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Restaurant Reviews

Estia lacks the direction needed to compete at the top level in Yorkville

Estia is a spot with Mediterranean-style fish and seafood cooked in a wood-fired oven.
July 19, 2017

Restaurant Review: Canis on Queen West fixes the prix fixe for Joanne Kates

Choice aplenty at this fastidious Queen West resto makes for fab multi-course menus.
July 04, 2017

Restaurant Review: What a marvellous mashup Doma is

Doma lives in the funky little space just up from College on Clinton, where once was Acadia and then Red Sauce.
June 13, 2017

Restaurant Review: Jen Agg’s brand new Kensington hot spot delivers on all levels

When Jen Agg — the diva of the Black Hoof and Rhum Corner — opens a new restaurant, the whole world (at least the Toronto food world) takes notice. And for good reason.
May 16, 2017

Restaurant Review: Perched above Bay Station, Brothers is home to a very clever kitchen

Every single plate of food they put in front of us is … fabulous. Glorious ingredients, sourced carefully, fresh, pure, excellent. All treated with utmost respect and grace. Worth putting up with the guy.
April 11, 2017

Restaurant Review: La Banane is Ossington’s dishy new bistro

Take a restaurant dream team, add a pinch of hipster, a soupçon of cream and a healthy dollop of impeccable seafood, season it à la française, and what have you got? The dishiest new resto to hit Toronto in a year!
March 08, 2017

Restaurant Review: Chef Steve Gonzalez is back with his gigantic new King West eatery

Cherry-picking the menu works really well. Some of the fusion items, where East meets Latin, are really fun. Chef’s suite of ceviches are superbly entertaining: we’re captivated by the variegated flavours of tiraditos, raw tuna napped in passion fruit and lulo sauce, with black and white sesame seeds, chili-studded purée of butternut squash and baby greens.
February 16, 2017

Restaurant Review: Why I ordered a $140 steak at Branca, the hottest table in town

It’s an Argentinian grill: the Argentinian tradition is to cook over a live fire of hardwood and Argentinian lump charcoal, which imparts a bit of a smoke undertone to the meat along with a charred crust that’s kissin’ cousin to crispy. Rather splendid.
December 01, 2016

Restaurant Review: Parkdale gets a not so Guu’d izakaya

Hence my excitement when Guu, the Vancouver mothership, opened a branch in Parkdale. Guu has been fooling around with the Toronto market for a few years. They first opened a fabulous Guu on Church Street and a second one on Bloor West.
November 03, 2016

Restaurant Review: A pedigreed chef dishes out dull and confusing Canadiana at Montgomery’s

I want to adore this restaurant. Guy Rawlings’ pedigree is sterling. Most recently he was operations manager at the esteemed Bar Isabel and Bar Raval, and long before that he was sous chef at Il Mulino on Eglinton, when it was great, and pastry chef at Celestin when it was great.
October 20, 2016

Restaurant Review: New lobster hot spot lbs is good enough — barely

It’s a great concept. Who doesn’t love lobster and hate paying for it? Lbs. has picked a price point of $22, for which they sell four (!!) mains only: a 1.25 lb. lobster, a warm lobster roll, a brisket burger and a lobster salad. All but the salad come with fries. Sweet and simple.
October 06, 2016

Restaurant Review: The new Chantecler shines in spots, underwhelms in others

Chantecler 2.0 has nothing to do with the Asian fusion lettucy thingies of chef Poon, but the room is unchanged — still a small and incredibly sweet bistro with thick wooden tables, some high-top, some regulation height, white tile floors a la française and a cheerful atmosphere with friendly service.
September 20, 2016

Restaurant Review: Slice of Motor City at Descendant Pizza is a lesson in deliciousness

This new (to us) form of pizza is called Detroit-style and is on offer in an unassuming 22-seat hole-in-the-wall in Leslieville.
September 13, 2016

Restaurant Review: Uptown Kwan does decent — but unexciting — dim sum

This peak eating moment has made the good stuff less exciting. And the Kwan dim sum isn’t. Exciting. All the regulars are here and done pretty nicely.
August 23, 2016

Restaurant Review: Honest Weight is a 20-seat heartthrob in the Junction

John Bil, the owner, pours shots of skull vodka for a couple of regulars and says he never wanted to open a restaurant that a lot of people made a fuss over. He only ever wanted a neighbourhood place, which is why, he says, “It’s only 20 seats.”
August 09, 2016

Restaurant Review: Superstar chef’s El Rey Mezcal Bar lacks magic touch

I’m guessing they like El Rey for its cocktail extravaganzas and Mexican munchies. After all, this is Kensington. People need munchies. Which don’t have to taste great.
July 11, 2016

Restaurant Review: Anthony Rose continues his delicious takeover of Toronto with Bar Begonia

The King of Dupont, Mr. Anthony Rose, has done it again.
June 22, 2016

Restaurant Review: Hitting all the right notes at Piano Piano

The slowing down part is why he named the new place Piano Piano (which means “go slow” in Italian). The family part is why his two-year-old daughter’s art is on the walls and the place is informal, family-friendly and inexpensive. Lotsa pizza ’n’ pasta.
June 06, 2016

Restaurant Review: Queen West’s Rickshaw Bar looks low key, but the food is dazzling

What does it mean when someone pursues a career against their parents’ expressed wishes? And sticks with it? It means you’re a person of enormous grit and passion. This is chef Noureen Feerasta and Rickshaw Bar is her dream come true. She is not about to screw this up, which is why the lovely little bistro receives 110 per cent of her passion.
April 20, 2016

Restaurant Review: Chabrol, Yorkville’s new 19-seat boîte, is as French as it gets

Doug Penfold and Niall McCotter bought the fabulous Cava from Chris McDonald and now they’ve opened a tiny French bistro, Chabrol. It is as French as it gets, the ultimate bistro.
April 04, 2016