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Oct 7, 2013 11:09 AM

Simone's Caribbean Restaurant, 596 Danforth Ave

In the space which has previously been Mon-Kut Thai, Aravind, and Namaste Nepal we now have a Caribbean restaurant. My wife and I tried it out on Sunday as we wanted to go to the Grand Opening of the Real Jerk but it was looking too busy, so we walked over to Simone's instead. It happened to be their first day opening and they were mainly serving family and friends plus a few people like us who happened to stop by. The official opening is in about 2 weeks. Many of the fish Items on the menu were not available yet so we ordered the Pumpkin Chicken soup, chicken roti, and a braised Oxtail dish. Everything was quite tasty and reasonably priced. If you like Caribbean food, it's worth a visit.

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  1. Thanks for the report. Did they mention if this is the opening menu or they plan on expanding it? I am just waiting for ONE Caribbean place in Toronto to step outside the box and expand the menu past the usual.

    I will say this, the soups do have some potential. A good Mannish water and Fish Tea Soup is hard to find in TO. Would love for someone to report back about either.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Matt H

      I have a feeling that this may be the final menu, but I didn't ask. She has not owned a restaurant before but has worked in a few Caribbean places. Only one soup is available each day, not all that are listed. What sort of items were you hoping to see on the menu? I can ask about those when I go in there next. Or you can call, all the contact info is here:

      1. re: foodyDudey

        Whether as a daily special or regular item, the soups sound promising. They are probably worth a visit based on that alone.

        When it comes to specific menu items it would be nice to just see something outside the regular (Curry chicken, Stew chicken, Jerk chicken, Oxtail, etc...) A place that adds some Cow Foot, Tripe and Beans, Rundown, Escoveitch Fish just to name a few examples would do very well in TO I think. Especially if they can get them right.

        1. re: Matt H

          My guess is that the first two items you mentioned won't be big sellers on Danforth Ave. I had Escovitch Fish at the Real Jerk on Friday night but it was extremely mild, I couldn't taste any spices or vinegar at all! Simone's has fried fish on the menu, and I would guess it is Escovitch style. I am wanting to try the Mannish water soup.

    2. Walked by and noticed this, thanks for the post and update! Very exciting!!

      1. Thanks for posting this. Look fwd to trying it out.

        1. Hopefully they can keep up with the more interesting menu items - and desserts!

          1. Walked by yesterday (Tuesday) around 5pm. Walked in to an empty restaurant to snag a takeout menu, which were stacked on the bar near the entrance. Friendly guy in chef's whites came out from the kitchen in the back to ask if I needed any help. I told him I was grabbing a takeout menu and asked whether they were officially open yet. He confirmed that they were open.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Deep Puddle

              Here's another vote for Simone's Caribbean resto. I don't get to the Danforth much (parking's too tough), or to Caribbean restos, but a friend lured me there the other night - and to me it's a little gem. I suppose it has a standard-issue Caribbean menu - jerk chicken, curry goat, assorted rotis, that sort of stuff - but the execution seems above and beyond the call of duty. Mighty tasty, especially the pumpkin chicken soup-of-the-day, one of seven soups rotated during the week. It was just about the most flavourful restaurant soup I've had in months, right up there with Mogette's (on Mt. Pleasant Rd.) $12 onion soup. Simone's soups, however, come in at $3.50, or $5 for a large bowl, with enough in it to make a light meal. Most everything else is also modestly priced, with many dishes available in two sizes. Also enjoyed: braised oxtail, rice and peas, goat roti and - for a shared dessert - black cake ($5.50), which I take to be the Caribbean version of old-fashioned Christmas cake. Dee-lish. A small beer and wine list, though I went for a Ting, the Caribbean grapefruit soda. Two could eat quite well for about $30-$35 or so, all in. Friendly service as well.

              Alas, we were the only sit-down customers in the joint that night. It has been open just over three months, but I guess the place has yet to catch on with anyone looking for a good feed at dinner at a low-end price.. For sure, if I lived in the neighbourhood, I'd be in there every so often, if only for that richly pungent pumpkin chicken soup. Assuming it sustains its quality, it'd be a crime if Simone's met the same fate as previous occupants at this hard-luck location.

              1. re: juno

                Thanks for this review juno, as just yesterday I had thought it's time to mention Simone's again. Now I don't have to as I could not have said it better. You should try the codfish fritters next time. We usually order take-out and don't even need to spend $30 to have enough for dinner with some left over. I hate to see places like this with really decent food looking so empty each time I go in. Hopefully it's because others are also ordering take-out like we do.

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  Maybe encourage Simone's so start a twitter account next time you're there, so Chowhounds and other Danforth businesses who like Simone's food can retweet to spread the word, foodyDudey? I know there's a Danforth BIA that retweets some Danforth businesses' tweets.

                  1. re: prima

                    I haven't had a chance to talk to Simone recently as I've been busy. Last night, Mrs fD picked up some food I ordered. Some items were even better than last time we ordered! We had a friend over last night and he also enjoyed the food.

                    I ordered:
                    - codfish fritters
                    - pumpkin and chicken soup
                    - shrimp roti
                    - chicken roti

                    All the above were very tasty and the shrimp roti was perfectly spiced cooked properly. It was even better than the shrimp roti I ordered when they first opened. Whoever cooked the shrimp should teach the person who cooked my halibut at "Days on Front" in Kingston a lesson of how to properly cook seafood, as my halibut was extremely overcooked when I dined there on Monday evening.

                    I'd say Say Simone's has better food and value then any other restaurant that has opened in the area in the past 6 months. If you like Caribbean food, give it a try before it's gone. It was empty again last night at 7:45 pm.