Monday, 25 February 2013


37 King St. E., Inside the King Edward Hotel, Toronto On.,  M5C 1E9, (416) 863-9700 Lunch, Dinner and Late Night 
We went to the Consort bar for drinks Friday night after visiting the St. Lawrence Market and having dinner at the Hot House.  This bar is located in the lobby area of the King Edward Hotel on King Street East.

There is a good selection of appetizers, sharing plates and small mains on the menu.

Decided to have a cocktail in the bar, since we had just finished a large dinner.  The bar is calm, dark and comfortable.  

We sat in high back chairs at a large window overlooking King Street and had a large Grey Goose Martini with a twist.  It was delicious, as were the snacks served in a bowl with the drink (a nice touch).  
We will definitely be returning here for libations in the future.  The menu however, did look rather pricey for the selections I saw being served.  The drinks are also rather pricey here.

We now return often and really enjoy the calmness of the bar and their wonderful cocktails.  

Strawberry Basil Smash
delicious old fashion

The Consort Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, 22 February 2013


We went to the St. Lawrence market to check things out.  It has been a long time since we have been here.  Things sure have changed - especially the prices and selection.  There are some wonderful stalls to visit.

Just look at these roasts and steaks.

Do you want marinated meat on a stick?

How about some olives?

How about some treats, cakes and pastry?

Does caviar turn you on?

Do you cook with olive oil?

This only a small selection of stalls in this amazing market.  You have to visit here when you are in this area of Toronto.


35 Church St. Toronto On., St. Lawrence Market/Old Town M5E 1C9, (416) 366-7800

Went to the Hot House Cafe on a  blustery winter night in February that included freezing rain, snow, sleet and rain all at once (the only thing missing were locusts).  We spent some time in the St. Lawrence Market (a fresh food market near the restaurant) before coming here, so we were hungry when we arrived.

The waiter brought us some bread in a basket with butter.

We began by ordering a nice French Merlot.

Then we ordered fried calamari, with a hot sauce and creamy chive dip.  They were crispy and we liked the hot sauce.
My wife had the crispy chicken stir fry with broccoli, strips of chicken, red and yellow bell peppers, bean sprouts, and snow peas in a sweet and sour sauce, served over basmati rice.  It was delicious and huge (but should have included more chicken).

I had the barramundi pan fried fish fillet with garlic and parsley mashed potatoes and crisp carrots and beans.  The fish was very hot and tasty and the mashed potatoes were great.

Overall, it was a good meal that was filling and very reasonably priced.  I would return and try something else of the menu to see if it was as good.  The service was very efficient.  The manager came over to ask if we were enjoying our meal (a nice touch).  The restaurant became busier as the night went on.

Hot House Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 16 February 2013


297 King Street, W. Entertainment District, Toronto On., (416) 977-4461

My wife and I went to the Kit Kat restaurant after a long afternoon in the Auto Show at the Toronto Convention Centre.  It has to be the worst laid out convention centre in the world.  We walked for miles.  Needless to say we were hungry for a good meal.  After walking down to the King Street restaurant strip we decided to see if we could get into the Kit Kat without reservations.  The weather was nasty this Saturday night, it was a virtual blizzard in the downtown.  Luckily we got inside and were able find a spot in a short line waiting to get in, thanks to John Carbone, the owner manager who promised he would get us in without a reservation.  

We have been to this restaurant many times before.  I have even eaten at the short and narrow bar.  
After waiting for a while, a waitress came around and took our coats and hung them up.  Shortly after this we were seated at a table for two.

We sat directly across from the open kitchen.  If you look carefully you will see a tree trunk just beside the kitchen near the stairs - yes it is a real tree!

It was a good vantage point, though it felt like a highway.  We noticed how well the chefs enjoyed their job and were comfortable with all the staff, who kibitzed with them all evening.  These chefs were very efficient and certainly were skilled.  We noticed how everyone who worked here worked as a team to make sure things ran smoothly in such a small and extremely busy space.

We ordered a bottle of Masi Campofiorin Italian wine to start and decided on a light appetizer.  We ordered a caesar salad each and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The lettuce was crisp and the sauce was very good, as was the crisp garlic bread that came with it.  Since we were under a red spotlight, it made our food pictures reddish.

We were told the evening specials, which sounded very tempting, but ended up ordering what we have had here many times before.  
So we both ordered the veal piccata. It consisted of two large and delicious pieces of tender veal, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini, grilled peppers in a lemon, wine, butter sauce that was wonderful.  It was a satisfying and delicious meal.

Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice due to the red spot light.  But after I pulled the veal off of the potatoes it is more apparent how large the portion is.  

The waiters and waitresses have immense patience to work in such a busy narrow place, but they always smile and are extremely friendly.  John must be a good boss to work for, to keep the entire crew working so hard.  Hats off to all of them.  It is positively worth a visit!  You will not be disappointed.  The total before tip was just under $122.

Kit Kat on Urbanspoon

Food for Pleasure Ottawa restaurants

Monday, 11 February 2013

THE EXCHANGE (Rideau Centre) 

ByWard Market, Lower Town, Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau Street, Ottawa ON., (613) 234-5544

Went to the Exchange in the Rideau Shopping Centre by myself while my son and wife went shopping.  I was hungry and thirsty so I decided to try their menu after seeing various dishes the patrons were eating.  There were plenty of large windows facing the mall so it was easy to see what kind of food was being served.  
I decided to sit at the bar and asked what kind of California wine they had.  The bartender Robin suggested a nice Cabernet, so I tried it - it was delicious.

After trying to make up my mind as to what to choose from the menu, I decided on the shepherds pie with house salad ($12.50).  It came in a cast iron pan and was a generous portion.  It was satisfying, but a little bland.  The salad was just ordinary.  

The service by Robin the bartender was very efficient, the food was satisfying and the wine was awesome what more do you need for lunch in Ottawa (a beautiful city).

The Exchange on Urbanspoon