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Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review: Buca Osteria & Bar

Joanne Kates reviews the new Buca Yorkville and wonders if Rob Gentile is Toronto's Mario Batali.
December 01, 2014

At Crab Harbour, Richmond Hill’s new Japanese-style crab eatery, what you see is what you get—in all the best ways

Judging by the giant crustacean that denotes the entrance, it’s not hard to conclude what exactly is served at Crab Harbour.
November 12, 2014

Table Talk: Yunaghi might skimp socially, but the food more than makes up for it

Yunaghi serves food as jewels, tiny perfect complex dishes, but their social scene doesn't match the cooking.
November 05, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews DaiLo, College Street’s Asian fusion destination

GwaiLo to DaiLo: Nick Liu’s resto changes name and underwhelms
October 06, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Montecito, where good design doesn’t necessarily mean a great menu

Food at Ivan Reitman’s resto no laughing matter
September 29, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews The Carbon Bar, Queen East’s BBQ palace

The Carbon Bar dishes out smokin’ hot BBQ
August 06, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Playa Cabana Hacienda

The biggest chapter of Playa Cabana fails to impress.
April 14, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Bar Buca

Buca’s new Italian snack bar packs serious punch.
April 07, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews The Chase Fish & Oyster

The Chase Fish & Oyster underwhelms the palate but seduces the eye.
February 10, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Agave y Aguacate

Francisco Alejandri gets his first real restaurant.
February 03, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Bero

Leslieville’s Bero serves up food that either wows or disappoints.
January 20, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews La Cascina

Midtown’s La Cascina seduces with Italian fare.
January 13, 2014

Joanne Kates’ Souperstars: Canada’s first lady of food shares her top 10 Toronto soups

Soup has always been my favourite food. From my bubby's supernal chicken noodle soup, to the ramen and pho of today, with pit stops for bouillabaisse, black bean and miso, I always choose soup first.
January 06, 2014

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews The Chase

You have to get cold to go to the hottest new restaurant in Toronto — and that may be its undoing.
December 09, 2013

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Drake One Fifty

There are people in this world who like their food with the volume turned up. Maybe their marriage sucks. Or they’re on a really boring date. Or they’re out with an old friend out of obligation and there’s nothing left to say. Diners in any of these situations might really enjoy dinner at the Drake Hotel’s new extension of its brand (as they say on their website).
December 02, 2013

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Woods

I am gobsmacked. Utterly confused. Freaked out even. When Bruce Woods was chef at Modus Ristorante (2011–2012), he produced some of the best traditional Italian food in Toronto. There were ethereal gnocchi, deep rich sauces, great hunks of fabulous meat and wonderful pastas.
November 20, 2013

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Valdez

How is it that the hottest table in town has slightly dumb service? Is there any sense to every course being delivered by a different person (some of whom make up what’s on the plate)? Or maybe this is something we should appreciate because the chef/owner of Valdez, Steve Gonzalez, gets that the only way to ensure good cooking is to do it yourself rather than swanning around the front of the house.
October 31, 2013

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews Origin North

I am sometimes confused about how to present myself. It’s clear from the amount of Lululemon walking down the street that other women of my age and income bracket may have similar confusion. We parade around town wearing booty-hugging “yoga pants” that show off all the fat we’re avoiding by our gym habits and non-fat skinny lattes. Is this what my mother looked like at 63?
September 25, 2013

Table Talk: Joanne Kates reviews THR & Co.

Meh. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. THR & Co. is what happened when the Harbord Room was super successful: Messis next door went on the block, and chef/co-owner Cory Vitiello of the Harbord Room just couldn’t resist.
August 28, 2013

Kates: Playa Cabana Cantina is bigger, bolder and better than the original

Playa Cabana 2.0 is even more fun than its Dupont Street original. It’s bigger and bolder, a carefully curated American roadhouse with hot pink neon, highway signs and big metal sombreros doubling as lights over the bar. What a great taqueria — and they take reservations!
August 07, 2013