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Apr 1, 2014 03:17 PM

Toronto Trip Report

We had a great short visit to Toronto despite your cold late March weather with snow flurries. Managed to do a tour of UToronto, visited Eaton Centre, the Royal Ontario Museum's fabulous Forbidden City exhibit and Kensington Market.

We arrived from NYC around noon and it was near 2:00pm once we checked into our hotel. Having only coffee so far we were all ready for a late lunch. Our newly vegetarian son was hankering for spaghetti, so we walked over to Dimmi. They served him fettuccine with tomato sauce, we ordered a sausage pizza. His pasta was excellent, cooked al dente with a fresh tasting sauce and a generous helping of parmesan cheese, he devoured it wiping the bowl clean with his bread. The pizza was tasty, not as good as the Neapolitan pie we had in New York, but fine for a quick lunch.

Dinner our first night was at the Duke of York pub. Our son had a salad and order of poutine, my wife wasn't too hungry so ordered soup and salad. I had the Bombay chicken curry with basamati rice and naan bread. Everything was well made, especially the curry plate which I really enjoyed. We washed our meal down with Steam Whistle beer, this being my son's first legal brew, that was fun. Dessert was the sticky toffee to share, I should have ordered two the way it disappeared so quickly.

Lunch the next day after our UToronto campus tour was dim sum at Crown Princess. I thought this would be a regular Chinese restaurant, but wasn't expecting such an opulent place, even the toilets were over the top nice.

We ordered deep fried tofu, taro mushroom dumplings and e-mein with mushrooms and broccoli for our son. He enjoyed the food here, especially the e-mein noodles with thick slices of delectable mushrooms. When the dish arrived I thought there was no way we would finish the noodles, but he ate most of it with our help.

We had the baked bbq pork dumplings, flaky and filled with delicious sweet pork. The har gow and scallop dumplings were excellent, as was the steamed chicken rice wrapped in lotus leaves. CP is a bit fancy for us, but it was a nice contrast to Dynasty where we ate on our last trip. Maybe we'll try Rol San in Chinatown next time around to see what that's like.

Dinner that evening was Jacques Bistro du Parc, a real gem of a place in Yorkville. I knew we would have a good meal here as soon as we walked in the door. There was a warm garlicy aroma of well cooked food when we entered, reminding me of small neighborhood bistros in Paris.

Our son had the onion soup and Nicoise (vegetarian) omelet, my wife had the salade Nicoise with fresh salmon and I had the pork tenderloin in mustard sauce. The salade Nicoise was excellent, beautifully prepared with each component of the salad perfectly cooked and presented. My tenderloin was moist and tender with a delicious sauce. Our son ended the meal with a Remy Martin and coffee, sophisticated 19 year old college student that he is.

Breakfast the next morning was at Over Easy, a return visit for us, being just doors away from our hotel. Challah french toast, banana pancakes and sausage with eggs were a great start to our day. I really like the pot of coffee they bring to the table, keeping it nice and hot.

Our final dinner was at Chiado which we really enjoyed on our last visit. They did not disappoint on our return. We started with fresh, crisp salads, son had an excellent vegetable risotto, my wife and I had the grilled sea bass with asparagus and roasted potato. Everything here was fresh and well prepared, service was excellent, a bit pricey but delicious food.

Coffee in Toronto was mostly at Second Cup, a very decent chain, although we really enjoyed Jimmy's Coffee at Kensington. Their coffee was smooth and rich.

There are some great looking places to eat in that area we would love to try next time, Seven Lives for tacos, a popular, great looking jerk chicken vendor next door (anyone know the name?). Also King Noodle in Chinatown with some delicious looking roasted meats hanging in the window. I'd love to try their roast duck wun tun min or roast pork with choy sum over rice next time.

Thanks to everyone for their input and suggestion. We ate well and enjoyed your city!

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  1. Thanks, we always appreciate trip reports

    Interesting to see Jacques Bistro du Parc, it's absolutely not on the radar here on chowhound but it has been the #1 restaurant in the city on Tripadvisor in the recent past (now #11 or 12 I think)

    1. Great to read about your trip! So glad you enjoyed, despite the crummy winter weather.

      Jacques Bistro du Parc is also a favourite of mine. Off the radar, yes, but excellent.

      1. The jerk place a few doors down from Seven Lives is Rasta Pasta. If you come when it's not wintery, they usually setup a charcoal bbq to finish off the jerk meat to order. This, along with Seven Lives are a few of the great eats within Kensington Market. Other nearby places you definitely need to check out next time is Sanagan's Meat Locker, Millie's Creperie, Fika, Segovia's ....

        1 Reply
        1. re: num nums

          Thanks nn. Actually the grill was going, which is why I noticed how good the chicken looked and smelled. There were several people lined up getting their food. I then walked into a shop across the street and two guys behind the register were enjoying their lunch, it was the jerk chicken from Rasta's.

        2. Interesting you chose a Chiado for a second time, even though, as you say, it's quite pricey, so you must like Portuguese food. You say you arrived from NYC, so assuming you're from there, have you tried Aldea in Manhattan, also a Portuguese restaurant? If so, how does it compare to you? I found I Chiado to be a notch below Aldea even though their prices are a notch above (exchange rate notwithstanding).

          1 Reply
          1. re: syoung

            New York was the first stop of our trip, Toronto the second. Aldea sounds interesting, the food looks rustic and hearty, will keep it in mind for our next visit to NYC. Thanks.