Our Picks New Books Events Awards Recipes Best Sellers Links

The Cookbook Store logo
The Cookbook Store


The Cookbook Store
> Josh's Reviews

CBS TV on YouTube
Canadian
Chefs
Drinks
Entertaining
General
Health & Nutrition
International
Literary
Machines
Professional
Reference
Restricted Diets
Single Subject
TV Chefs
Vegetarian

Josh's Reviews

Josh JosephsonEach link includes the first part of the review. Many of the reviews also include pictures of the individual dishes.

Dr. Josh Josephson
Trained as a research optometrist, and now owner of Josephson Opticians, one of Josh Josephson's abiding passions is food. Inspired by his father's highly seasoned Romanian influenced dishes and his mother's small but perfectly executed English Canadian repertoire, his own skills developed in reaction to the poor food provided in his college dorm when he moved out to fend for himself. Almost three decades ago, he and a partner established The Cookbook Store with Alison Fryer as manager with whom he continues to share his culinary vision. While remaining owner of Josephson Opticians, Josh has mostly retired from optometry and now satisfies his curiosity about international cuisines through frequent eating pilgrimages to both famous and obscure restaurants around the world. Member: les chevaliers du tastevin; la chain des rotisseurs; the international wine and food society.

See the full poster of Josh with some of Toronto's leading chefs that appeared in Toronto Life in 2010. Photos by Caitlin Cronenberg.

2014 Post

America Restaurant in the Trump Hotel
Wednesday November 12th
America restaurant is a partnership of Charles Kabouth's Ink Entertainment and Oliver and Bonacini Restaurant Group. The chef de cuisine is Bill Osborne. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 11pm on, America turns into a stylish supper club. We were here to eat.

Edulis, Truffle Season and The New Style Menu

Friday, November 7th
Recently, I have noticed that the trend for many of the best restos, when I travel to London, Paris and New York, is to have no menu per se. Just how many courses and how much. Essentially, an omikase (trust the chef) menu with whatever ingredient is the most interesting from the best of what is supplied from the region or locally.


Big Crow BBQ Special Event

Wednesday October 29th
Big Crow BBQ, big expectations for this special event. we began with some snacks during the meet and greet: all beef salami (verscht) grilled over the wood burning fire with an apricot mustard glaze (sooo good!!)

Mamakas Taverna

Friday October 25th
The Ossington strip has gotten busier and from my recent experience at Mamakas, this new resto has added a new dimension to the strip, a resto that will become a regular for many people because the food is in the Greek tradition and very pleasing.

Yasu, One of the 3 Top restaurants for sushi in Canada
Tuesday October 21st
Yasu, essentially has no menu. It is omikase based on whatever is the best and freshest from the market that day.

Paris, Fall 2014
Friday October 18th

I looked foward to eating at some very new and potentially exciting restos in Paris, particularly the "New Alain Ducasse". This new restaurant is focused on plant based cuisine, a very forward thinking philosophy reflective of the very serious current research in a form of eating/nutrition that optimizes good health, and is now becoming the prime directive of many leading physicians to their patients. 


Buca, Yorkville
Wednesday October 15th
Buca Yorkville just opened. The menu is a wonderful, rustic but sophisticated mediterranean, a mostly seafood menu. And of course, some great Buca pizzas. And it is one of my favourite restos in Canada, already! 

South Beach, Miami, Florida
Thursday July 17th
Milos, a Greek resto, specializing in truly fresh seafood, began in Montreal and now has branches in New York, Athens, Los Vegas and South beach.


Rasa Restaurant, Toronto

Wednesday July 9th
Rasa is the new restaurant from creative chef Adrian Niman, co-proprieter and chef for the well known, highly popular caterer, The Food Dudes, and formerly chef at Bloke and 4th.


Ici Restaurant at the Windsor Arms Hotel
Monday June 30th
Long established Toronto chef Jean Pierre (JP) Challet has moved his restaurant to the Windsor Arms Hotel. He brings his unique and classic French food, the last bastion of this kind of classic French cooking, since Didier closed.

Greenwood Smokehouse, Toronto
Sunday June 15th
BBQ smokehouse restos have been opening more and more frequently in Toronto, over the past 3 years, some successful and some rather mediocre.

Scaramouche Restaurant, A Wonderful Tradition
Tuesday June 10th
In my opinion, not enough is written in the various resto related publications or general media, about long established, consistently good, very pleasing restos worth a visit, such as Scaramouche, Josos, etc. Newspaper editors are typically only interested in what's new! The fact that these restos are so consistently very good, is indeed noteworthy. 


A Special Dinner at Splendido Restaurant
Wednesday June 4th
There are so many new restaurants in Toronto but the vast majority are either ethnic, serve bar food or "comfort" food. There are very few fine dining establishments in Toronto. Splendido remains one of the very best, not only in Toronto, but in Canada. This meal is an example of the possibilities.



A Foodie's Fantasy in Istanbul, Turkey Part two
Saturday May 31st
This is a continuation of our eating experiences in Istanbul. YES!!! There are more adventuresome deliciousness! Some of these experiences were among our best.

A Foodie's Fantasy in Istanbul, Turkey
Tuesday May 27th
Before I begin this review, I can tell you that my best restaurant meal experience in Istanbul, was at Asitane. That is not to say that Beyti, our other favourite, was not as good....it was, and the service impeccable. But Asitane was unique.

Fat Pasha, Toronto
Wednesday May 21st
Fat Pasha is chef Anthony Rose's 3rd resto on Dupont (Big Crow and Rose and Sons). As with his other restos, it is popular (for good reason), packed and noisy (but one can still hear conversations).

My Favourite Pizza Place in Florida
Saturday May 10th
This is it....Pizzeria Oceano: no reservations; lineups to get a table if you arrive after 5:35pm and when the dough runs out, and it runs out, they close.

