Had a great dinner at Golden Beetle on Saturday night. For being open approx 1 month, the place ran rather smoothly. Staff were friendly and attentive. The bar was consistently running a bit behind, not sure of the issue there but it wasn't a huge deal. I ordered the "Toronto to Cairo" cocktail and it arrived without the tamarind foam as listed on the menu. Long story short, they ended up comping the drink as there were issues getting the foam prepared for a new drink. No problemo. On to the food: TONS of small plates on the menu, which I really like. We had the snails, lamb kibbeh (meatballs), rabbit pastries (mini hot pockets), veggie falafel, flatbread with 3 dips, seasoned beef fat fries, turkey gyro, baklava, and gum mastic ice cream. Most everything was very tasty and enjoyable. A couple small gripes: the "gyro" isn't a gyro. It's seasoned turkey with lettuce leaves and quartered pieces of flatbread....it says "gyro" on the menu but the server who brought it called it a schwarma. It was delicious, but it's neither a gyro or schwarma. The falafel were delicious but too small. The baklava left much to be desired: mainly the phyllo was tough and chewy, and it was cold (not even room temp per the usual).
The pomegranate molasses bread dip was awesome. The lamb and rabbit small plates were awesome. I loved the smell of spices in the air.
Overall a very good meal in a cool space that smelled great. No complaints on the service. We will be back!
EDIT: we also had the goat confit flatbread 'pizza', which was delicious.
We ate there with friends last night. The chicken basteeya (sometimes bastilla) pie was fabulous! I always wondered how adding sugar and cinnamon to chicken pie would work and this version is stupdenous--just enough of a cinnamon taste for you to know it's there but not overpowering. The sauteed mushrooms on top were icing on the cake, so to speak. The entire table was raving about the roasted asparagus with cheese; I would have been happy to make a meal out of those with the lightest, nuttiest couscous I had ever had. Also yummy were the white fish falafels. My partner was happy with his lamb tagine, but felt there should have been more green olives--the element he said really made the dish. Our friends enjoyed their tuna, but I thought the dish was a bit bland. The pistachio nougat came as advertised. The baklava was not like the typical Greek/Turkish confection-much lighter. The real star of the dessert course was the goat cheese ice cream. We'll definitely be back.
I also had dinner there on Saturday. We were seated at a table in the bar and had much better service with our drinks. My Toronto to Cairo actually had the foam!
We shared a bunch of the same small plates as Cascadian Connoiseur with the addition of the cod falafel and a salad. The cocktails and the flatbread with the three dips were, by far, my favorite things on the menu. I liked the rest of the things we had, with the exception of the cod falafel - which was devoid of any semblance of cod except for smell. They have a small, but very well thought out, wine list.
The place was packed with people waiting for tables most of the night. Be sure to get reservations.