Sunday night: 7 Numbers, Goldfish, or Patriot?
Okay, it looks like from the responses to my earlier question, my options for fine dining at lunch during the weekend are virtually nonexistent. So it looks like my only hope for a great meal (Saturday night is not an option) is to stick around for an early dinner on Sunday before driving back into the States.
Having browsed around Chowhound and other food sites for a bit, it seems like I have three reasonably well-regarded choices that are open on Sundays: 7 Numbers, Goldfish, and Patriot.
My chances of making it back to Toronto anytime soon are pretty slim. That said, which one of these places should I pick and why?
Pangaea is open for lunch on Sat. Contemporary cuisine with some eclectic touches - check out their menu.
A nice place for fine dining in a cozy atmosphere is JOV Bistro in midtown Toronto (about 15 minute drive from downtown) and they are open on Sun. for dinner. Chef Owen Steinberg does great stuff and has been invited a couple of times to the James Beard House in NY. Menu is sort of eclectic - some samples from their menu:
- Seared dry scallops with baby new potatoes hashbrowns and a fresh wasabi and oven-dried tomato butter
- House cured salmon with crispy leeks and goat cheese en croute
- Duck confit with wilted bitter greens and juniper orange jus
Opus is also open on Sun eve. and they are more classical. They have won the Wine Spectator's Grand Award of Excellence and has a fabulous wine cellar if that interests you.
I also agree that Agora is a nice brunch spot on the weekend. Chef Anne Yarymowich does magical things - some samples from the web menu:
- carrot and ginger soufflé with minted spring pea purée, sugar snap and garden peas, pea tendrils and baby carrots
- grilled rainbow trout and scrambled eggs with wild ramp aïoli, steamed asparagus, salmon roe and buttermilk buscuit
- grilled maple cured quail on a bed of wild greens with maple roasted apple and apple cider vinaigrette
Thanks to all for their recommendations! I ended up eating at JOV on Sunday evening. Since I wanted to eat at 5:30, getting a reservation was no problem. The food, while hardly mind-blowing, was all very, very good.
I had the Trust Me menu (no wine, with the 8 hour drive home ahead). Amuse bouche was an eggplant "caviar" on taro root chip. First course was arctic char tartare on a taro root "basket" with a cherry tomato salad in pomegranate glaze. Second course was a roulade of duck (with a wonderful strip of foie gras in the middle), served on toast with a pineapple chutney. Main course was a roast half-squab stuffed with wild boar bacon and chestnuts, in jus with root vegetables and potato puree. Dessert was a strawberry (so fresh, so tasty) shortcake with a mascarpone cream. Definitely a worthwhile meal.
In addition to Sunday dinner at JOV, it was a good Chowhound weekend in Toronto generally. On Saturday, I started with breakfast (donuts, coffee) at Tim Horton's after crossing into Canada. Then I had a pea meal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery in the St. Lawrence market, followed by a heavenly slice of raspberry vanilla mousse cake at Dufflet Pastries. That night, I had some great catered Pakistani food at my friend's wedding reception. And on Sunday, I had some good mussels (in garlic broth) at the Movenpick Marche in BCE Place.
I really hope to make it back to Toronto soon. The food was all quite enjoyable, and at reasonable prices to boot.
There are indeed some nice brunch/lunch options during the weekend. Sorry about the tardy post; I've been on holidays.
Lai Wah Heen has astounding dim sum - see link below. This place needs no introduction; if you love fine Chinese food, you must go.
Agora, located in the Art Gallery of Ontario, is beautiful and airy, although you may find the atrium a bit too bright on a sunny day. Their food is lovely, and not at all like the pedestrian fare you'd expect in a museum/art gallery restaurant.
The Gallery Grill, located in Hart House at the University of Toronto, is old-school and magnificent, as opposed to trendy. The high-ceiling room is neo-Gothic (or Neo-something...I don't know my architecture very well...); in other words, it looks like a university hall, but feels much warmer. It's NOT a student restaurant - not at those prices! The menu is very "current" - lots of lively flavours. NOTE: they're open for lunch only, and they're closed on Saturdays. Book early for Sunday brunch.
All three restaurants are located in the downtown area.
I'm kind of reluctant to recommend 7 Numbers, Goldfish or Patriot for an early Sunday dinner. I personally find 7 Numbers rather loud and obnoxious (although some people categorize such elements as "fun atmosphere"). I think Goldfish is still very cool...but it doesn't feel like an early Sunday dinner kinda place, especially if you have a long drive home afterwards; I like to go there a little later in the evening, have a few drinks, take my time eating... As for Patriot, I haven't heard a thing about the place since Chef David Chrystian left. Perhaps someone can provide an update?
Whatever you choose, I hope you have a great time!