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).