Saturday, December 28, 2013

Eat This: United Bakers' Split Pea Soup

Family owned since 1912, United Bakers Dairy Restaurant is a Jewish landmark in Toronto. Known for their cheese blintzes, potato latkes and other Jewish specialities, four generations of one family are often seen together around their tables.  Another staple at United Bakers (or UB as it is affectionately called) is their thick and flavourful split pea soup with carrots, spaghetti and dill.  Grab a bowl for $4.89 or a cup for $3.69.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eat This: Woodlot's French Onion Soup

Nothing can be more comforting than a warm bowl of soup on a cold wintery night.  And one bowl that should be warming you up is Woodlot's French onion soup.  From the thick layer of gruyere on top, to the soft caramelized onions, and homemade red fife sourdough soaked in a steaming mildly tart broth - everything about it is perfect.  The dish comes in two sizes - small (pictured below) for $8 and large for $13.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Drake One Fifty

When you spot the neon orange gnomes on York Street you know you're in the right place.
Queen West cool successfully intersects with Toronto's financial district at The Drake Hotel's first outpost Drake One Fifty.  The restaurant has only been open for two months and has quickly established itself as one the most exciting spots in the downtown core.

One of the reasons is Chef Ted Corrado's menu, which really does have something for everyone (seafood lovers, carnivores and vegetarians unite!).  And it's great for sharing. Ted recreates his nonna's favourite meatballs which are made up of pork and veal and finished off with huge dollops of ricotta.  Cauliflower - the 'it' veg of the moment - is roasted and topped with black truffles, pine nuts, black garlic and grapes.  There's a lobster and truffle pizza (need we say more?), roast squash with polenta, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and a runny duck egg, the most tender roast lamb with Greek yogurt, roasted baby eggplant, citrus new potatoes and chili puree, and frites with fresh rosemary and sea salt.    

Like its big sister, Drake One Fifty features installations from established artists like Douglas Coupland, plus emerging talent too and a stage to host live performances and DJs.  Oh and of course there's a vintage photo booth.

The restaurant is open for lunch on weekdays (11:30am-2:30pm), dinner service every night of the week (5:00pm-10:00pm) and snacks in between (10pm-2am).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

enRoute's Best New Restaurants in Canada

Nearly three weeks since enRoute revealed their list of Canada's best new restaurants in 2013, Air Canada's inflight magazine threw a major foodie fete in Toronto last night to celebrate.
Bar Isabel which landed top honours served massive pieces of their popular fried chicken (definitely not your average finger food) and proved why they're number one.  Other highlights included Fogo Island Inn's cod cakes and Electric Mud BBQ's ridiculously delicious banana cream tarts.
Click here to see who else made the list.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eat This: Playa Cabana Hacienda's Churros Poutine

You may be full after stuffing your face with taco after taco (from the likes of lobster, kalbi beef and grilled octopus and chorizo) but we're telling you - save room for this.

At Playa Cabana's third location freshly fried doughnuts are dusted in sugar and cinnamon, served in a glass tumbler and doused with marshmallow goo and cajeta (goat's milk caramel).  Wanting to devour a second round is completely normal.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Momofuku Daisho

Momofuku Daisho (located on the third floor of the Momofuku Toronto complex) is known for its large format family style dinners which include bo ssam or pork shoulder ($240 for 6-10 people), beef short ribs ($220 for 4-6 people), beef ribeye ($600 for 6-8 people), salt and pepper lobster ($250 for 4-6 people) and beef brisket ($290 for 6-10 people).  Each dish comes with sides and sauces (bo ssam with lettuce to make wraps, beef brisket with buns and ribeye with yorkshire puddings).  Reservations for the large format dinners are required.

Many people also order off of the a la carte menu.  And it's always good to start with some buns. Yes, we just said that.  Momofuku's famous pork buns are only available downstairs at Noodle Bar but upstairs at Daisho you can try the falafel bun (with sesame, turnip, cucumber and yogurt) or the crab cake bun (with spicy mayo, bib lettuce and pickle onion).  Another must try are the roasted rice cakes.  At Noodle Bar they're served with red chili, onion and sesame and are insanely addictive.  At Daisho the rice cakes are all grown up paired with pork sausage, chinese broccoli and tofu.  Keep in mind the a la carte menu changes daily so you may not be able to order some of the specific dishes mentioned in this post.
If you're looking for the large format fried chicken dinner, that's now served at Noodle Bar ($125 for 4-6 people or $250 for 7-12 people).  It comes with two chickens - one southern style and one Korean style, scallion pancakes, ginger scallion sauce, jalapeno garlic sauce, pickled vegetables, shaved radishes, herbs and tabasco salt.

From now until December 29th Daisho will be open on Sunday evenings.

Oh and on November 24th Noodle Bar will welcome chef Graham Pratt of The Gabardine to host a special fried chicken dinner.  They'll be serving Momofuku's Korean fried chicken and The Gabardine's Southern fried chicken (with red fife biscuits, smoked maple syrup, green tomato, candied sweet potato and buttermilk poppy seed dressing) for $125 (now sold out).  You can still make reservations to order off an a la carte menu which includes dishes like chicken nuggets and Korean chicken wings.        

(Crab cake bun)
(Falafel bun) 
(Roasted rice cakes) 
(Grape jelly sorbet, peanut butter ice cream and toasted marshmallow) 
(Pear cake) 
(Southern style & Korean style fried chicken) 
(Scallion pancakes)