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Can't Miss

My wife and I are spending a weekend in Toronto in late May. We're looking for the best, can't miss restaurants, with no cuisine or price restrictions. Any thoughts? In other words, if you only had 3 days in Toronto, where would you go?

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  1. Sushi Kaji for Omakase 'Trust the Chef' tasting menu

    Auberge du Pommier, again go for their tasting menu. ( the chef and sous recently won Canada's Golden Plate award )

    Lastly, I was initially thinking of Momofuku Shoto. However, based on recent negative feed backs from a couple of foodie friends. I am a bit hesitant. As such, I'm recommending you folks head north to Richmond Hill and order a Giant lobster cooked 4 ways ( since there's only the two of you ) at O Mei Chinese Seafood Restaurant.

    Have fun!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Charles Yu

      I ate at Shoto within the last week, recommended with no hesitation. They had just switched the menu over completely to spring dishes. The best thing on the menu right now is the charred octopus salad with smoked potato.

      I will say, do not go expecting over the top ingredients, there is no foie or truffles (it's not truffle season, why would there be truffles?). The cost component in the meal there is the incredible amount of labor that goes into the prep for some of these dishes,

      If I had one quibble it's that they have de-emphisized the crudo course(s) which I have really enjoyed at Shoto and Ko, this time there was only one crudo dish

    2. A very recent, and similar thread (save for the exclusion of Asian cuisine)

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/900473

      1. Scaramouche. Always voted #1 by Joanne Kates. Beautiful view of the City, lovely service, wonderful food. Just a perfect evening!

        15 Replies
          1. re: farmgirl1836

            Totally agree.

            You will never go wrong with Scaramouche. The food is excellent, service is top notch.

            I can honestly say I've never ever felt disappointed. In fact quite the opposite. Every time we leave, I can't wait to go back!!!

            It really is a perfect evening.

            1. re: millygirl

              The decor is pretty dated, so Scaramouche is great for the significantly older crowd.

              1. re: justxpete

                Sorry Pete, but it's time to call you out on this one. What type of foolish statement is that? The op wants good food, did he state he cares about decor? And since when does a "dated decor" exclude all but the "significantly older crowd" (which as an aside I am not apart of)? Isn't this about the food???

                Back on topic +1 for scaramouche, by far the most consistent high quality restaurant in the city in the past 12 months.

                1. re: Sadistick

                  Enjoying these 'Scaramouche' exchanges!

                  One of my favorite restaurant as well but I haven't been back this year.
                  I wanted a re-visit, but felt hesitant due to Toronto Life's downgrade ( I know! I know! we chowhounders do not put a lot of faith in TL's rating. However, the down grade plus comment like ' Mains are too polite and flavours of multiple ingredients do not cohere into a complete dish' kind of put up a warning flag?!).

                  If food is still great, then may be its time pay it a re-visit?! However, there are still a of newish restaurants I have not tried and eager to do so!! eg., Actinolite, Ursa. Hopgood's Foodliner and Farmhouse Tavern...etc to name a few! Any preference?!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    I was just there over X-mas. As good as ever.

                    TL?! Bah, who give $hit what they say!

                    I love you Charles, so I say this with utmost reverence ;)

                  2. re: Sadistick

                    I don't have any problem with the decor at Scaramouche. It's understated for sure but still classy. Their chairs are extremely comfortable and I like that you don't feel crammed in.

                    But go on their website and judge for yourself. You get a pretty good idea from the pictures.

                    1. re: Sadistick

                      With 3 days/dinners in Toronto, it's not where I'd go, personally - if I was familiar with Toronto's dining scene. But if I was older, I definitely would, as part of my three dinners. Get it now? :)

                      1. re: justxpete

                        Whether you personally like it or not, the vast majority here will undoubtedly state that Scaramouche is "Can't miss". So in that sense, it absolutely should be mentioned on this thread as it directly addresses the OP’s requirements. It is as close to a sure thing as one can get.

                        Also, Scaramouche is still very much a leading, best in class restaurant in Toronto. While it is not new, it still very much represents Toronto, and has for 30 years. Does it represent T.O. completely? Of course not. But I'd argue that isn't possible in any case.

                        If I had to choose a Can't Miss and money isn't an option, Scaramouche is a no-brainer. Also, Scaramouche isn't even that pricey relative to other places in its class. It’s a bargain.

                        The decor thing? We've talked about this on other threads. I guess it's a matter of opinion. I'm certainly not an old fuddy-duddy, and I think it's lovely. Your cup of tea? Perhaps not. Dated? I don't think so. Does it matter in any case? It shouldn't, if what the OP truly wants is a can't miss.

                        1. re: magic

                          I don't agree with you at all - and most would not consider "Scaramouche" can't miss - it wasn't even in the top ten list for 2013 ... ??? (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888815

                          )

                          I think you're misinterpreting what the OP's asking for - he's not asking for which restaurants are "Can't miss", as in "always consistent", he's asking for "Can't miss", as in "shouldn't miss in Toronto", as evident when he said "In other words, if you only had 3 days in Toronto, where would you go?"

