Finally, a good meal!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Toronto. But I have to say that it is harder to find really amazing food in this city than it is in Montreal. Of course the restaurants in Toronto are as diverse as its multicultural population but somehow, most of them lacks a… how should I put it … je ne sais quois, an extra touch that makes the meal special. Most restaurants in this city prize quantity over quality, and you need to pay top dollar to get quality.

Well, last night I finally had a meal that made it to my top 10 meals of all times. Trust me, that is a very select group. I don’t think I even have the 10 slots filled yet. To make it to that list, a meal has to make me physically moan as I eat. I had that experience last night at 93 Harbord Street, a Middle Eastern restaurant with North African influences. The menu was simple – a couple of tajines, some lamb dishes, a couple vegetarian options, many appetizers, and some fish dishes. We were there to celebrate two friends’ birthdays and I had decided beforehand I would try their tajine but at the last minute I was won over by the fish of the day – a pistachio-encrusted black cod served with rice, grilled vegetables on a tomato harissa coulis. I love fish. And that was simply the most perfectly prepared fish I’ve had in a long time. It simply melted in your mouth.

Another thing that melted in my mouth in an explosion of flavour was the warm chocolate pecan pie Alan and I shared for dessert. It reminded me of Wushu’s perfect brownie cake.

Of course none of that came without its price. It cost 90$ for Alan and I, tip & tax included, for two mains (the two most expensive dishes on the menu), dessert, a glass of wine, a 1/2 pint of beer, and a macchiato. I thought it was very reasonable for the quality of the food and the great service. Must go back.  A good place to go on a special occasion.

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

8 thoughts on “Finally, a good meal!”

  1. Nunca ouvi falar em ‘black cod’. It sounds yummy yummy! Aqui em Dublin não há muitas opções de bons restaurantes, sinto falta da variedade que encontrava em Sampa :)

  2. It interesting what you say about restaurants in Toronto because when I think of it, the best meals I’ve ever had have not been in Toronto (although there are some awesome restaurants).

  3. Dana

    I think Toronto has a LOT to offer; certainly more than most places. It’s just that the food – whatever the origin – has no soul… We eat out ALL the time and I don’t even have a favourite restaurant to rave about with friends.

    The only places I have been in Toronto where there is a little special something in the food – where you can see that it has been prepared by someone who loves what they do and puts love into the food – is Sylvester’s and Flip, Toss & Thai.

    I get the sense that the food is made efficiently but without heart… it’s hard to explain…

  4. There are some restaurants in Toronto I’ve been to that have “soul” (I would highly recommend Gia Rana’s really really nice restaurant on Queen E. I had an AMAZING meal there in the summer), but they are usually off the beaten track and hard to find. Plus there are several that I used to go to that, once they got popular, the food and atmosphere changed (Aunties and Uncles is one example. I went there all the time when they were a 4 table hole in the wall. They expanded and it’s never been the same). We haven’t found any spectacular places in El Paso yet, although some really good Mexican ones.

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