Best Restaurants in Toronto
This restaurant is an escape to southwestern France right in the Kingsway. The ambience feels like you've truly left the country. Merlot has been an Etobicoke dining destination for decades- the food is fantastic.
The fragrance of the white wine, garlic, shallots and butter in the escargots Bourguignonne was a perfect way to start the meal. The snails were so tasty:
The menu features the best local ingredients with plates putting a modern spin on traditional English country cooking. This approach is expertly displayed by the whey-fed Ontario pork chop with rye dumplings, brussel spouts, celeriac, apple and sage:
Chef Jamie Newman's dinner special of quail and sweetbreads prepared sous-vide was flavourful and perfectly cooked.
The Ontario fruit crumble with buffalo milk semifreddo and apple fritter was the perfect combination of tart and sweet:
The flourless Equadorian chocolate cake is sprinkled with Maldon salt and topped with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraiche. It was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. This cake, along with the burger, are the only two items that have been on the menu since day one.
A bonus of visiting The Beech Tree during the holiday season is the homemade eggnog, which is prepared with twelve eggs yolks, Maker's Mark bourbon and Remy XO cognac. The cocktail menu features classics with a twist such as the White Old Fashioned and are prepared with bitters and grenadines that are made in house.
Owner Robert Maxwell has created a wonderful dining experience at The Beech Tree. The ambience is a perfect combination of casual and elegant without a hint of pretension. The menu is complex but not overly complicated. Details like the glasses of water with fresh mint and sliced cucumber are simple, lovely and luxurious. An amazing experience. Rosie :)
Lamb's brains alla saltimbocca and fried pig ears to start.
The signature pastas are handmade. While the menu changes regularly, the bigoli is a staple and always available. The torchio-cranked duck egg pasta is tossed with duck offal ragu, venetian spices, mascarpone and basil.
The hand-cut pork blood pasta is tossed right at the table with smoked burrata cheese.This double-stuffed ravioli is one of the most beautifully presented dishes I have ever seen. Each one is filled with braised goose, roasted squash, hazelnut crackle and fonduta di parmigiano.
Milk-poached veal tenderloin.
This was hands down the best dessert I have ever eaten- parmigiano reggiano ice cream. It was perfect. And I don't even really like ice cream.
Executive Chef Rob Gentile does not disappoint. What an experience.
Mackerel with fennel, shiso and green chili.Beef tendon with eggplant, black garlic and onion.
Halibut with zucchini, razor clam and confit tomato.
Tamago wtih lobster, black bean and jalapeno.
Corn ravioli with chorizo, scallion and cotija.
Delicious and a really fun vibe, with unpretentious service. Rosie :)
Then order the momofuku ramen with pork belly and shoulder, fish cake and egg. The egg in this bowl... it is what all eggs should hope to have happen to them.
Ontario pork from Kunan Farm. Menu changes daily. An absolute must-visit. If you live in the downtown core, noodle bar now delivers within an hour. Rosie :)
An incredible selection of rum to choose from. We went with the classic rum and coke.
We also had griot to start, which is a very popular Haitian dish of fried pork with peppers. Rosie :)
Just order anything off the chalk board, it all tastes delicious. The Baja fish tacos will blow your mind, as will the tuna ceviche. Rosie
Main ingredient... Uni:
Beef cheek raviolo:
Toronto Life chose Yours Truly as the best new restaurant in 2012. Jeff Claudio has since left but Lachlan Culjak is doing just fine. Your Truly also offers a Carte Blanche menu, which is a blind tasting menu. The kitchen selects 20 courses based on your preference of meat or vegetarian.There is a limited number of Carte Blanche seatings so reserve in advance. Rosie :)
For our mains, we had the duck confit special (as good as we've had in Paris) and the signature Luma shrimp and lobster burger with lettuce, tomato and togarashi mayonnaise.
Dessert was outstanding. Here is the Luma chocolate bar made with soft dark chocolate and served with banana and peanut butter ice cream. The lemon tart was also amazing. Anything with chocolate and lemon are our favourite desserts.
The view of King Street and the CN Tower is spectacular, if you go, try to get a table by the window. I can't even get annoyed about the shadows on my photos because they are from all the twinkling city lights. Rosie :)
I wanted to try their specialty, the silken tofu, which differs from the regular tofu because it is strained through silk instead of cheesecloth, making the consistency like a creamy custard. It was delicious.
The soft tofu stew comes with a raw egg that you break into the stew to thicken it. There is a selection of flavours to choose from including beef, pork, oyster and mushroom. We had mushroom and beef.
The stew comes with a bowl of whole grain rice which is prepared in a separate stone pot. Hot tea then poured into the stone pot to loosen the rice. You are meant to eat this soaked rice (it's called 'burnt rice soup') after your meal to aid your digestion.
Cho Dang Soon Tofu is delicious, authentic and incredibly affordable. Two people can dine heartily, and quite healthily, for under $25. You can also get takeout and purchase their fresh tofu separately to eat later. Rosie :)
We all had steak, and our server organized the most ideal cut in the kitchen to ensure an optimal meat-eating experience. It tasted like candy.
I like dishes that require instruction- wait 15-20 seconds then eat the whole thing in one bite. It is said that Thai mothers prepare these eggs for their future son-in-laws as a warning of what fate could befall their family jewels if they are unfaithful husbands. No idea if this is true or not, but, eek. Those eggs get deep-fried. Behave fellas.
The curry pork satay was covered in a really fresh and flavourful peanut sauce:
Here is the laksa... OMFG. It was perfect. Rich, spicy and incredibly flavourful. I was dying to try Hawker's laksa and it did not disappoint.
I have read complaints on foodie forums that Toronto's first spot for Singapore-inspired street food isn't authentic enough. Oh please. I have never eaten street food in Singapore but even if I had I wouldn't be comparing; I like when restaurants give tradition a twist. Rosie :)