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best salads, 2014 edition

Feel free to add the best salads you've found in Toronto or anywhere in Ontario this year (preferably starting Jan 1, 2014, so this thread starts with current experiences).

I enjoyed the beet salad at Five Doors North.
I also like the kale and corn salad at Pusateri's.

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  1. I ate these in 2014 but they've been on the menu at Woodlot for a couple months - the grilled hen 'o the woods mushroom and wild rice salad, as well as the warm kale salad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: piccola

      I just tried the hen o' the woods at Woodlot and have to second this recommendation - wow! What a treat! My favourite dish of the meal.

    2. Rocco's Salad at Libretto - brussels sprouts, butternut squash, Pingue prosciutto, heirloom beets, pine nuts, ricotta salata & deep fried crispy but runny egg, all on greens. Yum.

      1. Sud Forno has added some delicious salads (non-lettuce/greens).

        1. Delicious seafood salad on the Holt's Cafe menu right now, including shrimp, calamari and lobster.

          1. Just to remind everyone the salad at hibiscus on Augusta is absurdly good, raw/vegan/gluten free if that's your bag (not mine, I iust appreciate a damn fine salad) and has like 10-12+ ingredients on any given day. Plus they changed the takeout container since I was last there in the summer and it holds up for more than 10 minutes now

            1. The Cavolo Nero salad from Gusto 101. It's kale, currants, pine nuts, and pecorino in a lemon vinaigrette!! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: kwass

                Via Cibo, an offbeat Italian-style joint - a little bit cafeteria, a little bit chic sit-down resto - in a plaza at Leslie and York Mills, also does a respectable Cavolo salad. Both as a side ($5 and, for a side dish, quite substantial) or as a main ($9). Kale, lemon ricotta, olives, fennel, cipollini mushrooms in a gutsy balsamic citrus vinaigrette. You get lots of zip and distinct taste in Via Cibo's version.

                1. re: juno

                  I'm going there on Monday for the 1st time. I'll have to try it. Thanks juno!

              2. The kale salad at Feel Good Guru, across from Trinity Bellwoods park is really good..

                1. The Quinoa Salad from Libretto. OMG is this salad good!!

                  1. At Pukka (Indian)
                    Baby Kale Salad with dates, lotus chips and spiced cashew dressing.
                    Ordered it on ALL my 3 visits (only dish on every visit).

                    1. My latest: The raw artichoke salad at Bar Buca. The kale and arugula salad at Fonda Lola.

                      1. Kale salad @ the new Riverside Country General.
                        OMG sooo good. So good in fact, I ordered an extra one to go.

                        It was very simple, but oh so good. Nice mustard vinegarette, some cheddar and I think almonds.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: millygirl

                          Good to know! Big fan of Country General Queen W.
                          In general, how do the dishes compare?

                        2. Love the grilled romaine caesar salad at Strada 241.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BIGeater100

                            I love Strada's Caesar too! I do think THR&Co's version is even more impressive.

                            1. re: happycamper

                              Hawthorne Food and Drink also does a fantastic grilled caesar salad.

                          2. Patachou, Summerhill.

                            Warm balsamic glazed chicken & papaya salad with creamy tarragon dressing. Unreal.

                            Closes forever on May 3 so go NOW!!


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: magic

                              Love that you took a pic! that looks yummy magic!!

                            2. Pusateri's Southwestern Chopped Salad ($8.99, in the ready-to-go plastic container) including romaine lettuce, chickpeas, tortilla bits, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red onions, monterey jack, corn, bacon, chipotle caesar dressing.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: prima

                                Prima, the chopped salad is the one thing I get from Pusateri's. Love that salad. Excellent dressing with just a little nip to it, and those crunchy things bring it to the next level. :)

                              2. I am gonna put the 500 with chicken at Joeys up for consideration. Amazing - barley, red quinoa, watermelon radish, almonds, currants, cherry tomatoes - num num. So good.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Apple

                                  I'm a big fan of Joeys Sashimi Tuna salad. Mix of coleslaw and arugula in a rice wine vinaigrette topped with peanuts and sliced avocado with seared tuna. We have office lunches at Joey's sometimes and I always order this salad.

