Tag Archives: restaurant

Review: The Sony Centre Partner Neighborhood Restaurant – Real Mo-Mo’s

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Before or after a performance at The Sony Centre check out Real Mo-Mo’s. It can be found across the street from the Sony Centre for Performing Arts – think European, relaxed and delicious. Be sure to grab a special discount off your food/drink receipt when you show your Sony Centre for Performing Arts ticket before or after your show! A perfect way to stretch your dollar, feed you and your guests and keep the good energy flowing!

Monique and her team do the most gorgeous High Tea. It is probably the best deal in the city.  Offered daily between 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. for $30 (for two people) you will be fed Speculaas, Dutch stroop wafel, selection of cakes and a scone with fruit compote and butter, Cucumber and tzatziki sandwich, Dutch chicken curry salad sandwich, smoked salmon & goat cheese brioche and Dutch bitterballen.  Make it a Cream High Tea (add two glasses of Pink Prosecco).

We swooned over the Dutch chicken curry salad sandwich which was fresh, tasty and fragrant. It was filling and not too strong that it took over the flavours from the other goodies on the tier tray.  I wish I could eat a bowl of this as a midnight snack some nights.

The smoked salmon & goat cheese brioche was just as exquisite. It even came with a bit of attitude and flair in presentation with an onion cutting waving us a hello upon entering our mouths.  The smoked salmon was luscious and clean.  The goat cheese brioche just melted in one bite.  The sizing in the portions was grand and not typical for High Tea fare.

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The most decadent savoury item was the Dutch bitterballen with mustard. Who knew such a tasty little item the size of a ping pong ball would be so flavourful and curious.  How did the meat stay so lush in the deep fried ball, we wondered?

For our tea choice, we went for the traditional Earl Grey leaves to linger upon and enjoy with our casual conversation. We loved the glassware tea service.  It was modern and very Dutch in its clean lines.  Throughout the meal we would stare up at the crown moulding ceiling, lavender walls, comfy furniture and natural wood.

For some quick additions to the High Tea we ordered Mo-Mo’s Tibetan Dumplings which were crispy vegetable dumplings with mango chutney. Think lil packages stuffed with mushroom, ginger and cabbage.  We loved the mango chutney which had touches of tamarind in each bite.

Moving on, we tried out the Down Under Sliders which consisted of (wait for it) grilled kangaroo, caramelized onions, granny smith apple, creamy brie, homemade beetroot jam on buttery brioche buns. Talk about a surprise and indeed something different.  We were told by Monique, the owner, that the kangaroo is ordered in advance from the butcher and is certainly unique in flavour.  We were not disappointed.  It was certainly a rich experience.  The beetroot jam would be a perfect ally for a Sunday in bed with tea and toast.

Another win was the Bison Burger. Think Goat cheese, pickled red onions, mustard aioli, tomatoes served on a warm soft pretzel bun.  The Zucchini Spears were the perfect addition.  The batter was crisp, not oily and awesome to crunch on in between sips of tea and laughter.  The hot cross bun styles made us smile and hugged the burger.  The Bison Burger was satisfying, tender but pretty heavy for a High Tea addition.

As we carried on with the sweets portion of the meal we tucked into the Speculaas, Dutch stroop wafel, scone with fruit compote and butter with ease. Light, fairy like and decadent.

As Monique says, ‘ The hospitality at Real Mo-Mo’s is not profit-driven, but rather, focussed on establishing meaningful relationships with our clients. With this, and additional luxury of delicious brunches, lunches and dinners carefully prepared for them, I am certain that my guests will feel right at home at Real Mo-Mo’s.’

Don’t forget to visit Real Mo-Mo’s during Winterlicious in Toronto from January 27 – February 9, 2017.

