European comfort food - Metro US

European comfort food

Amber European Restaurant
2372 Bloor St. W.

Rating: ****
Dinner & drinks for two: $65

I’m in the mood for comforting, homemade food this week. And with a range of handmade pierogies/pilemny, cabbage rolls, schnitzels, potato pancakes, soups, omelettes, salads and sandwiches, Amber European sounds like the perfect place.

A tiny, narrow space in Bloor West Village allows about 25 people to tuck infor their meals. Tonight, this casual haunt hosts a group of young excitable girls devouring schnitzels, two men enjoying beer and homemade carrot cake and a gal working a paper while she digs into Potato Pancakes with Goulash ($15.95).

All Pierogies are made in-house, boiled and topped with fried onions, bacon bits, fresh dill and served with sour cream. We get a Small Order (any five pierogies or eight pelmenies — filled with meat) ($7.95) of Sauerkraut and Mushrooms to start. They are surprisingly light and meaty, despite being comprised only of veggies.

The Schnitzels, breaded and pan-fried, come with salads and mashed potatoes. The Amber ($20.95) is topped with mushrooms, the Gypsy ($23.95), bacon and real cheddar cheese. They take up half of our platter-size plates. Rich, velvety veal is thinly veiled in a buttery breading and fluffy, earthy potatoes are the very definition of comfort food.

Dining out

Kiss me I’m Irish
Keep the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations going at the brand new Quinn’s Steakhouse & Irish Bar (Toronto Sheraton Centre — 96 Richmond St. W.). Executive Chef Paul Pisa has created a sumptuous menu including Guinness-Braised Lamb Shanks, Seared Arctic Char and 100 per cent Canadian, hand selected, aged in-house steaks.

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