                                2. La Societe makes a fabulous wedge salad. Simple enough to do at home but it just tastes better there. Excellent blue cheese dressing and they toss in slivers of crispy pancetta.

                                  Mind you, we had it at the Montreal La Societe although I think it would be hard to screw up, even for the Toronto outpost.

                                    1. re: prima

                                      I LOVE that he put it on the menu titled as such. So much shame.

                                    2. Daisho: Snap pea salad with jowl bacon.
                                      My favourite dish from my dinner there. I'm craving it and considering going back just for that!

                                      1. At Suliko, Steeles and Alness
                                        Suliko salad- tomato, cucumber, red radish, onion, scallion, chive, lots fresh dill, coriander, parsley. Light dressing. $4.55, comes with a serving spoon, good for two to four.
                                        Cobb - A grain mustard, olive oil and lemon juice dressing. I substitute dried beef for the bacon. $7.95 Generous serving ? Of course! A good meal by itself.
                                        There are other salads, some theme and variation, but I stick with these two.
                                        See prior posts.

                                        1. Not a typical salad, but I really love the NorthEastern salad served at Yummy Yummy Dumpling : julienned carrots, cucumbers, and eggs served on big flat noodles. You toss all the ingredients with the bowl of spicy sesame oil/peanut sauce.

                                          1. Surprisingly good chopped salad with chicken, corn, asparagus, avocado, chickpeas, bell peppers, sunflower seeds, feta and romaine, with a cilantro jalapeño dressing at Pure Spirits in the Distillery District. While I wouldn't make a detour to eat at any restaurant in the Distillery District, I thought this was a great main course salad for a pre-theatre meal.

                                            1. Delicious fried cauliflower salad with green onion and puffed rice at Little Sister.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: prima

                                                Wow! That sounds amazing prima! Do you know if they're open for lunch?

                                                1. re: kwass

                                                  LIttle Sister is not open for lunch. They open at 4 pm.

                                              2. Quinoa salad at Richmond Station. Beat quinoa salad I've had.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: prima

                                                  Really! What made it so good? I have a hard time with the quinoa salad trend because to me it's something I do at home and have in the fridge for several days, ie/ not something I would order for $10+ in a restaurant.

                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                    I guess the textures and the dressing? There seemed to be an interesting play of textures and flavours. I don't like the taste of quinoa on its own, so I like quinoa to be more of a vehicle for herbs, dressings or other ingredients. I was impressed that it was a salad I'd like to order again.

                                                    The menu mentions soybean hummus, radishes, sunflower seeds and red wine vinaegrette (From Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gracech... and https://www.flickr.com/photos/2924261... )



                                                2. Raw Salad at The Carbon Bar. Lots of interesting fresh vegs, some fruits, and big strips of coconut. So good my mother-in-law ordered a second serving for dessert!

                                                  1. County General Riverside has some interesting salads on their menu. Which other places would you guys recommend for salads in East York?
                                                    Thanks in advance.

                                                    1. If you find yourself looking for salad in Bloor West Village, recommend the butternut squash/quinoa/cranberry/feta salad and the arugula/fennel salad at The Sparrow.

                                                      Noticed Olivia Chow prepping for her debate last night at a corner table. Didn't notice if she ordered any salad.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: prima

                                                        Thanks, I like the sparrow. Are those cranberries craisins-type or something made fresh?

                                                        1. re: justsayn

                                                          It's some sort of pickled cranberry, using regular cranberries, not craisins. A bit like a vinegary cranberry relish or chutney.

                                                          1. re: prima

                                                            Great to hear! I want to support that place and like the sound of that salad. I can't stand craisins or the like. Thanks

                                                        2. re: prima

                                                          A bunch of us enjoyed brunch there recently. BEST bloody ceasar ever! They add pickle juice.

