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Advice please: which McEwan establishment?

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So we have a gift certificate for anything McEwan.
We haven't tried Fabbrica or One; we haven't been to Bymark or North 44 in years, and of course the certificate is also good for the store.

What do you recommend?
(specifics are welcome, eg dinner or brunch/weekend lunch, what to order)

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  1. I have recently enjoyed Fabbrica for a Sunday brunch. I went to One on the May long weekend and found it lacking - Kelsey's quality food and poor front of the house service.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mskatsam

      Another vote for Fabbrica. Spendy for lunch, but since you have a gift certificate who cares right + you can pop into the store if there's any $$ left over(Ha!) :)

    2. Hmmm I had to think about this one....

      Definitely avoid North 44. The meal you'd have would probably be exactly like the one you had years ago.

      Depending on the value of the certificate I'd probably say Bymark for dinner. But if it means kicking in $$ I'd stick with Fabbrica or shop at the store.

      What I mean to say, in case it hasn't come across, is that I wouldn't spend my own $$ at any of his places.

      5 Replies
      1. re: millygirl

        Why do you say that millygirl? He doesn't get much love on chowhound, and I was just wondering why.

        1. re: kwass

          Hi Kwass,

          For a number of reasons -

          We tried North 44 about 5 years ago and felt very disappointed.
          The decor was tired, the menu was boring and the food was just ok. Very pedestrian, and boring.

          Fabbrica went for lunch once and while it was okay. It wasn't anything to write home about. I've had way better at Terrone's and even our crappy little italian neighbourhood joint.

          Bymark was good if you like that kind of corporate $$$ vibe.

          Never been to One - not my kind of scene.

          McEwan the store been many times but it is hugely overpriced and I'm a Pusateri's shopper!!! So that says a lot. Let me tell you about the burrata cheese LOL. No don't get me started, suffice to say, I was paying him $20 only to find the same thing at Loblaw's or something for less than $10!!!! That still pisses me off to no end.

          And finally, I just don't care for him. There I said it.
          I find - from what I can tell, never met him - he's all about the TV personality and that is just one big turn off for me.


          1. re: millygirl

            Oh my goodness, Millygirl wrote my post :)

            1. re: millygirl

              Thanks millygirl. I only asked because I was curious. I've been to North 44, but it was years ago when it was in its heyday, and at the time, I was quite impressed. As for McEwan's, I've been there as well, and like you, I also thought it was overpriced. Because of that, I never returned. And again, like you, I much prefer Pusateri's.

              That said, I just wasn't sure why people have such strong negative feelings about him and his restaurants. I didn't realize that the food at his restaurants had deteriorated as much as it has. Thank you for clearing it up for me :)