Bonne Appetite!

http://realmomos.com/

http://www.sonycentre.ca/plan-your-visit/restaurants

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Toronto Symphony Orchestra Dining Partner: ‘Azure Restaurant & Bar’ at the InterContinental Toronto Centre

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Featuring contemporary Canadian cuisine, the Azure Restaurant & Bar restaurant in downtown Toronto offers an innovative dining experience. Showcasing the city’s diverse culinary influences in a pleasing modern environment, Azure Restaurant & Bar offers a distinct selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef de Cuisine Grace DiFede creates a tempting culinary journey, using the ingredients to take your taste buds off the beaten path. Stylish private dining rooms provide intimate spaces for parties and private dining, and Azure Lounge offers the ultimate space to unwind. For a delectable buffet breakfast, inspiring business lunch or lingering dinner and drinks, Azure is a sophisticated and inviting option loved by locals and travelers alike.

Located in the open lobby of the luxurious InterContinental Toronto Centre, the Azure Restaurant & Bar is a modern urban escape. Soaring floor-to-ceiling windows meet a gorgeous glass canopy, letting diners look out onto the cityscape. Enjoy the ambiance of outdoor dining all year long, and experience superior service from a knowledgeable, attentive staff. Stunning blue glass artwork from Stuart Reid floats above the bar, which serves signature martinis, organic local beer and thoughtful wine selections. Pamper your senses and indulge your hunger for serene, contemporary dining at Azure Restaurant & Bar.

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Review:

Upon entering the modern and relaxing space we were guided to our seats which overlooked the Azure Restaurant & Bar. The hanging sconces and dim lights were romantic but at the same time offered us comfort. The city lights shone into the window and the music playing was gentle to the ears.  We viewed fellow guests enjoying intimate conversations with one another, a few were quietly eating their meals on their own with a glass of wine and some were just taking in the moment.

Glancing at the Cocktail List at the Azure Restaurant & Bar is a sight to behold. We sipped our Azure Blue cocktails which had flavours of coconut and pineapple (white rum + malibu + pineapple juice + lime juice + blue curacao) and Apple Ginger Punch which was laden with ginger, spice and everything nice (bacardi black + galliano + angostura bitters + thyme syrup + apple cider + ginger beer) quietly.  They were beautifully hand crafted and potent in the first sip.

To begin we ordered the Crisp Pork Belly & Chive Blini which consisted of red cabbage slaw, sour cream and fig marmalade. The pork belly was beautifully cooked. Although solid in placement, when consumed it was fluffy and buttery.  Almost cloud like.  The crust was nicely baked and tender.  The sour cream and fig marmalade indeed took a back seat to the pork belly but illuminated its flavour once it hit the palate.

The Quinoa & Endive Salad was zesty and humorous. The granny smith apple, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds were laced elegantly with pomegranate yogurt.  The Quinoa & Endive Salad was a wonderful introduction to the meal.  Light, airy and yet brimming with delight in its crispiness and subtle flavours.

If you are stopping in for a quick bite or before a performance at The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, order the Charcuterie Board. It consists of cured meats, pickled vegetables, olives, mustard and crostini. Think rustic and ‘oh so’ Italy meets Canadiana on a piece of slate.  Put a slice of salami on the crostini with a dash of the spicy mustard.  It was divine, powerful and must be had with a wine or beer from the bar.  The Mezze Platter or the Cheese Board will also make great first dates for the evening.  Wonderful additions if you are looking to prolong your evening with good company.

For the mains, the Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast came to the table sat politely on an island of beetroot mash, squash, brussel sprouts and drizzled with cherry jus. The Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast was majestic, rich and generous.  Filling but not to the point of exhaustion.  The beetroot mash could easily been eaten on its own sat in a reclining chair looking out at your back garden in the summer.  This dish was picturesque.  The mini brussel sprouts were cheeky and plumped up the plate.  The Pomegranate Glazed Duck Breast can be dwelled upon over conversation or satiated even further with a glass from Organized Crime’s ‘Break In’ (Pinot Noir).

