Friday, 28 December 2012


133 John Street, Entertainment District, Toronto On., (416) 595-9100, Open 7 days for lunch and dinner, Fri. and Sat. Late night.

We decided to go to Jack Astor's on John Street in Toronto.  It is a very large and active restaurant in the summer season with a very large and busy patio.  It is quieter in the winter.  When we arrived we were given a table in the middle of the hallway to the kitchen just inside the front door.  It was a virtual freeway (poor restaurant design).

One of us had the Bouillabaisse soup that looked rather watery but was good.
We weren't that hungry so we decided to order appetizers and salads.  One of us ordered the pulled pork poutine.
We shared two orders of fried calamari.

Two of us shared lettuce wraps that were very substantial, some of it had to be taken home.

Two of us had chicken grilled caesars salads.  They were quite filling.

One of us had a regular caesar salad.

We shared a bottle of Berringer California cab sav - always a good choice.  We found the menu has been much the same for years.  It is substantial and filling, but could use more imagination.  Our waiter was very efficient and friendly.  One thing we noticed at the end of our meal - a large group of people were patiently waiting to get seated, while a group of hostesses were chatting.  There were many empty tables and these people could have been seated much quicker.

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 27 December 2012


14 Duncan Street, Entertainment District, Toronto On., (416) 596-1444

We went to Grace O'Malley's for a rest after some boxing week shopping for libations and nachos.  It was a quiet Thursday early evening when we arrived.  

My son ordered a pint of Guiness.  My wife and I ordered a glass of California Merlot. 

The nachos with chicken was enormous and very filling.  It contained chicken, black olives, lots of cheese and jalapeno peppers and some vegetables.  We could not finish it.  It was a quiet oasis during a hectic day shopping.  The wine however was not quite what I expected from a California wine.
There was a well equipped stage near where we were sitting. There was a well designed bar and a variety of seating.  It's menu is pub fare with a Canadian twist.

Grace O'Malley's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


57 King Street, Dundas On., L9H 1T7 (905) 628-8808 Breakfast Mon-Fri, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night 7 days a week

Went for lunch to Bangkok Spoon Deluxe in downtown Dundas Christmas eve.  It was quiet here, everyone was in malls shopping.  

It is a clean and smartly designed interior.  The front floor to ceiling windows open to the street in the summer.  It has become a popular restaurant in Dundas.  
The lunch menu is very reasonably priced and my son and I decided to try a couple of items from it.

I had the deep-fried basa fish with Thai mango sauce.  The fish melted in my mouth and the spring roll was delicious with the dipping sauce (I have come here before just for their spring rolls).  The jasmine rice was a nice neutralizer for  all the flavours.  I did not like the dressing on the salad that came with the lunch (fishy clear sauce).  I would order the salad with another sauce or without the sauce.  The vegetables in the salad were crisp and tasty.

My son selected bok choy with garlic and mushrooms jasmine rice and spring roll.  He really liked the meal.  It was a filling and very reasonably priced lunch.
I have had their pad thai with chicken and a number of rice dishes and find them very filling and good.
There is a lovely patio at the back of the restaurant and a Starbucks directly across the street.  The restaurant also has a busy take out business.

Bangkok Spoon Deluxe on Urbanspoon

Friday, 21 December 2012


6361 Fallsview Blvd, Hilton Hotel, Niagara Falls ON, L2G 3V9, (905) 354-7887 Lunch and Dinner

On a snowy blustery December evening we decided to go to Romano's Macaroni Grill in the Hilton Hotel across from the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls.  We have been here several times during the summer months but not during winter.  

When we arrived the large restaurant was quite empty so we had our choice of table and sat near the window looking out on the street.
Our waiter arrived and brought us the menu.  We have had the same waiter before and he is efficient and very polite.  While we scanned the menu we ordered a bottle of Masi wine.
The waiter brought us bread and oil to get us started and when we finished it he brought us another one.

We decided to skip the apps and choose only a main (having been here before we found the mains quite filling, especially with the bread).  My wife decided on the fettucini Alfredo ($19), which the menu described as parmesan, cream and butter.  However, she found it too plain (expecting at least some vegetables like peas, spinach or broccoli).  It also was skimpy on the sauce.
I decided on the Shrimp Portofino ($28).  It came with five very large perfectly grilled shrimp.  This dish also includes spinach, mushrooms, pine nuts, lemon butter all on a bed of capellini.  The flavours blend well and are very good in this dish.  I have had it here before and it is filled with flavour.
We finished our meal with cappuccinos.  The restaurant was quiet with only a few families showing up later, but normally it is quite busy.  It has a great location and nice patio in the summer, but is a tourist trap - like most Niagara restaurants with prices that are high for the quality of the food.  The total bill with one bottle of simple wine, one main each, one cappuccino each and tax and tip was approximately $130.

