Sunday, January 30, 2011

WINTERLICIOUS: Great Braised Rabbit at Globe Bistro

Our first stop for Winterlicious this year was Globe Bistro on the Danforth. It's one of those restaurants we've always meant to try but never got around to it...and Winterlicious is one of those great opportunities to get a taste.

We were pleasantly surprised stepping into the modern restaurant at how far big it actually was, stretching deep to the back and with a second (and maybe third?) floor, where we were seated. The hosts at the front seemed a bit scrambled, Winterlicious is probably an exceptionally busy time, but we were quickly taken to our seats. We dined with our friends Julie and Daniel, and we knew right away what we wanted:

To start, we had the elk broth and salumi plate. The broth was tasty but nothing extraordinary, and the salumi plate was quite good...I'd say the salumi plate was the better choice. For mains, we had the roasted wellington country rib, which looked and smelled delicious but was a bit on the dry side. The braised rabbit accompanied by polenta and a rosemary froth, on the other hand, was fantastic - every bite was tender, flavourful, and just amazing. After passing it off for Tony to try, I quickly tried to steal it back! The rabbit was definitely the best main, but I recommend anyone going to visit to maybe try the Ling Cod, we couldn't decide between that and the rib. For dessert, I had a tasty walnut butter tart while Tony had originally ordered the goats milk panna cotta...but when he received the espresso chocolate mousse cake made the wise decision to keep it (he had a taste of the panna cotta from Julie and Daniel).

Overall, we were pleased with our Winterlicious experience at Globe. The rabbit was really outstanding enough to warrant a return at some point! The restaurant is very modern and would make a great place for a small party or gathering.

Globe Bistro
124 Danforth Ave

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Great Love of Porchetta

I am always on the hunt for great porchetta, and I was happy to have found a new place had opened on Dundas West.

My love of porchetta started in 2005, when my friend Lorena and I went to the south of France and stumbled on this amazing stuffed pig at a deli in the Nice market. Our face pressed against the glass in awe led a lovely lady to come greet us....who turned out to be American and cut us a small slice to try it out. It was stuffed with lots of herbs and other sweet-meats, it was amazing. We were in heaven, and I have been in love ever since.

When we were in NYC last year,
we made our way to Porchetta, a small deli on the East side. And this week, I discovered that a porchetta deli had opened right here in Toronto, Porchetta&Co.! I, of course, felt obligated to go and try it out as soon as possible - could it be as good as in France?? We made our way there for a late brunch today (Sunday), which was the right choice given there's really only 4 stools, it's kind of a grab and go kind of place...and very very similar to the one in NYC, no idea if they are related. We did manage to get a seat along the bar, facing out to Dundas St. We each had a porchetta sandwich topped with truffle sauce (if you get this, I recommend not adding too much mustard afterwards...takes away from the truffle!), and a side of black lentil and beef short rib soup to warm up from the cold. Next time I think I'd like to add the rapini on my sandwich. It was a very good sandwich indeed, similar to what we had in NYC; but sadly, not like the porchetta I had in Nice. Don't let my mild disappointment fool you, it is good, simple and hearty food, and definitely worth a visit. Don't expect a seat (it's a bonus if you get one), but drop by to grab a sandwich on your way out on weekend errands.

Porchetta & Co. 825 Dundas St. West
Tues-Sat 11am - 9pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

Redemption: A Tasty Meal at Coquine

It's not often that we'll return to a restaurant we've had a bad experience in, but the exception is usually made for gatherings because it's not really about the food, there's always something acceptable to eat, it's about the people. We made a return to Coquine Bistro on Yonge this weekend for a friend's birthday. Long time followers of my blog know I generally don't write "trash" reviews - why share bad experiences? I'm here to celebrate food! I have shared some mediocre experiences in the past, usually to express my disappointment more than anything. Coquine was one such experience more than a year ago where we stopped in for a bite after picking our friends up from the airport and were served a disappointing meal that came slow and cold. I was disappointed because the menu had looked so good online! Well today, we have redemption! We had a wonderful meal last night and are glad we had the opportunity to return.

To start:
I had escargots, which were baked with lots of ooey gooey cheese. They were hot and delicious and exactly what I was expecting. Tony had French onion soup, which was also delicious. The soup was not super salty as it is in most cases, but had a rich, sweet onion taste. We were both pleased.

I was still a little skeptical of the restaurant when I ordered,
so in debating between the veal bourguignon and seafood linguine, I decided to go with the safer linguine - how can anyone screw up pasta right? My seafood linguine ended up being AMAZING, probably one of the best seafood pastas I have had (imagine that!). It was served with copious amounts of seafood, I could barely finish the giant scallop, mussels (done just right), shrimp, clams...let alone the fresh pasta. It was all served in a little peppery white wine broth and was just perfect. I lapped it all up in the end! Tony had veal liver, and he was also very happy with his meal, asking for it rare, it came more like medium rare, but actually quite perfect how it arrived. Served with a savoury sauce of onions and mushrooms, Tony said it was some of the best liver he's had in years.

Our meals were such large portions that I was too full to indulge in dessert, but the waitress kindly brought over a chocolate lava cake and creme brulee for the birthday girl that was passed around - I had a small bite of the cake which was oozing chocolate; no doubt, having a whole dessert would have been good too!

I'm very happy to write about what a great meal we had, especially since we were so disappointed the first time. Our waitress was also quite good, no wine glass was ever empty or had to be filled by the group themselves. Hopefully Coquine maintains its consistency and our bad experience was pure bad luck! We are definitely happy to recommend and return to Coquine now!

Coquine is at 2075 Yonge Street, phone 416-322-6767.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Well it's time for Winterlicious again! Reservations start today for a great deal on a number of restaurants across the city - whether you need a place for a night out or just interested in trying some new restaurants, this is the time to do it!

This year, Tony and I have settled on 3 restaurants to check out: Globe, Celestin, and Auberge du Pommier. It will be our first time at all these restaurants - very exciting.

Where will you go??

For some tips on the Winterlicious experience, see my post from 2010: How to Winterlicious :) I also shared some great experiences at North 44 and Trevor's Kitchen from last year, 2 restaurants I highly recommend. Reservations open today, so start calling!