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Jun 13, 2011 06:22 AM

Bravo! Winchester Kitchen and bar

Had dinner on Friday evening at the recently opened restaurant upstairs at the corner of Winchster and parliament. The former Laurentian Room has had a couple of incarnations, this one should be a great sucess. The food was superb and the service equally fine. This is a major new addition to Cabbagetown dining. Check their web site for variations on menus and opening hours. Daily specials highly recommended and the three little piggy pork platter a highlight.

Laurentian Room
51A Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X1A8, CA

Winchester Kitchen & Bar
51-A Winchester St, Toronto, ON M4X 1A8, CA

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  1. I echo the above sentiments. I ended up going to this place partly by mistake (I used Opentable on my blackberry and I thought I was making reservations at the stone grill next door...whoops) and was a bit nonplussed when I got there (it looks more like a bar than a restaurant). I was completely won over by the food and service, though.

    We started out with an amuse bouche of smoked pork with babaganoush; I was first really surprised that they even served an amuse bouche (given my thoughts that it looked like a bar), but it was great and started the meal off very well. We went during their "lobsterfest", which included a three-course lobster dinner for $35 (which is a great price for what you get), so we all got that. I had a lobster crudo appetizer (sort of like a lobster ceviche with a tomato water sauce, sweet pea and basil) which was fantastic and also had a ton of lobster. Two others at my table had a lobster salad (again, large chunks of lobster mixed with cucumber, strawberries, and endive with some sort of vinaigrette); I didn't try it but it got great reviews. The only slight disappointment was the lobster bisque with seared scallop, which had a slightly strange taste to the broth (this was a very minor flaw in what was otherwise a great meal, though).

    Between courses they brought a palate cleansing sorbet, which was appreciated. For mains three of us had a lobster linguine with squid ink pasta and cherry tomatoes, which everyone thought was fantastic. Someone else had a lobster and shrimp dinner (again, very well done).

    For dessert I had the kaffir lime leaf panna cotta which, though not particularly lobster-esque, was delicious (although the avocado slices served with it weren't ripe enough). Two others had the maple bacon ice cream with lobster salt, which got good reviews, and the last person had the lobster salad (it was available as an app or a dessert, assumedly since it had strawberries in it).

    Service was attentive (although we were the only table there for most of our meal, and one of only two for the rest) and helpful with food descriptions, and as I mentioned the prices were very reasonable. A fortuitous accident that we even ended up there, but we'll definitely be back (doesn't hurt that it's right around the corner from us).