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Moving to Leaside...request for guidance

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Hi Everyone,

Mr. Vuitton and I are moving to Leaside in the new year from the west end and will need some help with chow! :)
Friends in Leaside have been helpful with certain things:

Butcher - Cumbrae's
Indian - Amaya
Pub - McSorleys
Greek - well, close to greektown now - so Athens and Mezes
Bakery - Rahier
French - Celestin
Fish - Zee Grill

If there are suggestions in addition to the above list (especially for places along Mt Pleasant and Yonge, please add them

But we still need help with
Sushi
Thai
Pizza
Chinese (take out)
Dim sum (even if the answer is Markham, suggestions would be great)
other casual fare
Any other shops/restaurants that would be great

thanks very much
Cocoa

-----
Rahier
1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

Celestin
623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

Mezes
456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

Zee Grill
641 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

Amaya
1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

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  1. You have a good list started! Here are some alternatives and additions:

    Bakery/patisserie - Patisserie La Cigogne
    Home-y bakery - Flaky Tart (must try the butter tarts!)
    Bread bakery - Epi
    French - Simple Bistro
    Thai - no great choices, but for Canadianized Thai - Satay on the Road, for pan-Asian (think of a better Spring Rolls) - Lemongrass or Riz (same owners)
    Dim sum - Lai Toh Heen, or over to Yonge and Eg for Cha Liu
    Mexican - Fiesta Azteca (hit and miss -- their more authentic dishes are better than their Tex-Mex. Avoid the nachos)
    Gelato - Hollywood Gelato, of course. :)
    Italian - Positano (good homemade pastas and antipastos)

    -----
    Lai Toh Heen
    692 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

    Cha Liu
    2352 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P2E6, CA

    Cigogne
    1626 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

    Simple Bistro
    619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

    Flaky Tart
    711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

    1. Oh, and there is a really great little produce shop on the East side of Bayview, towards the South end of the strip. I'm blanking on the name. Starts with a "B", I think...

      And if you're looking for some great sandwich bread, pop into Jake's during the day, when they aren't too busy and they will often let you buy a loaf of their in-house made breads.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Badali's

      2. Sushi: Mikado on Laird. I have tried Nigiri-Ya, but way prefer Mikado.
        Dim Sum: Lai Toh Heen (They now do takeout)
        Pimenton: Spanish Shop
        Culinarium: Local Ontario (including farm fresh eggs)
        Indian: Segar
        Ice Cream: Hollywood Gelato or Il Gelatiere (my preference)
        Bakeries: In addition to Rahier, Jules and Thobors are excellent.

        -----
        Il Gelatiere
        647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        Rahier
        1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

        Lai Toh Heen
        692 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        Thobors
        627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        Pimenton
        681 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

        Culinarium
        705 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2N4, CA

        Segar
        1568 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

        1. greek fastfood - folia grill! ( i prefer it in the evenings when the proprietors are working, the bread is crisper and the filling more balanced)
          bakery - also would go to cigogne, on the weekends from 11am-2pm get the tarte flambee, this would be my downfall if i ever lived in leaside
          sushi - mikado at laird or nigiri-ya (have not been there yet though, but sounds VERY promising)
          pizza - probably pizza bona.... but it's been a while since i've had

          you're not very far from lawrence east, patisserie is a must! then of course there's arz for groceries (the place that was nasr that turned into rami's is rather pitiful and farhat is a mere shadow of its former self). of course there's shawarma and falafel until the eye can see as well.

          1. Another suggestion for a restaurant; Olde York (or York) Posh Fish and Chips. It's on Laird Drive south of Eglinton Avenue East. The halibut and chips are wonderful! Dine early or late as the place is packed!

            1. Just a caution, Celestin has gone WAY downhill in the past year - and I find Amaya more show than anything.

              My two go-to's in the area are Cafe Pleiade (bistro with a slight Greek twist) and Segar (uses Indian spicing - but more of a bistro in actuality).

