2016 JOANNE KATES 100 BEST RESTAURANTS

The Spend A Lot list is Joanne’s sky’s-the-limit guide to dining in the big city.

#41 The Harbord Room

The Harbord Room

The yummiest bistro in town is a gorgeous deep coral room with schoolroom lights and lazy ceiling fans, it’s only problem being that everybody else knows it too, so it’s always crowded and the servers are distracted. But the food is scrumptious. There are still great soups and burgers, wonderful octopus and their supernal brick chicken remains — fabulously tender juicy chicken pressed to intensify its flavour. Chef Cory Vitiello has recently veered towards the Middle East, deliciously. Borani is eggplant dip with crispy crunchy fried house-made pita chips. Moroccan beef cheek is stewed till fork-tender with sweet spices and a side of cauliflower roasted with golden raisins. For dessert I favour the ethereal ricotta doughnuts to dip in puckery creamy lemon curd.


  • The Harbord Room
  • 89 Harbord St., Toronto (map)
  • 416-962-8989
  • www.theharbordroom.com

  • Chef: Cory Vitiello, Robbie Hojilla
  • Sous Chef: Jamie Shipman
  • Cuisine: Canadian
  • Cost of dinner for two: $85
  • Hours: Sun. to Thurs. 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Fri. to Sat. 5:30 p.m. to midnight
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: No
  • Wines available: 50+
  • BYOB?: Yes
  • Corkage fee: $30
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: Can book entire venue, patio or both
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Street parking available
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