If seafood is your fancy, the Grain Mustard Coated Salmon requires a gentle introduction. The salmon was beautifully cooked and was a substantial size as it said hello on a freshly made bed of couscous, fennel, radicchio and blood orange nage.  Truly ceremonial.  Flavourful, tantalizing and romantic.  This plate was all glamour but subtle.  It definitely stayed in its own lane.  Pair the Grain Mustard Coated Salmon with Cantina Rauscedo’s (Pinot Grigio).

For the steak lover in your life, the Striploin Steak and Fries had the best fanfare. Think Wellington County Beef drizzled with jus, caramelized onions, double smoked bacon, bbq aioli and corn bread.  This plate immediately transported us to a back country smokehouse with all the trimmings.  Woody, aromatic and yet no nonsense.   From the beauty of the meat – simple and uncomplicated.  To the dancing caramelized onions and double smoked bacon – this dish popped.  The bbq aioli was quietly noticeable.  The Colores Del Sol ‘Malbec’s’ was the perfect pairing with the Striploin Steak and Fries.

Dessert was just as verbose and refined at Azure Restaurant & Bar. The Lemon Cheesecake consisted of graham crust, candied lemon, citrus segment salad and toasted sesame seeds.  The Lemon Cheesecake was the perfect end to a rich, tantalizing adventure in modern Canadian cuisine at Azure Restaurant & Bar.

Grab a reservation with Azure Restaurant & Bar over Winterlicious in the weeks ahead. You will be guaranteed a beautifully curated meal and an authentic foodie experience before you trot off for a date at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Azure Restaurant & Bar

225 Front Street West

416.597.8142

https://www.tso.ca/concerts/plan-your-visit/restaurants

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e0e8a417e9dd2410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Review: The Sony Centre Neighborhood Partner Restaurant: Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place Street Level

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Marché is a marketplace-style restaurant located inside Brookfield place in downtown Toronto with a dedication to freshness, home-made recipes, and “on the spot” preparation of seasonal and regional products – an experience for all of your senses.

Featuring 8 unique food stations, including Italian, Asian, Grill, Seafood, Green Island, Fruit Island, Beverage Bar, and a Café, there is something to please everyone.

Review:

Before the Batsheva performance at The Sony Centre tonight, hang out for a delicious and nutritious meal at Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place Street Level.  Found across the street from Union Station (literally a two minute walk)! The vibe is chill, family friendly and relaxed.  Most importantly, grab a special discount off your food/drink receipt when you show your Batsheva ticket this afternoon!  A perfect way to stretch your dollar, feed you and your guests and keep the good energy a glow for the day!

As you enter Marché Mövenpick Brookfield, you will be greeted by a greeter who will provide you with a reloadable swipe card that you can use to ‘swipe’ your purchases for the day.  Easy peasy.   I loved that I was able to take my time with my guest and soak in the international flair and foods.  No pressure, the experience right from the get go felt sweet.

First stop, we checked out the ‘Find Your Tasty Treat’ board and thought about what we fancied.  Sushi?  Stir fry?  Hot tea?  Desserts?  Seafood?  There was a lot to pick from and for all dietary types –we were covered.  Forget the use of a menu, use your eyes.

We grabbed a quick cocktail in the Muv Bar and took in the ambiance of the space.  The Muv Bar is sleek, sophisticated and sexy.  A perfect before a night out drink spot, catch a game, meet friends or after work chill spot.  The hanging liquor bottles on hooks provided for a great conversation piece.  The icicle chandeliers and plush seating provided comfort and a respite after winter’s chill.

Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place is the best kept secret in the downtown core.  It is a perfect eatery for families, visitors, a girl’s night out or guys wanting to catch a game (show your ACC/Rogers Centre ticket and get a sports meal for $11.99 and one free beverage on the day of the game).  The free wifi can be your date if you are sat alone and need to get some work done while having a quick meal.  The pressure is off when you have your appetite in your hands to stroll around at your leisure.

