Rodney’s By Bay
56 Temperance St.
Rating: *** 1/2
Dinner & drinks for two: $70
You’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 crisp white button-downs, navy suits and expense accounts.
This tiny little bar/restaurant only seats 40. A u-shaped bar takes up most of the room, with banquettes and tall stools along the outer walls.
Oysters are a huge focus of the place. We have Raspberry Point, P.E.I., and Kushi, B.C., bivalves (3/$8.55). They are vivacious and clean.
The Trio of Tuna Tartares ($17) is fantastic. Soft, sensuous tuna is gently evoked with jalapeno and ginger, spicy red chili and shitake soy. Accompanied by warm wonton crisps, it is swoon worthy.
The Lobster Roll ($22) however, is atrocious. “Hand-pulled warm lobster” is chewy and flavourless on the tiniest buttery bun.
The bisque is even worse — cloyingly sweet, it is like a lobster crème brulee. Better to go with the Shrimp Risotto ($22) which, dotted with shrimp and peas, is creamy and fulfilling.
In fact, keep this a place that you go for drinks and apps. You’re sure to fully enjoy it that way.
Butcher shop more than just meat
Nosso Talho Meat Shops have been around since 1974. With two locations to serve you —1042 Bloor St. W. and 1326 Dundas St. W. — this Portuguese butcher shop offers not only fresh meat, but grocery items, a deli and cheese counter and Portuguese delicacies such as chourico (sausage), bacalhau (salter cod fish) and sardines. Go to www.nossotalho.com.
Become the new Ace of Cakes
If you’ve always wanted to bake and learn to decorate cakes, the Bonnie Gordon School (868A Eglinton Ave. W.) is for you. This confectionary arts school offers a large range of classes.
And they have a new professional kitchen to accommodate more people, so check out their classes and schedule at www.bonniegordoncakes.com or call 416-440-0333.
Crepes and martinis? Not the first thing you’d think of, but for only $4 on Thursdays at Café Crepe (246 Queen St. W.), martinis will work with just about anything. Get something savory with protein to soak up the alcohol with a Chicken, Egg & Swiss Cheese Crepe ($8) or something to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours like the Dark Chocolate & Banana Crepe ($6.50). Call 416-260-1611 for hours and info.
On the Go
Eating on the run often means eating poorly. But not at Walk In Wok Out (495 Bloor St. W.). You choose your base ($3.95 ea) — noodles, rice or veggies — add your extras ($2.95 ea) such as chicken, shrimp, beef, pork or other vegetables and then top it off with a homemade sauce (free). Salads/soups are also available. Dine in, take out or get it delivered. Delicious, homemade and healthy! Call 416-929-WALK (9255) for info.