Ben and Izzie's Deli, Toronto
Tuesday May 6th
Twenty four hours, slow smoked Jack Daniel's pulled beef, simmered in Jack Daniels bbq sauce, on a sour dough bun and topped with creamy granny smith apple slaw and I put cole slaw on top too!

Le Select Bistro, Toronto
Tuesday April 29th
Chef Alberto Ponzo is highly accomplished in his renderings of true French Bistro cuisine, making this restaurant perhaps the best French food experience in Toronto.


Wonderful Catering from the Food Dudes
Thursday April 23rd
The Food Dudes, personified by chef/owner Adrian Niman and guest chef Matt Blondin, catered an outstanding, standup dinner at a friend's

Mideastro Restaurant, Toronto
Thursday April 17th
Snacks, from the bottom, clockwise, hummus with garlic and sweet harissa; tomatoes, onion and bell pepper; eggplant and tomato.

London, UK: The Square
Saturday April 5th
Phil Howard is the chef/co-owner of The Square, a restaurant in London, awarded 2 Michelin stars.

Toronto's Best Sunday Lunch: Edulis
Sunday March 2nd
There are so many restaurants in Toronto that do very good Sunday brunches and lunches, but Edulis is unique in what chef Michael Caballo offers for lunch.

Gulf House, Arabian Gulf Cuisine in Toronto
Friday Februrary 28th
We have such a wonderful opportunity to experience cuisines of great cultural diversity in the Toronto GTA. Now, Gulf House a new restaurant, has opened on Yonge street just north of Bloor

la Croissee, Toronto
Thursday February 13th
Black truffle and mushroom feuilletee.Scallop carpaccio with black truffle and traditional Dijon ginger bread. Lobster tartar with Dijon mayonnaise.

Agave e Aguacate, Toronto
Saturday February 8th
Chileajo: mixed veg and lentils tossed in guajillo sauce, garnished with queso fresco, sweet onion and a drizzle of olive oil.

Black Skirt Restaurant
Wednesday February 5th
Black Skirt does Sicilian/Calabrian influenced cuisine.

Hashimoto, One of North America's Great Kaiseki Experiences
Monday February 3rd
This special kaiseki meal was catered to our special requests. Unless otherwise stated, all dishes are sashimi and the sauces are house made.

Buca BAR, Toronto
Tuesday January 28th
Buca Bar, the latest endeavour from King Street Foods (Buca, Jacob's Steak House, The Saint Tavern virtually all under the chef management of one of canada's most talented chefs, Rob Gentile.

D-Bar at The Four Seasons

Saturday January 25th
Butter lettuce salad with honey crisp apple........

A Return Visit to Coppi Restaurant, Toronto
Tuesday January 21st
Coppi has been around for quite some time. It is an important restaurant in the the region, north of eglinton and south of the 401 highway. One of the great dishes of this restaurant, that I typically enjoy, is the fish (snapper or sea bass...I prefer snapper), cooked in a salt crust.

Auberge du Pommier
Thursday January 16th
This evening was a specially arranged dinner under the supervision of the relatively new chef, Marc St Jacques.

Berlin Restaurants, Fall 2013
Thursday January 2nd
Reinhard's at Kempinski Hotel Bristol, Quarre at Hotel Adlon, Das Liebniz Klaus, Die Berliner Republik, Gel Gor, Lorenz-Adlon

2013 posts

Carbon Bar, Toronto
Friday December 27th
Carbon Bar is the long awaited new restaurant from the Nota Bene restaurant team of chef David Lee, Yannick Bigourdan, perhaps the city's best front of house manager and renown restauranteur/real estate developer/wine importer Franco Prevedello.

Trinity Taverna, Toronto
Friday December 13th

Paris Restaurants, Fall 2013
Wednesday December 4th

Cafe Boulud at the Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto
Saturday, November 30th
Each Daniel Boulud resto, in different cities, ie, Montreal vs Toronto, is a very different experience in terms of quality of prep and style of prep, etc

Venice Italy

Thursday November 28th

Parts and Labour, Toronto
Monday November 25th
This resto is chef Matty Matheson's pride and joy. His passion for flavours and textures is infectious and inspiring when one eats here.

Vancouver: Wildebeest and Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
Friday November 15th
All noodles are made in house in the traditional way.

Pressed Duck, a la Tour D'Argent, Served for the First Time in Canada, at Edulis Restaurant
Tuesday November 12th
Pressed duck, canard a la presse, was a dish made famous by La Tour D'argent in Paris, in a presentation that when first presented, was the height of elegance that was at once both spectacular and barbaric.

New York Restaurants, September 2013
Friday November 8th
Osteria Morini; The Marrow; Cafe Sabarsky.

The Chase Fish and Oyster, Toronto
Tuesday November 5th
The Chase has been very busy since it was first opened.

Seattle Again:
Friday November 1st
Altura, Toulouse Petit, Bar Sejor and Ma'ono Fried chicken and Whisky

Trevor Wine Bar Kitchen
Tuesday October 29th
I principally came to try the Parlour Deep Dish Pizza, which Trevor, features at it's bar.

Banu Persian Restaurant, Toronto
Wednesday, October 23rd
I feel that Banu is one of the unsung resto hits of Toronto. For lovers of middle eastern/mediterranean cuisine it is worth a visit.

Chippy's Revisited, Toronto
Saturday, October 19th
The last time I visited Chippy's (and the first time), it was quite a disappointment after all of the good hype I had heard.

Das Gasthaus, Toronto
Tuesday, October 15th
Delicious potato salad and very good pickled veg, but the herring did not taste or smell of the smoke, was a touch over brined and overcooked.

The Drake Hotel, Toronto, A Return.
Monday, October 7th
The Drake is a very casual resto known for it's comfort food, when Anthony Rose was chef.

Taormina, Sicily, 2013: Vicolo Stretto; La Capinera; Da Giavanni; The Restaurant at Grand Hotel Timeo; Prince Cerami, Mama Rosa.
Thursday October 3rd

The Grove, Toronto
Monday September 30th
Smoked mackerel on rye toast with aioli; devilled eggs topped with paper thin radish and crispy blood sausage. Delightful treats to start.

