Will be visiting Toronto from Montreal next week. I haven't been to North 44 in many years, but a couple of my co-workers want go for a dinner. What do you recommend we try? Is it still a good restaurant by Toronto standards?
2537 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4P 2H9, CA
The one and only time I was there about a year ago it was nothing special. Actually very underwhelming. Toronto has many better options. Perhaps you could talk your co-workers in to other possibilities??
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The last time I was there was about 2 years ago. I was totally underwhelmed. Food was flavourless and not interesting. Very standard fare for a high price. I have never been back - no interest, far more interesting restaurants to try in the city. I am generally not a fan of any of Mark McEwan restaurants - I find the food nothing special and very expensive
I was at North44 this evening. For all things it was a wedding function. About 65 of us. There were many choices we could have as starters, seconds, mains etc.
Dinner started with fresh warm bread at the table. I especially liked an olive bread.
I went with an heirloom beet salad with Mache, mini goat cheese samosas and a beet juice vinaigrette as my starter and it was awesome. My better half had the same and agreed it was outstanding.
We differed on the second course as I went with a duck confit polenta with roasted squash, braised pearl onions, crumbled sage with extra virgin olive oil and she, went with Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with shaved black truffle, hazelnuts, sage and brown butter. We sampled each other's food and it was very flavourful.
Mains were the same. We both went for a Braised beef shortrib with cocoa rub, soft polenta, sweet pepper caponatta and natural jus that was braised for 5 to 6 hours and again, the meat was so very tender and the flavour was rich. The size of the portions were quite ample. This was the best Braised Short Rib I have ever had.
Desert was the Chocolate "Bomb": Dark chocolate mousse, burnt caramel, espresso soaked lady finger and hazelnut ice cream. This was very popular,and for good reason. My choice was a Ravioli Dolce: Roasted plums and Mascarpone, almond nougatine, marzipan gelato and brandy glaze.
The deserts were everything you could hope for. Now, maybe it was because this was a private function (in the upstairs space)but the service was very, very attentive right down to removing the crumbs from the table cloth in between courses, get up from the table and when you got back, your napkin was refolded and put in place. As many of the m enu items are available on the main menu from time to time, I can't wait to go back and try some of the other offerings on the menu that is out now.
I would certainly not hesitate in suggesting this restaurant for someone looking for a different higher end restaurant to try. I base this on the comments of the other people that were also in attendance.
OK, I'm not going to North 44! I was there with a large group about 10 years ago and thought it was pretty good. Will check out Canoe (was there before and liked it) and Auberge du Pommier. Any other suggestions for high end but with some empahsis on Canadian/local ingredients? Some people in my group are coming to Toronto for the first time...