              -----
              Celestin
              623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

              Cafe Pleiade
              557 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

              Amaya
              1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

              Segar
              1568 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

              6 Replies
              1. re: estufarian

                Thanks to everyone I really appreciate the feedback!

                Estufarian, have you been to Kamasutra in the neighbourhood?

                1. re: CocoaChanel

                  Yes,
                  Was TOTALLY disappointed and never went back. All the effort was in the decor - not the food which used generic 'mother' sauces.

                  HOWEVER, to be fair, that was when they first opened, several years back. Things could have changed since then.

                  1. re: estufarian

                    Not really. :)

                    Stick to Amaya and Copper Chimney.

                    -----
                    Copper Chimney
                    619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                    Amaya
                    1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      Thanks for the update. Totally agree on Copper Chimney (although not in Leaside). But I still much prefer Segar to Amaya (although neither are 'true Indian' to me).

                      -----
                      Copper Chimney
                      619 Kingston Rd W, Ajax, ON L1S6L8, CA

                      Amaya
                      1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                      Segar
                      1568 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                  2. re: CocoaChanel

                    Also, KamaSutra is almost good, but it really fails in the end. I do not recommend it. What really put me off was ordering a dish with chicken and you could tell they just threw sauce over pre cooked chicken, it was not simmered in the sauce at all. Very disappointing.

                    1. re: smudgebee

                      And all the sauces at Kamasutra pretty much taste the same.

                2. Another note...Thobors has also gone way down hill as of late

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: kwass

                    Really? How? What exactly were you disappointed with?

                    1. re: kwass

                      Yes, Thobors has gotten quite uneven and the prices have gotten quite outrageous.
                      I have not heard much good about Celestin since it changed hands.
                      Pretty good pub-like wings at Duff's.
                      Best Dim Sum about 20 minutes north on Bayview to Hwy. 7.

                      -----
                      Celestin
                      623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

                      Thobors
                      627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                      1. re: sumdumgoy

                        Freshness has become hit or miss. When their stuff is fresh, it's awesome, but more often than not lately, it is not fresh.

                        Another thing that drives me crazy about that place is how slow the service is. They have one cash register to serve a line up of up to 15 people, and the girls who work behind the counter are in no rush to fill orders or to take them promptly, regardless of the number of people in line.

                        If I could count on the freshness of their pastries, I might be willing to put up with the slow service, but for now, I plan to avoid that place.

                        1. re: sumdumgoy

                          I've been to Duff's there - quite like it

                          Alos, Granite Brewery on Mt Pleasant is always satisfying

                          Celestin - interesting - thank you. I ahd heard "rumblings" of going downhill, but there were enough supporters to quell concerns

                          -----
                          Celestin
                          623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

                          Granite Brewery
                          245 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                          1. re: CocoaChanel

                            There's Rahier on Bayview which tops Celestin/Thobors for pastries, etc, for me.

                            -----
                            Rahier
                            1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                          2. re: sumdumgoy

                            SDG - re dim sum - which ones? Casa Imerial? Maple Yip? (I think those are correct)
                            For reference, we were regulars at Perfect Kitchen and Grand (the hotel at hwy 27)

                            -----
                            Perfect Kitchen
                            3075 Ridgeway Dr, Mississauga, ON L5L5M6, CA

                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                              Sorry to be so late in replying Cocoa.

                              It's a long but enjoyable list: Yang's, Regal Palace, Dragon Boat, Tanchikee, Emperor.

                              Yang's and Dragon Boat are favourites - Dragon Boat very good value and the best value dish anywhere is their Brisket with Braised Turnip in Soup, spectacular at $6.99

                              I have only been impressed by the high prices at the Casa family!

                              -----
                              Tanchikee Restaurant
                              360 Hwy 7 E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

                              1. re: sumdumgoy

                                Another closer higher end dim sum place is Crown Prince on Vic Park, north of McNicoll. Same owners as Crown Princess downtown.

