Good restaurants are as easy to find in
Toronto as hockey fans. A sampling of the citys best dining spots,
running the gamut from big bucks to box lunch, follows:
Truffles: The Four Seasons Toronto features one of
the most deservedly praised restaurants in town. Its accolades
include a five-diamond rating from CAA/AAA and a designation by
Gourmet magazine as the No. 1 restaurant in Toronto.
random from the menu, for example, an evening at Truffles could get
off to a flying start with seared foie gras with stuffed Medjool
dates, followed by a truffle-seared baby chicken with black salsify
and Marcona almonds and sealing the deal with a Tahitian vanilla
creme brulee with rhubarb and candied ginger.
Epic: Situated just off the busy lobby of the Fairmont
Royal York, the hotels premier dining room -- one among many at the
big hotel -- is at once posh and welcoming, dominated by a large,
open kitchen that hums with practiced activity of sous chefs doing
A typical dinner
might feature five-spice marinated quail breast as an appetizer,
seared Atlantic salmon or duo of Alberta beef tenderloin and Nova
Scotia lobster tortellini for the main course. Theres a variety of
artfully done-up desserts.
Garden: Dont be put off by the plastic table covers and
the pedestrian decor. This popular hole in the wall, located at 331
Spadina Ave. in the heart of Torontos Chinatown, features a
Cantonese menu noted for its fresh seafood at remarkably
inexpensive prices. Dont miss the shrimp and scrambled egg
" Lai Wah
Heen: This pan-Asian gem is located, unlikely enough, in
the boutique Metropolitan Hotel, but dont think it is for guests
alone. Smart Torontonians have been dining at Lai Wah Heen for
years -- and no wonder.
Great food in a
classy setting is the restaurants winning recipe. Take an order of
fried rice, for example. Nothing special there; that is, until the
chef adds slivers of ginger to the mix and turns the commonplace
Chinese dish into a delicacy.
Sandwich Box: This place is easy to find: Just go to the
junction of Howard and Queen Street West and follow the line of
people into the shopping arcade. There, the Sandwich Box makes an
art of making a grilled sandwich. Fillings include spreads, meats,
veggies and cheeses. Customers have nine types of bread and three
topping sauces from which to choose. All this for $5.48 Canadian
Fresh: If two outlets make a chain, this is a
chain. As its name suggests, the food here is made fresh, with no
hidden dairy products, processed sweeteners or preservatives.
Burgers, for example, are made from high-protein almond, grain and
tofu. Drinks range from smoothies and teas to wheatgrass shakes and
reporter Joe Rosen, send e-mail to [email protected].