HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure
TELL US

Anyone try David Duncan House?

k
katbri May 14, 2009 01:09 PM

Would like your reviews.

Thanks.

  1. pinstripeprincess May 14, 2009 02:05 PM

    terrible.

    was there for a company holiday party and these people are stuck in an era long gone past. regardless, the food is just awful. a supposed steak house who doesn't understand what black & blue means but just keeps on nodding their head without asking to check. then when it shows up and it's certainly not black nor blue... more like medium rare they insist that it is black & blue! at least the head waiter of the bunch noticed the large portion of steak left untouched and tried to fix it. too bad it still showed up wrong... rare this time at least but definitely not black.

    my own was some mishapen hunk roughly cut. gristle and large pieces of fat hung off of it. it was just so sad looking. taste was bland and dull.

    the herring that i did start off with was perfectly fine and even good, but i'm pretty sure they weren't preparing the pickled fish on site. nothing else was remarkable enough to recall so i guess it wasn't all terrible but definitely not worth the money, even at free.

    1. c
      Crispy skin May 14, 2009 02:34 PM

      Excellent food and service in a beautifully decorated restaurant. I go there at least once a year. Seafood platter is mostly what I order.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Crispy skin
        Poorboy Dec 9, 2009 08:09 PM

        Ah boy, usually punstripeprincess is bang-on in observations.
        A small group of our management team is going there this coming Tuesday evening for our annual get-together.
        We are all in the hospitality industry. I will do up a review and post in this thread based on my groups findings.

        1. re: Poorboy
          jlunar Dec 9, 2009 09:05 PM

          Good luck! I go after Christmas and I'm not really looking forward to it...

          1. re: Poorboy
            pinstripeprincess Dec 10, 2009 06:13 AM

            i think that a reasonably good experience can be had if your expectations are set that this isn't a proper steakhouse. so just don't ask for rare or black and blue and get the more typical ordered cuts of steak (rib eye and strip)... i honestly don't know how my piece was so mangled (if i'm remembering correctly it was the peppercorn steak).

            the appetizers all around also didn't seem to be bad, not amazing but not bad. i never sampled the seafood so i can't speak on that front.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              g
              graydyn Dec 10, 2009 07:10 AM

              It says on their menu that the peppercorn steak is a strip. It is hard to imagine how they could manage to mangle a strip. Maybe they should start buying their steaks at Costco.

              1. re: graydyn
                pinstripeprincess Dec 10, 2009 07:17 AM

                i realize, but perhaps they thought they could somehow cover it up with the saucing. i was the only person who ordered it and the only person with a mangled cut of meat. others ordered the strip and ribeye that were plain and seemed to have received acceptable pieces of meat. since i was a guest i wasn't going to grill people for details.

                1. re: graydyn
                  p
                  Pincus Dec 10, 2009 07:54 AM

                  Some chefs are awfully talented.

          2. Googs Dec 10, 2009 08:32 AM

            David Duncan House is a proper steakhouse if this were still the 1960's. To say it's from another era is an understatement. Think Carmen's without the beer stein decor and about 4 times larger.

            Still, it serves its purpose for a suburban crowd that wants a steakhouse experience without the prohibitively high prices of the downtown stalwarts of Harbour 60 or Barberian's.

            They seem to keep the prices lower by offering wines straight off of the regular LCBO listings and beef cuts that, while adequate, aren't at all memorable.

            Service, as PSP rightly points out, is very top down with one knowledgeable server and a team that executes his bidding. If you have a special request make sure you're dealing with the head waiter or you will likely end up in the same scenario as PSP.

            For app's I had the Escargot Bourguignonne and hubby the Oysters Rockefeller. (Getting a feel for how old-fashioned yet?) Again, both acceptable but unremarkable in any way other than 'not bad'. We followed with the Caesar Salad prepared tableside. Worth the show if you like GARLIC. If you have it I recommend your SO have it as well so you can cancel each other's stinky breath out.

            The steaks we had (New York Strip and Filet Mignon) were fine and cooked precisely to his rare and my blue, but nothing to make me rethink my affections for Barberian's or even my own bbq.

            All in all, if someone's making you go there you could do a lot worse. Think of it as spending the holidays with your grandparents and you'll do just fine.

            BTW I was made to go myself for a very dear friend's birthday. I lived to tell the tale.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Googs
              Poorboy Dec 10, 2009 08:11 PM

              Thanks for the info. I will have my notebook ready and taking notes. Looked at the menu and yes, very retro indeed.