                                For Chinese dinner, there's Sun Star (on Finch, between Bayview and Leslie, same mall as the TD bank) for closest decent Cantonese-Chinese cooking. Plates are a little smaller than those in RH or Scarb, but better than those Congee **** places. Go either early or late, as the place is small and gets full fast. Take out Chinese never works for me, the stuff is meant to be eaten fresh. Don't be tempted by the cakes at Maxims at the same mall. They must've changed owners/pasty chefs, as their stuff has gone downhill.

                                Some folks like Paradise at Finch/Leslie mall for dim sum and dinner, but I'm not a big fan of them (been there a few times lately since friends wanted to go). The place is huge and gold and spacious, and you can almost always get a table.

                                For spicy sichuan, try Hot Spicy Spicy also at Finch/Leslie mall. The peppercorns will numb your oral cavity in a pleasant way. There's also going to be the New Chinese Beef and Lamb place opening up there soon (where the old Rice Paper used to be).

                                I'll also put a plug in for Jules Patisserie, just down the st. from Celestin. I go for their Pain Chocolate every 2-4 wks.

                                For French, I still prefer Auberge du Pommier.

                                Also Thai Bistro on Yonge. While their meats aren't the best quality , the sauces (curries) and other noodles/rice dishes are pretty good and authentic. I've ordered from Satay on the Road quite often for office lunches (since they deliver) and find it rather meh.

                                -----
                                Thai Bistro
                                5306 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2N5P9, CA

                                1. re: Royaljelly

                                  For spicy sichuan, try Hot Spicy Spicy also at Finch/Leslie mall. The peppercorns will numb your oral cavity in a pleasant way. There's also going to be the New Chinese Beef and Lamb place opening up there soon (where the old Rice Paper used to be).

                                  ^^^ This pleases me immensely! I love sichuan and Toronto seems like a wasteland for good sichuan

                            2. re: sumdumgoy

                              Just chiming in on Celestin. It has definitely gone WAY down hill after Pascal left. We had one of our worst meals ever there. The place is no where near what it used to be and it's a shame because it used to be excellent.

                              -----
                              Celestin
                              623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

                          3. Sorry, but I forgot to specify that my last post was referring to Thobors, in response to Splendid Wine Snob's post

                            -----
                            Thobors
                            627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                            1. For pizza head south on Donlands then right on Danforth to Danforth Pizza House.
                              Fresh from the Farm at the north end of Donlands has good free-range/hormone free meat and eggs. Whitehouse meats is good.
                              Cobbs has a few good styles of sliced bread. I like the Cape Seed.
                              There is pretty good take-out Indian from Iqbal in Thorncliffe. There's also an Indian grocery there. Bamiyan Kabob, near Swiss Chalet, also has good Afghan food as does Afghan Village in the plaza on Don Mills Road in Flemingdon.
                              Sunny Foodmart's new store in Flemingdon Park is good for Asian food, fish and produce.
                              Hollywood Gelato has good gelato. If you go over to Il Gelatiere on Mt. Pleasant at Hillsdale, it's even better.
                              Lemongrass is dreadful in my opinion. I've had better Thai food at a mall food court.
                              China Feast across from the Loblaws on Moore does decent Chinese-Canadian take-out.

                              -----
                              Bamiyan Kabob
                              62 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H1C4, CA

                              Il Gelatiere
                              647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                              Danforth Pizza
                              920 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L9, CA

                              Afghan Village
                              747 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C1T2, CA

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: hal2010

                                I've heard that the Danforth Pizza House is really good. What is their pizza like and why is it so good?

                                -----
                                Danforth Pizza
                                920 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L9, CA

                                1. re: kwass

                                  i'm not fond of it... there's something about the flavour of the crust that i find quite bland (tossed it) and the cheese just ok. better than the generic plastic on the mass market ones. the tomato sauce was nice but not enough to make me want a second slice nor return.

