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Lucien, North 44, Pangea, Rosebud or Duncan House?

tj2007 Jun 25, 2009 07:37 PM

Or any other fine dining recommendations.......

Just looking for a great place to bring my better half. I am looking for a great steak and she is pretty much open to anything.


  1. aser Jun 26, 2009 12:27 AM

    Probably north44 as Mcewan has his reserve of usda prime that's been dry aged.

    Lucien is all show and no go for me. They tried too hard to wow w/ technique (powders, etc) rather than with flavour and plate composition.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aser
      tjr Jun 26, 2009 07:25 AM

      I'd say that of those options, North 44 would be your best bet. The steaks there (as aser notes) are also very good, and many of their other options are quite good as well.

      I also found Lucien to be more focused on technique (most of which seems really dated) with the food actually not really tasting that great, and Pangea was hugely disappointing. Rosebud is okay. I've never been to Duncan House.

    2. Rabbit Jun 26, 2009 04:40 AM

      That list has some very different sorts of choices... Lucien is highly stylized food and probably not the place for a straight-up steak... expect powder, foam, etc. as aser points out. The feeling is young-ish, casual and stylish.

      North 44 is fine dining on a more traditional and grander scale with a menu that is less rococo (and a slightly higher price tag). Probably a slightly older crowd, possibly a bit corporate.

      Rosebud is a little neighbourhood spot, much easier on the wallet, comfort-food-ish menu (well executed)... expect the Queen Street crowd.

      I don't know much about Duncan House.

      Of your choices I'd probably go with North 44 if you really want to do it up... or if you're OK with going casual (or actively looking to spend less $$), Rosebud is a charming neighbourhood spot.

      Although if you really know that what you want is a great steak what about Jacobs or Harbor Sixty - both are occasion destinations.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Rabbit
        BrownRB Jun 26, 2009 05:29 AM

        Duncan House is classic continental style - steak, lobster, caesar salad, etc.

        1. re: Rabbit
          erly Jun 26, 2009 08:09 AM

          I agree with everything suggested by Rabbit.
          I have been to Duncan House, and it would suit your needs, but I am a Grandmother, and typical of the people who are the usuals.
          It is even a bit too old world for me.
          North 44 will be considerably more than Rosebud, which we do like, but it is not the place for "steak".

        2. jlunar Jun 26, 2009 06:32 AM

          For great steak why not go to a steak house :) Barberian's or Harbour 60 are my two recs.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jlunar
            tj2007 Jun 27, 2009 08:53 AM

            we love Barberian's, but wanted to go somewhere we haven't been. North 44 sounds like the winner so far. Any comment's on Jacob and Co?

            1. re: tj2007
              tjr Jun 27, 2009 08:46 PM

              Jacobs & Co. is great for steak.

              1. re: tj2007
                jlunar Jun 30, 2009 10:20 PM

                Someone just commented on a recent visit to and raved about the waygu Jacob & Co. had. I haven't been there personally. North 44 is nice - I recall being so impressed by a seared foie app there - but I haven't been for many years now! (Maybe I was more impressionable then...)

            2. pinstripeprincess Jun 26, 2009 09:10 AM

              david duncan house doesn't understand what black and blue means and serves raggidy pieces of meat. so take a wild guess what my suggestion isn't.....

              otherwise i don't tend to eat steak out often so can't recommend between the others though i don't imagine rosebud nor lucien's strengths are in steak.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                erly Jun 26, 2009 09:49 AM

                Hi Pinstripeprincess,
                We were taken to Duncan House on a special occasion by friends.
                DH had steak, and it was a rather large Strip Sirloin, very tender and perfectly prepared Med-rare.
                You may have had a bad experience, or we got lucky.
                I rarely eat Steak, but when I do I request Blue, as well.
                Many restaurants don't get it.

                1. re: erly
                  pinstripeprincess Jun 27, 2009 07:11 AM

                  it's certainly possible it was one bad experience but i'm surprised that a steakhouse doesn't understand black and blue. this is what they should pride themselves in, understanding meat and all the variations of doneness? your typical restaurant i don't expect the best results from black and blue... but a steakhouse! c'mon!

                  also... i really have to express how poorly butchered the piece of meat i had was. i've had nicer looking pieces from the guys on spadina chinatown. i dont' think i've had a worse piece. there was a distinct tail and then a hole....

                  i guess it's just that with that type of experience a the price they're offering, i'm not tempted to go back to give them another shot.

              2. n
                noodlehead Jun 27, 2009 12:27 PM

                Skip David Duncan house. I like Le Castile another old school steak house in etobicoke but duncan house was very heavy handed on the sauces and generally bland. Even the asparagus was big and woody. Overall not worth the $.

                1. j
                  JPJ Jun 27, 2009 09:19 PM

                  Go to Nota Bene and order a steak from David Lee's private stock. Awesome. The rest of the menu is quite varied for your better half.

                  1. j
                    joellita Jun 29, 2009 01:49 PM

                    Went to North 44 for my one year ani.

                    It was great, good service, great cocktails, varied wine list with reasonable options on it. all in all a great night.

                    The duck 3 ways was amazing, and the key lime tartlet for dessert was a perfect ending.

                    Only thing -- for me the food is priced about $8-10$ an entree too high. It's very good, but so are other places in Toronto.

                    Regardless, would go back.

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