I’ll be the first to admit that I love food, food porn, and talking about food. Many people are self-proclaimed foodies, but I think I have a long way to go before I put myself into that category. Luckily, my career and food-savvy friends have helped mold and evolve my palate so I am well on my way.
I am, however, happy to report that I have experienced some fantastic restaurants this year and wanted to share them in a blog post. Toronto is an amazing city to experience new styles of food, local ingredients, funky restaurants and stellar atmospheres.
Here are just a few of my favourites of 2013.
Favourite Grilled Cheeses:
1- The Grilled Cheese. Located in Kensington Market, $, Recommended GC’s: Dill-licious and the Hamlet https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Grilled-Cheese/189651112424
2- Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. (I may love the restaurant name because my great grandma’s name was Mildred Kelly), $$, Recommended: Little Kay’s favourite grilled cheese sandwich (grilled sourdough bread with apple tomato relish, aged cheddar & mozzarella served with mixed greens) http://www.templekitchen.com/
1- Bar Isabel. $$$$, Recommended: Octopus (1/2 or WHOLE Grilled Octopus- cannot even being to explain how delectable it is.) http://barisabel.com/
2- El Catrin. $$, Recommended: Baja Tacos, BAJA $15 (Crispy fried haddock, chipotle lime coleslaw, flour tortilla), http://www.elcatrin.ca/
Favourite Luxe Comfort Food:
1- Oddseoul. $$, Recommended: Squash Poutine (hunks of tempura style buttercup squash tempura style w/ Japanese curry, kimchi cabbage, cheddar curds, vegetarian gravy, scallions and mayo). No Website.
2- Rock Lobster. $$$, Recommended: Lobster Poutine (Yukon hand-cut frites, lobster bisque gravy, Quebec cheese curds, fresh lobster and chives). http://rocklobsterfood.com/
Favourite Unique Dishes:
1- Woodlot, $$$, Recommended dish: Foie Gras Crème Brulee (w/ toasted spice bread, maldon sea salt and fig preserve). http://woodlottoronto.com
2- Lee, $$$. Recommended unique dish: Cheeseburger spring rolls. Bonus recommended dish: The Asian slaw! http://www.susur.com/lee/
1- Sabai Sabai, $$$ (Same owners as Khao San Road). Recommended dish: House made Green Curry (with shrimp and rice). Bonus dish: The squash fritters are out of this world. http://www.sabaisabaito.ca/
Favourite Fresh Meals:
1- Fresh, $$. All Star Salad (+ goal cheese + house dressing) http://www.freshrestaurants.ca/
2- Fresh, $$. December 2013 special: Squash tacos. http://www.freshrestaurants.ca/
1- Ruby Watchco. (One of my favourite restaurants in the city!) $$$. My birthday dessert: Butterscotch pot de crème (melted in my mouth!). See menu photo below for description. The entire dinner was incredible. http://rubywatchco.ca/
2- Gusto 101. $$, Recommended dish: mix and match your desserts in little bite sized mason jars! http://gusto101.squarespace.com/
Favourite Vacation Restaurants:
1- The Mission, Scottsdale, Arizona. $$$. Everything from traditional Mexican corn and fresh guacamole to avocado margaritas, I recommend this place for anyone in Phoenix/Scottsdale! http://www.themissionaz.com/
2- Husk. Charleston, South Carolina. $$$, One word: Grits. http://www.huskrestaurant.com/
3- Café Habana, New York City. Recommended (and most popular!) dish: Grilled Cuban corn. http://www.cafehabana.com/
4- Bandolero, Washington DC., $$$. Modern Mexican, and oh so good. (Can you tell I love Mexican food?) http://bandolerodc.com/
I hope these pictures and menu links have inspired you to check out some of the incredible restaurants Toronto (or whatever city you reside in!) has to offer.
Happy dining in 2014!