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Quinta - delicious Portugese, with a modern twist

happycamper Dec 17, 2012 04:28 PM

A weekend dinner for two. Superb food, attentive service, surprisingly not crowded.

Appetizers:
Quinta Caldo Verde (vegetarian version): beautiful pureed kale in a cream broth. I thought the cream was a tad bit heavy, but my companion practically licked the bowl.
Lobster Balls: Very greasy, so I asked for some piri piri. Our lovely waitress came back with this precious bottle of housemade piri piri that was out of this world. I asked her to leave it at the table for us. Seriously, one of my favorite part of the whole evening. Ask for the hot sauce.

Mains:
Seared Tuna: there was ALOT of tuna, beautifully cooked and seasoned, served with root veg and fingerlings. The only disappointment was the quail eggs promised on the menu. They were overcooked and carelessly placed on the side. I was hoping for more of a runny egg concoction on top of my tuna.
Duck: pink in the middle, seared beautifully, delicious jus, and priced very reasonably for the portion.

Drink menu: nothing to write home about. Concise, smart, fairly priced.

Dessert: didn't have any, but looking around, we should save our stomachs for some next time.

Nicely priced, nice ambiance, beautiful food. I would go back soon.

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Quinta
1282 Dundas Street W
(416) 534-0407

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    blurion RE: happycamper Dec 17, 2012 06:13 PM

    I was just about to make a post for Quinta! I had brunch there yesterday and loved it. If only they were closer... They are super reasonably priced for what you get, IMO.

    I had the charcuterie sandwich and would eat that all the time if I could haha. Plus the potatoes that came with it were super addictive. Boyfriend had the bacon eggs benedict and thought they were pretty good. The "specials" that day were rabbit or lobster eggs benedict, or fish and chips. I was super tempted by the rabbit.

    We also had dessert! Shared the ginger molasses cheesecake sandwich cookie thing. I really liked it, but that won my boyfriend over. Of course, it helped that it had all of his favourite things in it... Another plus in my books: they serve Limonana!

    When we were there, there were 2 separate families having brunch, so it felt like a neighbourhood place. It was boisterous but not loud or obnoxious.

    I had the charcuterie and cataplana recommended to me for dinner. From the sandwich, I would totally order the charcuterie plate.

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      abigllama RE: happycamper Dec 18, 2012 12:08 PM

      I've heard really great things about this place from several people. Looking forward to checking it out!

      1. estufarian RE: happycamper Dec 18, 2012 03:38 PM

        My experience was TOTALLY different. A very poor meal. Both mains we tried were completely dried out and one was actually burned. Never returned, so never posted.
        There's actually a blog entry (not mine) that clearly shows some of the problems

        http://taylorfladgate40906.wordpress....

        Take a look at the cornish hen piri-piri photo - that's just burned!

        And the charcuterie was neither interesting in the taste nor the appearance (see the picture in the same blog).

        6 Replies
        1. re: estufarian
          Charles Yu RE: estufarian Dec 18, 2012 06:08 PM

          Hello Estufarian!!
          My whole family was just about to make plans to head down!! Thanks for the timely posting and those 'burnt hen' photos!. I thought Nando's was bad in this area but man! the Quinta version was like a page from some apocalyptic alien movie! May be I'll stick with Torito's 'Spanish' instead?!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            estufarian RE: Charles Yu Dec 18, 2012 06:26 PM

            A picture is worth a whole family's digestive systems!

            1. re: estufarian
              Charles Yu RE: estufarian Dec 18, 2012 07:50 PM

              My wife will most probably force us to peel off all the skin!! But since they are midget Cornish Hens, by the time all the burnt parts are removed, there won't be much left for the digestive system. May be bones for our puppy at home!! Ha!

          2. re: estufarian
            b
            blurion RE: estufarian Dec 18, 2012 08:19 PM

            Wow, that's like night and day to my meal. Though, I had brunch! The charcuterie, to me, was tasty enough, but I did have it all in one big sandwich, so maybe not the best way to savour all the different flavours. Less inclined to return for dinner, but I think brunch was still good enough for a return visit! Just maybe not in the near future.

            1. re: estufarian
              d
              downtownfoodie RE: estufarian Dec 18, 2012 10:15 PM

              i haven't been there so i can't comment on the food. that said, from the pics, the outside of the hen does look a bit on the charred side, but the inside still looks moist. i might be biased because i like my poultry skin with a little char, especially if there's some sugar in the sauce :)

              1. re: estufarian
                happycamper RE: estufarian Dec 19, 2012 07:05 PM

                Oh boy, I am really sorry for your experience.
                Granted, I have only been there once and didn't try the piri piri hen, but...with a little google image search, the Portugese version seem to be a little charred on the outside? I have no idea. (and yes Charles I agree with you, Nando's is quite awful).

                estufarian, the link didn't provide any written report - I would love to know their experience in more detail. To me the hen did not look bad at all. In fact, the disappointing dish that I had looked forward to try was the pork and clam. I was hoping for either something alot more refined, or more rustic - right now from the looks of it, it looks like it couldn't make up it's mind...

                As well, this photo essay was posted in July, and I had my meal this month. From the photos, I can already see some improvement they have made: the sides were much more interesting for my experience (roasted fingerlings and fall root veg instead of salad and scalloped potatoes in the summer); my caldo verde looked substantially more appetizing than the gazpacho.

                I can't really comment on the charcuterie, as it is just not a dish I'd order in restaurants. I will pay another visit soonish and report back on the contentious piri.

                ps. I would recommend giving their seafood dishes a try.

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                akhorasanee RE: happycamper Mar 10, 2013 09:17 AM

                I had a pretty good meal at Quinta yesterday (I had one of those buytopia vouchers), my experience was the food is good but the service was FANTASTIC!
                Firstly the owner/head chef had left the cooking to his staff and was meeting all the diners and talking to them. Generally we never order chacuterie as its usually pork intensive (due to religious reasons, I dont eat pork) but he suggested we give it a try as their chacuterie was more duck based (duck confit, duck mousse, duck gizzards and beef terrain)...I am so glad he did convince us because it was lovely. In addition, he brought over batter fried frog legs (on the house), that he was thinking of introducing to his menu, it was sooo good tasted like delicious chicken wings.
                For mains, my husband had a tuna quinoa main and I had the piri piri chicken, I personally thought the chicken had good color (I did not find it burnt at all and I do not like Nando chicken), my husbands tuna was cooked perfectly as well.
                After dinner, 2 glasses of port wine were given to us on the house (which is so rare in Toronto), the dessert a chocolate flourless mousse cake was the one item I was disappointed with. It was too dense and lacking moistness.
                All in all I enjoyed my evening, it was good food but great service.

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