Tokyo Restaurants: Tenkaippin Ramen, RyuGin, Birdland Ginza, Ukai-tei, Kandagawa, Sou-tei, Sushi Kanesaka Ginza, Kururi, Mikawa Zezankyo
Tuesday September 24th
Whenever I visit Japan, I am always inspired by their unique culture.

Bosk, at the Shangri-La, Toronto
Thursday September 12th
Bosk opened with a very promising chef that did not work out. Subsequently, chef Damon Campbell was brought on as executive chef.

Kyoto Rastaurants, Japan: Arashiyama Kitcho, Kikunoi, Yoshikawa, Yutaka, Mishima Tei
Sunday September 8th
Eating in Japan, is not only about the food, but also about the experience. For me, there is nowhere in the world that the eating "experience" can compare and provide this singular enjoyment.

Boar Sandwiches, Toronto
Saturday August 31st
The selection of sandwiches, sauces and toppings, all terrific possibilities!

Revisiting Momofuku-Daisho, Toronto
Tuesday August 27th
At Daisho, dishes are served family style. The occasion of this meal was a tasting of some of winemaker Norman Hardie's large format wines.

Enoteca Sociale Revisited
Friday August 23rd
Grilled pork sausage with pecorino fresco and grilled shishito peppers. Good sausages, good combo.

Rashers, Toronto
Tuesdsay August 20th
Speaking of bacon sandwiches, Rashers claims to be North America's only bacon sandwich shop. The sandwiches, as "listed" on the menu, typically include cheese. I just don't like the taste of cheese and meat, as you often hear me say, cheese obscures the flavours of meat

The Peameal Bacon Sandwich at St. Lawrence Market, Toronto
Saturday August 17th
A lot of press, from across the USA and Canada, have mentioned this St Lawrence Market locale, a sandwich shop on the west side of the south market, where small lineups are constant. A blown up photo of Emerile Lagasse sits in front. 

The Butcher's Son, Toronto
Thursday August 15th
This is a small neighbourhood shop on Yonge street, just south of Eglinton, that has good quality products that are hormone and antibiotic free, very good sausages and very good prepared foods. The shop is co-owned by Five doors north executive chef Vito Rizzuto and butcher Matthew Kumprey.

THR and Co Restaurant, Toronto
Tuesday August 13th
I enjoyed a sensational meal at the new resto opened by the partners of the Harbord Room. The chefs Cory Vitiello and Curt Martin (executive chef at THR) really know and understand how to compose their ingredients for a maximum flavour experience.


O'Mei, Chinese Food Restaurant, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Friday August 9th
This is the place to come for lobster 4 ways. I preordered this dish when I reserved. The 8 pound lobster was presented to us and then taken to the kitchen to be prepared. All the while, others guests of the restaurant had giant lobsters up to 10 pounds being taking from the kitchen and presented around the restaurant.

Boulder Colorado 2013: Basta, Frasca, Oak on 14th, Lucille's, Tora, The Sink
Wednesday August 7th
Basta is one of my favourite places to eat in Boulder. Wonderful wood oven roasted pizzas with very tasty crust and toppings, and other very good dishes.

Live Organic Food Bar, A Destination For Vegetarians and Lovers of Just Good Food
Monday August 5th
Live, is one of my favourite vegetarian destinations. I also love some of their pre-made salads which I pick up at Noah's.

Joso's Toronto, A Frequent Favourite and One of North America's Best Seafood Restaurants
Friday August 2nd
For me, Joso's is easily one of my favourite restos for fish and shellfish in North America! This is where I come for truly fresh fish, a freshness that I can depend on in a city not on the coast. Joso's does not get enough attention in the Toronto region , except often wrongly, for the flagrant exposure of the nude, voluptuous, female and male torsos. 

Special BBQ Dinner at the Stop at Wychwood Barns
Tuesday July 30th
Les Chevaliers du Tastevin had their first ever summer event catered at The Stop Community Food Centre. The Stop’s Green Barn, located in the Wychwood Barns at 601 Christie Street, a sustainable food production and education centre which houses a state-of-the-art greenhouse, food systems education programs, a sheltered garden, our Global Roots Garden, community bake oven and compost demonstration centre.

Porzia, Toronto
Saturday July 27th
Crostini with house made cotechino sausage and rapini. A delicious app.

Stock Restaurant at Trump Hotel, Revisited
Thursday July 25th
I had visited Stock restaurant when it first opened. This was a return visit to see how it was faring. Interestingly, a chocolate tasting cart with various bars and variously filled bon bons, was added. This visit, the service was impeccable. The wines by the glass were still very pricey.

Opus Restaurant, Toronto
Tuesday July 23rd
Besides being a very good resto for eating, Opus has one of the 3 finest and most comprehensive wine lists in Canada.

Vancouver Eats 2013
Thursday July 18th
Cin Cin, Meat and Bread, Big Lou's Butcher Shop and House Made Sandwiches, Vij's, Chewie's, Memphis Blues BBQ, Woodland Smoke, Abigail's Party, Blue Water Cafe

Big Crow BBQ, Toronto
Monday July 15th
Big Crow is the new BBQ style resto opened by chef Anthony Rose, right around the back of his popular Rose and Son's diner.

Lunch at Stockyards Larder, Toronto
Friday July 11th
Stockyards is renowned for its outstanding BBQ, perhaps the best in the greater Toronto area. But, they have other great things too.

Sunday Lunch at Edulis Restaurant, Toronto
Tuesday July 9th
Lunch is only offered on Sundays, at Edulis. It is a very special occasion for a wonderful, hearty, family style meal. There is only a set menu offered and it changes every Sunday.

Haisai Restaurant, a National Treasure, Singhampton, Ontario
Tuesday July 2nd
To most chefs in Canada, many international ones as well, as well as to his many patrons, chef Michael Stadtlander has become a national treasure. A man who can produce a most sophisticated meal or the simplest of farm cuisine and make that into a repast for a king.

