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October 2004 Archives

October 18, 2004

350 Farenheit is sometimes more than 360 degrees.

I've been wanting to try this restaurant for awhile, and with my mother in town, and both of us on diets, it seemed like an ideal time. Other plans kept us away all week, but finally on Sunday night we had the opportunity to stop in.

I had only a vague idea of where it was located on Bloor St, so it took me a bit to find it (467 Bloor West, just East of Bathurst by a couple of blocks, best parking is in the Green P lot South of Bloor just East of Bathurst). By the time we got there, we were quite hungry having not really eaten much in the way of lunch, so the excellent, garlicky hummous and toasted pitas that were immediately brought to the table were a welcome nosh.

The waitress was attentive, without being intrusive and helpful with suggestions, though it might have been nice if she had mentioned what they were out of before I tried to order it.

We started with an appetizer of grilled tomatoes and mozarella. Using low acid yellow tomatoes and a pleasantly salty mozarella, this was a flavourful step above the usual caprese. It was served with a side of mesclun green which were nicely and lightly dressed with balsamic vinagarette.

I didn't have the sesame crusted ahi tuna for dinner because they were out of it. Instead, I opted for the almond crusted salmon with quinoa and vegetables, while my mother chose the grilled tilapia and vegetables.

The salmon was a true delight, well cooked and moist, with the crust providing lovely flavour and texture. The quinoa pilaf was flavourful and nutty, like brown rice, but much lighter. The steemed vegetables included the usual green beans and peppers, but also a healthy proportion of both green and white asparagus.

Her tilapia was also well-cooked, but rather on the bland side, with only a bit of balsamic giving it flavour. The grilled vegetables were better fare, with more peppers and asparagus, and also some zucchini.

The dessert menu is surprisingly appetizing for a health conscious restaurant. We opted for the two tortes - one chocolate and one lemon. The chocolate torte was rich and flavourful, but drier than it needed to be, really. The lemon torte, on the other hand, was excellently flavoured, full of lemon with tart and sweet balanced off nicely. The oatmeal crust would have been better served by plating it dry instead of on top of the blueberry coulis, as it got a little mushy, but it was still yummy.

The final bill was $100 with taxes and tip. That included a single, surprisingly inexpensive ($3) bottle of spring water, and a cup of tea (a really nice ginger oolang), but no wine or other beverages. We were amused to note that some of the key nutritional information (calories, carbs, protein) were repeated on the cheque, so you had a record of them for posterity.

If they didn't feature nutritional information so prominantly on the menu (and cheque), 350 Farenheit would still pass muster as an excellent restaurant. The nutritionally balanced approach to the meals is an added benefit.


350 Farenheit is no longer in business.

October 25, 2004

Chowhound Dinner at 93 Harbord

I arrived for the dinner 30 minutes late (because it took me 45 minutes to find parking, in an area that's a mess of one way streets and no left turns), just as everyone was getting ready to order.

I decided relatively quickly on the organic beef kibbeh with a pomegranate jus and the cheese and pear salad. The table also ordered some different appetizers, including beef wrapped asparagus and a mixed seafood plate. Pita with parsley and olive dips was also provided to the table.

The food was excellent. It was certainly middle eastern at its core, but much more than the 'here's a skewer of chicken and some rice' dishes that you get at many restaurants. The salad, with its poached pears and salty cheese was finely balanced. The appetiziers were excellent and accompanied by caramelized, tart apples that were wonderful.

I make a lot of sweet sauces from poemegranate, so it was interesting to taste the flavour in a savory dish. It worked surprisingly well. I was a bit surprised that the dish came with mashed potatoes at its base instead of one of the other, more appropriate grains. I expect it said that on the menu and I just didn't notice. The kibbeh was tender and aromatic and generously portioned.

If I had a complaint about the evening, it would have been related to the service. Arriving late, I couldn't get the waiter's attention to provide a drink order until he arrived to take my food order 10 minutes later. We had to continually ask for additional water throughout the meal, we'd eventually get a few refilled bottles, but it was never enough to even top up everyone's glass.


Restaurant Info:
93 Harbord
93 Harbord St.
416-922-5914


Relevent Links:

Chowhound's Toronto / Ontario board
Ask about joining future Chowhound Dinners - email the organisor.
Original Chowhound Post

About October 2004

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