dinner?

                                              I used to love, love, love Globe but the last couple times we were there for just a regular meal we left feeling something was missing, but for special events, winemakers dinners etc they still do a great job.

                                              I think the problem is quite simply that the management team is simply spread too thin, there are now three restaurants and the chef does frequent side projects, so a lot of little details are let slip by the C de C and the FOH manager. This kind of thing often shows up most starkly at brunch service since it's the shift nobody wants so you tend to get the newbies with insufficient supervision.

                                                1. re: Herne

                                                  If you like South Indian food, head over to Aravind. It could easily be the best Indian restaurant in the GTA right now. It's directly across from Sun Valley. Not as cheap as many other Indian places, but the food is top notch and has improved since they opened about 18 months ago. Serving sizes are now enough that you won't be hungry at 2:00 am after eating dinner there.

                                                  Kevin McKenna left Globe at the beginning of May. I've had some meals that had incredibly small portions for dinner in the last 2 months so unless you want to eat some more food when you get back home, it may not be the best choice.

                                                  Herne, you live in the area so I'd think you know where the decent food on Danforth Ave is. Pantheon, 7 Numbers, Avli and Pan are all "passable" at the least. And so is Sher-E-Punjab.

                                                  1. re: fDudey_jiva

                                                    I have nothing to add to this except the possibility of Pizzeria Libretto since they do take reservations at the Danforth location.

                                                    1. re: fDudey_jiva

                                                      I used to spend almost every Sunday at the Auld Spot with their Prime rib Dinner. As I recall back in the mid 90's it was about $12.95. So far i haven't found any replacement for it. I was looking for a place where I could bring 5-8 people for a quite meal and/or discussion. I know of no such place and having been in the Globe location 10 years ago I believed it large enough to hold tables for 8. Apparently it has other drawbacks. Certainly the current Auld Spot doesn't do the trick. Best food deal I know of at the moment is Brass Taps and it would be better if they got the A/C installed. And some bigger screen TV's.

                                                      1. re: Herne

                                                        I'd try Pizzeria Libretto Herne. By far the best overall experience on the Danforth. If you don't feel like pizza you can easily make a very satisfying meal out of 2-3 small plates. They also do a 'prosciutto tasting' board for larger groups. For $10 a head they bring out a huge table length board, (Must reserve in advance) covered in antipasti and various samples of appetizers. Its great way to begin a meal. Not to mention, the service is uncommonly knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient.

                                                        1. re: haggisdragon

                                                          We, too, had a great experience at Pizzeria Libretto on Danforth a month or so ago. The food and service were both very good.

                                                          1. re: haggisdragon

                                                            Ok I'll give it a try in the next few weeks.

                                                          2. re: Herne

                                                            The Blake House on Jarvis south of Wellesley has as a good Sunday prime rib, reasonably priced. Quiet and I am sure they would easily seat 5-8 people.

                                                            1. re: MargieEv

                                                              The website looks good. Have you tried their brunch? Brunch and parking seem to be the important features especially in downtown Toronto/

                                            2. Had an extremely disappointing dinner here last night. Portions were ridiculously tiny - 3 scallops and not much else for what appeared to be a main course? - and the quality was average at best. The cannelini beans served with the elk chorizo were undercooked. Had to supplement with an eggplant sandwich from Ali Baba over the road. We ate on the patio, does that make a difference?

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: gembellina


                                                Was that the Globe or Pizzeria Libretto?

                                                1. re: Herne

                                                  Ali Baba is across the road from Globe Bistro. Does not sound like items from the Libretto menu. So, I would think GB.

                                                  1. re: Herne

                                                    Globe - I was responding to the original thread, even if it has got a bit diverted! Will certainly try Pizza Libretto next time we're in the area.

                                                  2. re: gembellina

                                                    Hmm. Interesting to learn of the changes in the kitchen. We, too, have had mixed experiences there over the past 4 years, trending decidedly towards good. (Good enough to keep going back, especially given 1/2 price wine on Sundays). We went for summerlicious last week, and ended up ordering mostly from the regular menu. What a disappointment. Appetizers: A tiny haddock croquette, almost entirely fish, with two leaves of frisee and two sad, barely grilled grape tomatoes way over on the other side of the rectangular plate. No sign of the promised aioli. The aforementioned scallops (an app, not a main) were the standout of the meal (wonderful pickled fennel), but still nothing to write home about. Then, the main. We both had "Lake Erie Pickerel", something we normally shy away from, but having had a transcendent bite of it a few years back on a tasting menu at Harvest in PEC, we decided it was a safe bet at a resto like the Globe. What we got was a stiff, underseasoned chunk of fish with wet skin - not a hint of searing, crisping or caramelization. It felt like it had been summarily dumped out of a sous vide pouch onto the plate. Nasty. We ended up picking out the delicious little brussels sprout leaves as a reward for eating the fish. The mushroomy brothy liquid beneath the fish was earthy in a bad way: ponderous, lacking in brightness.

                                                    The kitchen tries to telegraph the message "from the earth!" but does so in a way that can feel almost punitively literal: rye berries! bulgar! barley! pumpkin seeds! sunflower seed earth! Enough already.

                                                  3. Kevin McKenna who was the exec chef for all their locations is now at Taboo golf club. I'm not sure who is their chef at the moment. The change in quality may or may not be due to a change in the kitchen.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: dubchild

                                                      After reading this thread, I don't think the groupon deal, $69 for a 5 course tasting menu for 2, is worth it. But if anyone's interested, there's 2 days left on the timer.


                                                      1. re: normanwolf

                                                        I was reading this thread as well after the Groupon notification.

                                                        I remember back in '08, SO and I would choose Globe over Pantheon or Meze on a week night on Danforth, because the sitting and atmosphere was more comfortable. The food at the time, didn't disappoint.

                                                        Our last visit was a cold winter night in '11. After getting two glasses of rancid, washed down whites at <$15/6oz, we left and haven't returned.

                                                        1. re: normanwolf

                                                          I used their last $69 tasting menu coupon back in June. It was probably one of the better meal I've had this year. Mind you I'm no Joanne Kates, I don't dine out at fancy restos every week. But for $35/person I thought it was an excellent deal.