                                                        3. Kale salad was a winner at The Queen and Beaver.

                                                          1. Terrone's warm mushroom salad. Want. Now. Soooo good.

                                                            17 Replies
                                                            1. re: millygirl

                                                              That is my absolute favourite! It's called the Funghi Assoluti. I know the name because I've ordered it way too many times :)

                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                Yup, that's it. Thanks Kwass. That salad is killer! I always order it, and hope my hubby orders the calamari so I can have it as well. I have a serious craving for it right now. It seems easy to make but I don't think I could duplicate it at home.

                                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                                  As much as I'd love to, I don't think I could duplicate it at home either :(

                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                    Hmmm I wonder what they do that makes it taste so amazing? I seems to be really just reggiano, mushrooms, arugula, and balsamic....

                                                                    I guess it's all about the technique.

                                                                    1. re: millygirl

                                                                      I believe they add bread crumbs to the cheese and mushrooms together with olive oil. The hot pizza oven then produces the crisp texture!

                                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                                        Is that how they do it? Because that makes sense. They don't seem like they're sautéed, since they're not the least bit greasy.

                                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                                          Back in the day the resto was half the size (right side only) and I would watch them cook at the side bar. They threw the shrooms into a saucepan with olive oil and perhaps salt/pepper. They then sprinkled a generous handful of breadcrumbs followed by parmesan or the like. Popped it into the pizza oven and didn't touch it until they hit it with balsamic. Prepped the greens and voila...perfection!

                                                                          I've made it at home many times...super easy! I often add garlic or whatever to mix it up.

                                                                          1. re: justsayn

                                                                            Interesting! Thanks justsayn! I might just have to try that myself :)

                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                              Yay!!!! Thank you so much. I will try this.

                                                                            2. re: justsayn

                                                                              Thanks justsayn!!! I will give it a try. Seems easy enough.

                                                                              1. re: millygirl

                                                                                Very welcome! Let us know how it turns out.

                                                                              2. re: justsayn

                                                                                What kind of mushrooms do you use?

                                                                                1. re: smfan

                                                                                  smfan, oyster is what they use at Terrone's.

                                                                  2. re: millygirl

                                                                    This thread made me so hungry for funghi assoluti that I went to Terroni last night to have it again. Awesome, as always. And thanks for the tips on how to make it!

                                                                    1. re: millygirl

                                                                      Finally tried the Funghi Assoluti aka warm mushroom salad at Terroni. So good. Thanks for the rec, y'all ;)
                                                                      I found this copycat recipe online, quite close to what justsayn mentioned:


                                                                      The beet salad with chickpea pancake and pistachios was also a good salad I'll order again. ;)

                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                        We almost went tonight for that damn salad. Maybe I'll give this recipe a try although a big part of it, is the atmosphere for me. I particularly like the vibe at Price Street.

                                                                        Thanks Prima.

                                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                                          That's the location where I ordered it! I like the atmosphere, and the service was great, but one male customer who was standing in line had an attitude last night.

                                                                          My friend tried to approach the hostess stand, since I had let her know I was already seated at our reserved table, and a male customer in his late 30s/early 40s (who I doubt was a Chowhound), who was walk-in customer, rudely told her to get in line,repeatedly, even after she had let him know she was meeting someone who was already seated upstairs. I realize that could happen anywhere, but go figure it would happen at the Terroni in Summerhill.

                                                                    2. 7 Numbers arugula salad is really really good. Not sure why it tastes so good but it does. The ingredients are very simple but something about it....

                                                                      1. The avocado salad at Edo on Eglinton West is surprisingly good. Different from your typical Japanese restaurant salad, it comes with cukes, strawberries, broccoli, lots of avocado and Edo's distinctive creamy salad dressing (dressing also available for purchase at the restaurant and Nortown). Choice of mixed greens or iceberg.

                                                                        Reordered Little Sister's awesome cauliflower salad this evening.

                                                                        1. Nice avocado and lettuce salad with quince dressing at Patria.

                                                                          Also love Patria's roasted cauliflower with ham and ajo blanco (almond garlic sauce in this preparation, rather than a soup), served warm. More of a vegetable dish than a salad, but I figure I might as well mention it here. http://patriatoronto.com/