September Recap

I spent several weeks in Toronto (and Montreal, briefly) in September and am now just going through my photos and food memories.

One of the few great dining experiences I had was at Le Paradis. The simple appetizer of grilled sardines and tomatos was amazing! I was also impressed with the modestly priced menu. At Nota Bene, the rabbit and papardelle was perfect. Pho Hung in the heart of Chinatown served their noodles in a refreshingly light broth. At Trattoria Nervosa, I had the braised veal meatballs with osso bucco which was a carnivore's delight.

The most memorable meal was a late lunch I had across the street from the AGO. I was between film showings and wanted some real food. Swayed simply by the Illy sign outside, I popped into a small gallery/cafe, passing through the long gallery to the creperie in the back. To my delight, they had a hidden garden space with a few small tables between the narrow buildings. There was also a cooler full of handmade truffles. Very tempting, but it was impossible to choose between the dozen or so flavors. I ended up having just the smoked salmon crepe with goat cheese, resolving to have their truffles someday.

I spent most mornings at B Espresso inside the Royal Conservatory of Music. A flaky croissant and an impeccablely made latte. The sun-filled atrium was one of the few places I found in Toronto that was still and quiet. Though the city doesn't have the same coffee culture as the west coast, Dark Horse on Spadina Ave (thanks to Will for taking me there) brewed 49th Parallel beans. Tasty, tasty americanos and a disconcertingly Seattle-like atmosphere.

One thing I was envious of is the proliferation of pubs in Toronto. Vancouver is inundated with restaurant/bar chains that look like nightclubs/sportsbars. Toronto pubs have the most colorful names...The Spotted Dick, The Village Idiot, The Overdraught Irishman. I'm tempted to turn my next visit there into a city-wide pub crawl!