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Restaurant Reviews

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

Restaurant Review: Small bites, huge flavours at Markham’s Tapagria

Being of the superficial persuasion, I was quick to cast premature judgment on Markham’s new Spanish restaurant, Tapagria. Here is a place with a bad name, I thought; a place that is lamely tagging along with Toronto’s Spanish food trend. Here is a place that has put a lot of effort into appearing downtown-esque, with its wood, exposed brick and Edison bulbs; a place, I thought, that would probably be a style-over-substance affair.
March 01, 2016

Restaurant Review: Miku Toronto is great — if you like accessible, unchallenging sushi

If I were orchestrating a Big Night Out, let’s say a date with somebody I wanted to impress, and that somebody was not a sushi lover … and money wasn’t really an object, hands down I’d take them to Miku.
February 24, 2016

Restaurant Review: Hemant Bhagwani gets his groove back with Indian Street Food Co.

Hemant Bhagwani's new Indian Street Food Co. is a dream come true.
February 03, 2016

Restaurant Review: Fring’s, Susur Lee’s King West collaboration with Drake, is about as bad as you’d expect

I’m still trying to figure out why one of the best chefs in the world (yes, the world!) opens a restaurant called Fring’s in collaboration with a rapper. Susur Lee’s name is on the menu as chef and owner; his partner is Drake, and it’s tough to get a reservation at Fring’s.
January 27, 2016

Restaurant Review: The food at Parcae impresses but squirrelled-away location is hard to find

The conundrum here is that I love the food at Parcae, the service is charming, and it deserves to survive. What, says the waiter, you don’t like the risotto? I’ll take it off your bill. Okay, now we know who we’re dealing with. These people are beyond nice.
January 21, 2016

Restaurant Review: Fantastic fare at Figo (service not so much)

The newest member of the Khabouth/Harji family is Figo on Adelaide Street West. It’s unfortunate that Figo is across the street from Hooters, that brand not being so appetizing (to some of us) across a plate glass window.
January 07, 2016

Restaurant Review: Does Brad Moore still have the magic touch at Old School?

Old School, chef Moore’s new restaurant in the premises of the former Hudson Kitchen: It’s the old/new classic, the all-American diner, the 1950s soda fountain with egg creams and flapjacks, open 24/7.
December 22, 2015

Restaurant Review: Joanne returns to the Chan after almost 50 years

I am staring down at the bowl of egg drop soup. This is a big moment for me. I can tell my husband is trying hard not to laugh, but he is being very nice about it. It’s been almost 50 years since my last House of Chan egg drop soup, but I never lost the love.
December 14, 2015

Restaurant Review: Has Kasa Moto dumbed it down for Yorkville?

Kasa Moto is two floors of Yorkvillian luxe in the former Remys; should you wish to drop $200 on a Japanese dinner for two with a lot of pretty people, Kasa Moto is your spot. It’s owned by the Chase Hospitality Group, of The Chase, The Chase Fish and Oyster and the Thompson Hotel’s Colette. Fancy Shmancy.
November 19, 2015

Restaurant Review: Canoe, at 20, is a magical mystery tour of Canadiana

Oliver & Bonacini has morphed the menu at Canoe into a magical mystery tour of modern Canadiana, from mountain cranberries to balsam fir crème fraîche, and the kitchen has stepped up and raised the bar.
November 05, 2015

Restaurant Review: Anthony Rose reinvents the Swan, a Queen Street legend

Swan is the iconic crappy diner that I used to avoid on Queen West. Mr. Rose did not choose to renovate the place, so you’re still sitting at tangerine Formica tables in old booths. Nice that the tables match the counter stools. Lots of old dark wood. Très retro. Diners like these are a dime a dozen.
October 19, 2015

Roncesvalles BBQ joint Barque owners open a new spinoff bar

The boys from Barque have opened a spinoff called Barque Butcher Bar, a few doors down from Barque on Roncy. Prepared food shop by day, hipster bar ’n’ snacky resto by night, BBB is as delectable as Barque although far less accessible.
October 14, 2015

Restaurant Review: Can Sorrel fill the shoes of Pastis as Rosedale’s favourite bistro?

I haven’t been able to darken Sorrel’s doorway till now. Since the Gallic sprite Georges Gurnon sold Pastis and retired to Florida, I was too sad to try its replacement.
September 21, 2015

Restaurant Review: The upscale Greek at Mamakas wows the palate off our critic

Mamakas is a bit atypical for the Ossington strip. The food is modernized trad Greek, and it’s very fine, more Byblos than Danforth.
August 31, 2015

Restaurant Review: Hanmoto has great bar food if you can handle the wait

Joanne Kates loves the bar food at Hanmoto but says you need a plan to avoid waiting.
August 11, 2015

Restaurant Review: Boralia dishes out delicious O Canada cuisine

Joanne Kates reviews Boralia, the new restaurant that’s a nonstop ode to Canadiana
July 14, 2015