The Saint, Toronto
Friday June 28th
The Saint Tavern is brought to you by the group that owns the steakhouse Jacob and Co and Buca. The restaurant has a very good chef but the kitchen is overseen by the Buca exec chef with very good taste and impeccable technique, Rob Gentile.

Carmen, Toronto
Tuesday June 25th
Carmen, is Veronica Laudes's new oevre after her success with the thriving Torito. The executive chef, as at Torito, is Luis Valenzuela.

Bent Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday June 22nd
Chef Susur Lee developed the restaurant Bent with his sons, Levi and Kai, for them to operate.

Strada 241, Toronto
Wednesday June 19th
Very good, crispy skinned, fried calamari sided with hot sauce. Rapini with lemon vincotto dressing all topped with roasted red pepper, curly endive and pickled red onions.

Chef Marc Thuet Shares the Roster at Splendido, Toronto
Monday June 17th
Chef Victor Barry, one of Canada's best chefs shared the limelight at his resto, Splendido, with another one of Canada's great chefs Marc Thuet.

Gilaneh, Persian cuisine in Toronto
Thursday June 13th
There are a handful of Persian restos in Toronto. Two I would go back to are Gilaneh and Banu.

Acadia Restuarant
Friday May 31st
Chef Patrick Kriss* (formerly chef de cuisine at Splendido) is the chef who replaced the capable chef, Matt Blondin. Chef Kriss prepares a very modern and personal take on Acadian inspired cuisine. Note: Patrick Kriss has left Acadia as of Spring 2013. *Note Patrick Kriss has now left as well

Bar Isabel, Toronto
Tuesday May 28th
Bar Isabel is the new stomping ground for heralded chef Grant Van Gameren, former chef and co-owner of The Black Hoof.

Yours Truly Restaurant, Toronto
Monday May 20th
I apologize as I am behind with my posts because of a lot of business traveling. This menu is representative of an experience at this restaurant, where there is no menu of courses, but a list of seasonal and other items included in the dishes of the day.

Hoof Raw Bar: brunch resurrected
Friday, May 17th
After closing the Hoof Cafe, about 1 year ago, where brunch was served on the weekend, The Hoof Raw Bar now does weekend brunch. If you have a hearty apetite and you are a meat lover, you will love this brunch.

The Noodle Bar: Momofuko in Toronto
Thursday, May 9th
There is a lot of talk about the Momofuku restaurants. This visit was to the Noodle Bar.

Lunch At Liberty 25, Toronto
Monday, May 3rd
My food savy nephew, whose office is in Liberty Village has been at me to try this resto.

Pizza e Pazze, Toronto
Thursday, May 2nd
Controversy follows claims for the best pizza in Toronto. Everyone has their faves. A very well experienced friend staked his claim on Pizza e Pazze so I was encouraged to try it out.

Salad King, Thai Restaurant
Monday, April 29th
Linda has lineups, many, hungry passersby or Ryerson students, looking forward to a tasty, very inexpensive meal of good value.

Some Singular Dishes From Different Restaurants, Toronto: Pangaea; Buca
Friday, April 26th
I consider these "must have" dishes, worth trying.

New York Restos, Spring, 2013: La Mar, 11 Madison Park, Marea, Aamann's, Fette Sau, Soto.
Tuesday, April 23rd
La Mar is a Peruvian cebicheria, a celebration of seafood, artfully crafted into a citrus, spicy, refreshing cuisine.

Hashimoto Restaurant: a Kaiseki Extravaganza
Saturday, April 20
This meal was selected by special arrangement with myself and chef Masaki Hashimoto, and is not the standard kaiseki meal provided by the restaurant. This meal is the epitome of kaiseki cuisine, made available to a patron, long knowledgeable, to the chef. This meal is a selection of the most exceptional ingredients of the moment, mostly imported, fresh from Japan.

Playa Cabana

April 16th, 2013
Much has been written about Playa Cabana, which offers some of the best Mexican food in Toronto. Here is an overview of a recent experience. A most noteworthy item was the surprisingly good burger.


Domaine Romanee Conte: An Extraordinary Dinner at Splendido
April 12, 2013
It is indeed an extraordinary lifetime experience for any wine lover, when one can taste so many DRC wines all together, at the same time. Splendido restaurant was the venue for this esteemed occasion and chef Victor Barry's take on the food to match the wines, made for an event itself.


Chantecler
April 10th, 2013
Chantecler now offers a "tasting menu" only two days a week. The rest of the week there is only a set menu of "street food",  mostly consisting of lettuce wraps.  


Richmond Station Restaurant, Toronto

April 8th, 2013
Richmond Station is a small restaurant helmed by Top Chef Canada winner, chef Carl Heinrich, who also had spent 4 years in New York at Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne. When I looked at the simple, very brief menu, I kinda wondered, what was I doing here?! But, here I was and decided to make the best of it.


Popup Dumpling Event at The Beer Academy, Toronto

Thursday, April 4
This popup event featured some wandering stars, like chef Nick Liu, who is setting up his new resto, Gwai lo, and chef Bertrand Alepee whose catering company, The Tempered Chef, moves him around as well, chef Chris Brown of The Stop, who helps out where he can, chef Zane Caplansky whose resto is the go to deli south of Eglinton Avenue, chef Steve Gonzalez who is soon to open his resto, Bushwick and chef Scott Vivian of Beast.


Zakkushi Izakaya, Toronto

Sunday, March 31
Izakayas are a very popular Japanese style "bistro" featuring Japanese comfort food. Many new izakayas have recently opened in the Toronto area. Zakkushi is one of the recent entries, a crowded, noisy bustling place. There are a lot of skewered items offered on the menu. For the most part, they are "ok", but not special enough to make me want them again. The exceptions were the wagyu beef and the tongue.


