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Top Ten Toronto Restaurant Meals 2008/09

A highly subjective list of the ten best meals eaten in Toronto restaurants during 2008 and 2009.


Lucien Restaurant.

Lucien Restaurant

Lucien – Scot Woods’ inventively modern takes on classic cuisine, coupled with a suavely professional front-of-house team led by Simon Bower, makes for a seamlessly enjoyable restaurant experience. Semi-private room available as a business meeting venue.

Hashimoto – A family affair (dad cooks, mom and son serve) unfolds in a sparely decorated, Zen-tranquil, 10-seat room. Multi-course Japanese kaiseki meals are highly refined and follow the seasons. Reservations must be made a week in advance, so ingredients can be ordered from Japan. The restaurant can be rented out for pvivate events, with at least 10 days notice.

One – Mark McEwan’s upscale restaurant in Yorkville’s tony Hazelton Hotel hits all the right notes: Classy room, deftly gracious service, and unfussy, top-drawer food, such as a sumptuous squab and pillow-soft black cod. Private room available as a business meeting venue.

Oro – This Elm Street stalwart just keeps getting better, from both a food and service standpoint. From peerless pastas to magnificent mains and creative starters, there’s something at every step of the way for the adventurous diner. Three private rooms available as corporate meeting facilities.

Foxley – Tom Thai (ex-Tempo) really struts his stuff in this casual, noisy and fun globally-themed bistro on Ossington. Reservations aren’t taken, so arrive early to enjoy his creative takes on ceviche and much else.

Mengrai – Chef Sasi, who hails from Northern Thailand, turns out cuisine of surpassing subtlety that raises the bar. All hardwood floors, exposed brick and cozy crannies, the casual-sophisticated room only enhances the pleasure. Three private rooms available as a business meeting venue.

Nirvana – Succulent tandoor-cooked dishes (especially the mushrooms and variations on chicken), expertly prepared vegetable dishes and a terrific lamb biryani make this the GTA’s best Northern Indian restaurant. Private room available as a business meeting venue.

Scaramouche Pasta Bar & Grill – The intimate, window-rimmed room offers a panoramic view of the downtown skyline that is almost as delicious as Scott Hildebrandt’s food, which takes its cues from France and Italy. Main dining room available as a business meeting venue.

Via Allegro – Upscale Italian menu’s real treasures are its pastas: delicate crab ravioli scented with lemon; pappardelle with rabbit; agnolotti stuffed with mild salt cod. Boasting up to 5,000 labels, the wine list is among the best in the country. Private room available as a business meeting venue.

93 Harbord – Exec chef Isam Kaisi’s creative spin on classical Middle Eastern cuisine is worth the trip to Harbord Street. Adding to the experience is a friendly and attentive service crew.



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