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Good Portuguese other than Chiado

Some friends are coming into town from New York and we'll be meeting for dinner. I'm thinking of Portuguese, which is just about the only thing not well covered in NY. Is there any other good Portuguese besides Chiado? I was thinking something a bit more casual, but still with good food and decent fish choices.

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Chiado
864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

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  1. Adega on Elm was decent the last time I was there. The menu seems to be moving towards the touristy type, but the food and the service were very good. Wine list is for the most part special order and well-chosen.

    If you want even more casual Piri Piri on Dupont has a good selection of grilled whole fish, and is much more the kind of place loud families would go.

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    Adega
    33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      I second Adega. Its one of my all time fav's and Ive eaten there a dozen times and never a bad meal. The Sardine app is yummy, the Cataplana and Octopus specialty dishes are excellent. Service is top.

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      Adega
      33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

      1. re: Kassi22

        Sorry, I should add though, I wouldn't consider Adega casual.. I missed that part of your post, sorry. (But its not snobby or uptight)

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        Adega
        33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

    2. About two weeks back I ate at Via Norte when I was invited to a winemaker's dinner. It's about a block west of Chiado. The food was very good. It seems that Chowhounders don't know about it, nobody even replied to the thread I started about it. I was there with about 20 Portuguese people, and they told me that is one of the places they eat lunch and dinner at. I enjoyed it enough that I'd go there again. The food is similar to Chiado but slightly lower in cost.

      1. A few of us hounds were out hounding a couple weeks back and ended up at Seara on Keele. Being the intrepid hounds that we are, a couple of us checked out Churraqueira Estrela next door and let me tell you it was incredible. It's too soon to say it's the best I've had in the city but it could be.

        http://www.churrasqueiraestrela.com/

        T

        1 Reply
        1. re: Davwud

          This is something I'm going to remember for another time. Might be just a tad too casual for this situation. Thanks - looks great.

        2. I haven't been there for a while but I always enjoyed Cataplana. It's at the corner of Colege and Dovercourt. Guess it's time for a return visit.

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          Cataplana
          938 College St, Toronto, ON M6H1A4, CA

          2 Replies
          1. re: mexivilla

            That was at 938 College, but is now Via Norte, which is very good.

            http://www.vianorterest.com/

            1. re: foodyDudey

              Via Norte looks really interesting. If we do Portuguese I think it will be here. Will have to consult with friends. If not Portuguese, we might go to Enoteca Sociale, where I've been wanting to go. Either one - thanks folks.

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              Enoteca Sociale
              1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

          2. Casa da Ramboia (Dundas West and Dovercourt) has excellent food and is more casual. Owner Isabel Carvalho runs the kitchen ...

            1. No reservations available at Enoteca Sociale. So back to Portuguese. If you had to decide between Via Norte and Adega, which would you choose? I'm waffling.

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              Adega
              33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

              Enoteca Sociale
              1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              5 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                Not to confuse your search even further - but if you want a more casual feel than Via Norte or Adega you should try Amadeus in Kensington. Great patio for people watching (even the patio itself is populated with characters) and they have pretty solid grilled sardines and a respectable portuguese steak with egg.

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                Adega
                33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

                1. re: themiguel

                  You know, I've been thinking of Amadeus. I've been there before - usually just for a beer, but once I did have dinner in the more formal restaurant. It was ok but I like the vibe of the patio and I love the Kensingon parade. I'm thinking it would be fun. Thanks for the nudge. Still undecided.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    I had car trouble in the area once and we stopped waited there and had a couple beers. I loved the place.

                    DT

                2. re: Nyleve

                  Adega. I've never had a bad meal and the service is always in fine form as well.

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                  Adega
                  33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    i've been to adega once and in the same meal they grossly overcooked my fish twice. the kicker was that the side vegetables were rather raw!

                  2. Ok pathetic, I know. But we're going to Amadeus - not so much because it has great Portuguese food, but for the Kensington vibe. These friends live in NY and are used to plenty of upscale dining and this is simply unique to Toronto. We'll walk around the market a bit, and then have dinner. If the weather's nice, we'll be outside. If it's not nice, we'll be inside. Sounds like a reasonable plan. Could probably get a finer meal elsewhere, but Kensington is my favourite part of Toronto and I want to share.

                    1. We had dinner at Lisbon by Night (802 Dundas St W) on Mother's day. We were a party of 4 and had tried the Rodizio menu. We all enjoyed it. The price is $24.95 pp and you helped yourself as much as you want. The menu includes soup, bread, potato/veggies and different kinds of grilled fish. The food was fresh and delicious. The place was busy, but the wait staffs were fantastic. It is a casual place and have live entertainment on the weekends.

