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Posts Tagged ‘Yorkville’

JT and I dined at Blu Ristorante on Saturday night. We had been there with Barb and Kevin (from Profiteroles and Ponytails) a few weeks ago and enjoyed it so much we decided to go back. Blu is in an old Victorian house in Yorkville (a very trendy part of Toronto, and expensive). Some of the restaurants in Yorkville are pretentious and expensive but we were quite pleased to find this one none of the above! Chef Massimo Callovini serves traditional Italian cuisine in a contemporary setting.

The restaurant is nicely lit, with many hard and soft surfaces; the tables are grouped into twos and fours and sectioned by silver billowing fabric screens, which is a very nice sense of privacy. Although when we were there both times, the place was packed but not noisy. What made us choose to go back was that the restaurant has live music from Wednesday to Saturday; with Barb and Kevin there was a piano player with a voice similar to Seal, last Saturday it was classical guitarist with a sound similar to James Blunt. Both were equally as good and made our dinner very enjoyable. Although I must say I enjoyed our first waiter, Margo, better than the one we had last weekend; nothing bad, just personal preference.

The music entertained us throughout most of our dinner. JT and I ordered the same starter (what Kevin ordered before) Pear, Gorgonzola, Belgian Endive, Radicchio, Walnuts, Walnut Vinaigrette; it was tasty, but I felt, as did JT that there was not enough Gorgonzola on it. Sticking to my appetizer only rule, I ordered the Grilled Calamari with Roasted Red Pepper, Olives, Capers, Chili Olio — it was delicious, the Calamari was cooked perfectly! JT had to order Kevin’s dinner of Fettuccini Carbonara with Pork Loin, Sun Dried Tomato, Cashews and Olives; wonderful, creamy and the tang and sweetness of the sun dried tomato complimented the richness of the sauce. He polished it off. Incidentally, Kevin enjoyed his so much, correct me if I am wrong, but he didn’t even want to give Barb a taste! 🙂

We didn’t order dessert or coffee but lingered with our wine and listened to the music. Although the dinner did not last quite as long as with Barb and Kevin (you know who talks a lot), it was nicely paced and we never felt rushed.

Overall rating of Blu Ristorante (in my opinion): Decor 4/5, service 3.5/5, food 4/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 3.5/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet).

Disclaimer: We purchased our meal for full price and my opinions just that, my opinions.

I recently came across a little bit of info one of the photographers I am “friends” with on Facebook posted. Jim Norton is a food photographer in Toronto and does a lot of work for many magazines (LCBO is one of my favourites). Check out his portfolio on line, his photography is only something I can wishfully aspire to, sadly it won’t happen in my lifetime. Jim is a great source of useful information on Facebook. Recently he posted about the shady terms of service for Pinterest (I know many of you subscribe to this repository of photography. I urge you to read this article; basically saying that once you post your photo on Pinterest, they can sell it whenever they want, in perpetuity. That means FOREVER. Anyway, I thought you should know.

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

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I was fortunate enough to sample La Société during the launch of Delicious Food Show last Thursday…I knew I had to come back — I spec’d out the best table for my return. Gorgeous! Very French Bistro; similar look and feel to Balthasar’s in NYC
We made reservations for 8:15, but arrived at 8 (traffic was amazing, go figure) AND they had our table ready despite that the place was packed. We used Open Table to make reservations and noted that we wanted a particular table, and they TOOK NOTICE! We were seated right away and within minutes our waitress (very professional) brought us water, and someone else brought us bread and butter (did not look nearly as good as Le Select‘s bread, so I didn’t bother a taste).
It took a while to take our drink order, but we were not in a hurry. We had an amazing table on the patio, so we were able to enjoy the moment. Although the place was jumping with activity, we did not find it noisy.
Our dinner was nicely paced and our wine was refilled in a timely manor (we did not have to reach for the bottle ourselves at all!).
We both ordered the Bibb Salad, which was garnished with roasted walnuts and blue cheese; very tasty – lots of crumbled blue and chopped walnuts; my only comment would be that it was slightly underdressed. I ordered the steak tartar, which was presented with a little Bibb and crispy fried potato gratings. The potato gratings were a wonderful alternative to the frites that is usually served with this dish. It was garnished with a soft boiled quail’s egg — quite delicious indeed. My husband ordered the Braised Short Rib, and said it was as good, if not better than Le Select’s version. His only negative comment was that some of the vegetables were slightly over done (‘tasteless’ was what he said). We did not order dessert or coffee because we wanted to head up to the Park Hyatt Toronto Lounge to enjoy the natural light show of the pending electrical storm.
La Société is definitely a keeper for sure, and it’s very practical —just hop on the Bloor Subway and there you are.As the evening progressed and the natural lighting dimmed, wait-staff were around to place lit candles on each table. There was also some spot lighting on the surrounding greenery and some street lights below, but that’s all the lighting there is for the upstairs patio. Although very romantic, they could use a bit more.

La Soci̩t̩: Overall rating (in my opinion): Decor 4/5, service 4/5, food 4/5, Value 4/5, Noise: 4/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet) РA note about the noise: we sat outside on the top patio in a secluded corner with a lot of umbrellas up, so the noise level was managed very well. The main interior of the restaurant seemed a bit noisier than the patio, because there are few soft surfaces. The tables across from the bar were a bit more secluded and seemed quieter as the walls are lined with velvet or suede (we sat there during the Delicious Launch on Thursday).

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