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Restos on your "to-do" list

or should i say, "to-eat" list?

My top 3:
School Bakery & Cafe
Nota Bene (!!!)

What about you? Any places you've been planning on going to but just haven't gotten around to it?

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  1. i love this post!
    my list is long but here are a few:
    foxley (i've been & left 3+ times -too long of a wait)
    sushi kaji
    zen sushi

    1. Mistura
      Yang's (for the dim sum first, then after we shall see)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pincus

        Following up!

        Yang's for dim sum -- made it, loved it. Will return any time.

        Mistura -- nice meal, wasn't particularly blown away but would go back because of service/ambience and those cheese sticks in the bread basket. Everything was competently made but nothing gave me a wow. Most memorable was the octopus appetizer.

        Still have to go to Agostino's. A nice reminder for spring.

        1. re: Pincus

          I've been to Mistura twice now and I was blown away both times. I had beef carpaccio with shaved black truffles both time. The first time I had gnocci with braised veal cheek ragu, and the second time I had veal ravioli with fresh peas and white truffle. I had a molton chocolate cake with caramelized banana both times too. It was off the hook!

          1. re: banjoman2375

            Oh, I will be returning to Mistura again. Will try your suggestions next time.

        2. Great posting idea!
          Pizzeria Libretto
          Black Hoof
          Mildred's Temple Kitchen for brunch
          And Union (which seems to have gotten positive reviews all round)

          5 Replies
          1. re: Yum2MyTum

            I second Black Hoof - so many reviews, and it appears to be a different dining experience than other restos in the GTA.

            Also on my list:
            -Gilead Cafe (Run by Jamie Kennedy in Riverdale)
            -Any of the restaurants along Harbord St

            1. re: emilychoi18

              Ah yes. Harbord St! I've read so many good things on the Harbord Room and also Loire and Tati. If people who have tried all three had to rank these, what would the ranking be? Thanks!

              1. re: Yum2MyTum

                Loire is on my "to-do" list, but I would definitely rank Harbord Room above Tati. I've never been particularly impressed with Tati, although it's certainly nice enough.

                1. re: drjolt

                  Thanks drjolt! I will definitely try out Harbord Room first.

            2. re: Yum2MyTum

              Made it to (and posted about) Pizzeria Libretto (disappointed), Hoof Cafe (... um... also disappointed... but less so than Libretto.), MTK but not for brunch - for dinner (disappointed... oh dear), and Union (not disappointed!!! Expectations were more in check here, I think).

            3. Sushi Kaji
              One of the Chinese places mentioned by you know who
              Ceili Cottage

              2 Replies
              1. re: grandgourmand

                I love this thread.
                I'd really like to see 'you know who's' list! Assuming there is a place he hasn't been yet.

                my top 3:
                Stone Road Grille
                Black Hoof
                Yang's (hoping to cross this off my list today!)

                1. re: graydyn

                  Charles Yu, where are you? What's on your list?

              2. Great post! And if we're not limited to just T.O., here's my short list:

                Black Hoof
                Sushi Kaji
                Stone Road Grille

                2 Replies
                1. re: tuttebene

                  My list goes as follows.....
                  Nota Bene
                  Pangaea...so close to us and yet have never been
                  Auberge du Pommiers...haven't been since the renovation

                  1. re: pearlD

                    i like pangaea a lot actually... it was very good. pricey but good! do dessert. the chocolate thing with ice cream on it is pretty yummy.

                2. I highly recommend School - had a fantastic lunch on the patio there - but is it open for dinner yet?

                  On my list of "to eat" are:

                  Black Hoof
                  Harbord Room
                  Splendido - but I just did I tasting menu and my waistline tells me to hold off!

                  1. Awesome post..

                    O'mei (or some other high end place uptown)
                    Lai wah heen
                    Ribs place on st claire
                    George (again, went when it first opened but it's a vague memory now)

                    1. great post!

