Eating and Drinking 2012

The Dish

Restaurants

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Toronto’s best five restaurants to go for a business lunch

The top five spots to break bread, dent the expense account and sign a deal while you’re at it

Best for a Business Lunch
No. 1
A $1 million facelift loosened the tie of Oliver and Bonacini’s flagship Canoe, while the breathtaking view from the 54th floor never fails to awe. It tops our chart for the expertly executed haute Canadiana and service that’s as polished as the silver. 66 Wellington St. W., 416-364-0054.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Toronto’s five best brunch dishes

Best Brunch
No. 1
Such is chef David Neinstein’s dedication to barbecue that even the fluffy pancakes at Barque come with meat—in this case, rich and intensely smoky pulled duck leg. The inspiring accompaniments are a tart wild blueberry compote and creamy chèvre. 299 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700.

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The Dish

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Toronto’s five best house-made breads

Best house-made breads
No. 1
An obscene amount of butter goes into Lucien’s brioche—it’s like a Parker House roll from heaven. Also great: the restaurant’s crisp-on-the-outside, pillowy-on-the-inside pretzel bread, made by cold fermenting and a pre-baking lye bath. 36 Wellington St. E., 416-504-9990.

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The Dish

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Toronto’s five best restaurants to bring the kids along and eat well too

No frozen chicken fingers. Just five restaurants that satisfy young palates and keep the grown-ups happy

Best For Kids
No. 1
Reasons to love Ceili Cottage: its drippingly juicy pork bangers in caramelized onion gravy with creamy mash; an eye-closingly cheddary mac-and-cheese; and its decadent sticky toffee pudding. 1301 Queen St. E., 416-406-1301.

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The Dish

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Toronto’s five best house-made pickles

Lovingly brined, jarred and served by the city’s star chefs, these pickles are the best of the puckery pack

Best House-made Pickles
No. 1
The Drake chef Anthony Rose ferments bushels of cherry bomb peppers, the little Jewish deli–style fireballs, and sends them out with a variety of dishes. 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042.

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The Dish

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The $145 Grand Plateau at La Société is the city’s most outrageous seafood feast

Tower of power

Where to find it: The new sceney bistro La Société, 131 Bloor St. W., 416-551-9929.

What: The platter features catches by Toronto-based Allseas Fisheries. The raw, filleted salmon is organic, from Ireland. The sashimi is the highest grade yellow-tail tuna from Japan. The oyster selection changes every few weeks and includes Wellfleet from Long Island, Malpeques from P.E.I. or Kusshi from the West Coast. The wild Mexican shrimp is chemical-free. And the seafood salad (on the top) combines calamari, shrimp, scallops, mussels and brined salmon.

Pièce de résistance: A whole P.E.I. lobster (on the second tier).

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The Dish

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Toronto’s five best steak frites

The city’s most impressive meat-and-potatoes pairings in order of awesomeness

Best Steak Frites
No. 1
A good hand with seasoning (rosemary, thyme and a few drops of olive oil and balsamic) brings out the complex flavours of Nota Bene’s grass-fed strip loin, which has flesh so tender it could be cut with a butter knife; frites are crunchy and lustily salted. 180 Queen St. W., 416-977-6400.

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The Dish

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Burger of the Year: how The Burger’s Priest makes its delicious, gut-busting Vatican City

Burger of the Year

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Toronto’s five best restaurants for smoky, tender, chin-dribbling barbecue

Barque’s baby backs. (Image: John Cullen)
No. 1
Tom Davis of The Stockyards loads up his smoker with pork butts, beef brisket, bacon, whole chickens and salty-sweet pork ribs. It all emerges perfectly tender—heavenly with his vinegary sauce. 699 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-9666.

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