Starfish – Seafood Restaurant Review

Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill rates as one of my all time favourites. Whether it’s a casual or romantic dinner out to an evening with family or friends, Starfish has always risen to the occasion. The decor is easy-going, the East Coast charm is relaxing and inviting while the staff is attentive and knowledgable.


The owner, Patrick McMurray, holds the current Guinness Book of World Records for most oysters shucked in 1 minute (33 in total).

Now, the main draw is simply the food. Not just the bivalves on ice but anything on the Ocean Wise supported menu is stellar.

Oh and for all you Caesar lovers, while Starfish may not stuff a Caesar into a full-blown meal, they make one of the best in the city. Perfect in its simplicity.

Tonight we opted for the smoked haddock fishcakes with pata negra sausage $14. Simply amazing!

Haddock Fishcakes

Of course what would dinner be without some oysters. Anthony had the half-dozen shuckers $18. The top two were from Massachusetts and the favourite of the six.  The middle two were from France and making their appearance for the first time in Canada in 6 years. They were a little on the sweeter side but still delicious. The bottom two were from Nova Scotia hit a note balanced in the middle in terms of taste. Not too briny, not too sweet. Just right.

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Bishop and the Belcher

Bishop and the Belcher

For some reason the Bishop and the Belcher has always remained under the radar in terms having their name thrown out when suggesting a pub\restaurant to hit up. Perhaps they like it that way because the place is almost always packed!

If the name sounds familiar and may you remember it back in the days as one of the best spots on Queen and are wondering what the heck happened to them?

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Jack Astor’s – Yonge Dundas Square

Love it or hate it, Jack Astor’s and its affiliate chains are an institution in our cities. This isn’t a review on the food so much as it is on the space.

Jack Astor's patio

Jack Astor’s at Dundas Square was one of the first restaurants to open up here. And it took us that long to finally get around to actually visiting it.

If you have been to Jack Astor’s before you know what to expect from the food. Foodies shun it and the less adventurous embrace it. I have no complaints and they have been around long enough that some of their classic dishes now fall into comfort food territory.

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Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse

Jacobs Steakhouse

Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse was always on my list of places to try. Note that this is a place for serious carnivores. If you are a vegetarian though I am sure they can accomodate some option for you but you’ll be sitting right beside a wall of dry aged meat.

A few words of caution, come with time and an appetite on your side. You will need it!

Jacobs Steakhouse Inside

The evening started out with a quick walk through the piano lounge and the martini bar to the main dining room. The restaurant is beautiful and all corners are meticulously maintained.

Dinner started off with some warm popovers with tarragon butter. These in themselves were very addictive.

Jacobs Popovers

Next up we ordered the caesar salad which is made at your table and is a must try! The ritual takes about 15 minutes to prepare and is quite amazing to watch.

Like most steak houses your meal is ordered a la carte, so we opted for the filet and California striploin. For our sides we got the peas with ricotta and duck fat french fries. They were both delicious but I don’t think you can go wrong with anything you choose.

As for the steaks. Well it was almost trancedental. Take almost every notion you know of when it comes to a steak and muliply it a million times better. The cuts were trimmed perfectly, generous in size and most importantly cooked to perfection to our liking.

Jacobs steak

After the dinner there was a tiny space in our stomaches left for the dessert. Two seperate desserts at this point would be ludicrous so we shared the creme brulee. No surprise it was another hit.

Just when you thought things would end a platter of little chocolates was brought out. How could we say no?!

As we settled up for the evening they brought us two freshly baked chocolate muffins to take home for breakfast.

Jacobs Muffins

Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse was one of the greatest dining experiences I have had. It definitively deserves the extra recognition.