                      On my to do list:

                      Lai Wah Heen
                      Sushi Kaji
                      Mildreds Temple Kitchen

                      1. harbord room (I never plan early enough to snag a res, only been for late night drinks)
                        93 harbord

                        1. Still haven't made it to Weezie's, damn it.

                          - Sukhothai
                          - Cafe Polonez for the goulash in potato pancake
                          - Mildred's Temple Kitchen
                          - School for brunch
                          - DT Bistro for dinner (have only had brunch there)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: TorontoJo

                            Hmm, my record is bad -- I've only been to Sukhothai (a few times!) since I posted this. However, Mildred's Temple Kitchen and School have both dropped off my list, so I really only need to get to Cafe Polonez, and soon. DT Bistro is still one of my favourite brunch spots, mostly for the laid back, leisurely atmosphere.

                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Lots of people say Sukhothai! What's up with that?

                              1. re: jennjen18

                                Because the owner/chef, Nuit, makes amazing food. It's a tiny, unassuming restaurant on a bizarre strip of Parliament, but she makes Thai food with wonderfully complex, layered flavours. Mind you, much of what I've had from her is "off menu" (by calling in advance), but her green curry with young coconut is the best curry I've ever had. I would imagine that the regular green curry is similar good. The khao soi (on the menu) is addictive and comforting. I understand that service can be spotty and waits can be long, and the cooking is not as good if she is not in the kitchen. So I guess I'd have to call it a hit or miss kind of place, but when it's on, it's the best Thai food in the city.

                          2. I haven't eaten out very much in the past year so I have quite a few! My top picks to try:

                            Pizza Libretto
                            Stone Road Grille
                            Ceili Cottage
                            Harbord Room

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ms. clicquot

                              Just following up, as others have been doing...

                              Made it to Stone Road Grille late last summer and had an excellent meal and service. It's definitely a place I'd recommend for people visiting the Niagara region. If it weren't for these boards, I would never have known about this hidden gem (that I've driven by countless times!)

                              Made it to Union for dinner a few months ago and it was very good, although I can't even remember what we ate! I seem to recall the potatoes were quite good and the service was friendly.

                              I've been to Ceili Cottage a few times since it opened and it's a nice neighbourhood pub. The food is simple but they have good oysters and the mac 'n' cheese is pretty tasty. I also like their house made potato chips. Great atmosphere for a pint on a chilly night. We've always had good service, despite some complaints people had in their early days.

                              I guess I'll have to get out more - there are a lot of places still to try! (not to mention some newer places that weren't even on this list like Hoof Cafe, Negroni and Buca).

                              1. re: ms. clicquot

                                Another update: I finally made it to Weezie's a couple of weeks ago. What on earth took me so long?!! It was fantastic - really good food, cozy space and the chef came out and chatted briefly with everyone which was a nice touch. I had a salad and the burger - simple but well executed. It was the best burger I've had in Toronto in a long time. I will definitely be back.

                                354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                              2. Black Hoof
                                Celli Cottage
                                Colbourne Lane
                                Gallery Grill
                                Samosa King
                                Buster Rhino

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: fickle

                                  Pizza Libretto
                                  Harbord Room

                                    1. re: mmmmm.....

                                      Colborne Lane because we receieved a gift certificate.

                                    2. re: fickle

                                      Progress report time! It's been 6 months since we made our "to-do" lists. How is everyone else doing? Sadly I have only made it to 3 (hoof, celli & buster) of my 7 (still need to check out weezies, colbourne lane, gallery grill & samosa king). Guess I better get cracking!

                                    3. - Splendido
                                      - still haven't made it to the Harbord Room
                                      - new Caplansky's please open soon!!

                                      1. At this point for me the only one I have on my must do list is
                                        Black Hoof

                                        Those that want to do Sushi Kaji, you're in for a treat
                                        Those that want to do School, you're in for a big letdown

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: bytepusher

                                          School's brunch isn't terrible but I've experienced a few service issues and wouldn't go out of my way to eat there.

                                        2. my to do list:
                                          -Hashimoto, Union, and Sukhothai.

