Sunday, 13 April 2014

LE PAPILLON ON FRONT 4 out of 5
69 Front Street, St. Lawrence Market/Old Town (416) 367-0303 Closed Monday, Mon. to Thurs. 11:30 to 10:30 pm, Fri. 11:30 to 11:00 pm, Sat. 11:00 to 11:00 pm,  Sun. 11:00 to 10:00 pm

After trying several times to make a reservation on Saturday evening (we usually call too late) we finally were successful.
It is a beautiful space with exposed brick, aged woods and floor and blends into the St Lawrence Market area well.  







We found the wine menu and food menu very easy to follow.




Basically there are several nice appetizers, crepes and mains.  Also, there are a couple of specials on a board at the entry.
We decided to start with a Bordeaux that the waiter recommended.  It was an outstanding 2010 vintage red Bordeaux and not very expensive.

For appetizers my son Mark (http://www.markallen.ca/) chose the Crevettes, shrimp sauteed in a tarragon garlic butter broth.  They were large and perfectly cooked and the sauce was divine.  We later soaked up some of the broth with bread (that arrived late).  
My wife and I chose the Escargots smothered in garlic parsley butter.  The escargot seemed smaller than I remembered them from a previous location they occupied.  Nevertheless, they were delicious.
My wife and I also ordered a shrimp appetizer to share and they were great.
For our mains Mark ordered the pork tenderloin from the menu with a forestiere (bacon and mushroom) sauce with potatoes and vegetables. He really enjoyed it.
My wife and I chose from one of the specials it was a pan fried ocean perch with vegetables.  It was delicious. The fish was tender and sweet and perfectly cooked.  The rice was a good match for this fish.
We really enjoyed our meals here and will definitely return to try some other choices on this extensive menu.  The only criticism we had was the appetizers were not served hot enough and we received our bread after the appetizers.  Hopefully next time we will leave enough room to try their desserts.
Food for Pleasure Toronto restaurants

Le Papillon on Front on Urbanspoon

http://www.papillononfront.com

Le Papillon On Front on Restaurantica

Sunday, 6 April 2014

EAST THIRTY-SIX 3.75 out of 5

36 Wellington St. E. St. Lawrence Market/Old Town, Toronto, (647) 350-3636 Open for Dinner and Late 7 days a week
Located in the St. Lawrence Market area of Toronto, East Thirty-Six is the third restaurant change in the same building. Previously it was the Lucien, then changed to Olde Town Bistro and Oyster Bar.  Although now it has a new name, it seems to have a similar menu as the previous Oyster Bar.  It appears to follow a similar philosophy - do only a few items and do them well.  The menu is rather limited and encourages sharing.



We decided to begin with a nice red Cotes du Rhone and it did not disappoint, it was smooth and delicious.

We decided to get started with some bread and olives.  They charge $3 for some crusty pieces of bread and butter, which seemed a little chintzy for a restaurant like this. (We ate a couple of pieces before this pic was taken)  

The olive selection was delicious for $4 and had some unusual types of olives, including a small one that tasted lemony.


We then ordered an appetizer each and shared them. Mark (http://www.markallen.ca/) ordered the Cailletes (made of various pig organs and marinated in red wine) sitting on a small piece of toast.  They were very tender and melted in your mouth.

My wife ordered the e36 salad with castelfranco, kale, endive, ricotta salata aioli, focaccia, it was very good, but it was the only salad available.

I chose the cauliflower with capers, preserved lemon, brown butter, hazelnuts and parsley.  We all agreed they were different and flavourful.

We decided to each try a different main.  Mark had the duck
confit and he loved it.
My wife had the halibut with artichoke, white wine, lemon and fennel.  The halibut was perfectly cooked and the sauce, which seemed more like a soup, was filled with a variety of flavours too hard to identify.
For my main I selected the braised beef shortribs with brussel sprouts and pureed potato in red wine sauce.  It was delicious the meat was tender and the bone was removed, however it could have been hotter, it arrived on the lukewarm side.  It was very filling.
We shared a dessert of a very dense chocolate cake that was drizzled with caramel and covered with nuts.
We enjoyed our choices here, however, there are not enough choices available for us to come back.  The service was efficient and the flavours of our food were great but the menu is very limited.
East Thirty-Six on Urbanspoon
http://eastthirtysix.com/
Food for Pleasure Toronto restaurants

Friday, 28 March 2014

PIER 39 FISH AND CHIPS 3.25 out of 5

3305 Fairview Street Unit 9, Burlington On., (905) 407-0565
Three of us had an urge on Thursday evening for a plate of fish in chips.  Thomas had seen a line up going into a brand new fish and chip restaurant in Burlington, so we decided to try it.  It is named after pier 39 in San Francisco which has an abundance of fish restaurants.  



After reviewing the menu we realized most items here are deep fried, so we ordered a couple of small appetizers; cheese sticks to share and deep fried mushroom caps.

Although the  cheese sticks were tasty and the sauce was quite good, there weren't enough of them for the price charged.  The deep fried mushrooms however were worth their price and were quite filling.

Thomas, Katie and I ordered the same main - halibut and fries.  It came with a vinegar based coleslaw, which is unusual with fish and chips, we usually see mayo based coleslaws with fish.  However, it was crisp and tasty.  The fish was rather ordinary and the fries were soft, but on the whole it was a pretty good choice.   

The restaurant is very new and not yet licensed so we had a coke.  The server was polite and efficient.  There is potential here, but I think they need to have some broiled options to attract a regular crowd.  Deep fried fish and chips are really the item of choice in pubs.  Hopefully as the restaurant matures they will look at some other methods of cooking besides deep frying.
There is a nice space on the side for a future patio, so hopefully they will get their license soon.  They also need to update their website.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

THE EXPRESS ITALIAN EATERY WESTDALE 3.75 out of 5

1034 King Street West, Hamilton, On., (289) 389-2008, Sun. - Wed. 11:30 - 10:00 pm, Thurs. - Sat. 11:30 - 11:00 pm
Went to the Express, in the Westdale Village in Hamilton, early on a Saturday evening for a light dinner.  It is a relatively new establishment in Westdale, that serves wood oven pizza in an open kitchen, panini, soup, salads, pastas etc..  It is licensed and the house red was only $6 a glass.

It has a quaint bar area

and a variety of seating, including a window view of the village.
There is a wood oven and take out service.
I checked the menu. 


I chose the Muffaletta panini.  It included salami, mortadella, prosciutto, arugala and provolone and came with a soup or salad for $12.

The soup was prosciutto and potato, it was rich but quite salty (because it contained large chunks of prosciutto).
The panini was crisp and quite thick with rich meats.

By the time I was finished the restaurant was filling up.
All in all it was a nice meal.  The service was efficient, the food was tasty (albeit very salty) and the prices were reasonable.  There is another much larger Express located at the other end of Hamilton in Stoney Creek on Grays Road.

Express Italian Eatery Westdale on Urbanspoon