How it all begain in 1983.......
Tuesday, March 26
I am an unabashed lover of cook books as is Barbara Caffery. My partner in starting in The Cookbook Store back, way back in 1983.
The Cookbook Store began because there was an opportunity for Barbara and I to take over from the existing "Books For Cooks", which was struggling. I loved the idea of establishing a wonderful store that would be a major resource for cook books. Barbara simply loved the idea of being in the book business and cook books added a note of excitement for her, as well as fueling her passion for baking.


Nota Bene: Suckling Pig Wednesdays
Sunday, March 25
Suckling pig is the Wednesday special. It is served with napa cabbage braised in the juices of the pig. Not only is this an extraordinary dish, but, for me, it is as good as suckling pig ever gets, anywhere I travel. I can't wait to come back for more! Juicy, wonderfully flavoured meat, delicate, but crispy skin.....a masterpiece!


Terroni, Yonge Street, Toronto

Tuesday, March 19
Terroni and sister restaurants have a longstanding rather vaunted reputation in Toronto. It it's earliest days at the original restaurant, I very much enjoyed the pizza.
I do not choose to write about negative resto experiences. I prefer sharing my very enjoyable resto experiences and have no wish to be a "critic". But, by writing about this experience, perhaps someone with the Terroni organization may get wind of this review and try to get this restaurant's act together. It has a great location and a seemingly devoted clientele that keeps it packed most of the time.


Edulis Restaurant, Once more: a Wonderful Gustatory Experience

Tuesday, March 12
I have written about my Edulis Experiences, more than once. And here I am writing about my experience again. But, each experience has proven to be so pleasing and so special, I feel obliged to give credit where such credit is due and to share my pleasure with those who might soon come to enjoy this restaurant. See for yourself. NB, Some of these dishes must be pre-ordered a week ahead.


The Grove Restaurant, Toronto
Saturday, March 6
The Grove is a hot new restaurant. Jacob Richler, writing for Macleans magazine, named it the best new restaurant of 2012. The Grove was remarkably featured in part of a recent article concerning English cuisine, that was a feature in the New York Times. The English influence was present, but not overbearing, but, don't hold that against chef Ben Heaton. This was simply good cooking.


Kingyo Izakaya
Wednesday, March 6th
Kingyo is a Toronto branch of the Vancouver restaurant, Kingyo, that serves refined Japanese comfort and bar food.


L'Unita Restaurant Revisted, Toronto: New Chef

Saturday, March 2
L'Unita has gone through a few chef transformations, but, I found that the current chef is doing good things. I was glad that I had returned to experience the transformation. I sent a good friend, a resident of New York, a well known wine writer and former restaurant reviewer, to dine here, after my visit. He was truly impressed by the pizza!


Annual Groundhog Day Event at Cava

Wednesday, February 27
Groundhog day at Cava restaurant is an annual opportunity for some of the best Toronto region chefs to compete in making pig focused dishes that are judged by the resto attendees and 3 "professional" judges, this year Dick Snider of City Bites Magazine, Andrew D'Cruz of Toronto Life and Malcolm Jolly of Good Food revolution. The dishes must be at least 50% pig. The winner gets to keep the Groundhog trophy for a year and a gift certificate from The Cookbook Store. It is a fun fest for the chefs and patrons. 


Ninki Izakaya, Toronto

Monday, February 25
Another new Japanese izakaya for the Toronto scene. If they good improve on certain aspects, Ninki could be a good pre-ballet/opera dinner destination.


Calling All Sausage Lovers

Monday, February 18
Some of the very best sausages that I have enjoyed from Toronto purveyors, come from chef Kyle Demming's Sausage Partners on Queen Street East. This is a butcher shop, not a resto. These sausages have wonderful texture and flavour and are made from pigs raised by small hold farmers.


Why I Love Didier Restaurant

Saturday, February 16
Chef Didier is the Toronto area master of classic French cuisine. Nothing fancy, here. Just great french classics perfectly executed and where indicated, classically great, silken, sublime reductions (sauces).


Michael's Restaurant, Toronto

Thursday, February 14
Michael's is not just a very good place for steak. It is a steakhouse, but it also has a very well rounded, well executed menu of a range of salads, pastas and seafood. For example, there are very few restaurants in Canada that offer wild salmon (and if they do, it is usually Copper River....not my fave), and michael's offers wild Irish salmon!

Jabistro, Superior Japanese Food in Toronto
Monday, February 11
Jabistro offers a superior Japanese food experience. I found the sashimi to be very fresh. The torched sushi (a new experience for me, despite several trips to Japan and top resto experiences there) in the form of oshizushi, pressed rectangular shaped sushi, was quite a gustatory experience.


Dinner at Rose and Sons Restaurant

Friday, February 8
For me, having followed in Anthony Rose's kitchen footsteps for years, back to when he was Cooking in San francisco, then New York, then Toronto at the Drake, for me, chef Rose is one of the KINGS OF COMFORT FOOD. Food at Rose and Sons is more of the creative same.


Patria Restaurant, Toronto

Saturday, February 2
So far, the scoop in the food community is that Patria is a hit, and I must concur. Pan con tomate: toasted bread, drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with tomatoes. The tomato flavour would be better in season, but, this is Toronto in winter!


Karelia Restaurant: Finally, Smorrebrod in Toronto!

Sunday, January 27
Since the closure of the Copenhagen Room at Bay and Bloor, the GTA has been waiting patiently, for years, for a good resto to provide the community with smorrebrod, Danish style, open-faced sandwiches.


Actinolite Restaurant, Toronto

Sunday, January 20
Actinolite is a lovely neighbourhood resto in the north part of the now very popular Ossington Avenue neighbourhood. Everything is made in house, from the bread, cured olives for purees, to the ice cream. Herbs are harvested in their backyard and dried (when out of season). This is a resto I would definitely return to for a very satisfying meal.


