Tag Archives: Toronto

The Casual Restaurant Critic in Toronto (Part II)

Along with the great restaurants mentioned in the previous Toronto post, there was a disappointment or two. One of these was the Chinese (Cantonese) restaurant Lai Wah Heen (http://www.laiwahheen.com/) supposedly one of the better Cantonese restaurants this side of the orient. Um, no. The service was almost Yucatecan and there was really nothing seriously wonderful about the food which was tasty of course, but it was not the gourmet experience the Critic was hoping for and had experienced at upscale Chinese restaurants in Vancouver.


Another restaurant with a great reputation which left the Critic cold was the Quanto Basta restaurant on Yonge Street (http://www.quantobasta.ca/home). The service was fine, actually very good but not quite at the level of Splendido but this was probably because Quanto Basta is a little more casual. The food was good but nothing really stood out. There are no photos of this place as a) it was very dark inside; b) the Critic didn’t bring his camera and c) a lot of wine was being drunk, so you will have to visit their website, dear reader!

The Casual Restaurant Critic and some Tips for Toronto

On a recent trip to eastern Canada; specifically Toronto, the Critic was able to sample some of the city’s restaurants. Here are some mini-reviews for your enjoyment.


Apparently this is a popular place for breakfast, according to some websites that know about such things. A lineup was waiting for Better Half and the Critic on sunny Toronto morning but the wait (about 5 minutes) was well worth it. Quick service, great food and big portions will ensure you are not starving when out and about (said in a Canadian accent) in the city during the rest of the day. The eggs benny are varied and fantastic. Critic and Half visited the downtown location on Wellington street in the “entertainment district” but they are all over the place.



The BierMarkt 

There are several locations of the BierMarkt restaurants (http://www.thebiermarkt.com/index.php) and beer lovers

will love the ability to try several beers from around the world. In the photos, a selection of Belgian beers that one can order. Again, great place, and the Smoked Meat Poutine (the meat is smoked in house or so one is told) is To Die For. Honest. The Critic has tried just a few poutines but this one is a winner!

(it's a German thing)

to die for


It’s espléndido just like the name says. This was probably the highlight of the trip, restaurant-wise (http://splendido.ca/welcome/) Amazing room, unbelievably delicious and inventive food and the service was top-notch. Look at this fried egg appetizer with greens, garlic and your very own hen egg to prepare.

The result is scumptious and the smell of the sauteeing garlic is sublime. Almost as sublime as the main dish ordered by the Critic; Yorkshire Pig aka Pork Belly, Pancetta Wrapped Tenderloin & Boudin Noir Smoked Shoulder Baked Beans, Sweet Potato & Cranberry (copy pasted directly from their menu). Look at the photos!