                                          1. Black Hoof
                                            Sidecar, but that's mainly for the cocktails.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Googs

                                              These are both on my list, as are:

                                              Lai Wah Heen (going to check it off in just a couple of weeks!)
                                              Cafe Michi and Maple Yip (both unforgivably close to my house for me never to have been)
                                              Cafe Polonez

                                              1. re: Wahooty

                                                Skip Michi and proceed directly to Zen. Especially if you live in the middle of the coordinates you just provided. Having a special night out place 10 minutes from home? Priceless.

                                                1. re: Googs

                                                  Michi is walking distance for me - Zen is not, and while not far, requires at least two buses from my house making it a bit more than 10 minutes, even on a good day. Oh, to live the carefree life of an automobile owner again!

                                                  It is, however, a reasonably easy bike ride, so I will try to check it off before the weather turns cold. But only to make you happy, Googs - it will be a thoroughly selfless act. ;)

                                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                                    Do it for yourself -- Zen is far better than Michi (though Michi is certainly a great place if it's within walking distance), and the second best sushi restaurant in Toronto (after Kaji)!

                                                    1. re: tjr

                                                      tjr, I see you're not familiar with Wahooty's dry wit.

                                                      Laugh and a half girl. I ddn't realize it was a bus thang for you. Here I was thinking you'd be all pleased with the free parking lot out front. Though in that hood it's something you come to expect. Assuming you work downtown, you could always catch the Eglinton bus out of Kennedy Station after work. At least the trip would start easier.

                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                        Yes, a stop a wee bit out of my way home from work is precisely what has been on my "to-do" list. Being TTC-bound does tend to force you to be a bit more creative in your approach to chowing, but it's also part of the fun.

                                                        That being said, my chowing gets much more adventurous when I have good biking weather, and I hadn't even put Zen on my cycling radar yet. So thank you for helping me think outside the bus.

                                                        And tjr, thanks for your opinion on Michi. If it gets your "great place if it's within walking distance," that's all I need to give it a shot. I know the two places aren't the same league, but I still think it's criminal to have a perfectly good sushi place in my neighborhood that I've never been to.

                                                        1. re: Wahooty

                                                          Michi has pretty good uni. They use the 1:4 wasabi, so the texture is a bit better than the places just using the powdered stuff. The fish, in general, is good, the shari can be hit or miss. Having it a short walk away is definitely a good thing!

                                                2. re: Wahooty

                                                  Hmmm...not sure how I feel about fickle and others holding me accountable, but here goes:

                                                  I've done Lai Wah Heen, Maple Yip, and Cafe Michi.

                                                  I guess the rest are still on the list, but may remain there for quite some time since my dining out has dropped off markedly lately. But I've spent so much time at Negroni over the last few months that not having been to Sidecar seems downright unforgivable...

                                              2. Great post. So many to choose from. Been to most of the high end restaurants in Toronto but here's a list of a few left to try...

                                                Splendido (new owners)

                                                On my all time to do list are... WD50 (next week in New York baby... yee ha) and Alinea in Chicago.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: cynalan

                                                  Sidecar is high end ?! Is there a WD40 in Toronto or do you mean WD50 in NYC ?

                                                  Sukhothai is my to-do list.

                                                2. oooh! My list would go on forever, soo

                                                  Toronto Area:
                                                  - Black Hoof
                                                  - Union
                                                  - Colborne Lane

                                                  York Region-
                                                  - Ambassador
                                                  - OMei

                                                  Out of Town:
                                                  - Stone Road Grille
                                                  - Bijou

                                                  1. I think Union. I have a few "to-do" blowout dinners at places I will miss though...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: tjr

                                                      - Schools was nothing to go out of the way for. Great patio, but the food was mediocre at best.

                                                      - Side car was also a miss in my eyes :( Food was great, cocktails were decent if you order them off the menu. Try your hand at an off the list cocktail and its a miss. Plus the snob factor was a big turn off! Apparently its a big no-no asking for sangria threre.

                                                      - Libretto is on my list, but I recently sent a friend there and the review was discouraging.

