Restaurants & Bars

Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Boiler House (Long)

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Restaurants & Bars 2

The Boiler House (Long)

Richard | Jul 25, 2003 10:00 AM

Four of us had dinner Thursday night at this new (only open one week) restaurant in the distillery district. Generally positive experience with a few warnings.

The room uses the oild Boiler House's natural ceiling so it's very high and echoes a lot. The dining area is chic minimalist in decor, but not uncomfortable, and there is a verrrrrrryyyy long bar.

The problem is that the place wants to be both a restaurant and a "happening" destination, so there is live music and/or a DJ in action at all times. Even at what was supposed to be the quietest table, it made conversation a bit difficult. If you were in party mode with a big group, it would be fine.

Hostess greeting very friendly, waiter eager to please. Got one meat order wrong (medium, instead of medium-rare), but other than that, things moved smoothly.

The menu is Cajun-influenced, but not rigidly so.

Decent bread and olive tapenade placed on the table as soon as you sit down.

8 starters, ranging from $6.95 for clam chowder to $12.95 for 6 Oysters Rockefeller.

Three of the party had the crab cake ($10.95 for one medium cake) and said it was okay, if a bit dry. I had the Oysters Rock, which were fine, except for lacking much evidence of the pernod promised in the sauce.

9 mains, from a $15.95 jambalaya to a $26.95 veal chop. My wife had the Blackened steak with frites. Nice meat, cooked as ordered, pedestrian frites. One friend had the jambalaya, and pronounced it "better than good, but not excellent". Another friend's veal chop was done more than she had requested, but had decent flavor . I hit the jackpot with the full rack of beef ribs: crusty, flavorful, meaty. The sauce a bit sweeter than I like, but still Ok. Nice rice and peas as accompaniment.

Desserts (White chocolate bread pudding and lemon tart) were okay, but tended to the dryness that haunted many side dishes:
crab cake, bread pudding w. veal chop, etc.

Think the place has potential. Some kinks need working out, and the noise factor could put you off, but it's worth paying a visit to the Distillery District.

You can enter from either the bottom of Cherry or Parliament Streets, and then try to park roughly in the middle. There's usually a large crowd outside at the Mill Brewery beer hall.Use that to guide you.

Three restuarants are now open: Pure Spirits Oyster House (which a chowhound reviewed below), a lower-price Italian place (1832) and the Boiler House. There also seems to be an outdoor barbeque in evidence at the Beer hall.

I'm posting a link below to the Distillery District website, which has info on a lot of the places.

Cheers!

Link: http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com

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