Atlantic, Toronto: Mastery of a Symphonic Range of Flavours

Tuesday, January 8
I delight in revisiting Atlantic restaurant, from time to time, to enjoy chef Nathan Isberg's command of a symphonic range of intriguing flavours that are not a part of the routine, typical food lexicon. The following images are from 3 different dinner events I enjoyed at Atlantic. The range of dishes presented is a compendium of my impressions of a chef not noticed enough in this fair city. Chef Isberg's reptoire of ideas is truly extensive. Atlantic should be on any local food lover or visitor's map of the best restaurants in Toronto.

July to December 2012 posts

Banh Mi Boys, Toronto
Wednesday, December 26
This sandwich shop has been around for quite some time. Typically, I don't do lunch when I am in Toronto. But, I finally made it to this great sandwich shop. It is indeed worth the journey and the line-up. Ten bahn mi sandwiches are on offer and I could have tried all 10...


Chef Michael Caballo, Edulis, Toronto

Thursday, December 13
Edulis is one of Canada's very good restos, a resto that keeps bringing me back. Wonderful comfort food flavours, simple but intriguing twists on prime, elemental ingredients, with echos of some of the very best of Spanish rural, regional influences. The resultant dishes are cooked to perfection. Where else, for example, could I enjoy better herring. Now, for many who read that, they may say, "so"? But it is indeed, with such simple endeavours, that chef Michael Caballo excels. Two other exceedingly simple dishes executed to perfection, his arroz caldoso con bogavante (Spanish lobster rice) and chantecler chicken baked in hay. Keep in mind that some dishes must be ordered in advance and that the menu changes depend on the products that inspire the chef.


Seventh Annual Game Dinner at Nota Bene, Toronto

Friday, December 7
Steven Latner is a passionate hunter and we are so glad when he shares his bounty with his friends. He gives game talented chef, David Lee, carte blanche, to create wonderful, game based dishes with the best seasonal products, LIKE TRUFFLES!!!!! Steven and each of his guests always contribute fabulous wines for this event. I just wanted to share this wonderful experience, with everyone. It shows what the food possibilities could be in this bountifully blessed restaurant city, Toronto.


Ethiopian Food in Toronto: African Palace, Lalibella

Wednesday, December 5
I must admit to a long standing kind of addiction to Ethiopian food, first introduced to me probably 20 years ago by Aster Belayneh, owner of Addis Abbaba restaurant. I get a craving for Ethiopian about once every couple of months, a craving fortunately shared by children, whom I first introduced to this cuisine many years ago.


Langdon Hall: An Extraordinary Fall Special Dinner event

Tuesday, November 13
I have to say, that although I have had enjoyable meals at Langdon hall, the 2 special occasion dinners that chef Jonathan Gushue created for me, with a few friends, over the last 14 months, have been the finest meal experiences that I have enjoyed in Canada, a large range of symphonic flavours. Call chef Gushue and ask him to create an event like this and he will rise to the challenge and provide you with the most remarkable experience. Be prepared to spend the entire evening and be prepared for wonderful, novel flavour surprises.


More Paris Restos: Le Comptoir, Le Chateaubriand, Semilla, Lunch at the Crillon, Epicure Restaurant at the Hotel Bristol, Crystal de Sel

Le Comptoir

Chef Yves Camdeborde's set menu is only offered once every 2 weeks. Dinners and lunches available 7 days a week are a la carte from an extensive menu but reservations are only possible for guests of the hotel (on the premises that he owns, Hotel Relais St. Germain).


Buster Rhino's BBQ, Oshawa, Ontario

November 5
There has been a lot of talk, in the food community and among BBQ aficionados about Buster Rhino's BBQ so we decided to journey west of Toronto to experience this resto first hand.


The Traditional Spanish Influence in Toronto: Returning to Torito

Friday, November 2
Tortilla (baked eggs, potatoes and onions) accompanied by aioli. This version was a bit too dense and heavy and was not as good as some of the very good versions I have enjoyed in Spain.


London, UK Restaurants: Nopi, Ottolenghi, Barbacoa, Hedone, Koffmann's, Hawksmoor, Locanda Locatelli

Tuesday, October 30
Nopi
Nopi is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's reservation style resto. There are 4 other wonderful no reservations, very popular take out/eat in cafes, scattered about central London. The hallmark of their cuisine is how they bring together an incredible, unique symphony of disparate flavours, fragrances, textures and colours, in every dish.

Ottolenghi
The food at Ottolenghi is served in a small cafe with very limited seating and no reservations. The array of mostly vegetarian salads and vegetable service, along with the mouth watering desserts, is truly daunting when you walk in. This spread is mostly for takeout but is also well represented on the menu of the day.

Barbacoa
This is Chef Jamie Oliver's attempt at BBQ, and a very credible one, for a European resto, indeed. Generally speaking, meat is smoked for 6-12 hours over a combo of hickory and apple wood, depending on the meat and the cut. The beef is hung on sight and dry aged on premises for 5-11 weeks.

Hedone
Hedone has been open for about 1 year and was just awarded a Michelin star. It is a bit out of the way, close the Chiswick underground stop, west of central London, but, I felt it was worth the journey.

Koffmann's
Pierre Koffmann owned London 3* restaurant Tante Claire, which he eventually closed when he decided to "retire". Koffmann has come out of retirement, opening the resto, Koffmann's, a relaxed brasserie in the Berkeley Hotel, where he cooks in the Gascon style from the memories of this mother's and grandmother's kitchens.

Hawksmoor
This is a very loud, male bastion of meat centric food. The ambient noise was off the charts. This resto is for folks under the age of 40 as no one older will be able to discriminate the sounds of conversation.

Locanda Locatelli
Locanda Locatelli was first brought to my attention by my Roman gourmand friend, Armando Manni, maker of the very best white truffle oil in the world and perhaps one of the 2 best olive oils in the world.


Drinks at the Langham Hotel Bar, London, UK

Friday, October 19
The Langham Bar is a lively locale where one can order some delightful small plates, which include some very good Lebanese snacks. But, the drinks list is extensive and worth reviewing.


