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Single best dish you've had in Toronto?

goldendelicious Jul 29, 2009 06:07 PM

Let's say... within the past year or so?
It could be dessert/dinner/lunch/anything! Give the restaurant name and what the dish was.

I rarely eat out (maybe like 2-3 times a year?), but the best dish i've had was the steak tartare from Canoe......... so far. Stay tuned.

  1. j
    jnine Feb 3, 2010 03:08 PM

    we've only been out for fine dining a few times since the little one was born but here are my faves from last year:

    pulled pork sandwich @ stockyards
    butter chicken wrap @ eastern twist
    curry chicken roti @ island foods
    pizza and gnocchi @ pizzeria libretto
    duck confit @ canoe

    1. c
      childofthestorm Jan 29, 2010 04:30 PM

      The mushroom velouté soup I had at Canoe this week was quite possibly the best mushroom dish I have ever tasted. MIndblowingly good.

      Also the massive pork hock at Duggan's, just had it last night, it is maybe the closest thing we have to a Momofuku Bo Ssam experience in Toronto. Next time I'm going to order it with oysters and see if they'll scrounge up some lettuce wraps to try and chase the Momofuku dragon.

      1. h
        Hondapendragon Jan 29, 2010 08:27 AM

        I wanted to add the Beef Tenderloin entree at Bloom (east of Bloor and Jane) to this thread. It is fantastic. An 8 oz cut of meat grilled to perfection, Brioche, wilted spinach, with a Bernaise sauce all topped off with a lobster claw.
        We went on a whim and were pleasantly surprised.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hondapendragon
          millygirl Jan 29, 2010 09:44 AM

          Oh interesting, thanks for posting hondapendragon. We have reservations for Bloom next week. I already know what I'm having :)

        2. t
          tbug Jan 14, 2010 12:10 PM

          My most memorable dish was the Italian Bread Soup at Mildred's Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village. It was incredibly cold outside, a blizzard sucking the life out of us, when we stumbled into Mildred's and looked for something to warm us up. Not only did the Bread Soup warm our bodies, but also our frost bitten Toronto souls!!

          1. m
            MeMeMe Nov 12, 2009 06:51 AM

            I've got simple tastes:
            - smoked turkey sandwich at Caplansky's
            - pulled pork sandwich at Beer Bistro
            - fried shrimp at Joso's

            Best dessert - 1985 Warre's Vintage Port at Scaramouche (is that a dessert?)

            202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

            Beer Bistro
            , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

            1. s
              stonedtoronto Nov 11, 2009 11:23 PM

              The Crispy wokked squid with caramalized peanuts at Colborne Lane I had this week was exceptionally good. The bison at George as also well good. Best dessert was a lemon tart at Scaramouche, but when I went back last week, they didn't have it anymore!

              Colborne Lane
              45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

              1. y
                Yum2MyTum Nov 11, 2009 03:33 PM

                The wagyu burger at Nota Bene.

                Nota Bene
                180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                1. miketoronto Nov 11, 2009 11:36 AM

                  Sadly or not, the tastiest thing I've had in this city is the Black Camel pulled pork sandwich.

                  Black Camel
                  4 Crescent Rd, Toronto, ON M4W1S9, CA

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: miketoronto
                    millygirl Nov 11, 2009 03:25 PM

                    The steak tartare at Weezie's is extremely memorable.

                    354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                    1. re: millygirl
                      grandgourmand Nov 11, 2009 03:56 PM

                      I concur. Possibly the best version I've had in the city.

                      1. re: grandgourmand
                        Googs Nov 14, 2009 06:47 AM

                        That's quite an endorsement coming from you, grandgourmand, considering you grind your own at home. So happy you like Weezie's.

                        354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                  2. t
                    thebutcher Oct 24, 2009 06:10 PM

                    Fav dish - but unfortunately they have taken it off of the menu - is the gnocchi at The Rosebud with braised oxtail.

                    1. l
                      lamaranthe Oct 21, 2009 10:49 AM

                      Spring time, at the Four Seasons, Avenue Rd, Toronto. Bruschetta, Tandoori Chicken, Organic Greens, Avocado, Mango, Tarragon Dressing, Cilantro Chutney, Naan Bread. Excellent food, excellent service.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lamaranthe
                        Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 23, 2009 07:28 PM

                        The last ones were an oyster chowder, follwed by salmon quenelles with fennel in cream. at Bistro Camino, A $9 lunch!

                      2. c
                        Carruthers Oct 20, 2009 07:59 PM

                        Either the stuffed pig's snout on "happy" cabbage (for two? not if I have anything to say about it) at the Black Hoof or red beet risotto at Mistura.

                        1. Mike from Hamilton Oct 20, 2009 10:33 AM

                          At a Toronto Restaurant? The beef carpaccio at Mistura. Perhaps the perfect example of this dish in my opinion.
                          The best dish I've had this year? The pulled pork poutine at the Harbour Diner in Hamilton.

                          1. h
                            Hondapendragon Oct 20, 2009 08:20 AM

                            My most memorable dish this year at a Toronto restaurant was at Globe Bistro. The Smoked Ricotta Gnocchi.
                            Heaven on a fork.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Hondapendragon
                              chalenegirl Oct 23, 2009 06:55 PM

                              this sounds amazing.

                            2. d
                              dubchild Oct 19, 2009 06:22 PM

                              -chocolate lourd at Simple bistro
                              -the donuts and the braised beef at George
                              -every truffle at Soma
                              -sweet breads at Cava
                              -huevos ranchero at Frida's
                              This is tough, I feel like I'm leaving something out.

                              1. j
                                JennaBean Oct 19, 2009 12:45 PM

                                Here are my three....

                                Hot tonque on Brioche at Black Hoof - winter '09
                                Pacific Halibut with curry onion fritters and sweet corn foam at George - summer '09
                                Green and white asparagus salad at Ame - fall '09

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JennaBean
                                  juneplum Oct 19, 2009 01:52 PM

                                  Great topic! Here are my thoughts:
                                  Lobster Poutine @ Bymark (picture: lobster, crispy fries, drizzed in Bernaise saucce)
                                  Hard to pick a main but I'd say Kobe Beef Burgers at Trevor or
                                  any pasta at Terroni (low-end) / anything at Celestin
                                  Coconut Cream Pie @ Scaramouche .. it's legendary.

                                  Wines (not available at LCBO): Hamelin Bay Rampant Red 2006 @ Bymark or Bogle Phantom 2004 @ Trevor


                                2. y
                                  Yongeman Oct 19, 2009 11:57 AM

                                  The Young Chow fried rice at ABC Bakery, 3618 Victoria Park Ave. A meal in itself, just like mamma or grandma used to make, if she was Chinese. Awesome with Sriracha sauce...eat in or take out--$4.50.

                                  1. b
                                    Boodah Oct 19, 2009 10:03 AM

                                    The pansotti alle noci at Positano, an absolutely perfect dish in my opinion.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Boodah
                                      Boodah Oct 19, 2009 10:14 AM

                                      I also forgot to mention the Cubano sandwich (called "the cuban") at Fresh Wood Grill, it's greasy and smokey and fantastic for what it is.

                                    2. a
                                      Arcadiaseeker Oct 19, 2009 07:38 AM

                                      fried eggplant @ cava

                                      1. j
                                        joellita Oct 19, 2009 07:10 AM

                                        mmm, I love thinking about great meals.

                                        I'd have to say that in the past year my two best dishes have been the duck dish at North 44, and the fried perch at JKWB


                                        1. Notorious P.I.G. Oct 18, 2009 09:06 PM

                                          Chaumer Pudding at Grace.

                                          1. suddenly susan Oct 18, 2009 03:34 AM

                                            The Raw Horse Sammy at The Black Hoof.

                                            1. d
                                              DoNutAlter Aug 4, 2009 04:55 AM

                                              Hot tonque on Brioche at the Black Hoof.

                                              (Close seconds: the Dizi at Pomegranite, the Beef in Chilli Oil at BSRJ, my first fatty at Caplanskys, and most everything else I've had at the black hoof)

                                              1. Googs Aug 3, 2009 08:58 AM

                                                The one that's sticking in my mind is the Salmon Niçoise À la Constance at Weezie's. Delicate, balanced, with just the right amount of bang. I titled it "À la Constance" as the woman has a real knack for nuance.

                                                1. vorpal Aug 2, 2009 10:12 PM

                                                  I feel that my choices sound pedestrian compared to many of the other recommendations here, but I have to say that I can't decide between the beef brisket poutine at Jamie Kennedy Gardner and the perfectly flavoured, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth beef rendang at Matahari Grill.

                                                  1. f
                                                    fickle Aug 2, 2009 04:46 PM

                                                    Anago from Zen.

                                                    1. m
                                                      missmu Jul 30, 2009 05:50 PM

                                                      The dish I'm still thinking about from the past year is the Blaff à la Martiniquaise I had in May at Le Paradis. The broth was so satisfyingly spiced and the seafood was very fresh. (Caveat: I have yet to eat at Starfish or Bymark.)

