Saturday, 4 April 2015

LA CARNITA

501 College Street, Kensington Market Area, Toronto, On., (416) 964-1555, Open Sunday and Monday 5:00 - 10:00 pm, Tuesday to Sat. 5:00 - 11:00 pm
On a Friday evening in March, my son Mark and I decided we were hungry after viewing some cars for sale in Vaughan.  It was getting getting close to supper time and we felt like something not too heavy. We came upon La Carnita on College Street (famous for their tacos) and it seemed like the right choice.  The signage is terrible but Mark had been here before so he knew of it.
When we arrived the entry was full of people waiting for seating, fortunately we were able to sit at the bar rather than wait.


We reviewed the bar list for a quick pre-meal drink and I chose the strawberry margarita. It was tangy and refreshing and the bar tenders were great.


Mark had the Who Shot Ya, with bourbon.  It did have a kick to it.
After a couple of sips we reviewed the food menu.
We decided to choose a variety of tacos. Mark chose the crispy cotija and in cod we trust. While I chose pollo frito and carnita.  All of these choices were absolutely delicious.


We also decided to complete our meal with tortilla chips with ancho chili powder and quacamole.
The tortilla chips were crisp and tasty and the quacamole was exceptional.  All in all we enjoyed our meal here and would recommend it to anyone who likes good tacos.  They were unique and loaded with flavour.  It can get very crowded in a hurry here, but it is worth the wait.
http://lacarnita.com/

La Carnita on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 14 March 2015

AND COMPANY RESTO BAR

295 Enfield Place, Mississauga On., (905) 808-2112, Wed. 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, Thurs. 6:00 pm to 12:00 am, Fri. and Sat. 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, closed Sun. Mon. Tues.
Located in Mississauga, close to Square One shopping plaza is a vibrant restaurant and nightlife venue called And Company Resto and Bar. 

It is unique in the fact that there is a lovely comfortable restaurant, a sleek bar with a couple of televisions for chilling, a lounge area that includes a dance floor with comfy couches, grand piano and a DJ station. It even has a large rooftop patio for those long summer evenings!





After being seated by the friendly and smiling girls at the door we began to review their new menu. Their menu was entirely designed and executed by their new Executive Chef Ron Stratton.  He came with over 20 years of experience working in a variety of fine dining restaurants all over Canada.  The menu focuses on "fine familiar" cuisine, which basically takes conventional dishes and adds imaginative touches to their ingredients and presentation.


We selected a nice California Zinfandel that was moderately priced and very nice.
My wife chose for her appetizer the Crispy Thai Calamari with a pickled vegetable salad and green curry coconut veloute.  The calamari were delicious and the sauce was very light.
I chose the Jumbo Tempura Shrimp with seasonal vegetable and rice wine vinegar.  The shrimp were very large, the tempura coating was thin and the asparagus was tender.

For her main my wife chose the Salmon Wellington.  This dish consisted of a salmon fillet, enclosed in a light puff pastry, fresh buttered seasonal vegetables and red wine jus.  It was quite dramatic on the plate and the flavours were delightful.
For my main I chose the Chicken Parmigiana.  It consisted of two substantial pieces of Ontario chicken, marinated bocconcini, San Marzano tomato sauce with egg pappardelle.
This was a fine example of a familiar dish being elevated with just a couple of different ingredients and presentation.


Our dessert was shared and was quite different in it's presentation and ingredients.  It was called Brownie Banana Split and consisted of a dark chocolate brownie with a banana spring roll, seasoned berry compote, ice cream and sorbet.  It was a great ending to a wonderful dinner.
We found the servers, our waitress Lizzy (who was efficient and took good care of us the entire evening) and management to be very friendly and inviting.  The music was upbeat and current. The management mingled and socialized with patrons and this was very nice to see.  I should point out that we were invited by Basel - their marketing director and our meal was complimentary.  I think from our comments about this venue and the food you will get a good picture of our experience here.  We enjoyed our evening and are looking forward to returning again.
&Company Resto Bar on Urbanspoon


BISTRO SIX ONE 

61-63 Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake, On., (905) 468-2532, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week
On a cool, but sunny March afternoon my wife and I decided to take a drive to one of our favourite tourist places, Niagara on the Lake.  It is a quaint and historic village that has the famous Shaw theatre, along with a variety of boutiques and restaurants.  Being the off season for tourists, some shops were closed, but the restaurants were all open.  We decided to try Bistro Six One after reading their menu posted near the front door.

The inside has a variety of booth seating which we like.


Located in the centre of Ontario's wine region, restaurants here tend to feature the local wineries in their wine lists.  We chose our favourite local wine from Jackson Triggs, their Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend VQA, a full bodied red with a rich flavour.

The menu has a nice variety to choose from including wood oven pizza, sandwiches, salads and mains.  

Since it was late afternoon, we decided on a salad and sandwich.  We both chose the Caesar salad.  The romaine was fresh and crisp, the bacon was real and the parmesan cheese and croutons were delicious.
For her sandwich, my wife chose the ham and brie melt on multigrain bread.  It had thin layers of smoked ham, soft brie cheese and a wonderful pepper jelly that was very tasty.  It was accompanied by a mound of french fries.

I decided on the grilled chicken ciabatta.  It had tender grilled chicken, lettuce, bacon and cheese.  The bread was crisp and fresh and the sandwich was excellent.  It too, was served with fries.



It was a wonderful meal in a peaceful restaurant with nice music and good wine.  We will definitely be back again.

Bistro Six One on Urbanspoon  

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wahlburgers
46 Blue Jays Way, Toronto On., (416) 489-8922, 11:30 am to 12 am 7 days a week
I went to Wahlburgers with my son Mark (http://www.markallen.ca/) after the auto show in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  It is located in the Soho Metropolitan Hotel.

It was a very cold evening and Family Day, so there were a lot of people around and not many restaurants were open in the area.  The result, Wahlburgers was packed and we had to sit at the bar.  It was a nice bright restaurant and we had a good view around us.





There is a large variety of seating here, which makes it feel larger than it is.  There is a balcony, bar seating, and long tables and booths.  However, there is far too much green and far too much Wahlburg here.
The menu consists of a variety of burgers and sandwiches, all about 10 dollars.  We both chose the Thanksgiving Day burger.  It consists of fresh ground seasoned turkey, stuffing, Paul's orange cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash and mayo.
It was a nice burger, but very clumsy to eat.  The turkey was tender and delicious, but the sauce was messy and overwhelming, causing the burger to fall apart.  The patron beside me had the Portobello Mushroom Cap burger and was quite perturbed that the burger fell apart due to so much sauce.
Mark chose the fries and I chose the Sweet Potato Tots.  The tots were delicious!
Mark had a Wahlbrewski North (brewed by Mill Street Brewery), while I had some wine.
I had a couple of glasses of chianti.  All in all it was a reasonably priced meal that was good but not anything special.  The burger was small, the attitude was indifferent and we probably will not return.  There are many places in the city that have very good burgers and are more eager to serve them.

Wahlburgers on Urbanspoon
http://wahlburgers.ca/