Browsing: Restaurant Features

Over Easy in Toronto


Almost three weeks have past since our sojourn to Toronto.  One of our favourite meals was at Over Easy in the Entertainment District.  As the name implies, they serve breakfast all day long.  So why has it it taken me so long to write about it?  Because I would have to admit to y’all that I had poutine for breakfast and loved it!

Now in my defense, it wasn’t really poutine (even though they called it such on the menu).  It was more like a hearty breakfast casserole with the inclusion of authentic cheese curds instead of grated cheese.  Specifically, there was a layer of hash browns topped with bacon and smoked ham, cheese curds, and two poached eggs.  That was smothered with a lemony hollandaise.  The meal was loaded with carbs, fat and calories and my oh my, was it delicious.

D very sensibly chose eggs Florentine which included fresh spinach.  This great place also serves home made brown toast and an excellent glass of oj.

Unfortunately, the coffee was horrible or I could have sat there all day.  The decor was cheerful and cozy and I loved the fresh colours.

Over Easy on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote: “It was a nice breakfast – two hard boiled eggs, a piece of Danish, and a Coca-Cola spiked with gin.”-John Cheever

Sydney’s at the Forks


Our evening at Sydney’s was near perfection, right down to the soft fluffy snowflakes that were falling on the courtyard of the Forks, when we were the last satisfied patrons to leave that night.

When I say “near” perfection,  Laura had done her utmost to reserve a round table six weeks prior to this special evening and when she was escorted to a rectangular table which is not as conducive to inclusive conversation, she was told that someone would come to speak to her.  Well, that someone never materialized and the request was ignored or forgotten.

But no matter, I anticipated that the evening would be stellar as I had recently followed the Gold Medal Plate competition and knew that Chef Michael Schafer had taken the bronze.  So we were in for an award winning evening.

We started the merriment off with the Ceasar that the server suggested.  We detected the addition of horseradish and I noticed as we raised our glasses for a festive toast, that my glass was reducing in contents more quickly than the others.

You may already know that Sydney’s provides a seasonal menu for one price of $55. per diner (with the option of a couple of more expensive choices), which capitalizes on the fruits of the local harvest.  The offerings are a fusion of Asian, French and Italian influences.  Since these are my personal favourites (with the exception perhaps of Mexican), I knew that I would well pleased with everything that came my way.      

Some started with split pea soup which tempted me as I spotted the inclusion of truffle and house-made ham.  But I opted for something lighter to start and was satisfied with my gorgonzola and walnut topped, beet salad.  Statisfied until I tasted D’s prawn and veggie kakiage……

Kakiage is a tempura of mixed vegetables and often includes shrimp or prawns as this one did.  The was a pocket of wasabi powder in the mix which was well balanced by the citrus ponzu sauce.  I was coveting D’s choice.


The next course included a gorgeous beef liver pate sampled by some and a pumpkin risotto that caught my eye.  The pistachio crumble, sage oil and parmesan crisp were delightful and I was content.  That was… until I tasted D’s savory bread pudding. 

The choice, which I thought was unusual at first, was the perfect blend of seasoned bread and a savoury sausage.  It might have been the surprize hit of the evening.

The courses were divided by a cleansing sorbet and then the “mains” began to arrive.  This double lamb shank, pictured above was enhanced by a rosemary, dijon crust.


Laura and Sue opted for the spicy garlic rock lobster tail and tiger shrimp.  I had a nibble and was duly impressed.  D enjoyed his salmon with warm olive salad and I, my bone-in pork chop with an apple stuffing.  Perfectly cooked to a medium rare with juices still flowing, it was gorgeous.

By the time dessert arrived, we should have been linking arms for a stroll in the snow but picked up our spoons once again.  D let me taste his satisfying chocolate crepes with a marscarpone fig cream.

I was over the moon for my apple tart with blue cheese ice cream and a brandy snap.


What could enhance this circle of friends, celebrating Christmas?  Well did I mention that Santa is one of my friends?  Here he is making his selections of the evening’s fare. 

And again, just before we departed for the evening.

Sydney's at the Forks on Urbanspoon

I truly hope that your festive season, gets off to as good a start as mine.

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”-Phyllis Diller

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky-Toronto


A very long time ago, there was a restaurant in Winnipeg called Mrs. Lipton’s.  The little cafe was in an old house on the corner of a neighbourhood street and I always wondered how they got zoning for the place, as it was so entrenched in the quaint neighbourhood.  It wasn’t really like eating out, it was more like going home.

