I’m going back to Toronto today! And of course, I have grand eating plans. To give you an idea what I’ll be writing about for the next while, here’s a list of the places I want to review. There’s a running theme of what restaurants and neighbourhoods have changed, what food trends are growing, and how the Toronto dinig scene compares to Montreal. Not so much a competition between the cities. Mostly a love story. Call me a romantic.
1. A comparison review of Hiro Sushi and Ame Sushi. Ame Sushi has taken over the space where the restaurant Rain used to be. The owners have not changed, but they are presenting a very different kind of culinary experience. I never went to Rain but I knew it was one of the swankiest places in town. It’ll be fun to compare both the high quality of fish and the different styles of Japanese cuisine at both Ame and Hiro. These two restaurants stand in firm opposition to the growing trend of Japanese fusion and mediocre sushi restaurants in the city. It’s disappointing to see that Montreal has even lower sushi standards and fusion is picking up here as well. Toronto can maybe start to feel a little proud of its Japanese restaurants, which are slowly catching up to Vancouver in terms of quality options.
2. A review of Da Gianni e Maria, an Italian restaurant I reviewed just before leaving Toronto two years ago. At the time it was the most authentic Italian experience I found in the city. Now with the new and improved St. Clair area, which was under construction the entire time I lived in the city, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s changed in the restaurant, if anything. Hopefully it’s stayed exactly as old-school Italian as it always was.
3. A review of Cruda Cafe, a new raw restaurant in St. Lawrence Market, a shocking change to the mainly meat-centric market takeaways. I’ve been to Live Organic food bar in Toronto and Montreal’s Crudessence, and Montreal definitely wins the raw battle…until now?
4. A comparison review of Nunu’s Ethiopian Fusion, a new Ethiopian restaurant outside of the Bloorcourt Village, and Zembaba’s, a much more casual Ethiopian bar/restaurant in Bloorcourt Village that I reviewed before I left. Basically I want an excuse to rant about the upscale swing of Ethiopian in the city that now makes it very similar to the Ethiopian restaurant options of Montreal, like Le Nil Bleu.
6. A review of restaurant Loire (I will mention Gilead Bistro, where Jamie Kennedy has taken back over the kitchen helm, but not review it since it has recently been reviewed by the Globe). Loire opened just after I moved to Montreal. This restaurant seems to be what half the good restaurants in Montreal are – authentic – and so it’s worthy of a comparison to some of the French restaurants I’ve tried in Montreal since my move (Au Petit Extra, Aix Cuisine du Terroir).