                                                      1. re: pancake

                                                        Interesting about Sidecar. I loved it. Food was great. Service was impeccable. My BF ordered a spicy ceasar off menu and it was great. I didn't detect any snob factor. Can't wait to go back.

                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                          Agreed, never experienced any snob factor at Sidecar. Quite the opposite actually.

                                                    2. having recently finally tried pizzeria libretto and black hoof, my list is:

                                                      swirl (not expecting a lot, but the concept sounds neat)
                                                      gallery grill

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: auberginegal

                                                        Nothing special about Poutini at all except for the squeak.

                                                      2. Eigensinn Farm
                                                        Sushi Kaji
                                                        Via Allegro
                                                        Maple Yip

                                                        1. Nota Bene
                                                          Gallery Grill
                                                          Swirl (just made plans for next week, so will be able to cross that off shortly)

                                                          1. Libretto (my husband loves pizza)
                                                            nota bene
                                                            mildred's temple kitchen

                                                            1. wow,
                                                              all you experts out there,
                                                              and not one has mention a great
                                                              place like "vertical" !!!!!???
                                                              7 numbers
                                                              but then again
                                                              who's to say what's is really good.
                                                              i guess we'll all have to get out and eat a
                                                              little more.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: bogiegolfer

                                                                This thread is about restaurants we haven't tried and really, really want to. I think Vertical's absence is simply a matter of people either having already tried it or just not being that interested in it.

                                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                  Black hoof

                                                              2. Whenever I get a chance to stop into town:

                                                                Black Hoof
                                                                Nota Bene
                                                                Some random Chinese restaurant I haven't tried yet that's sprung up since I last visited

                                                                Alas, next week when I'm in town for a wedding, I probably won't have time to try any restaurants on that list with the tight schedule I'm running.

                                                                1. I'm always thinking about where I want to eat next...

                                                                  Rebozos (heard it's good, authentic and cheap Mexican)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: janel

                                                                    oh, I forgot about Rebozos, that would go on my list as well

                                                                  2. Awesome post.
                                                                    My try- before-you die-list is:
                                                                    Note Bene

                                                                    1. hmm..current whims:

                                                                      sukhothai (friends have been raving about it as well, and go as often as they can)
                                                                      mexicanada (way up in bradford)
                                                                      southern rub (wait, isn't this the holy trinity of "things to avoid in toronto"?)
                                                                      splendido 2.0
                                                                      gallery grill

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Chester Eleganté

                                                                        okay here you go....
                                                                        Colborne Lane
                                                                        Splendido v2
                                                                        Kaiseki Sakura

                                                                      2. Going to try Buster Rhino's.

                                                                        1. I am intrigued to death by the idea of a $300 dinner at Hashimoto's new location. But I will not go down that path before reading some reviews somewhere(by someone other than Chatto!). so please people, go ahead and place it on your immediate list. Hey, you get to come back and boast about having had the city's most expensive dinner....that is a huge bonus and almost singlehandedly compensates the monetary damage, as is obvious to anyone who knows anything about food :)

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: shekamoo

                                                                            There was a review in this past Saturday's Globe & Mail -

                                                                            Hashimoto is heavenly, but bliss comes at a price

                                                                            1. re: JamieK

                                                                              'Peckish' after a $700 dinner, sigh. It could still be worth it nevertheless. it remains number 1 on my list, but I need more input

                                                                              1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                Hashimoto is my birthday dinner wish this year. Definitely knocking that puppy off now that it's somewhat nearer.

                                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                                  awaiting your review. hope it would be a rave

                                                                              2. re: JamieK

                                                                                I noticed that their website clearly states "any picture taking device is not permitted in the restaurant". Interesting. I wonder if that means cell phones must be left in the car....


                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                  Cell phone is allowed as long as you only use it to make calls. Actually Hashimoto will send all the pictures of the food you have in the dinner to your email address and the chef will come out in person to chat and take pictures with you too. Very nice service there.

                                                                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                    their website says that they no longer send the picture Emails 'due to complications'

                                                                                    1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                      Complication ?! They only do one or 2 tables a night. $300 for a meal describe in Joanne Kates's article, I'll pass for sure.