Dinner at George, Toronto

Wednesday, October 17
Chef Lorenzo Loseto is one of Toronto's most acclaimed chefs. We were here to plan a dinner revolving around Burgundian wines.


An Inspired Wine/Game Dinner at Nota Bene, Toronto

Friday, October 12
Chef David Lee has a long, inspiring track record of creating exceptional game dinners. This one was another standout enhanced by an extraordinary selection of great wines from fabulous vintages.


Daisho at Momofuku, Toronto
Saturday, October 6
The New York chef, David Chang's Momofuku "complex" in Toronto, Daisho, the Noodle bar, Shoto (the tasting room) and Nikai (the bar) is very well designed. Daisho's all glass multilevel exterior wall takes advantage of the terrific view overlooking university Avenue.


Chantecler Restaurant, Toronto, One of the Best

Saturday, September 29
I consider Chantecler, one of Toronto's best restaurant experiences. The hallmark of the restaurant has been interesting flavours and textures, simply assembled, without pretension. Below, is a dinner typically held during the week and following, the Sunday dinner "Lettuce Sunday".


Dhaba Indian Resto, Toronto, A Special Event Dinner

Thursday, September 27
This was an arranged dinner with a specially created menu by chef PK, my favourite Indian food chef in Toronto.
The chef's version of street food, house made crunchy papdi semolina wafer, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans and avocado, topped with house made tamarind flavoured yogurt chutney and dressed with "street spices" and on the right side, a thin skinned crunchy semolina gol gappa puff.


Pizza at Buca, One of My Faves

Monday, September 24
One of my 2 fave places to enjoy pizza in Toronto, is Buca. I ask for a well done crust, although they do that frequently without being asked. The crust, as I prefer it, is thin and crispy enough to pick up slabs which are cracker-like in stiffness (the pieces don't flop, at least when first served). The pizzas also have interesting, delicious flavours. The toppings for this one consisted of a rich base of tomato sauce (so often bland at other pizza serving restos) with basil leaves, zucchini flowers, sliced zucchini, cherry tomatoes and perfectly (under) cooked shrimp. The tradition is to cut the pizza with scissors provided.


Grand Electric, Toronto, A Terrific Taco Spot

Friday, September 21
This is another one of those "no reservations" pesky line-up spots! Arrive 20 minutes before they open and you should get in no prob. The NOISE is overwhelming, but the tacos worth it. Probably better to sit on the less noisy patio. The staff is very friendly and highly accommodating. The tacos are wonderful and what makes them particularly enjoyable are the quality of complex and interesting flavours brought to the filling.


Paradise Farms Cafe

Tuesday, September 18
Paradise Farms Cafe has lofty aspirations for providing high quality healthy burgers for it's clients. Black aberdeen angus, Scottish Highland beef ( a lean grass fed cow with high omega-3 fatty acids), Italian chianina and wagyu breeds are humanely raised on the Cafe owner's farms and not fed chemical additives for inducing weight gain. High aspirations indeed.


Kinton Ramen

Thursday, September 13
Kinoton Ramen offers pork bone soup stock in 3 concentrations: light; medium and rich. I tasted the mild broth, which had nice flavour but was a bit too light and frankly, uninteresting for me. But, the "rich" broth was an amazing experience and closely resembled my North American gold standard, Ippudo, in New York City.....maybe even better!


Harbord Room Restaurant, Toronto

Sunday, September 2
The Harbord Room gets a lot of buzz. I had not been for a long time and my daughter wanted to take me there. The house made burger is often commented about, quite positively. It was listed "#1" on the Toronto Life "25 Best Burgers" web site.


The Steak Tasting of Steak Tastings

Thursday, August 30
What made this purveyors steak tasting so exceptional was that some of Toronto's finest beef purveyors were primed well in advance, to not only select the best beef for this event, but to dry age the beef truly well. We had our serious amateurs (there were 5) and our serious experts, selected from the "Beef Boys" such as myself, the ever witty food and resto writer, Jacob Richler and Nota Bene chef David Lee, a chef whom I consider one of the most perceptive and organized of his profession, a person with a most highly discriminating palate.


Leslieville Pumps BBQ, Toronto

Tuesday, August 28
What convenience! Get gas, easy parking and good grub available night and day: BBQ during the day and later, at night, Indian food. I was there for the BBQ.


Chef David Hawksworth and Chef Victor Barry Collaborate for a Splendid Dinner at Splendido Restaurant, Toronto

Friday, August 24
I have long been a fan of Splendido's chef Victor Barry. Last september, I visited Vancouver and enjoyed eating at chef David Hawksworth's eponymous restaurant. I was looking forward to experiencing this collaboration.


Chef Claudio Aprile and Guest Chef, Curtis Duffy of Grace, Chicago, at Toronto's Colbourne Lane Restaurant

Wednesday, August 22
This special dinner event, at Chef Claudio Aprile's Colbourne Lane restaurant, was a blend of the cooking philosophies of 2 very prominent north american chefs who are cooking at the leading edge of current gastronomy. Chef Curtis Duffy, who formerly worked at Charlie trotter's, was a long time sous at Chicago's Alinea and was exec chef at Avenues in the Chicago Peninsula Hotel where he garnered many rave reviews. He is now about to open his own resto, Grace, in Chicago.


La Societie Bistro, Toronto

Monday, August 20
Well, I finally made it to this resto that many friends and acquaintances were talking about, but fewer are today. I have no real excuse. It is well located in the city's main shopping district close to Bay and Bloor Streets. The decor (something I never get into into in my blogs, because as I always say, one can't eat atmosphere) of this bistro brings back memories of some of the grand bistros of Paris.


My Dinner With Julia Child

Friday, August 17
About 20 years ago, Michael Vaughn hosted a dinner for Julia Child at his home. Michael's guests were restauranteur Franco Prevedello, newspaperman John Honderich, Star food reporter Marion Kane, food writer and cooking teacher Bonnie Stern, author, Margaret Visser and co-owner of Inniskillin Wines, Donald Ziraldo, and me.


