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June 07, 2004

Toronto Restaurant Reviews

While Toronto may not be considered by most to be a food destination, the city’s restaurant scene is one of the world's most ethnically diverse. To stay attune to Toronto’s latest restaurants, each week I will be posting links to new reviews and articles.

Globe and Mail: Azure makes clear why foodies don't eat in hotels Review of The Abbot on the Hill
Rating: 2/4

Now Toronto: Review of The Rectory
Rating: 4/5 Review of Batifole
Food: 3.5/5, Service: 4.5/5, Ambiance: 3.5/5

Toronto Star: Review of Tulip Steak House
Rating: 3/5


I know, I know it's a trendy spot.

And having been a Torontonian (for like, almost my whole life), I do understand (and share in) Toronto's love/hate realtionship with trendy spots - but the food at the Drake is most excellent.
It was the culinary highlight in an otherwise pretty bland stop home in early July.

I should confess that David Chrystian (the exec chef) is a friend of mine and that we didn't eat off the menu but rather a special degustation that he cooked up.

However there is no mistaking quality of produce (hard to come by in TO), strong technique and imagination.

Sean - Thanks for the recommendation; I'll be sure to check out the Drake sometime.

To me, Toronto seems to have an abundance of good, inexpensive restaurants (that are often ethnic), as well as a handful of excellent formal, upscale restaurants. However, the restaurants that fit in between these two categories (price-wise) are often disappointing in both food and service. It might be a case of me trying to get good gourmet food at a decent price, but I rarely get either and feel as though I should have just cooked myself.

I agree that much of the best food in Toronto falls in the "cheap and cheerful" category however I feel that there are less than a handful that perform well in either the mid-range or upscale category.

That being said there are a few gems. I believe the Drake to be one, certainly Susur is another, possibly Lai Wah Heen...

...but there are really few others that would stand up to global comparison.

Further to that, even in the ethnic food arena there is a real lack of energy and authenticity...for example there is no real thai food that I'm aware of...or real Indian, regional Indian like Hyderabadi or Goan...

Based on what I've seen I'd say that often your impulse to cook for yourself is a good one. Your cooking looks great.

Looking for a decent "fun" place to eat. Something interesting, but not as casual as Julie's Snack Bar, but not as trendy/pricey as Splendido. Any suggestions.

Last week, I ate at a new family-style restaurant called Scores at Winston Churchill and Argentia in Mississauga. I had never heard about it before, but it was amazing. The chicken and Ribs were so good, and it came with 2 types of sauce for dipping. Plus there is a large salad bar that has soup and lots of fruit, and it was FREE with the meal. Even the Kids meals, which are just $2.99 right now, come with a free salad bar. I can't beleive how much fresh, quality food we got for what we paid. The staff was new, but very very friendly. This place is so much better than Swiss Chalet.

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  • This is my blogchalk:
    Clement Lo,
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada, English, Male, 26, Cooking, Pastry, Restaurants, Skiing, Visual Design, Entrepreneur, Technology,
    Queen's University.

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