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Thanks Toronto Hounds--trip report

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My wife and I just returned from a week in Toronto. We didn't have a lot of time to research restaurants, so we grabbed your weighted top-10 list and had at it. We didn't make it to Khao San Road, much to our disappointment. We saved it for the last night and by the time we got there, there was a line out the door and we were too hungry and tired to wait.

We ate at The Black Hoof twice. I love the cross-cultural approach to preserved meats and nose-to-tail. The charcuterie was more flavorful and more interesting than any I've had at Incanto or Boccalone, Chris Cosentino's places here in San Francisco. The lardzo-prosciutto was a particular favorite. My wife doesn't do a lot of "parts" so we were a bit conservative in our ordering, but everything was great. Of particular note were the carnitas tacos topped with chicharrones which my wife, who is Mexican American, declared "the best effing carnitas ever," and would hear no argument from me. Also the duck confit in Chinese black bean sauce with pickled cabbage. Oh, lord.

We also tried Enoteca Sociale and were very pleased. Loved that there were so many wines by the glass with a small-pour option so we could try lots of pairings. We had the arancini, chicory salad with crisp prosciutto, cauliflower puree topped with fried cauliflower and olives, raviolo with lemon and taleggio, pork shoulder with porcini emulsion. Everything was perfectly delicious. The only complaint that porcini emulsion, while delicious, is very, *very* unappetizing to look at. There was a moment when I wondered if I was going to be able to eat it. Really, people, put it under the meat not on top.

We did a splurge at Canoe and had a lovely meal though the service, as noted by others, was spotty.

I love the top-10 list and would love to see something like that on other boards. It made it very easy to have some wonderful meals without a lot of research. Thanks!

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  1. What a nice write up. Thanks so much for reporting on your trip! It's always nice to get an outsider's perspective on our restaurant scene. We can get a little caught up in second guessing and self criticism here. :)

    1. Great, thanks for the report. Exactly this kind of thing is why we do the top ten list (and try to keep it forward looking rather than retrospective).

      1. Odd - Canoe was not on our top ten list...? Which thread did you read (just curious). Thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: justxpete

          There was a comment or two to the effect of "what, no Canoe?" I for one think that Canoe is a top-10 restaurant in the city. Never had a problem with service, but heard other stories of those who have, which is a shame at that price point.

          1. re: childofthestorm

            That's exactly it - there was no specific mention of Canoe as voted by anyone (I don't believe) - and rightly so, IMO. It's a greatly over-rated restaurant. I too have had service issues with it, as well as with the mostly mediocre food.

        2. This is a great reminder to go check out Black Hoof again. Thanks for the trip report!