Saturday, 29 September 2012




221 Ossington Avenue  
Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8


550 Danforth Ave
Toronto, ON M4K1P7

Service: 4/4
Ambiance: 3 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Price: $$

We finally got around to trying Pizzeria Libretto. The Danforth location takes reservations, and in turn has become essentially a reservations only place. If you don't have a reservation, you can be waiting for hours before a table opens up. We were seated at small one near the buzzing kitchen, where we could feel the heat of the two wood-burning ovens. The decor of concrete flooring and dangling wire lights created a modern-industrial feeling.

As we were sitting down reading the menu, our waiter came over with some FRESH HOT BREAD and a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for us to snack on while we decided on what to get.

We started off with the LIBRETTO MEATBALLS. The meat was juicy, tender,  full of flavour, and smothered in a rich, spicy tomato sauce and topped with freshly shredded parmesan cheese. The dish came with one toasted slice of French baguette- clearly not enough for AM and I to share - so we had to ask for some more in order to devour the last drops of the tasty sauce. 

Next we had the CARPACCIO, of course, we have to try it everywhere we go. Usually is comes with a drizzle of Libretto her oil, but we asked them to hold it we like it in its purest form: parmesan cheese and basil only. The thinly sliced beef was fresh and well complemented by the salty parmesan cheese.

We decided to share the NDUJA SAUSAGE PIZZA. The thin crust pie came toped with tomato sauce, garlic,oregano, basil, mozzarella and stracciatella sausage. The pizza itself was light on toppings but the small amount of the spicy sausage went a long way in terms of flavour. Although we like the thin crust, this went a little too far for us, and was even a little mushy in the middle.

Would we go back? We wouldn't say no if others wanted to

The Libretto Meatballs

  Pizzeria Libretto on Urbanspoon Pizzeria Libretto on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 25 September 2012



18 King Street East
Toronto ON M5C1C4
Service: 3 / 4
Ambiance: 2 / 4
Food: 2 / 4
Price: $$$

Beer Bistro is a well-known spot to try a new beer and eat a few snacks in the St. Lawrence area. Their selection of craft beers is hard to beat. If you're not sure which beer to try, they provide 300ml tasting pints so you can try a few. Unlike the beer menu, the dinner menu is quite small, providing limited options. They are known for their mussel selection; if you ask us, you should stick to that part of the menu; everything else was quite mediocre.

After trying a few samples we went with a pint of DUVEL and a pint of SAM ADAMS to enjoy with our food. To eat, we ordered  a few small plates so that we could try a few things.

The WOOD SMOKED BUFFALO WINGS were marinated in a fruit beer, and splashed with a chipotle hot sauce. Served alongside the wings were the standard celery sticks, accompanied by a Quebec blue cheese and leek dip. Having the sweetness of the fruit beer was a little strange at first, but the bite of the chipotle hot sauce was a saviour, and began to mask the sweet flavour as we continued to eat more.

The BACON WRAPPED JUMBO SHRIMP were served with BBQ sauce herbs and Berkshire beer bacon. The shrimp where large and juicy, but the bacon was soggy and quite fatty. The dish would have been much better if the bacon was still crispy.

We were surprised to see the SPICY SALMON TARTAR arrive in cones.  The tartar was mixed with smoked jalapeños, coriander and lime. This unique presentation looked nice  but it was a bit strange to eat the tartar with the cone.

The HOG TOWN PIZZA came loaded with Berkshire pulled pork, smoked sausage, beer cured bacon, oregano, mozzarella, and garlic. This pork-heavy dish was soaked with a sweet BBQ sauce which tended to overwhelm the pizza. We didn't end up finishing the pie as we found it too be heavy and rich.

Finally came the  BRUSSELS MUSSELS: hot mussels steamed in a broth of affligem  blonde, smoked sausage, tomato, hot chilli, fennel, parsley and garlic. These mussels were cooked perfectly and full of flavour. The smoky sausage and hot chilli were a great combination which made the mussels the stand out dish of the night.