                                                                                      1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                        I agree that the notion of encountering complications for sending an email with photo attachments seems a bit odd.
                                                                                        I have (not yet entirely) convinced myself that it has the potential to be a transcendental experience. but at that price tag, and with those reviews, I will have to wait and see.
                                                                                        but then I will be in Tokyo for some time during the summer of 2011, so maybe I should wait for that. loooong as that wait will be.

                                                                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                                                                          I prefer no pictures. I've always found that obnoxious.

                                                                                            1. re: millygirl

                                                                                              our "fan favourite" poster is a prolific picture taker. i like it better than having to read all the words.



                                                                                            2. re: Googs

                                                                                              Agreed, a sure sign of lack of character ; )

                                                                              3. Mine are a mix of high-end (to my wallet, anyway - haven't been able to justify the expense) and affordable (haven't had time to stop by):

                                                                                One Love

                                                                                To all those who listed Kaiseki Sakura: GO. It's absolutely fabulous.

                                                                                1. Eigensinn Farm
                                                                                  Guu (of course, in Toronto... been the Vancity one already)
                                                                                  Omei (for lobster)
                                                                                  Aji Sai on Queen (for AYCE... everyone's been telling me to do it)

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                    If I may add to that:
                                                                                    Pizza Liberetto
                                                                                    Resteron Malaysia (the one in RH??)
                                                                                    Stonegrill on Winchester

                                                                                    1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                      You DON'T want to go to Stonegrill. Trust me on that.

                                                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                                                        Haha, but it's such a gimmicky place!! :P Just like Copacabana! :D How was your experience with them then?

                                                                                        1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                          Even in my efforts to support my neighbourhood I won't eat there. They take insipidity to new heights reimagining dishes leaving no flavour behind. If you're on Winchester just keep going one more door east and try Samovar.

                                                                                          Samovar Room
                                                                                          51-A Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1A8, CA

                                                                                          1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                            Samovar link..

                                                                                            Samovar Room
                                                                                            51-A Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1A8, CA

                                                                                      2. re: jennjen18

                                                                                        OH, and Dow's Noodles & Hot Pot Restaurant for hot pot (hwy 7 and Leslie).. everytime I go there's a massive line up!

                                                                                        1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                          And Rua Vang (Golden Turtle) for pho..

                                                                                        2. Ditto on what a great post/query this is!!!

                                                                                          My three:
                                                                                          Table 17
                                                                                          Maple Yip

                                                                                          I'm curious about the Black Hoof as a fourth, but wonder if it's part of the charcuterie trend...

                                                                                          1. I would have to say:

                                                                                            North 44
                                                                                            Auberge Du Pommiers

                                                                                            and I know it's not in toronto, but I NEED to go to Au Pied Du Cochon sometime before I die... maybe go there to die of a heart attack?

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: banjoman2375

                                                                                              au pied de cochon is fabulous. you must try the foie gras cromesquis. if anyone knows where to find these in toronto, i would be ever so thankful...

                                                                                              1. re: banjoman2375

                                                                                                Save your money. Drop Ame from your list.

                                                                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                                                                      Thanks for your thoughtful insight.

                                                                                                      1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                                        You take your Japanese food seriously. Ame is strictly for beginners. You don't strike me as the type that would sacrifice substance for style.

                                                                                                        1. re: Googs

                                                                                                          Ah, thanks for the thread reference.

                                                                                              2. Great post!

                                                                                                Colborne Lane
                                                                                                Origins (if/when it opens?)
                                                                                                Nota Bene

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: balthazar

                                                                                                  you know there is no more Susur, right?

                                                                                                  there's Lee and there is Madeleine. but madeleine took over the space of the old Susur.

                                                                                                  Which is on my list by the way:
                                                                                                  - Guu
                                                                                                  - Union

                                                                                                  601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                                                                                2. To-Eat List as of Today:

                                                                                                  —Via Allegro

                                                                                                  PS. Coquine Restaurant is one of Toronto's best-kept secrets.!