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Any news on Geraldine?

I've been reading about this restaurant for some time now, and am anxiouis to see a place like this open in the area. Initially I heard they were supposed to be open by now, anyone got an update?

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  1. They were one of the competitors at Abbey's Kitchen Stadium on the weekend. I didn't realize it wasn't open yet because they had cards and were talking about it as if it was open? Maybe soft opening already? They did a smelt sandwich which was my least favourite dish because the bread was rock hard. I am not sure what they were thinking serving that.

    1. I'm looking for a Parkdale/Roncy spot for tonight - am considering Geraldine - has anyone been? any thoughts?

      1. This seems to be the only thread focused on Geraldine, so I'm bumping it to report on my visit.

        They're doing a kind of small plates/sharing thing, though not all of the dishes really share that well -- some of them are served on a single piece of toast, for example, where sharing them would really require you to mangle the crap out of the dish to cut it up and dish it out. Other dishes are much more share-ready, in that they're already relatively small bits and you can parcel them out.

        I tried bits of quite a number of different things:

        Coquilles St. Jacques: Not bad, but not very interesting, either. Definitely rich, but tiny and not very flavorful.
        Wild Boar Belly & Gnocchi: The wild board was lovely and tender and delicious, and gnocchi had an amazing soft, pillowy texture, but if you tried the gnocchi on their own without a bit of the meat they tasted like nothing at all. It was actually a bit of an odd sensation to taste them and just get so much nothingness out of them. They were a nice little texture with the meat, though, so just don't deconstruct the dish!
        Fries: excellent steak fries style fries. Super potatoey and nicely crisped up.
        Peas with ricotta and ham and chilies: This was a tasty dish -- peas were very bright in flavor and a nice texture. I didn't notice much in the way of heat, but I didn't really feel like they needed that, either.
        Wild Mushrooms on toast: This was one of the hard-share dishes, though I did reluctantly dole a little of it out to my tablemates. Very, very mushroomy, really concentrated flavor.
        Potato skins with caviar: I'm not sure what the caviar was adding to the equation, but the potato skins were delightful. The contrast between crispy and soft was excellent and the flavor was very nice.

        I might have tried some other things that I'm not remembering right now, as well. There were several specials and I know we ordered at least one of them, but I don't recall what it was.

        Desserts are a selection of little pastries, and you can choose three or five of them. We had a meringue (fine, meringue-ey), a fig and olive cake (excellent), a lemon tart (fantastic pastry, so-so lemon curd), an almond petit four (good, but this ended up being the last bite neither of us ate), an apricot cookie (also good, but hard to share because it was so hard). I wouldn't avoid the desserts if you like desserts, but I wouldn't save room for them, either if you'd rather eat another serving of mushrooms on toast.

        The cocktail menu is pretty serious, though a number of the drinks run to the sweet side. This is fine with me, I like my cocktails a little syrupy, but it didn't work so well for one of my dining companions who ended up sending a drink back because she'd asked the waitress to recommend something that wasn't sweet and was recommended something that was quite sweet. To her credit, the waitress replaced the drink with something else absolutely without hesitation.

        Service was generally quite good, I thought. The staff is a little costumed-hipstery in their attire, but they were quite professional in their service and great with explaining the menu. They also handled a very strange request from one of the people in my group with aplomb and the barest hint of a raised eyebrow. Plus, every special was recited clearly with the price explicitly mentioned, which I deeply appreciate.

        It seems to be more of a later evening spot -- it was half empty at 7 but full with a short line at 9:30. Personally, I liked it a lot better at 7, when it was a touch quieter (fun old timey piano music audible but not annoying in the background) but I am old and curmudgeonly. If you like more of a scene with your dinner or drinks and don't mind waiting for a table, go later.

        Here's a link to their website: http://geraldinetoronto.com/

        1. I'm surprised this place isn't getting more mention on here.

          The cocktails are great. I've gone off menu, leaving the decision up the bartender, and had excellent results. All the food I've had has been tasty. The service is always very friendly and accommodating.

          5 Replies
          1. re: radiopolitic

            I was also really surprised when I came looking for a place to post and this was the only thread I found. I think a lot of hounds would find a lot to like at Geraldine.

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              I've got a reservation for this coming Saturday and I'm also surprised this place hasn't garnered any attention ... either good or bad. We're going at 8:30 so I hope the "late night" scene doesn't become an issue.

              1. re: ComerDemonio

                Can't speak to the food, but the cocktails are among the best in town (along with Bar Isabel and the Harbord Room restaurants in my estimation. Your mileage may vary).

                1. re: ComerDemonio

                  I really liked the food they had before the new year. I've been once since then and the menu has changed a bit. Still some good items but not as comprehensively good as it was before.

                  Cocktails are still amazing though.

                  I like to think of it as a drinks + snacks joint more than a dinner place.

                  1. re: radiopolitic

                    I wish I could add more, but my experience there was completely unmemorable. They did a "special" group dinner for 12 of us on a Friday night, and forgot about specific dietary restrictions, completely messing up course timing. A nice cheese plate is all that I can recommend.

            2. Great room. Love love love the cocktails. Service was friendly without being over the top. The food was ok but nothing great - we had oysters, scallops with beets, the ribeye, cauliflower, and the mignardises on offer. I think it is a nice neighborhood spot but not something to travel for.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JennaBean

                I totally agree. The room has this roaring twenties kind of look and feel which I really liked. The people serving us were great without being in your face. The drinks were a highlight although I finished the night with an Absinthe and it definitely packed a punch that I felt on the way home (walking btw). The food was just okay. The breaded haddock reminded me a little of "high end" fish sticks :) The mushroom lentil salad and the venison lion were both pretty good.

              2. I went there for the Valentine's Day prix menu 4-course.

                The service was great and my date was impressed by the creativity of the cocktails.

                The opening salad was tasty, flavourful and fresh.

                Second, the oysters were phenomenal.

                Third, the ossu bucco was tender (wasn't a fan of the turnip veggies though) .

                Fourth, desert was a chocolate tart.

                And finally, I ordered a cappuccino to finish off, and to my surprise, it was perfectly executed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 5andman

                  I wish we had that kinda of food experience but we didn't. The oysters were standard but the horseradish not fresh. The steak was served med well - they didn't ask so we assumed med rare - our mistake for not asking, their mistake for destroying a proper piece of meat and the mignardises were boring at best and a weeee bit stale IMO.

                  All of that said, I loved the room and the cocktails so much that I will be back for drinks and small nibble again.

                2. Cocktails really shine at Geraldine especially the Courtesan. What a terrific speakeasy 20s atmosphere. Try the duck balls and beefeater-size French fries.