As we continued to walk through the space we took our time having a custom made salad prepared for us.   The Cajun Shrimp Salad was robust with Cajun shrimp, arugula, corn salsa, sliced red cabbage, mango coleslaw with a lemon lime vinaigrette.  It was crisp and fresh.  A perfect starter.

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The rotisserie station was a buzz – with the fragrant aromas of roast beef and chicken hitting the air.    For the ‘meat and potatoes’ guests with your group – this is a perfect stop.  We sampled the roast beef which was tender, almost sweet and delicate.

A quick stop for a custom made sangria.  We opted for red sangria which was subtle in taste and laden with the sweetest orange slices and berries.  We instantly felt like were in Europe walking within a market while taking in more food options for our day.

There are many different rooms you can dine in while visiting Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place.  The French bistro styled room and Swiss cottage were our favourites.  True enclaves within the space, one can slip into the French bistro for a quick drink or tuck into the Swiss cottage for a rousing roast party with your after work colleagues.  The rooms are beautifully curated.  The French bistro styled room has white floors, black short bistro styled tables, white walls and linen style curtains.  Whereas, the Swiss cottage is reminiscent of Heidi on the mountain top, skis, winter gear, wooden furniture with hearts engraved into them.  Ambience is at its best inside Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place.  That said, if take out is more your fancy – Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place is happy to pack up your meal for your commute home.

If you are looking for options for you’re after work week and don’t have time to cook – pick up a roast chicken that could easily feed four, grilled veggies and some potato rosti’s to go.  Forget the competition, Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place roast chickens are to die for.  Succulent, beautifully seasoned and hearty.  If you choose to eat it in the restaurant with your friends before a show at The Sony Centre, the staff will be happy to carve it up for you and your guests to enjoy hot and in the moment.

The seafood bar albeit small is heaping with choice for you and your fish friendly mates.  We loved the shrimp stir fry and fish tacos.  The plates were heaping with colourful delights!  Get your vitamin D at this station in one shot.

The dessert bar is a space to be reckoned with.  Heaps of brownies, butter tarts, slices of cakes, gelato, pies and macarons.  Similar to the Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place’s ideals – there is truly a dessert for everyone, even if you don’t have a sweet tooth.  We loved the double chocolate cookies, blueberry and cranberry scones from the tea/coffee station.  They are a perfect go to for an early morning treat or evening ‘After 8’.  Be sure to grab a latte or cranberry purifier tea on your way out.

A gentle head’s up, Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place’s food pricing does not go by weight instead goes by size of your order.  Feel free to go with what your eyes and belly feel like in the moment – you will not be disappointed.

If you need to drop your kids off in the Kids Play Area – feel free.  The tea and coffee will brew as the kids have fun away from restaurant guests but still close enough so you can see your kids in action. Kids eat for $9.90.  On Saturday and Sunday between 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. kids eat for free!  Marché Mövenpick Brookfield is also happy to host your Kids Birthday Parties.

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Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place also hosts Corporate Events for you and your co-workers.  If you are keen on a Paint Night with your girlfriends, Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place can host for a nominal fee.  Paint a canvas, have a drink and have some delicious eats.  Foodies and artisans unite!

Upon paying for your meals, give the cashier your reloadable Marche Toronto card which swiped all of your food/drink purchases during your visit. It’s quick and easy! Make sure you also get your Loyalty meal card stamped. For every $15 meal you purchase, you get a loyalty stamp. Once you hit 10 loyalty stamps, your next $15 meal is on Marche Toronto.

Bonne Appetite!

Marché International is a global company with Swiss roots that develops innovative culinary solutions and provides catering services characterized by maximum freshness, quality and taste. Marché International operates restaurant businesses in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Norway, Hungary, Croatia, Singapore, Indonesia and Canada under the established brand names Marché®, Marché Mövenpick, Mövenpick Restaurants, Cindy’s Diner and Palavrion Grill. Part of the Mövenpick Group, Marché International is a leading restaurant operator on motorways, in airports and in selected urban locations. It generated sales of CHF 230 million in 2015 and employs around 2,800 members of staff. Headquarters are in Kemptthal, Switzerland.

