Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Urban Legend

You may be aware that Scott, M and I do Friday night dinner with our great friends Steen and Nicole. Recently, we discovered that we've been hanging at 6 of TO's top 12 restaurants, 2008. Somehow, given our group propensity to throw icky amounts of disposable income on yummy food, we were not surprised.

While on a hunt to try them all (at least all the ones with in a 30 minute walk from either of our residences) we had a chance to drink, apres dinner (and sans kid), a couple of Fridays ago at The Black Hoof. Who knew a charcuterie could make such fine cocktails?

However, this post is not so much about that debaucherous moment. It's more about dinner at what I imagine will be on 2009's Best Restaurant list: Giancarlo Wine and Pasta Bar. The pics from the link don't quite do it justice. Nor, regrettably does the one below, taken with the cell phone in the rather moody cavern:

Let me just say, this place (much like its venerable Trattoria GianCarlo sibling) is just beautiful. All the building materials have been reclaimed from other environments. The workmanship is fantastic, the staff friendly, the food delicious and the mood sexy.

In fact, a propos of my recent compulsion to eat my body weight in carbs (what is going on, people???), I had not one, but two mains (plus starter, natch), during my delightful dinner excursion. I'd like to tell you I ordered two different mains, but alas, that would be a lie.

Rest assured that the pasta with pesto and smoked chicken defies its boring nomenclature. And, if they like you, you get to order from the fancy Trattoria menu. Which, of course, I forced my co-eaters to do. The Trat's warm chocolate cake with salty caramel is so description-defying, I often dream about it.

PS: Getting out of there for $100.00 (the "reviewer price range") is a pipe dream when you're dining with my crowd. We enjoyed everything, plus lots of booze, and our bill was far in excess of that. Well worth it for the experience though. If you're in town, you should definitely try it out.


  1. When I finally come visit, maybe we can just swing by for some of that caramel-filled cake. DROOL.

  2. I am with Sal, when I come can we go and each order two desserts?

  3. Sausur has always held my interest as you can order lots of variety and enjoy different tastes. For the money, I still think he is tops in Toronto.
    I always found Jamie Kennedy a tad over rated. Same with Mark McEwan.
    For my money I like Sausur to cook or even Lynn Crawford if she is working the grill.

  4. You must know all the great places - maybe you should start a guide?!

  5. Sigh...I do not roll with the same crowd. But if you ever want cafeteria food...give me a ring.

  6. Oh my gosh... I can not stop laughing at the comment before me!

    Now, I'm hungry.. AGAIN.. "sigh"!

  7. Sal: For sure. It's so insanely salty. You will LOVE it.

    Bel: And you're coming too. Let's order 2 mains AND 2 desserts :-)

    Dave: I agree that Jamie is overrated. And, while I know he's revered (and that's great), I don't get Susur. Maybe the fancy chefs are a bit to highstyle for me :-)

    E: With good reason. Come over for lunch :-)

    Diana: I think I should start a guide. There's this amazing blog for eating in Mtl. that I love to refer to: http://endlessbanquet.blogspot.com/. Wouldn't it be fun if I did one for TO?

    Rebecca: I'm sorry if this post seemed idiotically bourgeois. I remember being a starving student and it has its pluses and minuses :-) You have an open invitation to dine here with me, whenever you are in town. Happily my treat!

    GJ: I'm sure you of all people are relating to this post!