              1. re: Poorboy
                a
                ayl Dec 13, 2009 02:46 PM

                I enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant, but can't even remember what I had to eat!

                Something like prom food...or wedding food. Can't really remember and don't want to remember.

              2. re: Googs
                mrsleny Dec 13, 2009 07:07 PM

                How does this compare with The Octagon in Thornhill?

              3. p
                phoenikia Dec 14, 2009 09:43 AM

                It's fine for what it is- a moderately priced family restaurant /steakhouse in Scarborough.

                I was there for a bridal shower, and the chicken they served was fine. Better than chain food,and better than most banquet hall food. Everything I ate was at least decent, but then again, I went in with relatively low expectations.

                I'm not much of a steak eater, but I wouldn't expect many midrange restaurants in TO to get steak orders right beyond rare, medium rare, medium and well done.

                4 Replies
                1. re: phoenikia
                  Poorboy Dec 16, 2009 02:28 PM

                  Well, the previous posts were bang on! There were five of us and three of us had a pre-meal drink and then we all shared a couple of bottles of Amarone with our meal and we got out for about $527.00 not including tip. No desert.
                  We ordered various meals, The Halibut, A Filet Mignon, a couple of steaks and a prime roast. The decor was interesting and yes, you would love to take your parents or grandfolks there. Many likenesses were spotted throughout.. lol
                  The wine got a little messed up as we ordered the first bottle and then another bottle of the same right after and we noticed that the year was different on the second bottle... hmmm....
                  The usual toasted bread was brought to the table and a small plate of olives , pickles etc.
                  What I will say is that this place has good value but the food will not blow you away. They play it safe. What I did notice the most was that the portions are large, you really won't go away hungry. Had a good time, felt comfortable and the food was OK. Service was more than adequate and attentive. Really can't say more.

                  1. re: phoenikia
                    Googs Dec 19, 2009 07:50 AM

                    They did get my blue correct. Still mooing and warm in the middle.

                    1. re: Googs
                      c
                      Crispy skin Dec 19, 2009 09:31 AM

                      I agree with the boozy lady. They do their steaks well.

                      1. re: Crispy skin
                        Googs Dec 19, 2009 11:42 AM

                        How'd you know my mom's nickname for me when I was a baby?

                  2. h
                    Higgette Dec 19, 2009 01:22 AM

                    Horrible! I get dragged there by my in-laws who have no idea what good food is. My MIL loves the decor. I keep reminding her you can't eat that. There is nothing edible on the menu and everything is frozen. The salad is served on hot plates. The prices are ridiculous. I have no idea how it remains open.

                    1. jlunar Dec 28, 2009 08:46 AM

                      Okay, so I went last night. Best thing at the table was the medium-rare Rib Eye steak. That was decent.

                      Seafood platter: terribly overcooked. Everything was SO DRY.
                      Duck A L'Orange: duck was also overcooked and covered with what tasted like watered-down marmalade.
                      French Onion Soup: ...where's the cheese?
                      French Onion Rings: ...think Harvey's. I was expecting more shoe-string style.
                      Escargot: More garlic, but okay.
                      NY Strip: Okay. Not great.
                      Rib Eye Steak: Good. Wish I had ordered this.

                      siiiigh. I did like the Art Nouveau detailing, though the fact that the stained glass didn't really match the era bothered me.

                      For the price, I'd rather go to H60.

                      -----
                      Duncan House Fine Dining
                      125 Moatfield Dr, Toronto, ON M3B3L6, CA

                      1. a
                        Aardvark Dec 28, 2009 10:51 AM

                        I think it has become relatively fashionable to slag the traditional steak houses (Carmens, Bardi's, etc) and the David Duncan house does fit within that mold. The first time I went there (at my wifes urging) and had the chateaubriand for two, I thought it was terrible.

                        I have gone several times since and have always enjoyed the food. Not top of the line but the New York strip is cooked to order and quite tasty. I haven't strayed much from that but I know that other food ordered has been at least acceptable.

                        I think the ambience is pretty good/safe for a business dinner and if you stay within tried and true selections I don't think you can go wrong. I wouldn't normally order much beyond a steak or prime rib in a restaurant like this but I'm ok with that. If I want seafood I'll go to some place that speacilizes in seafood.

                        All in all, for that section of town, I think it's a reasonably safe bet.

                        Show Hidden Posts