In Part 1 of this series, I listed my favourite restaurants in Toronto, from the steakhouse Jacob's to the stellar Mexican spot Playa Cabana.
In this post, I'll reveal some of the more standout dishes that have me returning to a particular restaurant, and I welcome your feedback/questions in the Comments section or on Twitter.
Let's get right to it...
Fat Pasha's Cauliflower
Yes, cauli makes the list because you've never had roasted cauliflower like this before. Anthony Rose's Middle Eastern joint on Dupont crafts a practically perfect side: perfectly roasted, the massive veggie comes complete with cubed halloumi cheese, hot sauce, tahini, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts. It's massive enough to feed two but if you're feeling ambition go for it!
I'm a big fan of brisket and have sampled it at many Toronto spots, but Barque's cut always has me crawling back. It's tender, moist, with enough burnt edges to make it addictively sumptuous. Barque's other meats are also tasty, but I've had better ribs elsewhere, so if you have to choose one dish out its extensive menu, I'd recommend the brisket.
Seven Lives' Gobernador Taco
The lineup in this Kensington hot-spot can be daunting, but the Gobernador taco is worth the wait. Packed with house-smoked tuna, grilled shrimp and cheese, the signature taco at Seven Lives gets mad respect for always being consistently delicious. Note this is more of a take-out spot and there is limited seating and standing area.
Kiva's' Matzah Ball Soup
Diving into the deep end of this Jewish soup requires a trek up north to Kiva's near Bathurst and Steeles, but if you're a fan of a great matzah ball soup, Kiva's is the place to be. I'm always impressed by their massive matzah balls and a soup base that is never too salty or bland. L'chaim!
At this Susur Lee resto on Wellington, your meal won't be complete without getting the Luckee Duck. It's an unusual dish insofar you have to wrap duck slices in "momo wraps" and fill it apple, leeks, watercress, cranberry compote and dip it into hoisin sauce. Duck is hit-or-miss for me but there's something about the succulent cuts at Luckee, and how the cranberry nicely complements the meaty wraps. [Photo below]
Cafe Boulud's Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
This breakfast dish is pure yum. The lemon and ricotta go so well together, you would think this combo would be a staple at brunch spots across the GTA. Hat-tip to the chef for blending the two ingredients so seamlessly, without sacrificing the flavour of either. Drizzling the hotcakes with Ontario maple syrup makes this dish the ultimate indulgence.
Greg's Ice Cream's Toasted Marshmallow
I couldn't resist bookending this post with a quick word about my go-to ice cream spot in Toronto. Greg's has long been fielding Annex'ers hungry to try some of his wild flavours, and while some are too out-there for my tastes (the Lager one is gross) my fave is toasted marshmallow. Supposedly, Greg and his team roast the marshmallows themselves. And I believe it. What hits your buds is a fresh sweet taste of marshmallows, tinged with that campfire flavour. Just don't get a pint of this goodness, because it'll be gone within 24 hours...I know that from experience.
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