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May 12, 2009 01:06 PM

The Truth On Colborne Lane

Last Saturday my wife and I wanted to do something really special. Having been at Colborne Lane before (10 course tasting menu), I decided to book "The Kitchen Table" at the restaurant.

The Kitchen Table is located downstairs, in a private room just off the kitchen. It includes a 15 course tasting menu.

Let me say this - the staff are creative geniuses. The food was absolutely incredible. At least 6/7 different staff members took care of us, clearing plates, delivering food, pouring wine. It was an amazing experience. Midway through the meal, Chef Aprile came over to talk to us and ensure we were having a good time.

My wife and I have been to most of the better tasting menus and nicer restaurants in the City and I can unequivocally say that Colborne Lane is the best restaurant we have ever been to.

If you are willing to spend some money and have a fantastic meal, this is the place for you. You will receive great service and you will taste creative art that you have never seen or tasted before.

If you are looking to get stuffed by huge steakhouse-like portions, do not go to Colborne, since you are guaranteed to be disappointed. You will not leave full beyond belief where they have to roll you out of the place - if this is what you are looking for going in, you will be really upset.

Colborne Lane is a small, intimate, fantastic restaurant. The food is indescribable. Both of our experiences have been top top notch. "The Kitchen Table" takes it to a whole new level.

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  1. It sounds like you had an incredible experience! What dishes did you have? What impressed you about them?

    You also mentioned the other "better tasting menus" and "nicer restaurants" in Toronto, so I'm just wondering if you could perhaps provide little rundowns of some of the other ones you've visited, and why they didn't stack up against CL?

    2 Replies
    1. re: tjr

      Susur (when it was around), Auberge du Pommier (our 2nd favorite), Perigee, George, and Lucien. There have been others, but I simply cannot recall them all at this moment. We have also eaten off of the menu at most, if not all, of the top restaurants in Toronto.

      I rarely leave one of these places disappointed, CL is just miles ahead, in my opinion.

      I could not begin to describe the dishes properly. At the restaurant it is "This is the duck 3 ways, one with soya demi....blah blah blah". 5 days later all I know is that each dish seemed to be better than the last and you would wait a few seconds before eating since it looked almost too good to touch.

    2. Great to hear. I just booked this resto for a special ocassion as well. I won't be doing the tasting menu, unfortunately.

      Would anyone happen to have a suggestion of how many courses + desert one should order for a full meal (I don't want to be rolled out the door :), but want to have a normal-sized meal that won't leave me hungry).

      4 Replies
      1. re: SMOG

        I had an app, main, and dessert and definitely didn't need to be rolled out the door. Probably could've grabbed a slice on the way home. The portion sizes are quite modest and the price is a bit high IMHO. That said, the presentation is good as is the execution.

        1. re: DrewStar

          Ok, that's helpful. So would you say that you'd be comfortably full if you had ordered another course in between? What did you have?

          1. re: SMOG

            It's been awhile. I started with a crispy squid and peanut app which was getting some rave reviews back in the day. Followed up by a piece of tuna cooked sous vide. Don't remember the garnish. I realize tuna is an expensive fish but the portion was quite small. Dessert escapes me.

            I forget if there is a bread service. If there is perhaps chow down on a few extra slices and don't order a 4th course.

        2. re: SMOG

          Ask for the table that is against the glass leading downstairs. Most private one in the place.

        3. So, it was the best restaurant that you have ever been to, but you haven't told us anything about what you ate. C'mon - don't hold back. With 15 courses, you could certainly share a few of the highlights. What wowed you? What didn't?

          1 Reply
          1. re: embee

            See above. My apologies for posting on Tuesday and not checking back until now. If I remember I will post some photos after I download them.

            1. re: Dimbulb

              $159 per person (2 of us) and $89 for the wine pairing (only for me, my wife is pregnant). All in, $540 including tip. As I said, it's not cheap.

            2. The food at Colborne Lane is top notch, I am a fan of subtle eastern fusion flavours and the menu has that in spades. The food is unique enough to stand out from the crowd of restaurants in this price range in my opinion. The portions can be quite small, but that just allows you to try more! Never a bad thing. I have been several times and can't complain about a single dish I have had there. I have long been a fan of Aprile's food.

              My two complaints would be:

              - the cost to size ratio for the desserts is particularly bad value, not that you may be going to CL for good value per se. Still I have had a few desserts there that would be edible in one large bite for $12.00-$14.00.

              - If you did not rent out the private room, and you are in the main dining room, it can be very noisy and you may be sitting literally right next to some other party/couple. In short, I did not find it intimate.

              Service has always been good at CL when I have gone, and it is one of a few restaurants in town that has not crossed me on one of my huge pet peeves over the last few years- paying the bill in a timely manner. What is it with restaurants that leave you lingering long after you are done with not even a hint of checking to see if you want to leave? I digress, CL has very attentive service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JPJ

                This review is bang on. The tables upstairs are fairly close together. Ask for the one next to the stairs, beside the large pane of glass.

                You will spend alot of money. There is no way around it.