When I travel for work – I always try to dine at places that aren’t in my hotel or right across the street. One of my new obsessions in Toronto is The Historic Distillery District. It is an inspired collection of Victorian style architecture combined with some modern flair. The old distillery turned hip and trendy is filled with art sculptures, cute little boutiques, and exciting new restaurants.
Since there are so many new and trendy places to dine in the wonderful city of Toronto, I wanted to give you my favorite three places to dine. The atmospheres at all three are sure to impress as much as the delectable menu choices. So whether you are taking clientele or are just having a night out – consider these three options:
Patria is a traditional spanish cuisine restuarant in the form of charcuterie, cheeses, tapas and entrees located on King Street West. Beautifully lit and full of contemporary pieces for lighting and wall art – this place is sure to please. From the open air kitchen to the hanging meat cleavers on the wall (Yes there is!) and the yarn stitched wall on the way to the bathroom – there is always something new to discover if you let you eyes wander. Everything on the menu is delicious but you must order the PAN CON TOMATE (Jamon Serrano) to start. The tomato is sliced so thin it practically melts in your mouth. As you order a mix of dishes to try and share – try to save room for an Entree. Ask your server for the SECRETO IBÉRICO CON PIMIENTOS DE PIQUILLO Y MERMELADA. You will not regret it. When I was there we ordered it for the table to share – a great option if you are getting full.
Whether you are a vegetarian, have a gluten allergy, or are free to eat anything you would like – there is something to please everyone on this menu. Located in the Distillery District, Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie is absolutely charming and gorgeous. Every detail of the restaurant is well thought out and addressed. The eccentric tiled floors, metal studded stools all the way to the custom Lenox plates…Cluny is like walking through the doors and right into the petit cafes of Paris. The menu is easy to read and you should absolutely start with the QUEBEC BUTTER for all the fresh bread that is brought to the table. It is fresh, creamy and unforgettable. For dinner, try the VEAL MEATBALL TOMAHAWK or the CLUNY BURGER! If you are not full after your entrees, dessert is just as beautiful (and tasty) as the rest of the menu. Have you ever imagined having fig and port ice cream inside a giant s’more – covered with chocolate ganache and a hazelnut sponge? I bet not! Order the FROZEN S’MORE and wait for it to arrive..it is a statement piece.
If you are into Italian food – start drooling now! Not your typical italian meanu so be ready to try some fun new things. Kick off your evening with a nice glass of wine and select some cheese (PECORINO TOSCANA) and meats (SALSICCINE or BESAOLA DI CAVALLO) for a customized charcuterie board. There is a wonderful selection of pastas to choose from but a must try is the BIGOLI pasta. The Bigoli pasta is a cranked duck egg pasta rich with flavors, a duck offal ragu, marscapone and basil. It is small enough to be a shared dish at the table or as an entree for yourself. (I hope that its still on the menu for you to try.) For an entree – I had a sausage stuffed cornish hen dish that is no longer on the menu but there are multiple options to choose from. Just know that whichever decision you make, it will will be absolutely delicious.
I hope that this gave you a place to start if you are ever in Toronto and have a chance to try something new for dinner. Thanks for reading! Bon appetit!!
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