Would we go back? For mussels and Beer only.

The Brussels Mussels

Beer Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 20 September 2012



913 Queen St E
Toronto, ON M4M1J6

Take out only

2.5 / 4

Last Sunday, my cousins and I finally made it out to Paulette's for some fried chicken and doughnuts, we had all been dying to go since it opened in July. When we walked in to the small store front we were all instantly greeted by friendly staff dressed in an old fashioned diner hats and uniforms. This trendy spot is set up strictly for take-out, though there are benches outside the door. We decided to cross the street and eat at a picnic table in the public park.

We ordered  one CHICKEN COMBO between the 4 of us to share. We figured one piece each would be enough for we wanted to leave room for some doughnuts. The combo came with 2 pieces of white meat and 2 pieces of dark meat, one dipping sauce and one side dish. We could not distinguish the dark meat from the white but none of us really minded that.

The Fried Chicken was so crispy and delicious yet not at all greasy. The skin was well seasoned and perfectly fried; it crackled with every bite we took. At first we were a little nervous that the meat would be dried out because the skin was so crispy, but we were pleasantly surprised it was still moist and juicy.
We couldn't decided which side sauces to get, so we got a few to try, including the Tandori BBQ sauce (which featured a variety of very spicy indian flavours. it was not my favourite but JB liked it) and the house made hot sauce which I liked the best.

One thing we could all agree on was ordering the side MAC AND CHEESE. The macaroni was  smothered in a thick, creamy sharp cheddar cheese sauce and topped with crispy chicken skins. It's making my moth water just thinking about it. We should have ordered a large; we were all fighting for the last bite. 

to this point we were very pleased with our choices. All we had left to try were the doughnuts. My cousins, who are both pastry chefs, were especially excited. We ordered the BLUE BERRY BALSAMIC, COCONUT BANANA CREAM, CINNIMON SUGAR and the MOJITO DOUGHNUT. We were largely disappointed by all of them. They were dry, overly sweet and very dense. We all would have rather gone to Tim Hortons for our after dinner treat.

Would we go back? Yes. But for Chicken only!

Fried Chicken

Paulette's Original Donuts and Chicken on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 15 September 2012




217 Ossington Avenue  Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8
(647) 340-0227

Service: 2 . 75 / 4
Ambiance: 3 / 4
Food: 2.8 / 4
Price: $$

Fishbar is the newest kid on the Ossington strip. This trendy restaurant has many small tables placed so close to eatch other that you can't help but hear every conversation except your own.  Fishbar offers shareable tapas-style ocean-wise seafood. Everything on the menu sounded great; it was hard to decide what to order. However, not all he dishes were as good as they appeared. Also, the portion sizes are a bit small and the prices are bit steep, so don't get carried away when ordering.

We starred off with the PEEL N' EAT SHRIMP. The fresh sweet shrimp were accompanied by homemade cocktail sauce and lemon. The cocktail sauce was missing some heat, a little more horseradish would have gone a long way. 

Next, came the dish I was looking most forward to: the TUNA TATAKI. The seared tuna was rolled around scallions and enoki mushrooms, and placed atop swirls of tamari peanut sauce. The tuna was well seasoned and went perfectly with the enoki and peanut sauce. Mmmm!

The FRIED CALAMARI was coated in a thick panko crust so thick it was actually hard to find the squid. It was served along side a creamy sriracha aioli. Overall, the dish was a little disappointing. 

We shared the GRILLED SPICY WILD SHRIMP. They were nicely grilled and served with fresh cilantro, scallions, lime wedges and jalapeño peppers.  Despite the fresh ingredients in the dish,there really were no bold flavours, all the items were fresh but unseasoned. The plate needed some sauce to link all of the ingredients together.

Last, came THE GRILLED SPANISH OCTOPUS, with toasted pine nuts, and balsamic tomato concasse. The toppings were really tasty, but the octopus itself had no flavour and no visible char lines.

