Toronto restaurant review

Yonge Street Grill at the Courtyard Marriott
475 Yonge Street,
Toronto, ON.
Ph: (416) 924-0611

Yonge Street Grille on Urbanspoon

After an intensive three days of farewell get-togethers and long walks in warm humid weather, I was ready for an early  quiet and solitary supper during which I could enjoy reading the novel I had just begun on my Kindle.

So I took the elevator down from my room and moseyed on down to the hotel restaurant, The Young Street Grill. I was seated at a window table where I could observe the passing parade on Yonge Street.

Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill
33 Yonge Street & Front Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (647) 260-2070 or Reserve Online

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill  on Urbanspoon

It is ages since I enjoyed an incredible dinner at Canoe Restaurant and had wanted to try other restaurants in this group. On this visit I planned to meet a friend to discuss next year's upcoming high school reunion back in Cape Town and a quiet relaxed lunch at this downtown restaurant seemed just the place.

Pour Girl,
191 College Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 916-6448

Three of us were meeting for a farewell brunch near the university. We dropped in at Pour Girl on College Street. A sister cafe to Pour Boy, it has an eclectic and really inexpensive menu, and the food is very good.

Having missed breakfast I opted for an omelette. The platter was quite substantial with generous helpings of salad, fries, toast and a hot and tasty ham and cheese omelette. All this for 5.75 - excellent value.

One guest ordered the penne with vegetables and shrimp served in a white wine and cream sauce.

The third choice was the BLT sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise served with sweet potato fries and salad.

Hair of the Dog
425 Church Street,
Toronto, ON.
Ph: (416) 964-2708

Hair of the Dog on Urbanspoon

It was girls' night out and another farewell event. So four of us crowded around a table at the lively Hair of the Dog for imbibing,  ingesting and intellectual conversation. Well sort of intellectual. The conversation ranged from belly-dancing to feminist film theory with stops on many other topics in beween!

Loire Restaurant
19 Harbord Street,
Toronto. Ontario
Ph: (416) 830-8330  or Reserve Online

Loire on Urbanspoon

Three of us met for a celebratory and farewell dinner at Loire Restaurant. We were seated on the outdoor patio where a light breeze kept us comfortably cool despite the 20° temperature.

After some discussion we decided on a bottle of the 2010 Chinon Rosé from Domaine Bernard Baudry in the Chinon region of the Loire Valley. Derived from Cabernet Franc it was a light refreshing sipping wine and a good accompaniment to the variety of dishes we chose.

We all chose different starters. My pick was the Lobster Bisque. The  other two guests chose an Arugula and Endive Salad served with feta and an Ice Wine dressing;  and the Maple Cider Glazed Pork Belly on flat bread.

The Pork Belly was served on a crispy flat bread with caramelized apple, sweet onion puree and shaved parmesan.  We each had a taste and it was deliciously rich and flavourful. 

I liked the lobster flavour which came through strongly but to me a bisque should be richer and creamier than this soup was. The arugula and fennel salad was substantial and tasty.

The Foie BoneSmith,
553 Church Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 926-2501

Smith on Urbanspoon

Pot pieAfter a really busy day with lots of walking around downtown Toronto, four of us met for dinner at Smith on Church Street. It is the sister restaurant to Wish that we had visited earlier.

With our meal, the four of us shared a bottle of the 2010 Geretto Delle Venizie Pinot Grigio.

steak fritesI was intrigued by the Foie Bone item on the appetizer menu. It turned out to be a blend of the bone marrow with foie gras, replaced in the bone cavity and roasted. It was rich and delicious but really just enough to get an idea of the flavours.

chorizo, cheese and caramelized onion omeletteWish
3 Charles Street, Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 935-0240

Wish on Urbanspoon

the club sandwichOn our second day of rambling through Toronto downtown neighborhoods we headed north towards Yorkville. Again on a recommendation of a friend, we dropped in to Wish on Charles Street, to see if we could get lunch.

Although all the outdoor patio tables were taken we were comfortably seated at an indoor table right at the open door and joined the fresh air. All three of us wanted a light lunch but or definitions of light lunch differed somewhat.

lox, cream cheese and bagel platterCaplansky's Delicatessen,
356 College Street,
Toronto, ON
Ph: (416) 500-3852

Caplansky's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

On a short visit to Toronto, we had three days to explore three downtown neighborhoods.  Our first choice was to walk down College Street and then walk around Kensington Market and Chinatown. Knowing that for me a rare treat is lox and a bagel, while my friend loves the Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich, Caplansky's Delicatessen was recommended to us.

steak with pont neuf potatoesLucien
36 Wellington Street,
Toronto, ON.
Ph: (416) 504-9990.

albacore tuna crudoIt was a balmy evening in Toronto and we took a leisurely stroll down Yonge Street to Lucien. We were a little early for our reservation but I had just arrived in Toronto after an early morning flight from Vancouver, and was really hungry.

I was happy that we were seated immediately, and ready for my first glass of wine in a couple of weeks. While we were perusing the menu I sipped a glass of Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

the wurst sampler platterBier Market
600 King Street West
Toronto, ON:
Ph: (416) 862-1175

Bier Markt - King West on Urbanspoon

With a two hour break in between Summerworks shows we set off down King Street in search of yet another location where we could cool off and enjoy a light meal.

The patio at Bier Market had a couple of tables free that were shaded by large umbrellas, so we opted to sit outside and hope for a bit of a breeze. We placed our orders. I decided on a cheese plate and Michael picked the wurst sampler.

I had not realized that unlike in Vancouver, where restaurant  patios are non-smoking areas, in Toronto smoking is allowed on restaurant patios. After about ten minutes of trying to ignore the cigarette smoke I was feeling really uncomfortable, and so we asked if we could move to a table inside. 

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