Stephanie Dickison

Good food, bad service

Babur273 Queen St. West416-599-7720 www.babur.caRating: *Dinner & drinks for two: $55Babur has been on Queen West forever, it seems, and with a new urban look, it was time for a visit.Long wood communal tables and sleek banquettes give the place a cool, streamlined feel. An exposed brick wall...

Thursday, April 1, 2010, 4:02 AM

Cold food, warm place at Mercatto

Mercatto330 Bay St.416-306-0467mercatto.caRating: ***Dinner for two with drinks: $55The third and latest location of Mercatto manages to straddle a fun vibe in a café-ish setup without it feeling too casual. Women in snug black dresses and heavy makeup nestle next to tables of teenage boys and...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 11:26 PM

European comfort food

Amber European Restaurant2372 Bloor St. W.416-763-6164Rating: ****Dinner & drinks for two: $65I’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...

Thursday, March 18, 2010, 5:30 AM

Fun and unusual offerings

Ginza Sushi100-1255 Bay St.647-351-0238www.ginzasushi.caRating: *** 1/2Dinner & drinks for two: $50White beams crosshatch around you in a small, clean space. Like a Japanese woodland forest, Ginza’s newest location in Yorkville is awash in white and blond wood.Casual dining sushi places pepper...

Thursday, March 11, 2010, 5:30 AM

Rodney’s has fun vibe, great apps

Rodney’s By Bay56 Temperance St.416-703-5111rodneysbybay.comRating: *** 1/2Dinner & drinks for two: $70You’d never find it on your own. Rodney’s By Bay is down this narrow laneway with not much else on it.Of course business folks in the area know all about it. And they’re here tonight in their...

Thursday, March 4, 2010, 5:30 AM

Swank look, delightful fare

Matahari Bar & Grill39 Baldwin St. www.mataharigrill.comRating: ****Dinner & drinks for two: $55Modern decor might seem out of place on Baldwin Street, but I think it’s a refreshing change.Matahari Bar & Grill is clean sleek and peaceful, like a spa. Aqua banquettes line white walls...

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 5:30 AM

Uninspired Middle Eastern fare

93 Harbord93 Harbord St.416-922-5914www.93harbord.comRating: **Dinner & drinks for two (Winterlicious price): $70Ahh, Winterlicious. The frenzy hit the city again this year, running from Jan. 29 through Feb. 11. During the food fest, price fixed menus lure in the masses — and that included us....

Thursday, February 18, 2010, 5:30 AM

Thai Dish — simply the city’s best

Thai Dish51 Colborne St. 416-366-2722 Rating: *****Dinner & drinks for two: $70You wouldn’t know just by looking at Thai Dish that within those doors lies some of the best Thai food you’ll ever have. And at an unbelievable affordable price too.Located in a gorgeous heritage building, high...

Thursday, February 11, 2010, 5:30 AM

Zin offers an exquisite, memorable meal

Zin Restaurant90 Avenue Rd.416- 923-1515zinrestaurant.caRating: ****Dinner & drinks for 2: $70With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’ll want to tuck into a tiny place and share delectable food. Zin’s Dinner for two ($60) is a great way to celebrate. And you can avoid arguments about...

Thursday, February 4, 2010, 7:24 PM

At Serra, you can pass on the pizza

Serra Pizza & Pasta Ristorante378 Bloor St. W.416-922-6999serrarestaurant.com – prices not accurate/no reservations for dinnerRating: **Dinner & drinks for 2: $55It’s been here for 11 years. It must be good. Cozy and warm, despite the casualness, the space allows diners the watch passersby...

Thursday, January 28, 2010, 10:30 AM

Adega’s seafood worth diving into

Adega Restaurante33 Elm St.416-977-9339www.adegarestaurante.ca Rating: ****Dinner & drinks for 2: $65While Portuguese food is varied, you are bound to find fresh fish and seafood on the menu.Tonight, we want to elevate our palates and get away from the comfort foods of the season. Here at Adega...

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 5:30 AM

Chimichanga’s got right stuff

Chimichanga Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar 70 Yorkville Ave.416-546-1246www.chimichanga.caRating: **** 1/2Dinner & drinks for 2: $45It’s across the street from Pusateri’s? Well la di da.But actually, the new and second location for Chimichanga is not posh at all. Beneath street level, it...

Thursday, January 14, 2010, 5:30 AM

Provence Delices can't keep up the momentum

Provence Delices12 Amelia Street416-924-9901provencerestaurant.comRating: ***Dinner & drinks for two: $60It’s been here for 30 years, our server tells us, but I’ve never heard of it. Weird, because it’s a damn cute place — an old house with a closed-in porch, complete with cream painted walls...

Thursday, January 7, 2010, 10:03 PM

Kensington's Waterfalls can be full of surprises

Waterfalls Indian Tapas Bar & Grill303 Augusta Ave.416-927-9666waterfallsrestaurant.caRating: ***Dinner & drinks for two: $55It feels strange to be in such a large space in Kensington. Usually they’re cramped and hurried. But here at Waterfalls, the room is looming with high ceilings and...

Thursday, December 31, 2009, 5:30 AM

Many disappointments at Montfort

Montfort Mediterranean Resto-Bar650 College St.416-535-3200No websiteRating: **Dinner & drinks for 2: $55It’s -7 tonight, -17 with the wind chill. And not much warmer here in the restaurant. Actually, it’s freezing. We eat with our coats on. It’s not just us — the chef is wearing a toque and a...

Thursday, December 24, 2009, 5:30 AM

Harlem Restaurant wows the crowd

Harlem Restaurant7 Richmond St. E.416- 368-1920www.harlemrestaurant.comRating: **** 1/2Dinner & drinks for 2: $55Top 10 reasons to love Harlem1. Food inspired by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. ’Nuff said.2. Everything on its menu evokes a certain image of what it will be. When it arrives...

Thursday, December 17, 2009, 4:28 AM

Woo Buffet: Gluttony on a plate

Woo Buffet Restaurant & Lounge Toronto Life Square10 Dundas St. E., Suite 500(416) 977-9657www.woorestaurantlounge.comDinner & drinks for 2: $65Rating: ** 1/2Woo is similar to Mandarin in that it’s pink and gray and offers hot and cold foods for a fixed price (Sun-Thurs-$20.95, Fri-Sat-$23....

Thursday, December 10, 2009, 3:38 AM

Cozy, casual joint with comfort food

Pop Bistro 686 Queen Street East(416) 461-9663www.popbistro.caRating: *** 1/2Dinner & drinks for 2: $55Now that it’s getting colder, it’s time for a little comfort food. And there’s no better place than a cozy neighbourhood joint.Pop Bistro is a former 24-hour restaurant/diner. The stainless...

Thursday, December 3, 2009, 5:37 AM

Swish by Han Korean with a twist

Swish by Han 38 Wellington Street East(647) 343-0268No websiteRating: ***1/2Dinner & drinks for 2: $60Berkshire Pork and Onion Dumplings ($9) crunch and crackle, oozing spicy juices. Seafood Crepes ($10) are thickly stuffed with shrimp, mussels and assorted veg and spices and served alongside...

Thursday, November 26, 2009, 6:34 AM

Cheers to beers

beerbistro18 King Street East416-861-9872www.beerbistro.comRating: ***Dinner & drinks for 2: $65It takes me two weeks to get a reservation for seven on a Friday. And that’s calling on a Monday. Upon arrival, walk-ins breeze by us and are seated while it takes 18 minutes for us to be taken to a...

Thursday, November 19, 2009, 7:16 AM