How Sweet It Is

Sweet!: The Delicious Story of Candy By Ann Love and Jane Drake; Illustrated by Claudia Davila Tundra Books; $14.99, 64 pp. softcover publication April 14th, 2009 (hardcover © 2007) Some might say that a book about candy, with kids as the target market, could be a little off-base in this era of childhood obesity and […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Cafe Du Lac

Café du Lac 2350 Lakeshore Boulevard West 416-848-7381 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $30 If Toronto wasn’t already known as a brunch town, just wait until people really start feeling the recession pinch. Already considered much more economical and family-friendly than dinner at a high-end restaurant or a business lunch, brunch […]

Read More

We’re All Family Here

Mother’s Dumplings 79 Huron Street 416-217-2008 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and soda: $25 I’m not exactly sure how I’ve managed to miss this place for so long. Shortly after Mother’s Dumplings started getting good buzz in the food-loving community, the husband came home with some leftovers from his lunch there and it’s […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – The Harbord Room

The Harbord Room 89 Harbord Street 416-962-8989 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $43 Restaurateurs spend a lot of money making their places look elegant. Only sometimes is that comfortable elegance actually achieved; more often than not many restaurants feel stilted, contrived and downright inhospitable, which is generally not the original goal. […]

Read More

Falling Flat

Tortilla Flats 458 Queen Street West 416-203-0088 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and margaritas: $80 This was supposed to be a review of Tattoo Rock Parlor. But when we arrived to an empty restaurant, then waited for a server who never appeared while bad rock music blared on the sound system, we bailed. […]

Read More

Dinner on the Roof of the World

Tibet Kitchen 1544 Queen Street West 416-913-8726 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer: $50 A week from today, the eyes of the world will be on China. Some people will watch with fingers crossed, cheering on their country’s athletes, while others will direct their attention toward the potential political protests that may […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – The Ultimate Cafe

Ultimate Café 293 King Street West 416-977-9690 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $30   Ultimate is a big claim when it comes to a restaurant. Working with the definition “not to be improved upon or surpassed”, calling yourself the ultimate anything sets the standard of quality pretty darn high. Higher than […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Lula Lounge

Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas Street West 416-588-0307 brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $34   “Hey, did you know Lula does brunch?” my husband asked, waving a colourful postcard that he had found on the sidewalk at me. “We should go!” And so we do, because we like brunch and because we’ve […]

Read More

The Harlem Shuffle

Harlem 67 Richmond Street East 416-368-1920 Dinner for two with all taxes and tip plus beer or wine: $110 The Harlem Shuffle – an R&B song originally written and recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963, named after a line dance step that is an homage to the dance clubs that existed during […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Dunn’s Famous

Dunn’s Famous 284A King Street West 416-599-5464 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $34 I’m still looking for a Jewish Grandma. Seriously, there must be some kind-hearted elderly lady out there hoping for someone to drop by and eat their homemade gefilte fish. Call me. In the meantime, until someone adopts me, […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Rustic Cosmo

Rustic Cosmo 1278 Queen Street West 416-531-4924 brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $30 I am, admittedly, one of those people who go out for brunch specifically because I hate making eggs benedict at home. It’s not that I can’t, but the endeavour inevitably leaves me cranky, covered in hollandaise and left […]

Read More

The Good Kind of Loud

Allen’s 143 Danforth Avenue 416-463-3086 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer: $90 The hot new thing for restaurant critics these days is to complain about the volume at the places they’re reviewing. Having to scream across the table to be heard is never a good thing, and the more, um, mature, our […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Oyster Boy

  Oyster Boy 872 Queen Street West 416-534-3432 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $55 Walking along Queen West on a sunny morning heading to Oyster Boy, a car passed us blaring a tune that was predominantly accordion music. We couldn’t really tell if it was a Newfoundland jig or some “welcome […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – The Beaver

  The Beaver 1192 Queen Street West 416-537-2768 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee and juice: $34 Beaver Loves You.   The sentiment may be genuine, pre-emptive or merely provocative; (“Dude, I love beaver too!!”) but there’s no denying that the note on the bill at this funky restaurant on the edge […]

Read More

No Grain, No Pain

Everyday Grain-Free Gourmet: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass Whitecap, 2008 Imagine a world where bread hurts. I don’t mean getting whacked in the head with a baguette, but where eating bread or rice or a gooey cinnamon roll causes real illness and pain. For people suffering from celiac disease, items made […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Mitzi’s Sister

