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Restaurant Reviews

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

Restaurant Review: Bar Raval aims to seduce us with its ode to Barcelona

Grant van Gameren’s new tapas bar, Bar Raval, is being lauded as Barcelona’s gift to Toronto. And it is. But life is complicated and Toronto isn’t Barcelona.
June 17, 2015

Restaurant Review: Don’t believe the hype for R&D, it’s not at all masterful

Alvin Leung and Eric Chong’s R&D on Spadina is all hype and no substance. Alvin Leung’s Bo Innovation in Hong Kong has three Michelin stars and Eric Chong was the winner of MasterChef Canada.
June 08, 2015

Restaurant Review: Refined simplicity at Dandylion

Jay Carter's own vision and passion finally come home to roost at Dandylion on Queen West.
April 24, 2015

Restaurant Review: Chinese-Caribbean mashups at Patois

Patois’s Chinese-Caribbean mashups sure to please
April 13, 2015

Restaurant Review: Kwan, uptown’s nouveau Chinese eatery

Joanne Kates has a love–hate relationship with Kwan, midtown’s nouveau Chinese eatery
March 09, 2015

Restaurant Review: NAO Steakhouse, Khabouth and Harji’s glamorous new steak house

Executive chef Stuart Cameron and Charles Khabouth have joined with Hanif Harji to open Nao Steakhouse at 90 Avenue Rd. where Boba was.
March 02, 2015

Restaurant Review: Parkdale’s Porzia turns out so-hip-it-hurts Italian food

Joanne Kates writes that Parkdale’s Porzia is hip and cool, but the comfortable Italian food delivered by chef Basilio Pesce’s kitchen is sometimes good, but often plain and unexciting.
February 17, 2015

Restaurant Review: King West's Los Colibris impresses

Joanne Kates is impressed with the food Elia Herrera is cooking at Los Colibris on King West. It's definitely an elevated take on Mexican food — no tacos here.
February 11, 2015