Patio Season [Toronto] [Ontario]

It looks like patio season is here, so I’m starting a new thread!

CaféTO has begun, so we will see more sidewalk dining again. I’m excited that there’s also some live music offered at some locations, such as The Emmett Ray on College W (which has excellent pub food , including a good shepherd’s pie)

https://www.theemmetray.com/

My next outdoor dinner will be at Lapinou on King West. I’ll post my photos after it happens.

I’m also booked for a patio brunch at Bar Reyna in a few weeks.

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Hope you enjoy Lapinou. The cocktails are generally very good, although they also have some nice French wines by the glass. Get the bread rolls along with the house smoked ham and then make great sandwiches. The duck confit cassoulet is also very good.

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I tried the Le Diable cocktail which I liked a lot ( pictured) and the Bon Iver cocktail (not pictured, essentially a sweet cranberry whisky sour) which was fair.

Tables were well-spaced and the patio was half-full on a Saturday night.

image

The bread rolls were delicious and worth ordering. They were probably the biggest wow for me. Lol.

The fried squash was pretty good, but would have been better if it was fried in hotter oil.
Fried Squash topped with Pepitas

The steak frites ($36) was quite good. I haven’t ordered it anywhere else lately, so can’t compare.
Steak Frites with aioli

It was a good place to visit with this particular friend.

I want to start revisiting other bistros with patios to compare. I used to spend a fair amount of time on King West 15 years ago. Not my kind of neighbourhood anymore. It was chaotic tonight, the other patios were packed.

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Nice gastropub share plates at The Dog & Tiger on College.
Good shrimp empanada (oil should have been hotter for frying IMO)

Nice chicken croquettes

Lamb bacon with pickled ramps on toast

Their take on a Dark & Stormy

I would go back .

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Went to One for brunch on Sunday. We have found it only OK before, but we had visiting friends who wanted something near where they were staying. It remains OK:

  • iced latte - OK
  • regular latte - OK, a little cooled down
  • blueberry scone with lemon curd, pain au chocolat, and regular croissant (with a giant amount of butter beside) - all nice, lemon curd not that tart but pleasant
  • Shakshouka - two poached eggs (runny), a little feta, lovely tomato/pepper sauce, lots of challah toast (a bit overly-crumbly)
  • Eggs Benedict - with “artisan ham” on brioche and tasty potatoes, eggs were not runny though
  • Buttermilk pancakes - five big pancakes with whipped cheesecake, graham crumble and stewed blueberries - best dish of the lot
  • avocado toast - fine, not remarkable

Then on Tuesday we went to Figo, before the opera. It remains good, although a few things kept it from being great:

  • Rosalina - empress gin, Cocchi white, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, guerra dry vermouth, cherry syrup and a lovely boozy cherry for each of us - fun, beautiful pale purple colour, floral and very cherry.
  • glass of 2020 Piona Gavi, cortese, Piemonte - delicious, gentle, creamy and kind of hazelnutty.
  • glass of 2019 Peter Zemmer ‘Rolhut’ Pinot noir, alto adige - smelled minerally, flavour was too subtle for our food though
  • Sea bream crudo: Meyer lemon, cucumber, extra-virgin olive oil, pickled fennel, chili - a bit overboard with the lemon and the fish itself seemed not quite fresh
  • Artichoke and Gem Insalata: pistachio vinaigrette (creamy), frisee, marinated artichokes, crispy artichokes, basil, pecorino, Espelette powdered on top, also capers - lovely flavour but disappointing the crispy artichoke is just a few leaves- were hoping for whole deep fried hearts, and didn’t notice any basil.
  • Paccheri: olive oil confit rabbit, peas, wild mushrooms, butter, ricotta - sadly the rabbit was kind of dry/tough and very salty, but the dish was not too buttery, nice basil, lovely huge king mushrooms, very good pasta.
  • mortadella pizza: Taleggio Bechamel, pistachio, (pickled) artichoke, ricotta Salata - nice and the acid from the pickle was helpful, but the pickles were too salty, and the pistachios were subtle. The dough was lovely though (crisp and chewy).
  • Panna cotta: pink peppercorn, citrus (blood and regular oranges), mint - delightful, just right, with nice accents from the pink peppercorn.
  • Chocolate semifreddo: almonds (in the chocolate coating under and around the sides), budino over top, salted caramel drizzle, amaretti (crumbs on top) - very nice.
  • Decaf americano - well they brought a macchiato but oh well.
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My friend had wanted to try One when she was late meeting me for our planned brunch at Bar Reyna. Bar Reyna had tried to accommodate, pushing our brunch back to 11:45, but my friend was even later than that. The available tables at One were in the sun, as were the available tables at Cibo. We ate at the Duke of York, which has been better at lunch and dinner, in my experience. (It’s convenient for me , so I have given them a lot of business- the wings, the chicken pot pie, the chicken curry, the burger, the shepherd’s pie are decent) The patio is shaded, would not recommend their English Breakfast.

I had one brunch at One maybe 5 years ago, and found it just okay as well. At least it’s consistent, I suppose.

I want to try the patio brunch at Cano on St Clair W. I may also revisit Old School on Dundas W, which was okay in 2018.

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