Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Last month, ze wife and I were in Toronto and we went to this resto with my bf! Therefore this is the first edition of 'eating out in Toronto' !!!
We decided to go there because a: my friend had been there many times and b: it was close to her house. It was a nice not so little diner! I love diners! I just want hot waitresses rollerblading everywhere. But sadly, there were no rollerblading girls there :( It was nice, lot's of banquettes. I like those :) So as soon as we got in, we were seated. And as soon as we sat down, we got our menus. AND as soon as ze wife saw that there were milk shakes, she knew she wanted to order one. I felt the same about the 3$ mimosas! THREE DOLLARS!!! I think I had 3 throughout the meal! What? We were on vacation!
So we ordered the drinks first and ze wife,s milk shake arrived and lets just say it was QUITE the portion. Even SHE had a hard time finishing it.
Anyhoot, so we ordered: ze wife ordered a crab cake and a mac and cheese, friend and I had a burger with onion rings.. The crab cake was amazing. The onion rings were really good. Although I must say that it wasn't clear to me that I had to pay extra to trade my fries for onion rings. My burger was a bit dry and I maintain that the all time best meat burger is at McCarolds in CDN. My friend's burger was great and apparently 'it's basically every beautiful thing in a burger'. Hehe. The mac and cheese was dissapointing. It wasn't very tasty. Let's just agree that the best mac and cheese is at La Taverne in NDG.
Food: une moyenne de 7.25/10. I also have to mention that if ze wife would have only eaten the mac and cheese, she would have given 5 instead of 7.5
Service: 7.5 It was good, the waiter was nice and efficient but slow. Especially at the end, when we wanted the bill!
It was a good lunch with a great friend and a WONDERFUL girlfriend :) I would go back and take something else on the menu!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Ah, the review many have been waiting for! I'm going to deliver the punch right now: it was dissapointing. I had attempted twice to go there. Once with my dad and sister, the day after the opening but there was a problem with the sprinkler system and so they had to shut it down (talk about a wonderful opening!). The second time was about 3 and a half weeks ago. Ze wife and I wanted to see what changes Ramsay had made to the institution that was le Laurier BBQ, and there was an hour wait so we decided to go eat elsewhere . I must mention that this resto has been opened for a couple months now and their delivery/take out service is only going to be functionnal at the end of september (so about now ish). Anyhoot, we managed to go 2 weeks ago for lunch and only waited about 20 minutes :)
Going in, it feels like you are entering a cottage. C'est chaleureux :) There's a fireplace right up a flight of stairs. Thing is, especially since Gordon took over and there is all this hype about it, there's no room for the people waiting to get to try his food. OK, no... there's one bench and they added 2 chairs but when there's 20 people waiting, and there is room for only 4 people to sit, it gets crowded and annoying. Especially for the waitresses trying to get to the tables.
We were seated a couple tables from the door (there is a door 'downstairs' and then another one up the stairs going into the restaurant) and even if it wasn't THAT cold outside, every time someone would open the door, we would feel it. I wonder what they'll do come winter time.
The ambiance itself is alright: half the people were elderly and the other half were there to try Gordon's new resto. Whitney Houston and Celine Dion made an appearance on the stereo :)
Our waitress arrived as soon as we sat down; she was old and very fast.. and was most likely a waitress at the Laurier BBQ for many... many years! Anyhoot, she brought us water, which had pieces of cucumber in it. Meh. Did not appreciate it that much. I would have prefered lemon or lime wedges instead or just nothing at all. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
Let's talk about the food now! Actually let's start about talking about the chef! Guillermo Russo was the chef au bistro Olivieri à Côte-des-neiges until early this year and was doing a great job there! We love Olivieri and go there a LOT and I think he could have done better than moving on to the Laurier G.R., sadly. I guess when a celebrity chef comes to town to open a new resto, you jump at the chance. We must also talk about the actual creator that is responsible for the change of an institution. Ah, Gordon! Gordon, a scottish chef, is the host of many shows relating to cooking: Hell's kitchen and Kitchen nightmares to name a few. He researches culinary perfection in everything (except, apparently, this restaurant) and does so with quite a temper! He is also the owner of many restaurants: Gordon Ramsay's plane food (in Heathrow airport), Murano (which has a michelin star) and Bread Street Kitchen in London, again to name only a few. He has opened no less than 15 restaurants over the years.
