Tag Archives: Toronto

Restaurant Review: The Wine Bar

We actually had a purpose for being in Toronto and that was to see my favorite band of all time, Stars.  If you have never heard of them, I highly recommend giving them a listen.  They are all sorts of amazing. They have this great indie pop sound, and there are two lead singers, a man and a woman and both have wonderful voices.

We were kind of pooped from our afternoon excursions but we were set on having a good dinner.  We decided on The Wine Bar.  The only reservation we could get was for 6 PM.  The restaurant itself is beautiful, with two large bars on both sides of the restaurant, running the entire length of the restaurant.  On the back wall, there was a huge display of all things pickled and it was color coordinated.  We sat at one of the bars, right in front of the chef’s station, where we could see all the cooking, aka magic happen.

We started with the most important order first, drinks of course.  We both got dirty martinis.  They were pretty pricey at $12 a glass but very good, with tiny delicious olives.  Then we got down to the business of eating.  We ordered french fries with three dipping sauces, home-made ketchup, pesto mayo, and spiced aioli.  The fries were plentiful but a little greasy.  J attributed it to the oil not being hot enough.  I liked the spiced aioli a lot.  We also ordered a creamy tomato soup with pepper croutons.  That was delicious.  Nice and creamy with a nice tangy tomato flavor.  I didn’t think the croutons did much for the soup but we thoroughly enjoyed the bowl.  We also ordered a prosciutto salad with frisee lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and a vinaigrette. It was absolutely fantastic, very light, bright, and the prosciutto just added this delicious smoky, meaty flavor to everything.

As entrees, J ordered a seared mackerel and I ordered the “Miami” short ribs.  Both were great.  J’s mackerel was perfectly cooked and flavored. My short ribs were actually Korean short ribs and they were so freaking tasty.  Full of flavor and tender.  They were a little sweet, salty, and garlicky.  YUM.  So I hate to admit this, but I ended up ordered another order of the ribs because I knew it was going to be a long time before I had ribs like that again.  The waiter thought we were going to order dessert, and looked a little flummoxed when we asked for more ribs.

We ended being at The Wine Bar for two hours! We had such a delightful time there.  We headed over to the concert and Stars totally rocked the place.  It was amazing!

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Restaurant Review: Kenzo Ramen

J and I spent the day and night in Toronto on Saturday without Future Foodie (!).  Yes, it was our first night away from our daughter in over 20 months.  We stopped in Syracuse, dropped her off, and drove off towards the border.  Of course, we had done lots of food research prior to trip (about 10 pages worth and yes we are weirdly obsessed with food).  We both really wanted some good Asian food as Toronto has a substantial Chinatown and a large Asian population.  Once we got to our hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn, which was really nice by the way, we made our way towards getting some Asian food in our bellies.  We were right downtown and Chinatown was only about 3/4 of a mile away.  On the way to where we thought we were going to eat, I spied a line at this tiny little Japanese ramen restaurant called Kenzo Ramen.  They had big pictures of all the ramen bowls they sold and I told J that this was going to be our final destination.  I always think it’s a good sign when a restaurant is crowded and if it’s an ethnic restaurant, crowded with people from that nationality.  We waited about ten minutes and sat and ordered as quickly as possible.  I ordered a chicken ramen noodle dish and a hot ramen noodle dish.  The noodle bowls came out fairly quickly.  The bowls were very large and steaming hot.  Both were delicious.  The noodles in both dishes were perfectly cooked, firm but not too firm.  The broth in the chicken ramen was delicious, nourishing and there was definitely miso in it.  It had egg, mushrooms, ground up chicken, and lots of bean sprouts in it.   I would have preferred more noodles to bean sprouts but overall it was very good.  The hot ramen dish was so, so good.  It had the same type of noodles and mix of vegetables but also had some ground beef in it.  The broth was so good, red and spicy. I just slurped it up.  My favorite was the spicy noodle dish and J loved the chicken ramen. Overall a great experience but the one not so great thing about Kenzo Ramen is the pretty bad service.  No one was unfriendly but I literally had to ask three times for a glass of water and they finally brought me some at the end of our meal.  I understood that they were busy but still.

We were talking about how sad it was that Albany didn’t have anything close to a ramen shop.  We think it would go over really well.  One can dream.

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