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Single best dish you've had in Toronto?

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.

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  1. 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.

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: tjr

        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. 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

          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

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

        2. 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

            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?

            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

              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

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

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    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

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

                      1. re: grandgourmand

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

              2. 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. 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. 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

                      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

                        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. Here's a thread on a similar topic, posted last August:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544526

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

                          1. 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

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

                            2. 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. 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

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

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: childofthestorm

                                      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

                                        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. 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. dessert - apple tarte tatin from Quince

                                        1. 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. 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. 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. 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. The Raw Horse Sammy at The Black Hoof.

                                                      1. 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

                                                        yum!

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

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Boodah

                                                              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. 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. 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

                                                                  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

                                                                  Enjoy!

                                                                2. -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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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

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

                                                                            1. 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

                                                                                The steak tartare at Weezie's is extremely memorable.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Weezie's
                                                                                354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                                                                                1. re: millygirl

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

                                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand

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

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Weezie's
                                                                                    354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                                                                              2. The wagyu burger at Nota Bene.

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

                                                                                1. 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. 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?)

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Joso's
                                                                                    202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

                                                                                    Beer Bistro
                                                                                    , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                                                                                    1. 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. 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

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

                                                                                        2. 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. 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