En tous cas, food! I have to mention that there was un pot de cornichons sur notre table en arrivant et ils étaient très bons! AAAAAAAAnd that's it for food. Just kidding, just kidding.
I took the 'guedilles' au fruits de mer and ze wife had the quarter chicken. We were sharing, as per usual. Let's talk about the chicken first. Meh. I mean, I used to go to the Laurier BBQ and I KNEW I was going to get the best chicken in town. With a great little sauce and some good bread. But when we went, the chicken was a tad dry and the sauce is not the same. And not in a good way. The sauce had some wine in it and as ze wife said ' y'a une épice qui m'gosse'. hehe. Mes guédilles ont aussi été décevantes. First, the plate was not too too appetizing: a very small handful of chips (that, like ze wife pointed out, were too thick to be crispy) that tasted like miss vickies and deux guédilles (seafood rolls) filled with... celery! Ya, I had a hard time finding the seafood in there. A shrimp here and there. And it was presented in a small, cheap hot dog bun. That was dissapointing.
Basically, it's very simple food, very simply made. Maybe a bit TOO simply made!
Here are the scores:
Service: 8. It was fast, when we asked for ketchup, we got it in 1 minute. Very straightforward, nothing special.
Food: 6.5 .Simple, not as good as before, sauce wasn't good... :(
All in all, I would advise you not to go there, especially if you want to go only because G.R. had something to do with the menu etc. C'était décevant et nous n'allons pas y retourner.
'If it ain't broken, don't fix it!'
Friday, September 9, 2011
Yet another coupon! Again I say, yay for coupons! This lovely restaurant is right in front of the Baldwin Barmacy, great spot to end up at after a great meal :) Great ambiance with great music that brought me a few years back with Chemical Brothers, Moby, Beck and Portishead just to name a few. We were actually about an hour late for our reservation so I called and they were totally cool with it. Now, I must be honest here, I started this post back in June and did not continue it until now. Therefore, my memory of this place is a bit frazzled. But I'll try to do my best!
We got there and immediately got seated in this long and narrow restaurant. We had a very enjoyable, funny waiter who made us feel very comfortable, which is always good :) The resto itself was quite nice: long mirrors along the walls on both sides to make it appear bigger, about 34 seats, 6 at the bar and around 10 on the side where the restaurant got a bit wider. There is also a long chalkboard with some elements from the menu along the wall with little candles right under it.
The menu itself changes every season which is great: they go with what's fresh! With the coupon that we had, we could order 3 dishes each (3 dishes for 33$, 4 for 44$ and so on; you have to take a minimum of 3 dishes per person with or without a coupon) so we opted for 5 entrées and 1 desert.
We had the asparagus (many kinds of asparagus( asparagi?) white and green... made into different things: panacotta, salad and asperges au beurre), the risotto, les pétoncles (always lovely: cuîtes avec une croûte aux amandes), canard done in a couple ways, cerf (a bit gamy and they didn't ask which way we wanted it cooked--du cerf, c'est bon saignant. Even if this was not to our liking, the sauce was amazing), and for desert, the crème brûlée au foie gras!! YUM! I mean, how decadent (and fattening) can you get? It was very good and we wanted more!
So, for the scores:
Even if we waited quite a while for our desert, it was worth it and I think that's the reason why we gave the service a 9... which is not too shabby!
We strongly recommend this restaurant for a dinner amongst friends or a romantic evening! It was a great discovery!