Would we go back? Ummm not in any rush

Tuna Tataki

Fishbar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 8 September 2012




1182 Queen Street East  Toronto, ON M4M 1L6
(416) 463-5663

Service: 2 . 2 / 4
Ambiance: 2 . 5 / 4
Food: 3 / 4
Price: $$

Leslie Jones is a charming restaurant in Leslieville.  This causal restaurant features candlelit tables, exposed brick walls, an inviting backyard patio and Chef George Wensley: chef slash DJ. Each night, Wensley prepares your dinner and plays music, all from his tiny open kitchen.

Leslie Jones features  fresh local products to inspire their seasonal menus, providing no-fuss homemade  comfort food.

Local products are visible on their dinner and their drink menus.

 They started us off with a complimentary chickpea and lava been purée with spicy olives and crispy pita bread. The purée was fresh and flavourful, but the pita bread was overcooked and almost too crispy.

 Next was the AVOCADO SALAD. The salad looked boring, but the flavours were bold. The avocado, tomato, red onion and coriander were tossed in a light, refreshing lime dressing. Simple yet delicious. 

After that we had the SEAFOOD ORZO. Shortly after we had ordered, our waiter came to inform us that they had run out of orzo, but they offered to prepare it over an orecchiette pasta instead (which I actually preferred). The pasta was mixed with scallops, tiger shrimp, mussels, chilies, fresh herbs, and spinach, all of which was tossed with a delectable tomato and white wine sauce. The sauce was so tasty I could eat it as a soup.

 Lastly, we ordered THE STUFFED EGGPLANT. The title was a little misleading: the eggplant wasn't actually stuffed, but was  really arranged in a tower of sliced vegetables including eggplant, zucchini, spinach, basil  and goat cheese. It was served with sautéed vegetables and potatoes. This dish reminded me of my grandmas home cooking, simple yet wonderful.

Would we go back? Yes

The Seafood Orzo

Leslie Jones on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 1 September 2012




1220 Queen Street East  Toronto, ON M4L 1C3
(416) 469-5225

Service: 2 . 5 / 4
Ambience: 3 / 4
Food: 3 . 75 / 4
Price: $$

Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant would be very hard to find if you were searching onlyby name.  The restaurant is not marked on the outside but for a very large three dimensional nose hanging over the entrance leading into this eclectic find being dubbed the  'nose' by many.
The decor has a thrift-store-chic feeling; all of the chairs are mismatched as are the plates.  It's best to go here with a group of people so that you can share lots of the small bite plates.

We began with the FRITTO MISTO: Lightly fried calamari and shrimp with a tangy tomato sauce. With a splash of lemon, the dish was perfect. The delicate batter added a nice crisp texture, but did not overwhelm the natural flavour of the seafood.

We had high expectations for the DRY-PACKED SCALLOPS AND PORK BELLY. The scallops were nicely seared with a soft tender texture. The pork belly was salty, which contrasted nicely with the sweet maple sauce.

THE BEEF TENDERLOIN CARPACCIO was served with a crisp green bean salad and parmesan cheese. The carpaccio melted in your mouth it was so soft.  It needed a little squeeze of lemon to add some acidity, but if you like carpaccio you will love this. 

SCOTTY'S MEATBALLis one giant, slow-cooked meatball smothered in a rich tomato sauce. The meatball was juicy, well seasoned and soft. The large chunks of parmesan cheese added a nice saltiness to the dish. It is a great plate to share with a few people.

You can't order a huge meatball and not have any pasta to go with it. We went with a simple LINGUINI  in a garlic-tomato sauce. The pasta was al dente with clean flavours. It was a nice side to accompany our other dishes.

Finally, the BEEF TENDERLOIN. It was tender, well-seasoned and perfectly cooked medium-rare. It was like butter melting in our mouths. We would highly recommend all steak lovers give it a try; it rivals many steakhouses in Toronto.

Would we go back? YES!

Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio

Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant on Urbanspoon