Sunday Lunch at Edulis Restaurant, Toronto

Monday, August 13
For me, any meal at Edulis, is a special treat, so I decided to try the Sunday Lunch. On Sunday, the lunch I am about to describe, is prix fixe $40.00, and wine is HALF PRICE! There are no choices, the meal selection is fixed.


Hvrati Bar, Toronto
Friday, August 10
Hvrati bar is a restaurant/ bar combo, serving Croatian food, one of my favourite ethnic cuisines. One of the wonderful features of this bar is that 50 (!!) different beers are available.


Koiyoi Izakaya, Toronto

Tuesday, August 7
One of my favourite experiences when visiting Japan, is to go to the unpretentious but very good izakayas, kind of like the Japanese version of a pub with their version of local comfort food. Koiyoi is a very simple unpretentious resto with very authentic Japanese comfort food that appeals to me.


Pizza, Pizza: Some New Wood Fired Pizza Restos in Toronto

Tuesday, August 2
Falasca
Wood fired pizza restos have become more and more common, not only in Toronto, but in cities all over and even in the more remote regions, like locally, the Muskoka countryside. In theory, it is the way to go. A good wood fired pizza is often thin, with a firm but flakey crust and very mild, pleasing smoky flavour overtones. But the makings of the crust, not just the kind and source of flour, but crust ingredients and the toppings all play a major roll in the enjoyment of really good pizza.


Jack and Grill BBq Competition, Toronto

Tuesday, July 31
Jack Daniels sponsors a small BBQ competition in June, in Toronto. renowned BBQ pro, Ted Reader is the emcee and main BBQ judge. I was the other judge.


Annie Sibonney's Shakshuka

Wednesday, July 25
Breakfast at a friend's and Annie Sibonney, former chef, owner of Relish Gourmet Tours and host of TV program From Spain With Love, is contributing this dish. The fragrance of the herbs and spices made my mouth water and I could not wait to taste this masterpiece!


Revisiting Cava Restaurant, Toronto

Thursday, July 19
The unerring palate of chef Christopher Macdonald and creativity and cooking skills of executive chef Doug Penfold make for a wonderful eating experience at Spanish influenced Cava restaurant.


Luma Restaurant at The Bell Lightbox, Toronto

Monday, July 16
The Toronto International film festival is held at the Bell Lightbox. The Oliver Bonacini Group (Canoe, and other well known restos) operate this restaurant franchise. The "high end" restaurant at the Lightbox is called Luma and the executive chef is the very capable Jason Bangerter. We planned this meal around a coming event for the Chevaliers du Tastevin (Burgundy wine society), but the wines for this small group were supplied by the attendees of this planner, some shown below. I have also mentioned some of the thinking that went into the final selection of courses.


A Spanish Experience at the Gilead Cafe, Toronto

Friday, July 13
Jamie Kennedy always delights. He is a serious, culturally well rounded chef. This event had a Spanish theme in honour of an olive oil that was being featured at this dinner.


Dinner at the Home of Chef David Lee; Defining the Evolution of Food Appreciation Today

Tuesday, July 10
I have been eating David Lee's cuisine since he was at Splendido. My friends and I had arranged many quite spectacular meals there that were among the best we had enjoyed in Canada. Since he opened Nota Bene, his food has become simpler, culturally more far ranging and more accessible. Recently I was invited for dinner at his home. The meal was wonderful, but one of the dishes was so pristine, simple and flavourful, I just had to present it in my blog.


A Pop-up Resto Collaboration by Chefs Dan Burns and Jason Carter

Wednesday, July 4
Two friends, chefs presently on their own in Toronto, decided to collaborate on a brief series of dinners. Chef Jason Carter spent 10 years working with Susur Lee and most recently was the very reliable executive chef at Centro restaurant. Chef Dan Burns, with an extraordinary pedigree, began as a math and philosophy grad, switched into food prep and after brief early years working in west coast restos moved to Susur's in Toronto in it's early years, spent 3 years running the pastry department at Copenhagen's resto Noma, the San Pelligrino #1 rest in the world, then as senior chef de partie at The Fat Duck, in England, another top 5 resto in the San Pelligrino list of the best, and most recently as the New York based Momofuku empire’s head of research and development. WOW!! Big expectations here.

Jump to posts January 2012 to June 2012.

Jump to posts July 2011 to December 2011.

Jump to posts January 2011 to June 2011.

Back to top

The Cookbook Store Community Read our blog Follow us on twitter Find us on facebook
Josh's Reviews
Home
2013
July - December 2012
January - June 2012
July - December 2011
January to June 2011
2010
2009
 
By location
Toronto 2013
Toronto 2012
Toronto 2011
Toronto 2010
Toronto 2009
Vancouver
California
Chicago
Colorado
Florida
New England
New York
Washington State
Denmark
Italy
London and the UK
Paris
Spain
 
Alphabetical by restaurant - this section is under construction. It only covers back to July 2011. Competition and honorary dinners are not included.
 

The Cookbook Store
850 Yonge Street at Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4W 2H1
Two short blocks north of Bloor on the southwest corner
Open 7 days a week
416.920.2665 or 1.800.268.6018
cooking@ican.net

Canadian
Please note that all prices are in Canadian dollars, and are subject to change without notice.

Chefs / Baking, Desserts & Bread / Canadian / Drinks / Entertaining / General
Herbs, Spices & Condiments / International / Kids / Literary / Health & Nutrition / Machines
Professional / Restricted Diet / Reference / Single Subject / TV Chefs / Vegetarian

Best Sellers / New Books / Our Picks / Awards / Events / Recipes / Online News
Interviews with... / Ready to Order?
/ How to Reach Us / Links / Search the Site

Paddler Productions websites
The Cookbook Store
/ TheatreBooks


Last modified November 12, 2014 .