                                                      1. l
                                                        LemonLauren Jul 30, 2009 05:36 PM

                                                        dessert - apple tarte tatin from Quince

                                                        1. JamieK Jul 30, 2009 05:31 PM

                                                          For me, it was the pan-seared marinated duck confit with mandarin peel with seared foie gras I had at Lai Toh Heen on their summerlicious menu. It was served with saffron fried rice with diced shrimp and scallop. It was delicious.

                                                          1. c
                                                            childofthestorm Jul 30, 2009 03:27 PM

                                                            Butter-poached lobster with English pea and chantarelle risotto at Splendido. And yes, since they re-opened.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: childofthestorm
                                                              phoenikia Jul 30, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                              sounds delish!

                                                              1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                LJS Jul 31, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                                Like the tlook of the 'new' Splendido, bu the one specific review I saw so far suggested than dinner for 2 would run $350. Was this your experience?

                                                                1. re: LJS
                                                                  childofthestorm Jul 31, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                                  Um yeah that was my review. It was an anniversary dinner and we had foie gras, lobster, 6-week aged rib steak, a couple of pastas, sparkling wine, an $85 bottle of red, and dessert. Basically we ate everything that was expensive and profoundly rich on the menu. $340 with tax and 20% tip.

                                                                  You could easily go there and spend $125-$150 for two, which given the Michelin star quality of the food and service I think is well worth it.

                                                              2. p
                                                                Pincus Jul 30, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                Most memorable when I came across this thread was the stone-pressed grilled game hen I had at Zucca.

                                                                Of the few "high end" places I went to this year, this was the one that stood out for me. Writing this makes me want to go there again. :)

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Pincus
                                                                  juno Jul 30, 2009 02:28 PM

                                                                  Here's another vote for the liver and onions at The Pasta Bar of Scaramouche. It's a simple dish, but few get it exactly right - and, in my view, none in Toronto better than Scaramouche, though Pastis Express comes close. Just $26 at Scaramouche, which is a pretty good price at a fine-dining joint. And, of course, the setting and the service helps elevate the dish as well.

                                                                2. BokChoi Jul 30, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                                  Single Best Dish? Wow, that's a tough one...

                                                                  I'd have to go with something from Nota Bene... perhaps their Crab Cake I had last year. One of the best crab cakes, if not THE best I've ever had: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: BokChoi
                                                                    meowx2 Nov 4, 2009 06:29 PM

                                                                    Too bad, it doesn't seem to be on their menu anymore:


                                                                  2. suddenly susan Jul 30, 2009 10:06 AM

                                                                    At Nota Bene, a chilled zucchini soup which came garnished with sun-dried tomato pesto, croutons, and a drizzle of grassy e.v.o.o.

                                                                    So refreshing, so flavorful, so delicious. (And I am not a vegetarian.)

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: suddenly susan
                                                                      pearlD Jul 30, 2009 11:36 AM

                                                                      Steak Tartare at Bistro 990 and truly amazing Liver & Onions at the Scaramouche "Pasta Bar"

                                                                    2. c
                                                                      canadianbeaver Jul 30, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                      I really enjoyed the lamb hot dogs and Wensleydale Cranberry cheese I bought at Alex Farm Products in Manulife Centre.

                                                                      1. p
                                                                        phoenikia Jul 30, 2009 08:06 AM

                                                                        Here's a thread on a similar topic, posted last August:

                                                                        Will be interesting to see if it's mostly the same dishes and the same restaurants mentioned in the current thread, a year later! I noticed at least Starfish and Bymark have been mentioned both years.

                                                                        1. jlunar Jul 30, 2009 07:25 AM

                                                                          Poached Dutch white asparagus with local ramps - Splendido

                                                                          I cannot tell you how delicious this was. Perfect texture, lovely asparagus flavour with the hint of ramps. And while it was done simply, it displayed the combination of ingredients to their best. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jlunar
                                                                            aser Jul 30, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                                            Yes, I agree, a great dish, but someone in another thread called it incredibly bland and boring. Goes to show you how differing opinions can be.

                                                                            Sorry I'm greedy, can't just pick one.....

                                                                            honey fried oysters @ Magic Wok
                                                                            truffle scented ratatouille @ Splendido
                                                                            boudin of rabbit @ Deluxe
                                                                            king mushrooms @ Ematei

                                                                            1. re: jlunar
                                                                              graydyn Jul 31, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                              I've got to second this choice. I loved that dish so much. Isn't it funny that there was a dish of caviar and Wagyu on that same menu, but the winning dish consisted of just veg?
                                                                              Hey Splendido is getting a lot of votes this year!