                                  it's on the greasier side but i much prefer olympic 76 further south near yonge for my hefty pie needs and queen margherita for my thin soft crust.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                    Wholeheartedly agree - DPH has good technique, but is still overall a pretty bland pizza. Cheese is better than most at that price point, but crust, sauce, and pepperoni were all really underwhelming from a flavor perspective. The crusts do have a decent texture - they just don't taste like much.

                                    Olympic 76 is probably the best basic pizza I've had in Toronto. But being back in the States has reminded me how easy it should be to get good, flavorful pizza.

                                    -----
                                    Olympic 76
                                    8A Gloucester St, Toronto, ON M4Y1L5, CA

                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                      The crust on my pizza from DPH was incredibly tough and dense. I was not hopeful when I watched the man beat the crap out of it with a rolling pin and unfortunately it was confirmed when I received the final baked product. The sauce and toppings didn't make up for the crust so not worth a repeat visit for me.

                              2. The closest decent Thai is Linda at the Shops at Don Mills. Other places, Seniors on yonge and st Clair for solid reliable steak, second the recs for mikado, bamiyan kabob and olde yorke. There are serviceable samosas in the take out place in front of bamiyan. Nando's chicken on brentcliff is good too. Better than churrasco villa in my opinion. The other reliables have been mentioned above. Oh and the south street burger on laird is the best one of all the branches I think.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: ctl98

                                  Linda is very pretty but I've heard nothing great or even good about the food. Sounds like another me-too sweet and accessable iteration of Toronto Canadianized 'Thai.'

                                  I can confirm Folia Grill and Bamiyan as chow-worthy.

                                  -----
                                  Folia Grill
                                  1031 Pape Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3V9, CA

                                  1. re: neighborguy

                                    Now you can hear that the Thai food at Linda is very good.
                                    It's more expensive than at the mom 'n pop places and is more upscale (i.e. not 'street food Thai').
                                    Spicing is excellent and ingredients are (mostly) top notch (there have been a couple of misses over the years) but my last visit (about 10 days ago) showed great spicing (in particular), and a competent wine list - and was packed on a Wednesday.

                                    I'd call the Thai portions of the menu 'authentic' but they have expanded the menu to appeal to a different demographic than they originally had downtown, so you'll find dishes not 'normally' served in Thai restaurants in Canada - but you might well find those in hotels in Bangkok.

                                    1. re: neighborguy

                                      Linda, though not the best, is wayyyy better than some of the Canadianized Thai places like Spring Rolls, Satay on the Road, Thai One On), etc. True, it's pricier, but they use much better ingredients than most places.

                                    2. re: ctl98

                                      I disagree. I find that Satay on the Road does a lot of things well. its not gourmet but it will be a few shekels cheaper than Linda.
                                      If you order the right things, i would go as far to say that the food is VERY good.

                                      and i second the Folia Grill comment. Been a fan since it opened. had lunch there yesterday. ordered one chicken gyros and it was so good that i (shamelessly) had to order a second.

                                      -----
                                      Satay on the Road
                                      2003 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                      Folia Grill
                                      1031 Pape Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3V9, CA

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        Really? I've tried Satay a few times and I can't even bring myself to eat their pad thai. People in our office order food from there for our meetings and I can't bear the redness of the ketchup-based pad thai sauce.

                                        1. re: ctl98

                                          I agree, Satay on the Road is pretty disappointing. The only flavour I get from the Pad Thai is ketchup, and the chicken is fairly stringy and dry. I've also tried their Nasi Goreng (also, very dry and not spicy at all) and the Panang Gai, all to great disappointment.

                                          Unfortunately, it's one of the few Thai places in the area, so I'm stuck with it.

                                          What do you recommend from their menu??

