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Feb 5, 2009 07:32 AM

Chef's House Restaurant (George Brown College)

Has anyone been... and also, is it licensed??

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  1. We tried and generally enjoyed it a few months ago. Mains were so-so/ok only, but we liked the soup and appetizers. It's a place to which we will return, but its not that great a value. Unique venue with all the apprentice help. They do serve alcohol.

    1. Hope to go this Friday night. I called last Tuesday for a reservation, left a message on an answering machine and have yet to hear back about a confirmation. So, I may call back this week and see if I can get a hold of not, we may just show up and see what happens.

      4 Replies
      1. re: LovesToEat

        Please do tell us how it goes if you visit on Friday... although it's kinda remiss that they haven't called you back yet. I like the concept of Chef's House, but I was a little surprised by the prices. Didn't strike me as great value, and I was sorry to hear T Long confirm this suspicion. Still, I'd love more info.

        1. re: Rabbit

          Okay, finally got a call back today...they are all booked. But it took them over a week to call me back to say that (original message left on Tuesday, Feb. 3 around 11:00am)? I feel as if they took a bunch of other reservations after I left my message and then thought "Oh crap, no spaces left...should probably call her back".

          I'll try again to make reservations for next week, maybe not on a Friday night since it's probably the most busy night out of the week. Not really impressed by their response time though.

          1. re: LovesToEat

            A lot of days the dining room is closed for private functions, so it is a bit tricky to get a res.

            So you know, students work there on either a 7 or 14 week term. Usually there are glitches in the beginning of each term as the chefs try to teach the students a new menu. Covers are also capped to a lower number in the beginning to not throw the green students into the weeds right away.

            I suggest you go later on during each semester, semesters start in Sept, Jan and May.

            1. re: LovesToEat

              They are VERY open to walk-ins. I'm not totally sure what it's like for dinner, but they always welcome walk-ins for lunch.

        2. I went a couple of weeks ago with a few friends on a Friday night. The restaurant was about 95% full. The chefs are all students from their Culinary program and front staff (servers, etc.) are all George Brown students. Everyone was friendly and courteous and they make it known again and again that they are learning. This is important to know because their lack of experience definitely shows in the service.

          Their wine list was short and quite pricey and almost all Ontario wines. We asked when making the reservation to see if they accepted BYO but they did not. Too bad because wine was an important part of our meal and was very disappointing.

          Their menu is pretty well as stated on their website, but they have specials as well. My main was a beef special that was pretty bland. In fact, it was almost tasteless without the sauce of which there was too little. Others at the table ordered crispy duck that she says wasn't at all crispy but otherwise OK. Overall the mains were OK at best.

          For dessert, we all order the chocolate soufflé recommended by our waitress. I have to say and everyone at the table agreed it was the worse soufflé (if you can call it that) we've ever had. It was more like one of those melted chocolate cakes but texture was awful and the taste not much better. None of us finished it.

          We also ordered coffee and a couple of us ordered cappuccino. Not sure how you can bungle this but the cappuccino was absolutely the worse I have ever tasted! There was no foam and the coffee was almost completely thin and bland like there was one part stale coffee and two parts hot water. I have a 9 year old nephew who could do better than this at home.

          As we left to get our coats near the front door, we were each given a piece of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. It was just out of the oven and delicious! However, I think this should've been given to us when we were at our tables instead of when we were putting our coats on near the front door, because the chocolate chips melted on our hands as we were eating it outside (in the cold!) and though we had napkins, we really needed to wash our hands at that point. Nice gesture nonetheless.

          Overall, the service was good if you consider their lack of experience, but the food was disappointing even considering they were student chefs. Some felt the $45 price was too high to be paying for students to learn and I can't say I disagree but I guess they still have a business to run. Would I go back? Not likely.

          1. We just tried Chefs' House - called a week ago and didn't have any trouble booking for a Thursday night. I agree with syoung - price was too high for what we got. Our main server was great. She seemed much more experienced than the food runners who were a bit nervous and awkward. We were offered an amuse bouche of a parmesan sundried tomato brulee - looked nice but the flavour was too concentrated and salty for me. Bread was served with a nice chickpea spread. My starter was a "mushroom parfait". Maybe I didn't read the description carefully but it was a strange mushroom mousse served with strips of toast and pickled vegetables. Not fond of the texture, and lack of flavour didn't make up for it. Main was leg of lamb. Generous portion. Meat and sauce was bland but served with a yummy bacon mashed potato. Also served with a ratatouille that seemed a bit out of place. They ran out of a dessert printed on the menu but I chose the replacement. Turned out to be a shot glass of chocolate "brulee" + a small square of chocolate mousse + a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serving the two similar chocolate selections together was redundant Good, not spectacular. We also finished with a cappucino but I noticed the bartender and the supervisor (?) having problems with the espresso machine. Tasted burnt - I'm no expert so I don't know if that was the barista's fault or the beans. Dining companion had a beer and joked it was the best part of the meal....Overall it was a neat experience and great space, but based on the food, probably won't return or recommend to others.

            1. We were at the previous incaration about 2 years back and all 8 of us thought pretty much the same thing as reported here, that it is overpriced for the food and service. The food is not worth going back for. This isn't surprising, it's the same people managing it, probably just an updated location. I'd be interested in hearing of even one person saying it's good and that they can't wait to go back a second time. I don't think we'll see a post like that. I also remembered that there were no bargains on the wine list. I think diners should be getting a pretty good deal if they are willing to dine there and provide a learning experience, and that's not the case here.

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodyDudey

                We finally got into the Chef's House to use up the gift certificate I received almost a year ago!

                We arrived Friday night around 6:00-ish...the restaurant was pretty empty but filled up quickly by 7:00pm. Our server was fine...kinda a quiet talker, not very personable. The Chef came out after we placed our order and offered us a fresh cevishe.

                For apps, I ordered the spring salad with peas and DH ordered procuitto. Salad was fresh but a bit greasy/oily from the pesto dressing. For mains, I got the bacon wrapped chicken while DH got the lamb. The chicken was very moist and done perfectly. DH also enjoyed his lamb. Dessert was a rhubarb strawberry tart and brown bread ice cream. Both a good end to the meal. For drinks, DH had a beer and I had a glass of chardonnay.

                The space for the restaurant is very modern and sleek so if you're looking for prix fixe meal on a weekend night for $40 per person, it's a good choice. Our bill was under $100.00 before tip for two meals and two alcoholic drinks. There were moments of Hell's Kitchen as we heard sounds of "Yes, Chef!" and "I need one lamb, one chicken and one fish!" coming from the open air kitchen and we enjoyed watching the action from the kitchen on the flat screen tvs around us.

                Would we go back? Maybe...I felt that the price point was a bit high. My theory is that you can find a pretty good meal for $40/person (just mains and dessert or app. and main) elsewhere. But if you are looking for a nice, modern restaurant for a three-course meal, then this is a good choice.