Aft Kitchen & Bar is simple in its decor yet extremely inviting. All the wood is reclaimed and the lighting is dim but not so much where you need a flashlight. Also it will get loud, not that it’s a bad thing but if you want a quiet evening Aft won’t be your first choice.
Weekends are Texas BBQ – and being to Texas before this would make a Texan proud. The menu is simple and vegetarians need not apply. We were going to get an appetizer (the smoked wings smelled amazing from a table over) we decided on the sharing platter for two. In hindsight it’s a good thing we didn’t get an app because the platter was more than enough.
Our platter consisted of beef brisket, beef sausages and BBQ side ribs. Our sides were fries, coleslaw and baked beans. As for the sides the coleslaw was uneventful but the baked beans and fries were outstanding.
Along side all the mains you are presented with three home made sauces. A straight ahead BBQ sauce that is Kansas style, a sweet sauce with some mango, and the clear winner being a maple mustard habanero sauce.
The brisket was done perfectly. Great crust and so tender and when doused in BBQ sauce it was stellar. The beef sausage may have stole the show. Smoked, a little spicy and a great snap to the skin. The sausage alone is worth coming back for. The ribs could have used a touch more rub and a touch more smoke. Also note that they are side ribs so there is a bit of fat to contend with. These are just minor gripes though.
We skipped on dessert and opted for Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream instead. How could you not when it is so close by?
For those in Leslieville make sure to check out your latest gem of a restaurant. The rest, brave the treck over the bridge and go get some great BBQ.
Also, you may want to bring a bib cause it does get kind of messy…in a good way!
686 Queen St East, Toronto
Museum Tavern is a cross between a pub and french bistro. With comfy banks and warm lighting the whole space is very warm and inviting. I could even say romantic. For all you star gazers note that during film festivals this could be one of the new celebrity hot spots! Even that same night, we were sitting next to David Cronenberg, who directed movies such as Crash, The Fly, Eastern Promises and much more. With its close proximity to the Cumberland Street, the swanky hotels and shopping, this is the perfect place to sit down, grab a drink and a bite to eat.
The drink focus is on bourbon, vodka and gin. With a blend of tinctures, bitters, syrups they are sure to have you covered with exploring something new. Since they didn’t have a traditional Caesar on the menu I opted for the Bloody Mary. While lacking the classic Clamato it was still spiced nicely and very enjoyable.
We skipped the appetizers, although there were a lot of good options to consider.
For the mains, the filet of Arctic char over lentils and kale with a grapefruit glaze ($24) was delicious. It was refreshing to see it was a substantial piece of fish. Most restaurants would have split this filet and served it as two mains. It was fresh, cooked perfectly and hit the spot.
picture taken from origintoronto.com
Origin is one of my favourite restaurants. It’s fun, energetic with the most outstanding food, drinks and service. Every time I go there, it’s like a “dinner and a show”, especially when you’re sitting at the chef’s table. Watching them prepare all that spectacular food is amazing. This place is also great if your date is boring – you can always watch the food being prepared just be sure to make reservations at the chef’s table!
First up was the lobster ceviche ($17). A few big chunks of tender lobster with a tangy sauce and some yucu chips. All I needed was a straw so I could suck up all the sauce, it was that delicious.
You may remember the post I did back this summer on Böhmer. We just happened to walk into the place for a quick drink before a show and by the time we left we were impressed enough to come back for dinner.
For starters I had the grilled calamari. The dish looked like an abstract painting on the plate and it was the best calamari I have ever had up to date. The dish could have used a slice or two of bread to soak up all that deliciousness. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to fill up on bread but this dish just screamed for it. The calamari was grilled to perfection and the accompanying sauce was good enough to lick off the plate.
Anthony as usual had oysters. They were from PEI, shucked cleanly and were all uniform. You can either go one of two ways with oysters. Perfection or dismal. These were on par with some of the best he has had. The standard condiments were there, fresh horseradish, lemon and a raspberry chili vinaigrette.