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Lovely dinner at Niagara Street Cafe

Splendid Wine Snob Jan 22, 2010 07:53 AM

Had a lovely meal at Niagara Street Cafe-a place I had been wanting to try for some time now.

Started with the house bread-a great foccacia style sour dough encrusted with potato and served alongside a caramelized onion compote. Delish.

I had the Spot Prawn with Pop Corn soup and the standout dish of Korean style BBQ ribs with a sauce that was so good, I had to mop it up with some more bread. The ribs were topped with a beautifully poached and panko crusted quail egg. The execution was perfect-this gave me hope that some chefs in Toronto actually know how to properly cook an egg.

My dining companion had the mushroom terrine, which was absolutely lovely. We debated whether the chocolate sauce on the plate was an accident-I say no. It was a good combination of earthy flavours. For a main, he had the duck confit-again, perfectly executed.

Service was professional. The staff clearly well trained.

My only minor quibble actually relates to the wine list. There were not too many offerings by the glass and the markups were pretty high. Although being such a small establishment I can understand and forgive them that.

Glad I finally went-have to make sure I go back!

SWS

  1. Full tummy Jan 22, 2010 09:14 AM

    I went recently, too, and did enjoy my meal....The bread is reminiscent of Fred's potato focaccia version; do you know if they make theirs in house? (I didn't ask.)

    Oyster appetizer was appealing to the eye and palate. Very fresh. Am still craving more. Excellent celery root soup. Very flavourful. I was disappointed with my main, which was a chicken supreme with gnocchi. Although the chicken was delightfully tender, I felt a little short-changed by the number of gnocchi on my plate (very few, perhaps five or six). Well, that and the fact that they were just plain bland and boring. Dessert was fine, though didn't blow me over in any way. Very pretty, romantic space. Petite and cosy. Excellent service. I agree with your comment about wine; my friend was ordering wine by the glass, and there were only four on offer, as I remember it. Overall a very pleasant dinner.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Full tummy
      pinstripeprincess Jan 22, 2010 09:25 AM

      their bread is Fred's, at least the last time I asked which was a year ago.

      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        m
        millygirl Jan 22, 2010 09:44 AM

        When they first opened they used to serve this amazing house made banana pepper and olive oil compote to accompany the bread. It was fantastic. For some reason they stopped making it. It was a real highlight for us and very disappointing that they discontinued it. Seriously, we used to go for that alone. Does anyone else remember it?

        1. re: millygirl
          Splendid Wine Snob Jan 22, 2010 09:48 AM

          The caramelized onion compote was really, really good. It had an acid component to it that I could not identify which made it nicely balanced. I am sorry I couldn't try that banana pepper compote-sounds good too.

          1. re: millygirl
            t
            Tatai Jan 22, 2010 04:36 PM

            The original owners of Niagara St. Cafe sold the business a few years ago. I adored their baked "fried" chicken. Can't remember a banana pepper compote, though.

            1. re: Tatai
              chocabot Jan 22, 2010 04:48 PM

              really? i thought it was just a change of chef...

              1. re: chocabot
                m
                millygirl Jan 22, 2010 06:43 PM

                Really?? I'm pretty certain that Anton Potvin was and is the original owner.

                1. re: millygirl
                  t
                  Tatai Jan 22, 2010 07:55 PM

                  Nope. It was owned by a mother-daughter team who sold it about 5 or 6 years ago. Found this Chowhound thread from 2004: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/100965

                  1. re: Tatai
                    estufarian Jan 23, 2010 05:58 AM

                    Ah yes, All of those glowing reviews over the past 5-6 years are because people still didn't know it had changed hands?
                    This is a great place.

                    1. re: estufarian
                      t
                      Tatai Jan 23, 2010 06:08 AM

                      I didn't post that thread because of the previous reviews; I posted it to validate my claim that it had, in fact, changed hands a few years back.

                      I KNOW it's a great place.

              2. re: Tatai
                m
                millygirl Jan 23, 2010 06:13 AM

                My reference to the banana pepper compote was made by it's current owner Anton. In fact I didn't even know of the place until he gave it new life.

          2. re: Full tummy
            Splendid Wine Snob Jan 22, 2010 09:48 AM

            I didn't ask if it was house-made, it was good regardless.

            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
              e
              EarlyDrive Jan 23, 2010 03:14 PM

              I had the banana pepper compote many times and it was dee-licious. Back when they had the bp compote, I must have gone to the restaurant a dozen times and it was one of my favorite places to take friends. Don't know why I haven't been in the last year or two -- it just sort of fell off my radar of go-to places -- will have to go again.

              1. re: EarlyDrive
                m
                millygirl Jan 23, 2010 05:05 PM

                Hey earlydrive, you must also recall the menu on the glass wall and the wonderful warm caesar salad with poached egg? Oh, the good ole days.

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