It has been a while, too long actually since I have walked out of a restaurant thinking WOW! I MUST SHARE THIS EXPERIENCE and so it is with great pleasure that I recount my experience at the South Side (located at Spadina and Londsdale on the southeast corner formerly Dave's By Day and Buzz By Night). Where to start....
The restaurant is beautiful! The decor and ambience are truly downtown....fabulous tunes play in the background....some jazz and a blend of funky background music which does not interfere with your ability to talk and enjoy but just loud enough to be enjoyed during predicted moments of silence (which I will get to). What I also love about this place is that although the decor is very sleek and modern, the seats are very comfortable and it is a warm place with lots of bright light coming in from all of the windows.
The service is outstanding! With a distant past where I worked as a waitress and bartender, I can appreciate good service which is so rare these days...the waiters were amazing....they were informative, fun, helpful, interesting and engaging. They truly seem to enjoy what they do and are big fans of the restaurant and it's food...it's obvious!
The food - unbelievable! This chef has talent! The menu combines fabulous tastes and textures to come up with something different from what we see repeatedly all over Toronto. My fiance and I both started with the soup as it was pretty cold outside and it was truly a perfect option it seemed...a truffled pumpkin and squash bisque with chanterelle mushrooms. The soup comes topped with seared foie gras but since we are both non meat eaters, we skipped it. The soup was divine! Our friends who had it with the foie gras loved it too! The only thing to note perhaps is that we all agreed on was that there is no need for the mushrooms as they do nothing to add to the flavour or texture of the soup...they are simply unnecessary in our humble opinion. Don't get me wrong, it didn't take away from the soup, it just didn't seem necessary. One friend had the mussels....he raved about it..
Now on to the main course: Before I get into detail, I must say that in all of the years that I have been eating cooked fish, never have I had a fish dish that even came close to this dish construction. Usually, one will find a piece of fish, a vegetable and starch on the plate with perhaps some glaze or what not. It's not that I haven't enjoyed fish elsewhere, it's just that this dish was truly remarkable! I had the Arctic Char which is a 6 ounce roasted filet with creamy leeksaysanne served over mini red potatoes and finished with a generous (but not overwhelming) citrus beurre blanc. The fish was perfectly done, moist and tasty. The melange of ingredients really made for a well layered dish which complemented everything on the plate. Absolutely fabulous! Some of our friends had the steak which was served top mashed potatoes and asparagus The steak was huge and apparently very juicy and tender. The mashed potatoes by all accounts were to die for....all around a fabulous meal was enjoyed by all. All dishes were well prepared (including doneness of the meat and special requests), the service was well executed by the attentive servers and the presentations were beautiful. The dessert highlights were homemade truffles as well as the mini cheesecake and the chocolate mousse which must be tried!
The mains start at $19.00 for a vegetarian option and up to $39.00 for ostrich at the high end. I agree it's not cheap but can tell you that you definitely get your money's worth. To add to the enticement is that they offer a prix fixe for $39.00 per person Sunday to Friday.....well worth it...excellent value!
We will be back and highly recommend The South Side to those who would like to have a nice meal for two and especially those out with friends....
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