Marché Mövenpick Brookfield Place Street Level

181 Bay Street

Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2T3

Tel: +1 647 350 6999 ext.4

Fax: +1 647 350 7999

brookfieldplace@marche-restaurants.com

Business hours

Sunday – Thursday

7.30 am – 11.00 pm

Friday – Saturday

7.30 am – 01.00 am

http://www.marche-restaurants.com

http://www.sonycentre.ca/plan-your-visit/restaurants

Bar Isabel

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We went to Bar Isabel on 797 College for my birthday a few weeks back.  Bar Isabel is one of the best restaurants in the city right now.  We had high expectations and at the same time felt some trepidation that we may be walking into a hipster space.

The Bar Isabel space was small and echoed of a Spanish tavern with a robust bar.  We felt instantly at home and very comfy in a booth to the side that gave us a prime view of the establishment.  We arrived at the 6 p.m. opening time.  By 6:10 p.m. the space was full.

Jess, our server, greeted us and we were made to feel like our patronage was appreciated.

Jess reassured us our 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. seating was not meant to be rushed.  But for us to relax and enjoy the time.   She was correct, from the time we ordered and the first plate came to the table – it was minutes.

We started off with a cocktail.  The name escapes my mind but it contained two different types of whiskey.  It was so gorgeous that we ordered another within 30 minutes of the first drinks going down.  At $15 a pop we were pretty hammered but not too hammered to enjoy what was to come.

To Begin

To begin we started with a Marinated Sardine Montadito (2pc) $6.  The sardines were flown in from Portugal and were the tastiest and most succulent sardines I have ever had.  The baguette that the sardines sat on top of added a rustic texture but yet were still easy to bite into.  We ended up ordering two of these dishes.  I recommend you do the same.

We also ordered the Swordfish Tiradito, Smoked Olives, Sweet Peas, Crispy Jamón, Sorrel & Olive Brine Sauce $15.  It was so fresh and flavourful it might as well had been butter on a plate.  The texture was soft and went down smooth as velvet.  I appreciated the pairing of the sweet peas and  crispy jamón with the swordfish.  This dish was not as filling as it may look.  There was a perfect amount of food on the plate.  The plates were like pieces of art that accented the food but did not steal their thunder.

Meat

I was so looking forward to the Smoked Sweetbreads, Raw Tuna, Spicy Pickled Green Tomato & Brown Butter $20.  They did not disappoint.  If you have had sweetbreads in the past, Bar Isabel’s sweetbreads have angels that float down and whisper sweet nothings in your ears as you delicately eat this dish.  The raw tuna was so fresh it was almost like it melted in my mouth.  Don’t be afraid of this dish.  If you don’t order it, you haven’t had the full Bar Isabel experience.

The Half Cornish Hen A La Plancha, Chorizo, Chili-Garlic Hot Sauce, Wild Arugula Salad $26 was a treat.  It came out last.  I really appreciate the layering of these dishes as they came out to us.  I loved the luxury of the Half Cornish Hen.  It was the protein we needed to leave us satiated but not ‘full’.  The Wild Arugula Salad was also a nice touch that paired up nicely to the warm Cornish Hen.

Dessert

For dessert as we were celebrating birthdays, we ordered the Basque Cake & Sherry Cream $9 and Leche Frita & Salted Dulce de Leche $7.  The Basque Cake & Sherry Cream was the light sister to the powerhouse of the Leche Frita & Salted Dulce de Leche.  Dear Lord.  We appreciated both desserts but having condensed milk squares (Leche Frita & Salted Dulce de Leche) come to your table as an end of meal delight – they might t as well roll out my bed and pillow.  We were left romanced by the whole Bar Isabel experience.