                                          -----
                                          Satay on the Road
                                          2003 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                          1. re: greenduck

                                            when we go, we pretty much get the same thing:

                                            Oodles of Noodles (the N section of the menu) w/chicken.
                                            their beef tenderloin strips are very good.
                                            their curries are pretty good (not salad king good, but still above average). i think i get the malaysian curry.

                                            and i usually order chicken (something i tend to do at all asian restos. you tend to get better "cuts" of chicken vs beef).

                                            i think that pad thai is usually ordered, but to be honest, when you order pad thai, its the thai version of General Dang chicken. you know its likely the least authentic dish on the menu and that usually caters to 1 or more people you're eating with. its a dish that i am usually indifferent about and rarely have tried an amazing pad thai.

                                            other than that, i don't stray all that far from their menu.

                                        2. re: atomeyes

                                          Which dishes do you highly recommend at Satay on the Road?

                                          -----
                                          Satay on the Road
                                          2003 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                            Cashew Nut Chicken / Crispy Beef / Satay skewers / Spring rolls

                                      2. I personally really like Highway 61. They have great beer specials on Monday and Tuesday and the food is pretty darn good. I personally love their pulled chicken, but was underwhelmed by their pulled pork. The onion rings are really good too.

                                        That might be my choice as a go to bar.

                                        1. Not really Leaside, but near enough is Earth Bistro on Yonge and Summerhill. Been there about 4-5 times, and have been happy each time.

                                          1. So I am reviving this thread as Mr Vuitton and I are moving shortly. Thank you everyone who has contributed.

                                            A couple of Mr Vuitton's clients were kind enough to give us gift certificates to Celestin and Mogette. Mr Vuitton and I are also excited about trying Tabule

                                            Any pizza suggestions? And beyond Leaside, suggestions along the Mt Pleasant or Yonge strips?

                                            Thank you everyone for all your help so far

                                            -----
                                            Tabule
                                            2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

                                            Celestin
                                            623 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, CA

                                            Mogette
                                            581 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                                              Your gift certificate to Mogette is a winner. It's one of the better bistros in town, along with the nearby Simple Bistro. About $125 a couple, all in, inc. one glass of wine each, at Mogette, slightly cheaper at Simple early in the week when BYOW corkage there is $10. Mogette does a tasty cassoulet. I don't think anyone yet has mentioned Zee's, also on Mount Pleasant, one of the better seafood houses in Toronto. Casually sophisticated menu. About $150 a couple. A somewhat idiosyncratic joint on Mount Pleasant - south of the bistros mentioned above - is Cafe Pleiade, next door to the Regent movie house. Vaguely French with Greek touches. Good soups, some tasty mains, easy-to-take wine prices, family run. Mind, it has been a year since I was last there - driving south along Mount Pleasant while seeking sustenance, I usually don't get farther south than either Simple Bistro or Mogette - but Pleiade brings back good memories. I must get back there soon. On Yonge St., directly west of Leaside, Tabule offers the best value - if you like Middle East cuisine. You can make a meal of the hot and cold appetizers alone. No corkage charge Mondays and Tuesdays.

                                              Can't advise on pizza. The tastiest pizza in my part of town - just north of Leaside - is at Trio Ristorante, on Yonge St. just north of Lawrence Ave., which is probably too far west and north of Leaside for you. Oh, and about your Celestin gift certificate: see if you can fob it off on someone else. The place hasn't been up to much for quite awhile.

                                              -----
                                              Cafe Pleiade
                                              557 Mt Pleasant, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

                                            2. There was a place near my old office, on Bayview South of Eglington on the west side...that had nice Cajun food. Sorry it's been a while I can't remember the name.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: crazee

                                                Sounds like Cajun Corner, which closed a while ago.

                                                -----
                                                Cajun Corner
                                                214 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                                              2. you should really add Ethiopian to your list and go to Dukem on the Danforth.
                                                last week, i converted another friend to ethiopian. their special tibs are amazing.

                                                -----
                                                Dukem
                                                950 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L9, CA

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: atomeyes

                                                  Done deal! Thank you