Friday, 27 December 2013

THE KEG STEAKHOUSE AND BAR 

165 York Street, Toronto, On. (416) 703-1773, Open for lunch Mon - Fri, dinner and late night every night
The four of us went to the Keg on York Street in downtown Toronto (near city hall).  We have been here many times before.  It was boxing day, so the office crowd which usually fills this bar and steakhouse to the brim on a Thursday after 5 was not here.  It was relatively a quiet evening.


The inside of this keg, like all kegs, has a comfortable feel.  There is a fireplace that invites you to enter on a cold evening.

The interior is always easy on the eyes, even though it is quite dark.

My wife and I began with a caesar salad.  As always it was cool and crisp.

My son Thomas had the sirloin oscar - the toppings of scallops and shrimp were delicious- however under it the steak had a lot of gristle in it and parts were inedible.  The garlic mashed potatoes are always a good choice (they are delicious).
My son Mark began with the escargot stuffed mushrooms, which always smell and taste delicious.

For his main he had the creole chicken, it had a nice amount of scallops on it and he found it very good.  The vegetables were nicely cooked.
My wife had the salmon (she has had it in Kegs before) it was delicious and not overcooked.  It came with a small caesar and nicely cooked beans.

I had my usual sirloin dinner.  My steak was undercooked (I like mine medium).  The baked potato was nicely cooked and delicious.  The mushrooms and vegetables were very good.

We completed our meals with their signature dessert Billy Miner Pie.  It is delicious and even if you feel full it is light and easy to eat.
We came to the keg to have dinner to celebrate my wife's birthday and I indicated that to the waitress as we were being seated.  In previous visits to the Keg (on the Esplanade) we were asked if we were celebrating anything and when we told them we were celebrating our two boys' birthdays, they provided a complimentary dessert and a handwritten birthday card (see my blog entry for the Keg on Esplanade).  We found this Keg a little less personal and lacking in service this time.  Maybe it was just an off day, we always enjoy any Keg we go to.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 December 2013

BAR ON LOCKE 

178 Locke Street South, Hamilton On., (905) 521-9116, Open for lunch and dinner Mon. - Sat.
Went to Bar on Locke with my son Thomas on a dreary, rainy, December Saturday, late afternoon.  It is located on Locke street in Hamilton (a trendy street of cafes and restaurants). This bistro has been here a long time and is quite popular, with a regular clientele.
It has an easy vibe - playing soft jazz and a laid back feel.
It has an inviting bar and a variety of diner like booths.
Notice the Christmas wreath made of wine corks.
We began with a half litre of Chilean wine.
Thomas ordered the hot hamburger dinner - it was very large and delicious - it had a great gravy and a good variety of ingredients.



I had their pad thai with chicken and it too had a nice selection of ingredients that blended well in a spicy sauce.  It was very good.



The food was tasty, the service was pleasant, the atmosphere was laid back and the prices were fair.  We will definitely come back to try other dinner selections and libations here - it is definitely worth a visit!

Bar On Locke on Urbanspoon
http://www.baronlocke.com/

Saturday, 14 December 2013

MALUCA WINE BAR RESTAURANT 

142 Lakeshore Rd. E. Downtown Oakville, (905) 842-6111, Dinner 7 days a week
We made reservations for Friday at 7 and the lads and I met for dinner and drinks at Maluca on Lakeshore road in downtown Oakville.
It was already starting to get busy and by the time we finished our appetizers it was full.  On the table there was a bowl of curried popcorn, which went well with the libations we started with.  

During our meal, we ordered several bottles of wine including a nice cabernet from California.
Since this restaurant's menu is mostly based on sharing plates, we ordered several - there were six of us.  Among them we had a couple of delicious trays of charcuterie (although the slices were extremely thin).

We also had a couple of platters of seafood that included calamari, the smallest scallops I have ever seen and a couple of deep fried smelts.  These trays could only be shared by two people.  We also selected a couple of mushroom pizzas that were very cheesy and loaded with toppings.
For mains most of us chose their burger.  The burger was juicy and filling and it was accompanied by roasted potatoes.

One of us ordered a nice salad. It was delicious.
He also had the mussels with pasta - it had a good amount of mussels on it.
Although we were all well fed, I found the platters rather small and we had to order quite a few of them.  The trays were unique but small.  I have had better sharing platters elsewhere. The burger was tasty and filling. We found our server very efficient and friendly.  The atmosphere and clientele that frequent this establishment made the evening very pleasant.  The place has a comfortable feel to it.


