Sunday, 18 August 2013


741 Queen Street West (just west of Bathurst Street), Toronto, On., (647) 748-3113 Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, No reservations.
There is a new restaurant in the Queen West area between Bathurst and Ossington that has a wonderful large patio right on the street.  It is called Destingo and is a great place to sit, sip wine (they have a nice selection of reds and whites), eat and people watch.  It has taken over a space that was once a furniture store. 

We arrived on Saturday at about 6:30 and took our time, sipping wine and talking before ordering dinner.  They don't hover over you and allow you to take your time here.
We began by ordering a couple of bottles of California Cabernet Savignon and took our time.  We ordered a plate of brushcetta, they were delicious but small - only three pieces.

We were getting hungry after a while and decided to order some mains.  After we placed our order a platter arrived with an unusual cranberry bread with butter, it was delicious.

My wife, Tom and I ordered the Caesar salad to start.  It was a typical caesar that could have been a bit larger, but it was tasty.
Mark my son ( ordered the beef carpaccio which was a nice presentation and quite large.

For mains my wife and Tom ordered the veal.  It was delicious, but could have been a larger serving.
I had the chicken piccata and it too was delicious, but also could have been a larger serving since the chicken was very thin.
Mark opted for the gnocchi and they were very tender and perfectly tasty even though the presentation was rather bland.

Although this restaurant is quite new, the owner and the chef are quite experienced and it shows.  The food is quite good, the new waitress was very pleasant and the overall feeling was very relaxing - especially on the wonderful patio.  Some of the patio seating does not appear comfortable but we did not mind.  Overall a good experience (even though some portions were quite small) and we will probably come again.

Destingo on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 8 August 2013


1968 Queen Street E, The Beaches, Toronto On. (416) 913-3361, Open for Lunch and Dinner seven days a week, breakfast Sat. and Sun.
After having a picnic lunch and a very long walk along the boardwalk at the beaches, my wife and I decided to go to dinner to the Green Eggplant for a light dinner.  This restaurant is a very popular one in the beaches area of Queen Street near Kew Gardens.

We took a look at the extensive menu and decided to choose something from the seafood section.
First we began with a simple Chianti.

We selected one of the house specialities, the rainbow trout fillet with a garlic lemon sauce, served on a sizzling plate.  It came with a Caesar salad and Basmati rice.  First came the bread basket with three different dips.  One of the dips was a tzatziki base, the second was barbecued base and the third was a hummus based dip.

The accompanying salad was large but quite plain and bland.

The trout fillet was large, hot and simply broiled on a sizzling plate.
The basmati rice was large and nicely cooked.

The inside is comfortable and nicely decorated with large windows opening to the street.  

It is quite a popular restaurant in the beaches for its price, quantity of food and family friendliness.
 Although it was a large quantity of food, it was rather bland and simple.  The server was quick but lacked personality.  The surroundings were comfortable and many meals we saw looked large - especially the salads.  We will probably return to try other selections on their menu.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


57 Discovery Drive, Hamilton On.  (905) 528-5757, Lunch, Dinner, Late, Tuesday to Sunday, Dinner only Monday
After giving this restaurant time to settle and get over the hype of it's entry to the Hamilton restaurant scene, we decided to go for dinner on a beautiful Sunday evening in early August.  This restaurant has a wonderful large and complex patio, consisting of various table arrangements, and seating configurations including couches and pods.  It is worth the visit to sit on this patio, even at the large bar that anchors it.

Since we did not have reservations, we had to wait for a while in the bar area until a table became ready, so we had some wine and watched the boats go by in the bay.  It was a beautiful evening to be on the patio.  My son Mark ( had a rum and coke, a perfect bar drink for a sunny evening.
The bar tender serving us was friendly, efficient and made us feel comfortable as did all the staff at this restaurant!!  When our table became ready, we took a look at the menu.

We ordered a nice Chianti to share.

My wife and I decided to start with the Caesar salad.  It was absolutely delicious with a wonderful balance of real smoked bacon, lemon, croutons and Parmesian.  
Mark, my son decided to start with quinoa fritters with romesco and quacamole.  They were scrumptious, with a lot of flavour.

For our mains my wife and I decided to have the pasta special.  It was the house made fettucini with roast chicken and parmesian, tomatoes and sprouts in a light sauce.  It was outstanding and we both enjoyed every morsel.  We would order this again if it was on the menu.
Mark ordered one of his favourite combinations, not often seen as a main, seared scallops and pork belly, with sweet pea puree and rhubarb-daikon slaw.  It was very good.
My wife and Mark decided to try a desert.  My wife had the cheesecake. It was heavenly - though a little small.
Mark had the vanilla gelato.  It was sweet and tasty.
It was a wonderful meal on a beautiful evening.  

If the weather or the season changes there is a beautiful interior to this restaurant as well.

The food, the service and the location make this restaurant worth a visit.  We will definitely return.

Well, we returned exactly a year (August 2 2014, approximately 7 pm ) later.  The attitude had changed.  There was a snotty girl receptionist who told us there was no way we would be able to get in without a reservation (which we tried to make about 3 o'clock the same day).  This was such a different attitude from just a year ago, when we were allowed to drink at the bar until a table became ready!!  We saw many empty tables both inside and out!!  So, we went to Spencer's in Burlington (a far superior restaurant by most standards) and were welcomed with open arms - they too were very busy but made an effort not to turn us away.  We had a wonderful table on the patio overlooking the lake and spent a lot of money there!!  Sarcoa needs to get back to the attitude they previously had, sooner or later it will lose patrons!!!!  I have seen tweets and stories of patrons who will not return because of the attitude here!!

Sarcoa on Urbanspoon


5283 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls On., (905) 358-6951 Open for Lunch and Dinner
After checking out some restaurants in Niagara Falls, we decided to try Four Brothers on a Wednesday night in late July.  We read reviews and checked the website before we went.  The website describes it as a family run restaurant that has been here since 1964.  When we saw the exterior we thought it looked kind of weathered, but when we went inside it was like a time warp.  The furniture was old, the tables were worn, there was a musty smell - we had entered 1964!!  It looked like the owners had not spent a dime on the interior since 1964.

We began by ordering a standard wine (Masi) found in most Italian restaurants.

An order of dry bread arrived with butter, not olive oil.

We perused the menu.

I decided to have the minestrone soup.  It was basically vegetable soup with a few beans - not very appetizing.

We decided to share an appetizer of fried calamari - they were served with a store bought seafood dipping sauce, normally used with shrimp!
My wife ordered the homemade gnocchi in tomato sauce.  She found them good, but they had an unusual shape for gnocchi.
I ordered the Filetto di  Pesce (basa fillet) seasoned in a white wine and tomato sauce.  The sauce was basically tomatoes floating in oil and was very heavy.  The basa was tender and easy to eat.  The accompanying pasta was dull and too al dente.
It became obvious during our meal that this restaurant was stuck in the past and content with producing the same menu day in and day out, resulting in not only a mediocre product but also a horrible old environment in need of serious renovation.  The service was good, but we will not be returning to this establishment and will simply describe it as another Niagara Falls tourist trap, despite what others may say!!

Four Brothers Restaurant & Tavern on Urbanspoon