Quetzal (Toronto)


Back to Toronto. As you probably do not recall, I was there with for a few days with a group of colleagues in June. On the first night the entire group ate a banquet dinner at Crown Princess together. On the second night I ate dinner by myself at Canis. On the third and final night two members of the group joined me for dinner at Quetzal, a modern Mexican restaurant that has garnered strong reviews since its opening last year. I gather that the strongest of the reviews came when the original chefs were on board. Early in 2019, however, there was a parting of the ways over artistic differences and a new regime took charge. I was advised that it was still worth a visit and so I decided to make the reservation. Continue reading

Crown Princess (Toronto)


Back to Canada. We took the train from Montreal to Toronto, a journey that takes longer than I’d thought it would before we purchased our tickets, and which mostly goes through rather boring countryside. Well, there may be things of interest in there, I suppose, but nothing very interesting to look at from the train. Arriving at our hotel around 2.15, we were all starving—we’d foolishly assumed there’d be food to eat on the train and there was nothing beyond snacks, and so very few of us had eaten anything since breakfast. Along with a few others I went out for a small snack to a Taiwanese place down the road from our hotel. This is not an account of that small snack. This is an account of the meal a few hours later that is the reason for our having gone out for only a small snack: a full-on Cantonese banquet dinner at Crown Princess, rated by many as the best formal Cantonese restaurant in Downtown Toronto. The best Chinese food, otherwise, I’m told is out in the suburbs of Markham and Scarborough. I’ve no idea where Crown Princess ranks in the Greater Toronto Cantonese hierarchy but I can tell you this was a very good meal. Continue reading

Canis (Toronto, June 2019)


From classic bistro fare in Montreal to an altogether more modernist meal in Toronto. Canis opened in downtown Toronto in 2016 and has apparently moved fairly quickly up the city’s fine dining charts. They show up at #27 in all of Canada in one of those restaurant ranking lists and if there are 26 better restaurants in the country then Canadians are doing very well indeed. The truth, of course, is that these restaurant ranking lists are all silly and highly subjective—just the next evening I ate at another place in Toronto that is higher in those rankings and thought Canis was far superior. Indeed, I thought my meal at Canis was the best fine dining meal I’ve eaten in a long time, far superior to anything I’ve eaten in the Twin Cities since the heyday of Piccolo. Outside the Twin Cities, I think I would have to go back to our dinner at Hotel Herman in Montreal in October 2016 to come up with one as good; and to Hedone in London in August of that year for one that might have been better. (All three of the aforementioned restaurants, alas, are now closed.) Continue reading