Rose and Sons

When I made the move to Toronto one thing I anticipated more than anything else was the restaurant scene. It seemed like every cuisine under the sun had a place to call home and the inclusivity and thoughtful approach excited me. When I for a place to eat, I often peruse instagram and blog to for honest reviews and suggestions. Keeping that in mind, I have decided to create my own archive of restaurant reviews and highlights in the city.

Let's start with Rose and Sons at 176 Dupont street.

rose and sons via jamie sarner
{image via Jamie Sarner}

Continue reading

Salad King

Out of all of the restaurants in Toronto, Salad King has earned a top spot. Known for their exceptional Thai cuisine, this hole in the wall is anything but. Located upstairs at 340 Yonge Street, once you enter, you’re transported to paradise. Yonge Street is a mecca for anyone looking to surround themselves with good food and fun. Only steps from the entertainment district and Ryerson University, Salad King is in a great location.

Let this be a disclaimer: I have never had Thai food before. Although I have watched my friends eat Thai Express time and time again, I am stuck in my ways. When I told my cousin that I would be eating Thai food, she laughed, and recalled when I used to only eat Chef Boyardee and peanut butter cups. Long overdue for change and going in with an ‘I’ll-try-anything-once’ attitude, I let my friends Will and Kami take me to a restaurant I won’t soon forget.

banquette area salad king{Banquette area, image by Renée Suen}

After having Will tell me about all the amazing dishes and times he has had at Salad King, I was looking forward to experiencing it for myself. When we walked in and down the stairs, Kami was already seated at a table in the corner. I had never seen anything like it – rows of tables with seats, almost like an open bar, giving a communal feel to the restaurant. Even when we arrived, Kami was mingling with another person seated at the end of our table. I like that Salad King has a comfortable atmosphere that makes people feel free to talk to strangers while they wait for their flavourful food to arrive.

salad king communal dining{Communal dining, image by Renée Suen}

Our waiter was very nice and took our orders right away. Will and I split the ‘Sea Queen’ as an appetizer, which was breaded squid with thyme and chili with a honey and lime juice sauce, while Kami opted for the ‘Satay Chicken,’ grilled chicken on a skewer with peanut dipping sauce. I have never tried squid before but like I said above, tonight was all about the ‘I’ll-try-anything-once’ point of view. Once I got over the initial feeling that I was eating squid, I quickly devoured my portion. I thought that it may taste weird but it was full of flavour and I was thinking about it all night long.

sea queen{Sea Queen}

For our entrees, Will ordered the ‘Thai Basil Noodles (veggie)’ which consisted of rice noodle, egg, carrot, bell pepper, bean sprout, and a sauce made from garlic, chili, shallot, and dried shrimp. Always one to kick it up a notch, he ordered 5 chilis on the dish. Something you need to know about Salad King: they aren’t afraid of heat. They have their own Spicy Scale so you can add more spice to your dish, ranging from ‘medium – a little kick’ to ’20 chilis – may cause stomach upset.’ Will said that the chef has even went as far as 50 chilis, but with that dish, you can touch it to your tongue and you’re finished… it’s that hot. Kami went for a less spicy but equally amazing dish, ‘Shrimp with Cashew,’ which had shrimp, carrot, onion, bell pepper, celery, cashew nut served in a mild sauce. For myself, I ordered the ‘Garlic Shrimp’ which consisted of breaded shrimp with garlic, carrot, onion, and bean sprouts, served in a mild sauce. All of our dishes were served in a timely manner and after our first bites, we were sold. The flavours, textures, and colours came together to create dishes that made our taste buds come alive.

garlic shrimp{Garlic Shrimp}

shrimp with cashew
{Shrimp with Cashew}

Overall, my experience at Salad King was a terrific one. I truly believe that there is nothing better than dinner and drinks with a few friends and Salad King is the perfect environment to have the best of both. With phenomenal food, a great location, and overall comforting atmosphere, I fully understand how this spot has become one of Toronto’s best.

The Grand Pizzeria & Bar

I am a self proclaimed foodie. Honestly, other than fashion, food is one of my major passions in life. You know how some people ask the question “if you weren’t a ___, what would you do?” My answer would be a chef. Although I plan on sticking with a future in fashion, food has always been something I’ve been interested in. Beyond the taste of different cuisine, there is a lot of history behind ingredients, cooking techniques, and restauranteurs and the chefs, waiters and waitresses, servers, etc who they employ. Based on this, I have decided to add a new category to Lost in Reverie. My goal is to share some restaurants I believe you would all enjoy, recipes for delicious meals and treats, and other information about food. If you have any post suggestions within this realm, please let me know in the comments.

First on the docket is a review of one of my favourite restaurants in the ByWard Market, The Grand Pizzeria & Bar. Opened on May 1, 2009 in the same location as the historic ‘The Grand’ hotel, the building was given new life. With 150 seats inside, in the summer the patio gives more room and can seat up to 170 people, making it the largest seating in Ottawa. Mixing old traditions with modern decor, this Italian restaurant has a wood burning oven giving every pizza that crisp taste that makes it perfect.

header_logo{The Grand Pizzeria & Bar logo}

The special thing about The Grand Pizzeria & Bar is that it’s more than a restaurant, it’s an experience. I have only been there a handful of times but I feel like I leave my every day life behind and enter a more sophisticated atmosphere. The service is impeccable and immediately when you walk in the doors, the up scale environment gives you a good feeling right off the bat. The array of dishes are in Italian but the descriptions are mouth watering and the list of pizza’s are a dream come true.

photo
{outside of the restaurant}

I went this past Saturday with my friend Zach and it cemented why I love this restaurant so much. Soon as we entered, we were seated immediately in a window seat with a view of the patio and market. Although the weather wasn’t the best, our server’s cheery disposition made us both feel like we chose the right place to eat. He ordered The Grand pizza which came with mozzarella, scamorza, fresh basil, and prosciutto and I ordered the Angus Cheeseburger which was an 8.oz patty topped with white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. The food arrived quickly after we ordered but the quality was out of this world. Zach’s pizza was a great size for the price and looked amazing, and he deemed that it tasted as good as it looked. After I had ordered, I was second guessing getting a cheeseburger at an Italian restaurant but I was not disappointed. The burger was so big it needed a toothpick to hold it together and after the very first bite, I was sold. The fries were a tasty side and overall it was a wonderful meal.

I would definitely recommend The Grand Pizzeria & Bar to anyone who lives in Ottawa or is making a trip to the city and is visiting downtown. The price is right and not only do you get to have a terrific meal, you get to experience a taste of Ottawa’s history.

photo2 photo3{interior shots of the restaurant}

The Grand Pizzeria & Bar is located at 74 George Street and is open everyday from 11:00AM to 2:00AM.