                          I never said that I didn't like it... and everyone's entitled to their own opinion. I even recommended it, in the other thread (for slightly different requirements)... but whether you're aware or not, the decor is dated (very much so), and most younger individuals would not appreciate it as much as the older crowd would. ie unless I was older, I don't think if I only had three nights I would count it among the three restaurants I would attend (as mentioned in a previous post within this thread).

                          1. re: justxpete

                            As I stated above, who gives a damn about Top 10 lists? Those are far less meaningful to me than the reviews of dozens or hundreds of fellow foodies. HOWEVER, if lists are important to you Joanna Kates places Scaramouche at #1 this year on her annual Top 100 list (for the second year in a row I believe).

                            http://www.postcity.com/Post-City-Mag...

                            I’m not misinterpreting one word of what was written. Many, if not most, would say Scaramouche is can’t miss. Thus its inclusion on this thread.

                            Plus, it’s #1, so how can you be argue its “can’t miss” status if Scaramouche meets the listed criteria you prize?

                            1. re: magic

                              Folks, this back and forth on Scaramouche is going in circles and we removed some posts that got awfully personal. We hope people can refocus on helping the original poster, rather than arguing minutiae of each other's opinions. Thanks.

                              1. re: magic

                                I was there last night - and would agree with millygirl that the chairs are extremely comfortable. Personally I don't think the decor is dated - neither did my wife.

                                Scaramouche is as good as any restaurant i've been to in Toronto. To the original poster - if you decide to go to Scaramouche request a window seat, and save room for dessert.

                                1. re: magic

                                  As what might be described as a young person (I hope...I'm 34), I do find the decor at Scaramouche somewhat dated. Would that in any way stop me from recommending it? Not at all. When you're in Toronto for 3 days you want the best food you can get, and Scaramouche certainly fits the bill.

                                  If someone was looking for a restaurant with great food and a cool vibe, I might not recommend it. But that's not what the OP asked for. I'll give a +1 on Scaramouche.

                  3. We're in your boat (4 nights in Toronto on our way to a wedding in June).

                    Have been doing a little research. Definitely have to try Shoto - if for no other reason than I haven't dined at a David Chang place before.

                    Your Truly also looks interesting.

                    Am also looking for good Chinese somewhere near Yorkville (no ideas yet).

                    Fourth night. ???? Scaramouche?

                    What do you like to eat?

                    Perhaps this might help you out:

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/...

                    Robyn

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pvgirl

                      Since Lai Wah Heen has changed owner, IMO, the best Chinese restaurant down town ( as well as closest to Yorkville ) is Crown Princess.
                      Yours Truly was great when owner/chef Jeff Claudio ( staged/worked in Per Se. Noma and Alinea ) was at the helm. However, he left a few weeks ago for a world tour??!! Haven't been with the new chef!
                      Currently, very mixed review on Shoto. All I can say is 'Good Luck'!!

                      1. re: pvgirl

                        Best Chinese (Cantonese) in Yorkville is Dynasty http://www.yelp.ca/biz/dynasty-chines... right on Yorkville Ave. A short walk away on Bay St is the Crown Princess. http://www.yelp.ca/biz/crown-princess... I don't find much difference foodwise between the two, although I have a bit more experience with Dynasty. There is a Taiwanese/N. China place on Yonge just north of Bloor called Lee Chen http://www.yelp.ca/biz/lee-chen-asian.... I find all 3 fairly decent....which is good because I'm not even aware of any other Chinese places that are closer to Bay/Bloor.

                      2. I am not sure where you are coming from but for lunch I would do:

                        -Sukhothai on wellington- try the khao soi
                        -Grand Electric (evenings are packed) and
                        -Guu (again evenings are packed)

                        For dinner, I'd go to:
                        splendido - excellent dinner
                        chantecler (if offering a tasting menu) if not Patria (good food and a very happening ambience so you can get a flavor of torontos buzzy resto) however if you are from DC or Vegas-Jaleo is way better!
                        Acadia, yours truly, campognolo or the grove

                        Scaramouche is wonderful but you will feel like you've eaten food like it it before- so it lacks the different factor!
                        Wish I could comment on Shoto- I've been wanting to go for a while :)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: akhorasanee

                          Since only 4 slots available per night, Chantecler's tasting menu is only available when booked 2 months in advance!!!

                          If OP is from DC, I would strongly recommend taking a cab and have dinner at Sushi Kaji. Apart from NYC and may be Morimoto in Philly, nothing like that east of the Rockies.

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            We're coming in from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Thanks for your recommendations!

                            1. re: FritzJMcDonald

                              And the wedding we'll be going to is in Ann Arbor Michigan. Small world :).

                              FWIW - I'm 65 and my husband is 68 - but we're not old farts when it comes to dining. OTOH - with decades of fine dining under our belts - we don't appreciate new only for the sake of novelty either.

                              In terms of comments about Scaramouche above - I don't mind eating thing I've eaten before - assuming they're delicious :). Robyn

                        2. I second Sushi Kaji. If it's not too late, and price no object, I'd say definitely Hashimoto (http://www.kaiseki.ca/#).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Yimahaji

                            Also, in last year, many Izakaya's and Ramen Noodle places opened up. Ryoji or Kinton or Santouka (Ryoji and Santouka are based in Japan while Kinton is related to Guu).