Romano's Macaroni Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Entertainment District,  132 John Street,  Toronto,  M5V 2E4,  (416) 595-1990

On a rather mild Friday night after visiting the Distillery district we decided to have dinner with the gang at the Milestone's on John Street.  It is our favourite one and is always buzzing.  We arrived at around 7:00 to find the place packed, but we were seated quickly in a large booth (there were 6 of us).  We ordered two bottles of Beringer Merlot as we scanned the menu.
We decided to share a couple of appetizers, so we ordered the phyllo shrimp (my favourite app here) and Milestone's famous hot spinach and artichoke dip.  They are fabulous appetizers that are easily shared.

After the appetizers were enjoyed, we ordered our mains.  One of us had the Portobello Mushroom Chicken, which has a double breast of chicken with sliced portobello mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with fresh basil, roasted garlic and reduced Reggiano cream over capellini.  It was tender and delicious, and the vegetables were crisp and filling.
One of us ordered the same dish but with mashed potatoes instead of capellini.  
One of us had the Cajun Shrimp Diane which has a generous portion of Louisiana style shrimp Reggiano cheese, scallions and roasted mushrooms in a lightly spiced garlic cream sauce.  Served with steamed Asian greens, roasted grape tomatoes and basil cilantro jasmine rice.  I have had this dish before and it is filling and delicious.

One of us had the Asian Steak Citrus Salad, which is a new addition to the menu.  It was a large salad with a generous portion of spiced steak and ingredients that blended together very well.

I had the grilled chicken caesar - one of the best chicken caesar salads available anywhere.  It had tender pieces of grilled chicken (not dry) combined with a wonderful and flavourful crisp pancetta.  The sauce was very tasty and not over done.  The greens were crisp and fresh.  The ciabatta crustinis were absolutely delicious, as was the mixture of shredded Regianno and Asiago cheese.
We only had room to share one desert it was a giant chocolate cookie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

To top off a wonderful meal we ended with their most famous cocktail - THE MILESTONES' ORIGINAL BELLINI.  It is a fabulous mixture of white rum, peach liqueur and sparkling white wine, crushed ice and topped with sangria.

the gang

A meal at Milestones is always enjoyable, whether it is in summer on the patio or winter inside.  

Milestone's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Food for Pleasure Toronto restaurants

Saturday, 8 December 2012


601 Yonge Street, Toronto, On, M4Y1K9, (416) 920-6288 Gluten-free friendly, Happy Hour
On a blustery Saturday night after doing some frantic Christmas shopping we decided to try Brownstone.  I had been here a number of years before with my son and found it to be a pretty good bistro.  I came with my wife, my son and his girlfriend and we did not make a reservation.  We arrived around 6:30 to find only a few tables occupied, however well into our meal a large group arrived and the bistro was full.

We began by ordering a nice California wine.

The waiter brought us a nice basket of bread with an olive oil and balsamic dip.
While we were trying to decide on what appetizers to order and share, the waiter suggested a sampling platter for two that would have a nice selection of appetizers.  He was right - it was outstanding.  It contained chicken tenders, fried calamari, spring rolls and a small salad.  It included a variety of dipping sauces.
While we savoured our appetizers, the waiter brought us another basket of bread - without our asking!  We carefully examined the menu (everything sounded good) and finally decided to order our mains.
One of us ordered the chicken marsala which was a grilled chicken breast topped with a wild mushroom marsala sauce.  The chicken was very tender and the sauce was lightly spiced.  It came with a portion of corn on the cob, potato and cauliflower.

One of us ordered the stuffed chicken breast filled with roasted peppers and mozzarella topped with a sun dried tomato cream sauce and tiger shrimp.  It was absolutely delicious.

My wife and I tried the grilled Atlantic salmon with maple miso glaze, topped with a sweet apple onion slaw it was one of the best salmon dishes I have ever eaten.  The salmon was perfectly done, the sauce was not overbearing and the cold flavour filled slaw matched very well.

Even though we were rather full, we decided to share a couple of deserts.  We decided to try the panna cotta.  It was light and delicious.
We even had room for an irish coffee.  

We all had the same opinion about the Brownstone.  The meals were very good and not bloating.  The menu is very well done, with a good variety of choices.  They have a full bar of martinis etc.. We all thoroughly enjoyed the meal and will definitely come back to try more of their menu.  Voted best bistro in Toronto 2012.  Well done.

Brownstone Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon