Best Restaurants in Toronto

Cava at Yonge & St. Clair #WorldInMyCity ~Andorra

Andorra is a tiny little country nestled between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. Escudella is often referred to as Andorra's national dish. We wanted to eat traditional escudella for the Andorra stop, and while it wasn't readily available on any Toronto restaurant menus, we found a few spots that were willing to put their chefs to the test and put it on their Saturday evening menu. Typically eaten in winter, this dish is a big meaty hearty stew that will make meat-lovers very happy. We found the perfect place to make us escudella... Cava at Yonge and St. Clair. A restaurant that proudly invites diners to "Just Let Us Cook For You" is exactly what we needed. And you should definitely let Cava cook for you... look at what came to the table leading up to the main star of the dinner...

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Escudella means bowl and it is traditionally cooked up for family gatherings like a Christmas feast. It's a huge stew prepared as a one-pot winter meal, with a variety of vegetables and a selection of different meats such as veal, meatballs, chicken, pig snout/trotters, and delicious butifarra sausage which is a very juicy pork sausage that is an important part of Catalan cuisine. Even though it was a beautiful mild April evening, we were very happy to see this steaming hot stew arrive at the table. It was perfect.

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It was served with lovely vegetables that were a crisp and fresh complement to all that hot, juicy, delicious meat.

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It never fails to amaze me how even after eating an enormous amount of savoury hearty food, you can still have room for something sweet, like churros con chocolate.

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Thanks Andorra... you inspired a wonderfully creative meal and thank you Cava for doing the research into the dish and making it for us. Cava is located at 1560 Yonge Street near St. Clair, and it has the loveliest patio I can't wait to return to this summer. It was incredible! Rosie :)

Cava Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Guu Izakaya | Parkdale

It's SO MUCH FUN here! You really get the authentic izakaya experience at Guu on Queen West in Parkdale, which is all about eating, drinking and loving the vibe in your community. Expect a hearty welcome from the entire staff when you come in and a warm boisterous farewell when you leave. It's awesome. Also awesome is the menu, which features a delicious selection of Japanese faves from ramen to tataki, all perfect to soak up all the sake and Sapporo you are gonna drink.

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Richmond Station | Downtown Toronto

Carl Heinrich, winner of Season 2 of Top Chef Canada, opened Richmond Station in 2012. It's downtown in Toronto's financial district at 1 Richmond Street West. He has turned his restaurant into a winner exactly like he won Top Chef- by focusing on the ingredients and keeping it simple and delicious. Every year during Nuit Blanche we make Richmond Station our stop for edible art. Some highlights from 2016 include the lamb crochette:

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Merlot

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 Beech Tree | The Beaches

There is a real warmth to this Kingston Road restaurant in Toronto's Upper Beaches. The atmosphere makes you feel like you're inside a Manhattan bistro in Greenwich Village. It's one of those spots that feels so good to walk into.

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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:

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This dinner special of quail and sweetbreads prepared sous-vide was flavourful and perfectly cooked.

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The Ontario fruit crumble with buffalo milk semifreddo and apple fritter was the perfect combination of tart and sweet:

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

The Beech Tree Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato