Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cinq o1

Toufik Sarwa, the man behind Yorkville hotspot Amber, is also owner of the new resto-bar Cinq o1 (located at College and Bathurst). Opening Cinq may have been met with a few challenges after Toufik stated 'it's my 2nd restaurant and my last. It took me 10 years to open another one.' But the hard work is sure paying off with a bustling bar and a fun menu of mostly comfort food.

Below are some snapshots of dinner. To start we ordered the split pea soup, the chickpea fries, truffle mushroom pizza, the shrimps and the mac & cheese with duck ham and black truffles (which can be found under the sides).

Mains - the grilled Moroccan lamb chops, steak frites and the braised bison short ribs. At first I wasn't sure if the sauce on the short ribs were too sweet and then seconds later too spicy, but it seemed to grow on me. Also I didn't think gnocchi really went with short ribs but everyone else at the table liked it. For dessert - a trio of three small tarts - chocolate caramel, white chocolate banana cream and lemon. If you want a quiet dinner go early. If you want to be part of 'the scene,' eat later. http://www.cinq-o1.com/

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah

Here are some photos from our Hanukkah party two weeks ago. We were also celebrating a few birthdays that night as well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cha Liu Dim Sum Shop

It's Christmas Eve, so our family did what the Jews do, and went to see a movie and got Chinese food. Avatar was pretty amazing despite the 3D glasses which I couldn't really seem to get adjusted to, resting on top of my regular frames. Also amazing our favourite Dim Sum restaurant in Toronto (yonge and eglinton) Cha Liu
http://www.chaliu.com/

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Buca

I was so excited after eating at new Toronto hotspot Buca I needed to put a post up right away.

Down an alley off of King Street West, near Portland, Buca is just plain cool. The space, the light fixtures, the exposed brick - it really didn't feel like Toronto - more New York or London.

Everything on the date stamped menu sounded delicious. It was divided into different sections - meats, cheeses, salads, pizzas, pastas, appetizers, fried food, ect... To start we got a bunch of things - the Arancini Con Manzo (crisp risotto balls stuffed with beef short rib with preserved tomato and grana cheese. Amazing!), Nodini (warm bread knots with olive oil, rosemary, garlic and sea salt. Amazing!), Caponata D'autunno (sweet and sour caramelized vegetables with herbs), Arrosticini (grilled lamb skewers with lemon, olive oil and cracked pepper) and the Prosciutto E Mozzarella pizza (fun because it comes with scissors so everyone at the table can share easily).

Next up the mains - delicious pasta and polenta. Tagliatelle with duck ragu, mascarpone and basil, the gnocchi with gorgonzola, grilled radicchio and walnuts, the polenta with braised lamb's neck, sausage, and beef short rib and finally the quails, rubbed in wild fennel and citrus. The one thing that was not so appealing to me on the menu was the fried lamb brian. No thanks!

Dessert was a rich and yummy tiramisu, chocolate cannoli and quince sorbet.
Good service, good food, Buca definitely lives up to the title it's been getting - best new restaurant in Toronto.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Terroni

Terroni has 3 locations in Toronto and the food is reliable and reasonable. There's plenty to choose from on the menu which includes tons of different pizzas and pastas. The only down side, the restaurant is very strict on substitutions. I get that they are always busy and trying to turnover as quickly as they can but for me, "the customer is always right."

I usually start with the Funghi Assoluti (baked oyster mushrooms with parm, bread crumbs, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on Arugola). My favourite pasta dish is the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese but I've also enjoyed the Orecchiette al Ragu (Ontario lamb slow cooked in tomato sauce with pecorino). For dessert I always order the chocolate molten cake - warm gooey chocolate on the inside, the best!
http://www.terroni.ca/