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Restaurants & Bars 4

Wonderful Toronto

tippboy | Jan 4, 2007 11:16 AM

Hi folks,just back after twelve fantastic nights in Toronto with my fiancee and wanted to thank all you forumites for your suggestions,you guys/gals are really blessed to live in a city with such a wide range of quality restaurants on your collective doorstep,a few quick reviews...

Best starter-The Raw seafood bar for two at Canoe was outstanding we were both in complete agreement on this one,honourable mention to the excellent Foie Gras starter i had at Pangaea.

Best Main-Really difficult to pick just one but the rib-eye i had at Harbour Sixty was the best steak i've ever had,my other half plumped for the divine calves liver special she had at Pangaea.

Best Dessert-No contest for either of us here,mine was the incredible creme brulee at Harbour Sixty,hers was the even more incredible souffle(banana and chocolate)again at Harbour Sixty.

Best Cheese Board-My other half is the cheese buff and she reckons the cheese board at canoe was as good as anything she's ever encountered in France.

Best Wine List-The most surprising,and pleasing!,part of our culinary tour of Toronto was the depth and quality of the wine lists in just about every restaurant we ate in(even 360 at the C.N Tower has a very passable wine list for a tourist trap).

Best Service-I know we were in Toronto over the holidays and everywhere we ate was really busy but i must admit the only fault i could really find with any of the restaurants was with the service,it ranged from the outstanding(Harbour Sixty,Pangaea) to the sloppy(Canoe,Trevor Kitchen and Bar,Susur,360,Canyon Creek) to the downright shocking(Azure(i know its a hotel restaurant but the "service" in a practically empty dining room was truly unbelieveable),Ruths Chris Steakhouse),we both went for Pangaea by a whisker from Harbour Sixty.

Best Overall Dish-My rib eye at Harbour sixty was my favourite,my other half went for the souffle at Harbour Sixty as her favourite dish overall.

Worst Dish-I can honestly say that we didnt have a single bad dish in our entire stay,some werent as good as others but none were "bad" per se.

Best Overall Meal(based purely on the quality of the food)-A very close run thing between Canoe,Harbour Sixty and Pangaea but we both opted for Canoe by a whisker from Harbour Sixty in my case because i was a little disappointed with the crab cake starter at Harbour Sixty,my girlfriend was a little disappointed in her Filet mignon main so Canoe just edged it with the outstanding shared raw bar starter,my excellent pork belly main,her excellent lamb main and my melt in the mouth winter pudding dessert and her cheese board.

Best overall Dining Experience(including service,wine,ambience etc..)-Harbour Sixty was very impressive,top notch food,excellent wine list,attentive service without being intrusive and a lovely room,we really enjoyed it(didnt enjoy the bill though!),Pangaea was a close second and Canoe third purely for the sloppy,verging on poor,service.

Biggest Disappointment-Susur,style over substance imho,chaotic service at times ranging from the incompetent to the intrusive(practically hovering over our table as we ate),the food was good but not particularily memorable,maybe we just caught them on a bad day.

We had lunch/brunch/quick bites in a few different places over the 12 days,The Irish Embassy was pretty good as was Beer Bistro,Baton Rouge was decent for ribs(although my other half disagrees as she is still raving about the ribs in Canyon creek!),Lai Wah Heen was good and Mustachios do a mean sandwich.

Overall we were really impressed with Toronto as a "chow" destination and we will be back to try the many wonderful restaurants we missed out on this time.

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