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                      Lisbon by Night
                      802 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J1V3, CA

                      1. Report. We met up with our New York friends in Kensington Market - a part of Toronto they've never been. They loved the vibe and we had a nice browse. Although they've been to the city many times before, their family always wants to take them to the "nice" (read: boring - to me, at least) parts of town so it really worked out well. I'd made a reservation for the restaurant side of Amadeus but when we got there we could see that the music was set up about 2 feet from our patio table, so we asked to be moved to the bar side where there were still quite a few empty tables. They put tables together to accommodate us, which was really nice. Had a very good meal. One of us tried the vegetable soup (not the caldo verde because she needed vegetarian) and because we couldn't decide which fish to order, the server offered to serve each of us one grilled sardine as a starter (with pimento salad) which we all wanted. The sardines were good (not as good as in Portugal, but good). The rest of us had either the grilled cod or grilled sea bass - all really delicious. Two people shared the seafood rice which was the weakest dish - the shellfish was overcooked and didn't taste fresh so I wouldn't order it again. But everything else was great - the service was friendly and the street parade was fantastic. It may not be the best or most inventive Portuguese in town, but it was a fun and enjoyable dinner.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Nyleve

                          Sounds great and a good reminder to have dinner there again. I haven't been in probably 10 years, but I remember asking them if they had pasteis bacalhau on the menu, and they didn't, but the kitchen kindly whipped up a batch for my table.

                          1. re: Nyleve

                            I'm amazed a vegetarian found anything to eat at a Portuguese restaurant. Lord knows I never have.

                            1. re: piccola

                              It was only the soup that was vegetarian. She eats fish but not meat or chicken. The caldo verde was made with sausage but the server told us the vegetable soup - which was similar in some ways to caldo verde - had no meat.

                              1. re: Nyleve

                                Did they say what kind of broth it was?

                                1. re: piccola

                                  Nope. You know, I just leave the details to the eater. It was my friend who doesn't eat meat - she asked the server if the caldo verde was vegetarian (which it could be) and the server said it had sausage in it but that the vegetable soup was ok. That's where it ended. Personally I think that sometimes the eater doesn't really want a full answer - which is entirely their business. If you're interested, I'm sure they'll tell you if you ask.

                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                    Fair enough, I just thought they might have mentioned it. But it's not worth it for me to go there on the off chance that it might be fully veg.

                          2. A couple months ago, friend of mine mentioned going to a good Portuguese place somewhere around St. Clair and Bathurst. Do you guys have any idea what it could be?

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: sumashi

                              Costa Verdi??

                              DT

                              1. re: Davwud

                                Oops, either he or I got it mixed it up, but he meant Peruvian :D ... and was thinking of El Fogon and some other El ____ place.

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                                El Fogon
                                543 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1A3, CA

                                1. re: sumashi

                                  I believe El Fogon is now closed.

                                  DT

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                                  El Fogon
                                  543 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1A3, CA

                                  1. re: Davwud

                                    Oh no! How recent is this? I ate there a couple of weeks ago for the first time and loved it. :(

                                    1. re: CuriousCat

                                      It must not be closed then. I thought it was and someone had mentioned to me that there were no more Peruvian places in the city since _______ closed.
                                      I guess I put 2 and 2 together and got 37.

                                      DT

                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        You're probably thinking of El Bodegon, which is sadly closed.

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                                        El Bodegon
                                        537 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1A9, CA

                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                          Was it on St. Clair too??

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            Nope. So clearly you weren't talking about El Bodegon. :)

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                                            El Bodegon
                                            537 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1A9, CA

                                        2. re: Davwud

                                          That's a relief! :)

                                    2. re: sumashi

                                      Perhaps they meant the now departed Peruvian restaurant El Plebeyo. It was located on Bathurst just a wee south of St Clair.

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                                      El Plebeyo
                                      1453 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5R3J2, CA

                                  2. re: sumashi

                                    Portucale? http://www.portucalerestaurant.com/

                                  3. Banaboia Restaurant at 501 Rogers Road near Old Weston Road is a well kept secret fave of Potruguese friends of ours.

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                                    Banaboia
                                    501 Rogers Rd, Toronto, ON M6M1B4, CA

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Big Kahuna 1

                                      I've only been to Banaboia once, but I really enjoyed it. I had a fantastic grilled fish. I would have sampled more of their menu, but they screwed up our order and gave my wife the same dish. In contrast with Chiado's high ending dining (and prices), I see Banaboia as more of a neighbourhood family restaurant and "date night" kind of place, depending on when you go.