                                                                            2. dxs Jul 30, 2009 06:44 AM

                                                                              Good topic. I'd have to say the best thing I ate that I didn't cook myself this past year was the couscous with lamb merguez and vegetables at Djerba la Douce. Not the fanciest of dishes by any means, but so satisfying to eat and with great depth of flavour. It was the perfect plate of food to have on a cold gray winter day as well.

                                                                              Close second would be the gambas al ajillo at Torito.

                                                                              1. haggisdragon Jul 30, 2009 05:43 AM

                                                                                The best I've had this year would be Michael Stadtlander's seared foie gras paired with a beautiful Niagara mead. It was incredibly delicious. Served at the Globe's evening with Michael Stadlander.

                                                                                1. Splendid Wine Snob Jul 29, 2009 10:19 PM

                                                                                  Does wine count?


                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                                                                                    Charles Yu Jul 30, 2009 04:53 AM

                                                                                    Sure why not? I'll start! Had a 1990 Chasse Spleen over the weekend! Yuuuuum! Tasted refined like a first growth!

                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu
                                                                                      foodyDudey Jul 30, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                                                      Wine should only count if it's frozen and served in a "dish"

                                                                                      1. re: foodyDudey
                                                                                        grandgourmand Jul 30, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                                        Or gelatinized

                                                                                        1. re: foodyDudey
                                                                                          phoenikia Jul 30, 2009 07:01 AM

                                                                                          I was treated to a lovely fragolino gelato in the home of a former chef in Woodbridge- would that count :)? Unfortunately, he only made a small batch.

                                                                                          But the Woodbridge part of the equation would mean that dish was served outside of Toronto....

                                                                                          I like the Singapore Slaw at Lee, and it's one of my favourite dishes of all time- but I have to confess it has been a few years since my last order.

                                                                                          My half lobster at Starfish ( I split it with a friend) was excellent- standard, classic preparation. That was probably the best dish I've had in Toronto in the last year.

                                                                                          1. re: phoenikia
                                                                                            grandgourmand Jul 30, 2009 07:10 AM

                                                                                            They've been serving it at Brickwork's farmers market the last few weekends. Once, Mr. Lee himself was schlepping it.

                                                                                            1. re: grandgourmand
                                                                                              Full tummy Jul 30, 2009 10:11 AM

                                                                                              Yes, but alas they arrived late, and I was already heading back to my car...

                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                      ttran88 Jul 29, 2009 08:45 PM

                                                                                      dinner- italian at Marcellos- penne alla vodka- my fave
                                                                                      dessert- simple creme brulee at Ruth Chris- in my opinion the best in the city
                                                                                      lunch- Fish Store- salmon fish sandwich- sooo good

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: ttran88
                                                                                        jnine Feb 3, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                        i love the linguine a la nonna at marcellos...though i did't go last year
                                                                                        also had a great fish sandwich, you mean the one on college?

                                                                                      2. skylineR33 Jul 29, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                                                        Within the past year, my best dish in Toronto is the Applewood Smoked Yorkshire Pork Belly with Corn Emulsion at Splendido.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                                                                          LJS Jul 30, 2009 08:17 AM

                                                                                          This version of Splendido? I saw it was closed (I live near-by) but understand it re-opened for business last Tuesday...maybe there is an up-to-date review?

                                                                                          1. re: LJS
                                                                                            skylineR33 Jul 30, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                                            I tried this dish late last year at the old Splendido. I have not visited the new Splendido yet.

                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                          tjr Jul 29, 2009 07:43 PM

                                                                                          I'd probably say the Bymark Burger, medium rare, with fries instead of onion rings.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: tjr
                                                                                            Toronto Fastfoodie Oct 18, 2009 07:38 PM

                                                                                            OMG! So agree! Still recall how my mouth watered like crazy after the first bite; have never experience quite the same sensation with another dish...except for the bread pudding from The Drake hotel. It was as memorable as the Bymark burger and I suspect that the only reason my mouth did not water as much was because I was already full when I ate it.

                                                                                          2. Charles Yu Jul 29, 2009 06:50 PM

                                                                                            Within the last year?! None!! Looks like overall quality has gone down with the economy!
                                                                                            However, if allowed to go back a few years, the 'Sauteed primini veal liver' at Il Posto Nuovo, Yorkville. Texture and taste, absolutely amazing!
                                                                                            Close second was the Grilled tiger prawns with roasted baby potatoes in black truffle sauce reduction at the now closed JOV bistro.

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