The same is true of  Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington Market.  We had met an old friend of ours and she had not had anything for lunch that day.  We, on the otherhand had gorged ourselves at breakfast and were too full for lunch.  So it was decided that we would check out Wanda’s.  When we arrived there were folks visiting, reading and surfing.  The place was filled with wonderful aromas and beautiful little feasts for the eyes. 

D and I shared a “piece” of blueberry pie.  It was the closest thing to my Mom’s blueberry pie and that is the highest compliment, that I can pay anyone about their baking.  How shall I describe it?  The flaky crust was appropriately salty and the generous portion of what tasted like wild blueberries was not too sweet but tangy with lemon juice.

Next time (and it will be a while unfortunately, until our return to TO) I will definitely be ordering the infamous rainbow cake.

Wanda's Pie in the Sky on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote:  “I don’t think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.”-John Gould


Movenpick Marche


D was a second year student studying Tourism and Hospitality at Ryerson in Toronto when we first started courting and he returned for his final year of study when we were engaged.  Needless to say, there were many reasons to visit Toronto for a weekend back in the olden days and I’ve been a fan of Movenpick ever since.  We would visit their Yorkville location in those days as we were fascinated that a very old neighbourhood, could some how come back to life with shops and restaurants.  These days of course, that is what TO is all about!

As the saying goes-feast your eyes!  If you agree that we eat with our eyes then you’ll be more than satiated before you even pick up a plate at Movenpick Marche.  The food displays are exquisite and are set up in food groupings.  When we visited at brunch time there were these stations: dim sum and sushi, crepes and waffles, seafood, omelettes, salad, etc. etc. etc.

On this day, we were meeting most of the rest of the family of the Frenchman (our pet name for the beau of our youngest).  We choose a quiet spot in the area of the restaurant that has a brasserie feel of Europe (appropriate since that is where this couple first met). 

I could not pass up the grilled vegetables on the salad bar reminiscent of the antipasta dishes that we fell in love with in Italy

and there were THREE kinds of baked pumpkin (I sampled them all). 

D was tempted by the divine bouillabaisse and so we shared both. 

This loaf of apple strudel was too good to pass up and even thought we shared it too, we could not finish the huge portion.

Marche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “…..all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity.”-H.L. Mencken

Thank you for making the drive from Peterborough to meet us and for the exquisite lunch and visit.

Biermarkt on Esplanade, Toronto


Inspired by Belgium and the European Brasserie Tradition, the Biermarkt held a delicious dining and imbibing experience while were were recently in Toronto.

D and I started with a Czech Pilsner Urquell and Austrian Steigl Larger as we waited for friends.  It is appropriate that Czechoslovakia created the world’s first pilsner beer.  My dear ole Daddy was from Czechoslovakia and he loved his beer.  We have a tribute to him and our heritage at our summer home.  It is a framed Czechoslovakian proverb which goes like this: “Where beer is drunk, life is good”.  Life is Good is the name of our cabin.

When our friends arrived, Irish Kilkenny Cream Ales were ordered and we started thinking about moving to the dining room for dinner.  By this time, Jeremy (one of the managers) had come by to ensure that we were having a wonderful time and he checked in with us intermittently throughout the evening.  He is a wonderful host and the Biermarkt is lucky to have him.


We started with Moule & Frites.  These were poached in coconut milk, lime and chilies. 

We also ordered these huge hot pretzels for dipping in the mussel broth.

Turned out that after sharing this four ways, we were too stuffed for our own entrees so D & I split Schnitzel with tomato jam and creamed potatoes and an add on of grilled Sea Scallops.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, succulent and delicious.  The schnitzel, not so much…. 

I must admit, I was tempted to order the Poutine (aficionado that I am) but had already eaten an order at breakfast-and Poutine twice in one day, well that’s not indulgent, that’s plain gross.

Our beloved friends enjoyed salmon with a salad of beets and walnuts.

And this Kobe Beef Burger (yippee, more frites)! 

We had low food expectations and found almost everything to be surprizingly fabulous.  But the hit of the evening was still the beer selection and we sampled these before the night was done: Paulaner Helles Original Munich Larger,  Jupiler Blonde Larger, Belgian Palm Amber Ale and Toronto Steam Whistle Pilsner.

Wish we had one of these in Winnipeg! 

Bier Markt - Esplanade on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”-Frank Zappa

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