[MEDIA] ONE Restaurant ★★★★★

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Disclaimer: Thanks to BrandingandBuzzing, I was given the opportunity to attend an intimate media dinner at ONE Restaurant last year with a few fellow foodies. Had a wonderful time sampling the menu and getting to know everyone. I definitely felt spoiled! The … Continue reading

Winterlicious 2012 – Canoe Restaurant

Canoe is one of my personal favourite restaurants, which is evident from my previous review.

However, I recently ate here on the first day of Winterlicious and I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with the food this time. Maybe it was because this was the first day of Winterlicious or the menu itself but I found the food somewhat bland in taste for certain dishes.

My starter was fine, I had clover roads duck rillette with gribiche, pretzel bread & forbes’ wild flavours. With the main dish however, I had braised Alberta lamb pappardelle with walnuts & mill st. coffee porter sauce but felt the noodles were a bit undercooked? My dessert, birch syrup pudding with bacon caramel & ginger foam was good but the portion was incredibly small. I’m usually one not to complain about portions because I know most fine dining restaurants don’t offer you large portions like more main stream restaurants. However, this was a bit too small for even me. As for drinks, I enjoyed the Winterlicious special pear and cranberry non-alcoholic drink. It was very fruity.

Overall, I did enjoy myself at Canoe. Even if sometimes I felt it was hectic (there were 2-3 people coming to our table, the waiter and 2 staff members), who were very nice and friendly but came too frequently for me to fully enjoy my meal with friends. I also felt a little rushed at the end to leave but our group did stay for almost 3 hours, so its understandable. Would still recommend visiting here.

Website: http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx
Location: 66 Wellington Street West, 54th Floor of TD Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6
Telephone: (416) 364-0054
Hours: Monday to Friday: 11:45am to 10:30pm, Saturday & Sunday: closed for private events

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Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

X – Foodie Wish List – X

Yes, I have a restaurant wish list!
Being the “foodie” that I am, I constantly look for interesting restaurants that have good reviews or big hype.

The following are restaurants I want to try:
1. One Restaurant: http://www.onehazelton.com/
2. Splendido: http://splendido.ca/welcome/
3. Hy’s Steakhouse: http://www.hyssteakhouse.com/hys-toronto-directions.html
4. Nota Bene: http://notabenerestaurant.com/welcome/
5. North 44: http://www.north44restaurant.com/
6. Ruth Chris Steakhouse: http://www.ruthschris.com/Steak-House/3877/Toronto
7. Scaramouche Restaurant: http://www.scaramoucherestaurant.com/
8. 360 Restaurant, CN Tower:http://www.cntower.ca/360_restaurant/overview/

NOTE* All restaurants I listed are very expensive $$$! So if you have been to any of these restaurants, please comment about the experience.

Canoe Restaurant & Bar ★★★★★

Price: Over $50+

I have to say the best restaurant I have been to so far is Canoe and it continually has been so for the past few years. Canoe has great service, friendly staff and “foodie goodness” food. Haha. It is a place where you can pick anything off the menu, no matter what foreign names they use and still know the food will be good. With an exception to the watermelon soup, I am not a fan of that at all.

I highly recommend it because the restaurant itself is very nice and provides a scenic view of the C.N. Tower and lake. It is a good place for dates, lunches/dinners with your boss or coworkers. To get the maximum experience, I suggest when making reservations to ask for a table next to the window, preferably facing either the C.N. Tower or lake. Optimum times to eat should be in the afternoon/evening, during the sunset.

Website: http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx
Location: 66 Wellington Street West, 54th Floor of TD Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6
Telephone: (416) 364-0054
Hours: Monday to Friday: 11:45am to 10:30pm, Saturday & Sunday: closed for private events

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Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

GUU SakaBar ★★★★1/2

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

Similar to GUU Izakaya review, GUU SakaBar has a more limited menu but basically is the same. They have Tatami mats, which is something different so I would visit just to see what its like.

I introduced a friend to this restaurant and now she’s a fellow GUU fan! Definitely foodie goodness! I suggest trying the GUU cocktail drinks such as Cherry Blossom (very sweet) and possibly Three Samurai (I see a lot of people having that recently).

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/sakabar/menu/
Location: 559 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON, M5S 1Y6
Phone: (647) 343-1101
Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Friday to Saturday:  5pm – 12:30am
Sunday:  5pm – 11:30pm

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Guu Sakabar on Urbanspoon

GUU Izakaya Toronto ★★★★★

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

GUU = DELICIOUSNESS!! They are so popular that there is a slang for when you want to eat there. GUU-ING! As in “lets go GUU-ing!” Haha. Now, you either hate or love eating here. The reason being: its always packed, they don’t take reservations, line-ups are akin to clubs, its always loud and dish portions are small compared to what you are use to in North America.

To navigate your way through this and get the best “GUU-ing” experience possible..here are a few tips I would suggest following:

1) Keep your group small, the less people you have the easier it will be to seat you.
2) Go when they open, its easier to get in. Otherwise, you could be stuck waiting 20 mins+ for a table.
3) Order in one go. If possible, check the menu before going and know what you want. Its always packed so food takes a while to get to you. Keep in mind there is a 2 hour max seating time.

It’s really easy to rack up a bill but I suggest trying their Takoyaki – deep fried octopus balls ($5.00), Enoki Hotate Bacon – enoki mushrooms and scallop wrapped in bacon ($6.00), Yakiudon Noodles – pan fried udon noodles w/ beef and veggies ($7.80), Buta Kimchi Bibimbap – rice, spicy ground pork, kimchi, egg in a hot stone pot ($8.80) and for dessert Banana Tempura – fried banana w/ coconut ice cream ($6.00).

Great for casual dinner with friends and family, possibly dates if you don’t mind the noise. Note: If it is your first time, dont worry if you hear all the staff yelling when you come in or leave..they are just greeting and saying goodbye in Japanese. I previously visited with a friend once and she was startled by this.

Note: There is a new GUU location in Toronto, called GUU SakaBar. Their menu is a little bit more limited but still worth a visit because they have tatami mats.

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/under/menu/TorontoFoodMenu.pdf
Location: 398 Church Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A2
Phone: (416) 977-0999
Hours:
Monday to Friday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Saturday & Sunday:  4pm – 11:30pm

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Guu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Richtree Market Restaurant ★★★ 1/2

Price: 10-15+

Similar to Marche, Richtree follows the same method using an individual card to add food costs to your bill so you can pay at a cash register afterwards. Depending on each location, there may be smaller restaurants such as the one located at Eaton Centre. There is no seating except in the food court and no need for individual cards to be used. Other locations I have visited are College Park and the one underground around Scotia Plaza, which has seating.

Good for lunches with friends and coworkers.

TIP: If you come 10-15 minutes before they close, they will sell any food made that day for 50% off!

Website: http://www.richtree.ca/
Locations: Various locations

Marche Restaurant ★★★1/2

Price: $10-15+

If you are not familiar with this restaurant, it provides diners with a unique market-style experience. Diners go in with a personal card and order anything they want. Food will then be charged on your card to be later paid when you leave. This allows you to pay for yourself with no worries on being charged the wrong amount if in a large group. Or if you are paying for both parties or splitting costs for one item, you can just charge on one card.

There are also separate stations where you can order meat, sushi, seafood, pizza, pasta, salad, dessert, tea, alcohol, even juice/smoothies! All freshly made right in front of you.

Great for lunches with friends, casual birthday parties/events. A place where you can come after work or during break-time.

Website: http://marche.moevenpick.com
Locations: Various locations. Review for Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5J 2T3
Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 7:30am – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 7:30 – 1am
Phone: (647) 350-6999