However, the best part of the evening was the company of the lads being together again!!


Maluca Wine Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Na ROMA PIZZA BAR 

215 Locke Street, Hamilton On., (905) 525-5599, Mon.-Thurs. and Sunday 11 am-9pm, Fri. and Sat. 11 am-10 pm
My son Thomas and I, decided to go to Locke Street in Hamilton for a pizza on a Sunday evening in early November.  We went to Na Roma Pizza.  
It is located in a converted Victorian house and has a good sized patio on the front facing the street.  This particular Sunday evening every restaurant on Locke Street was extremely busy. The interior of the restaurant has an unusual  layout consisting of two levels.  The lower level has tables and the upper level has bar height long tables.  It is quite tight inside - but it works.  There are many interesting photos of Hamilton's history lining the walls which helps encourage discussion.


Although conversation is encouraged here, the room is noisy due to the hard surfaces and needs a bit of soundproofing.  However, the food is very good.  We ordered a beer and pizza.

We split a small pizza with two different choices on it.

One half was Brie and Prosciutto and consisted of mozzarella, triple cream brie cheese, prosciutto, fig jam, caramelized onions, arugula, and reduced balsamic.  The other half was Pollo Alla Brace.  It had mozzarella, BBQ chicken, cheddar cheese, red onion and mushrooms.  The crust was nice and light and the toppings were copious and very tasty.
The food here is very good.  They usually have a featured soup and their salads are gigantic.
We went back August 16th 2014 to try some more of their delicious pizzas and they were still great as was the service.  Keep up the great work Na Roma!!



The house wine was good too!
NĂ Roma Pizza Bar on Urbanspoon



Sunday, 3 November 2013

THE KEG STEAKHOUSE and BAR 

26 The Esplanade, St. Lawrence Market District, Toronto, (416) 367-0685 Dinner and Late Night seven days a week.

On Saturday night in early November, we decided to have dinner at the Keg in Toronto on the Esplanade - behind the Sony Centre.  Bon Jovi was playing a couple of blocks away at the Air Canada Centre, so the area was unusually busy.  We have been to this Keg before, for appetizers and drinks before a Leafs game a few weeks earlier and we wanted to try it for a full meal, since it had such a comfortable ambiance.


 While reviewing the menu we ordered some beer and wine.





A nice fresh warm loaf arrived with butter to get us started.

Our son Mark ordered the bacon wrapped scallops with a martini sauce as his appetizer and he enjoyed them, though they were rather small.

Our son Thomas ordered the baked garlic shrimp with herbs, Jack and cheddar cheeses for his appetizer.  He found them delicious.
I ordered the escargot stuffed mushroom caps in a curried butter sauce.  These are always amazing and the butter bun is great for mopping up the remaining sauce.

My wife opted for the caesar salad - it was cool crispy and delicious.

Mark ordered the Creole Chicken with shrimp and scallops sauteed in Creole seasonings, accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. He really enjoyed this dish.
Thomas had the Teriyaki sirloin steak done medium rare with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.  He found it very satisfying.
My wife had the Zesty grilled salmon fillet basted with a sweet and mildly spiced sauce, with rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables.  She said it was very good.  I tasted some of it and she was right.  It was a delicious piece of salmon.
I had a perfectly cooked sirloin with baked potato and butter, with seasonal vegetables - it was classic keg - the steak was tender and the taste was pure steak!
We all completed our dinners with the classic keg dessert Billy Miner pie, a mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with hot fudge, caramel and almonds.  It doesn't matter how full you feel there is always room for this dessert which tastes lighter than it looks.
At this point we were treated to a nice surprise.  When we first arrived, our very efficient and personable waiter asked whether we were here for any occasion, or just dinner.  I had mentioned that we were here to celebrate our sons' birthdays (they were both near the end of October).  They received complimentary Billy Miner pies with sparklers!  This was a nice surprise which we did not expect.  

Also, the restaurant General Manager arrived with two cards wishing them happy birthday!  
A very nice touch, which we all really appreciated and will certainly bring us back.  Thank you Keg Esplanade, it was a very enjoyable evening.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Urbanspoon
http://www.kegsteakhouse.com/en/locations/ON/toronto/esplanade-keg/