  Mitzi’s Sister 1554 Queen Street West 416-532-2570 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip, plus coffee and juice: $40 I have a love/hate relationship with the brunch at Mitzi’s Sister. I love the homey, laid back vibe, the friendly servers, the eclectic tunes, and the constantly changing garnishes on what is likely my favourite […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Sunset Grill

Sunset Grill 1 Richmond Street West (and other locations) 416-861-0514 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $23 People like breakfast. They want it hot, fast and familiar. They’re even willing to stand in line for it if that combination can be guaranteed. Thus is the business plan on which the Sunset Grill […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – Niagara Street Cafe

Niagara Street Café 169 Niagara Street 416-703-4222 Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $52 I’ve always heard good things about the Niagara Street Café. It’s original incarnation was run by a mother/daughter team who used free-range and organic ingredients. When it transferred hands in 2004, it continued to gain accolades, particularly at […]

Read More

Feeling Brazen

Brazen Head Irish Pub 165 East Liberty Street 416-535-8787 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer: $80 In the still-barren wasteland of culinary choices that is Liberty Village, a beacon has been lit. Yes, yes, there’s Thuet and Liberty Café, but there really isn’t a cozy place with a decent beer selection and […]

Read More

The Orange Glow of the Disco Era

Okonomi House 23 Charles Street West 416-925-6176 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and tea: $30 Despite its reputation as “Toronto the Good”, our fair city was supposedly quite the hedonistic place during the disco era. Centred around the Yonge Street strip, beautiful young things in white suits or wrap dresses and wedge heels […]

Read More

Yes, We Have Some Bananas

  Johny Banana 181 Bathurst Street 416-304-0101 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer/juice: $35 So I was at one of the many restaurant opening media thingies we get invited to. And while the booze was flowing, the food was sparse, and small when it actually appeared. On an empty stomach, a couple […]

Read More

My Little Dumpling

Yu Shan Dumpling Cuisine 771 Dundas Street West 416-869-0606 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer (no dessert): $40 I’m always jonesing for the dumplings from that other dumpling place over on Huron Street, but never seem to make it over there. So when I found myself at Bathurst and Dundas recently, and […]

Read More

Maroc the Casbah

The Sultan’s Tent & Café Maroc 49 Front Street East 416-961-0601 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beer/wine: Sultan’s Tent – $110, Café Maroc – $90 The first visit was the typical cliché – it was my birthday and I was fascinated with belly dancing, so I dragged everyone to the Sultan’s Tent. […]

Read More

Zippity Street Food

Zippie Café 1718 Queen Street West 647-723-9292 lunch for two with all taxes tip and juice (no apps): $33 In the whole debate we’ve been having in Toronto about street food, one thing seems to have been forgotten – that it should be not only delicious, but simple and easy to eat with the hands. […]

Read More

Treated Like a King at Udupi Palace

Udupi Palace 1460 Gerrard Street East 416-405-8138 Dinner (no dessert) for two with all taxes, tip and mango lassi (unlicensed): $40 Everyone who visits Little India inevitably has their favourite place to eat. Mine happens to be a chain. Yes, a chain. Udupi Palace has locations in Maryland, Illinois, Seattle, Queens and Mountain View, California […]

Read More

Sunday Brunch – beerbistro

beerbistro 18 King Street East 416-861-9872 Three course brunch for two with all taxes and tip: $90 There’s an old cliché about the difference between night and day, but I’ve actually found a good example for which to apply it. I guess you could say I’m one of those “sensitive types”, or maybe my hearing […]

Read More

Good Phở Fo’ Shizzle

Phở Asia 21 1208 King Street West 647-436-0680 Dinner for two with all taxes, tip and beverage: $30 My immediate neighbourhood is not well known for its fine dining. Sure, there’s a couple of awesome Ethiopian places within walking distance, not to mention The Gladstone, The Drake, Beaver Cafe, and some interesting Tibetan restaurants if […]

Read More

Mitzi’s Cafe and Gallery

Mitzi’s Café & Gallery 100 Sorauren Avenue (at Pearson) 416-588-1234 lunch for two with coffee, tax and tip; $35, cash only Think for a moment about your perfect neighbourhood café. It would be small and cozy, hidden from the beaten path, but still busy enough to flourish. There would be funky mismatched furniture, artwork on […]

Read More