I recently moved to the area and have been making my way through the local restos...from from Jilly’s onward :)
Here are some impressions so far…
Prohibition/Booze: I have eaten here a few times…the $15 hamburger is good but I was a little disappointed that it was smaller the third time that I had it (though the price was the same). The philly steak was also good but the wings were just about the worst that I have ever had. Ok, they are new and still experimenting but those should not have gone out. The best dessert is the flourless chocolate cake (supplied by It’s the Icing on the Cake).
Coyote Willie: Awesome Mexican food at a cheap price…I had chicken enchiladas, an incredibly good pecan pie and a drink for $14. Clearly you do not go here for the atmosphere though.
Burger Shoppe: Ok I guess but really for those who have a taste for the “conventional”.
Dangerous Dan’s: You either love the ambiance or hate it (I am in the former camp) but there is no denying the burgers (especially the Greek burger) are good…and HUGE! I haven’t been brave enough to try the 24oz burger with three layers of cheese and bacon, served with poutine. The wings weren’t that great though.
The Real Jerk: Good food (big portions) and friendly service but I am not so crazy about the atmosphere. My favourite dish was the Jerk Pork…I was also pleasantly surprised at the heat level of their Real Jerk sauce (I estimate 150,000 SHU)…also good grapenut and coconut ice cream (from Greg’s on Bloor?)….avoid that flan thing!
The Citizen: I went there on opening weekend..I don’t remember what I had but I left satisfied…I had a good chat with the owner (they also own a resto on Queen West)…seems like they know what they are doing.
Jimmy’s Place: Granted, this is not exactly the same crowd as the newer more upscale restos but it was pretty good…and CHEAP! Tuesdays and Thursdays are ½ price wing nites and I had wings, a huge bowl of fries, a can of pop, and extra sauces for $10 TAX INCLUDED! The wings were better than the more expensive restos reviewed above.
Kubo Radio: I love the feel of the patio (pink/purple chairs) but the service was horrendously slow and the duck/beef burger was average at best. I’d still repeat but only in patio weather.
Lil Baci: A new resto owned by its neighbour Kubo Radio….possibly the thinnest pizza I have ever seen..in fact, it was so thin and slippery that I had a hell of a time cutting it (had to revert to eating with my hands)…I don’t anticipate a repeat.
Bonjour Brioche: The “Centro” of breakfast places…it seems that you go here to see and be seen rather than for the food…not that the food is bad (it isn’t) but it is a notch below Le Petit Dejeuner. I have the same thing every time (smoked salmon omelette with caviar over rosti)…at least it is consistent.
Toast: Solid breakfast food…just as good and pricey as Bonjour Brioche but with a more laid back atmosphere.
Joy Bistro: Ok now THAT was not worth $55…enough said.
Stratengers: Isn’t this billed as a “top” pizza place? It was good…but top? Wasn’t “special” enough to merit a repeat.
Leslie Jones: I went here despite some bad reviews on Chow Hound…I don’t know why it got bad reviews as I had a good experience. I had the tomato/leek soup with feta cheese, braised beef with green peppercorn sauce, and homemade chocolate torte…all courses were good, as was the service. Not crazy about the “cash only” policy though.
Edward Levesque’s Kitchen: WOW, everything here was bursting with flavour….no subtlety about this place (those who do not like strong flavours stay away). I had the onion puree soup, linguine with buffalo mozzeralla, roast tomato, and awesome garlic chips and the avocado/pistachio ice cream for dessert. Service was incredibly good…I could do without the jazz music.
Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant: Good food but really small portions. I could have easily had my entire dinner all over again…and still have room left. I had the gnocchi appetizer, the pulled pork wrapped in ribeye and covered in goat cheese as the main dish, and chocolate torte for dessert. This would probably be my first choice to bring a friend in from out of town.
Batifole: A new personal favourite! I loved it! Really reminded me of being back home in Montreal…I had the escargot, horse meat tartare and crepes in Jack Daniels sauce (with fresh pecans)…I will DEFINITELY repeat