Our next reservation is in 4 weeks’ time.

http://barisabel.com/

Winterlicious Highlight: BerBer Social

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Winterlicious in Toronto always offers a flurry of excitement to see which restaurants will be offering unique wares to celebrate the season. 

This past Saturday night, I decided to check out Berber Social tucked downstairs behind an ornately designed door between Front Street and Church in Toronto.  I wanted comfort, warmth, great service and most importantly top food for my money.

BerBer Social takes you back to a time, when the Berbers of North Africa bestowed exquisite gifts of urban living on medieval Europe.  The focus at Berber Social is that of a style artisan selection.  The ambience in the space was casually decadent, with ornate furniture, chandeliers, luxe pillows and soft furnishings.  The ceilings were low and the vibe extremely sexy but yet sophisticated.

I was seated in a gorgeous enclave with a lovely set table, chiselled wooden painted chairs and the most comfy pillows.  After walking down King Street in the cold – this was a welcome spot.

I was greeted by Rebecca, my server for the night.  She was gracious and gave me some lovely insight on food and drink choices.  There was a lot of room to breathe and take my time.  This really echoed the energy in the space.  I decided to pick my three courses from the Winterlicious menu that included of the Duck Confit (Muscovy duck confit, served with cranberry chutney and toasted brioche), Braised Short Rib (Tender fall off the bone beef, braised with traditional spices, Finished with a rich red wine demi-glace, Served over creamed leek and potato mash and Accompanied by seasonal vegetables) and the Creme Brulée du Jour (A rich and flavourful crème brulée).

The Duck Confit was just the perfect palate lure into my entrée.  It was light, tantalizing and easy to eat.  It indeed left me wanting more.  I decided to sip my Kiss Me Cosmo (Absolut, Peach, Grand Marnier, Pomegranate and Lime Juice) as I savoured each delectable bite.  The cranberry chutney highlighted the Muscovy duck gorgeously while amplifying the crunchy brioche.  A true surprise.

Upon completion my plate was quickly taken away and replaced with the Braised Short Rib.  If you are looking for a true winter treat – this is your choice on the BerBer Social Winterlicous menu.  I would suggest going to Berber Social for this alone.  Fall off the bone beef is an understatement.  This beef was like butter.  The beef I was told by Executive Chef Erik Kekes-Marshall, was braised for close to 8 hours.  It oozed goodness on top of a bed of a flavourful but simple creamed leek and potato mash.  I felt like I was back in England again as I sopped the beef up into the mash.  Ladies and gentlemen, a true Winterlicious winner. 

Before my dessert I opted for the Blue Berber Martini (Blueberry Liquor, Hypnotq, Sparkling Wine and Lemon Juice).  It was lovely taking a moment in to inhale the relaxed ambience of the restaurant.  The drinks are extremely generous made for an even more delightful experience.

Again almost like magic my plate was replaced with the Crème Brulée du Jour.  Sipping my martini in between bites of my dessert was a true ovation.  The Crème Brulée du Jour was light and the sugared crust made for a nice play on sweet and crunchy.  Toffee like but still staying true to the essence of a well-made Brulée.  My only quip would be to add some berries on the side for a lil added zest.  Overall – divine.

Both Executive Chef Kekes-Marshall and Head Chef Harrison need to be applauded for putting such a cohesive but light menu together.  The meal as a whole was a perfect aperitif to an evening out for more drinks and merriment. 

I left Berber Social feeling satiated.  The martinis offered a nice interlude in between the courses.  I recommend looking at the drink menu and also if you have a chance the luxurious tea box as an after dinner warm treat.  BerBer Social has some lovely staples that even past Winterlicious is worthy of making an investment to visit time and time again.  If not only for the food but the true experience of being in a unique dining space.

Winterlicious runs from January 25, 2013 – February 7, 2013.

BerBer Resto Bar Lounge

49 Front St E

Toronto, Ontario

Phone:  416-860-9000

http://www.berbersocial.com/