Showing posts with label pub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pub. Show all posts

Kelly’s Landing (Toronto)


Kelly Landing’s prime location in downtown Toronto has made it a popular place for me; typically for after work drinks but there’s been a lunch and dinner as well. Indeed, it’s a go-to place for many people – by 5pm there’s already a small line-up at the door. Yet, they’ve always seated reservations quickly and with their large space the only time I've been turned away without one is when there's a sporting event.

Having tasted the Moroccan curried chicken ($20) at their grand opening event, I wanted more. This was the first dish ordered during a return visit and thankfully it didn’t disappoint. Just as flavourful as I remembered, it combines North African spices creating a curry that has a good amount of heat, you’ll want a bit of the crema to help cool the tongue. The bits of almonds and apricots help add texture and there’s plenty of basmati rice and flatbread that you won’t leave hungry.


For a smaller meal, the pan seared scallops ($21) paired with salad is a good alternative. Being sizeable, the scallop arrives slightly raw on the inside with a great caramelized crust. There’s also a sweet and salty aspect to the starter thanks to the thinly sliced crispy pork belly and maple sherry glaze.


Despite not looking very appetizing, the nachos ($22) were really satisfying. It could be due to the ample cheese melted onto the chips and the jalapeño crema that adds a tangy kick to everything. With the crunchy peppers, onions, and olives there were sufficient ingredients on the nacho.


However, two ingredients were lacking: the Cajun chicken pieces were a little dry (perhaps a pulled chicken would be better) and the guacamole resembles a premade mixture from a tub, it’s a terrible puke green colour and lacks taste (the extra $3 to add it on was a waste).

Having seen other tables order the steak frites ($23), I had high hopes for the dish. When it arrived, it certainly looked impressive with beautiful grill marks and a glistening coating of sauce. Once I cut into it, the cooked through meat (when it should have been medium rare) was a huge disappointment. 


Moreover, it wasn’t a one-off incident as my friend’s was overcooked as well. Nevertheless, I begrudgingly ate the steak (our waitress did offer to re-fire both dishes but we didn’t want our other guest to wait around) and it was passable; at least well-seasoned and the hot demi-glace (likely partially responsible for the steak being overcooked) helped add moisture.

Overall, with some highs and lows, sadly the food isn’t as consistent as their staff’s friendly service. Yet, with their great location I’m sure I’ll be returning, I’ll just stick to the tastier items sampled at their opening event. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 123 Front Street West

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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Kelly's Landing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog (New York)


Despite looking like you’ve stepped back in time with every square inch of the Dead Rabbit’s wooden rafters plastered with black and white photographs and sawdust on the floor, the bar actually opened in 2013. It was this rustic “taproom” on the main floor that we spent our entire visit (a sawdust free cocktail parlour is located on the second floor), with so many things catching our attention: the extensive Irish whiskey collection, Dead Rabbit memorabilia hung on the wall, and even hand-drawn cartoons by the register.


The bar is named after the famous Irish gang in New York from the 1850s; thankfully, in modern days, there’s no weapons or dead animals in sight. What they do have (and you have to taste) is an out-of-this-world Irish coffee ($12). The whipped cream melts against the hot coffee to create a cold thick foam at the top, once you get through this cool layer you’re greeted with a warm coffee that’s thoroughly spiked with Clontarf whiskey and just enough demerara syrup to keep it sweet. Whether used to greet the morning or bid adieu before bed, it’s equally fitting.


Not all their cocktails are whiskey based, the perfect lady royal ($15) uses lemon vodka and is a perfect match for brunch as it’s almost like a peach Bellini mimosa. With the sparkle from the Prosecco, hint of refreshing mint, and light undertone of florally jasmine, it’s an easy sipping cocktail. 


Of course Dead Rabbit also has plenty of beers on tap from the traditional Guinness ($8) to their signature Dead Rabbit cask ($8), which go wonderfully with the corned beef sandwich ($18). The thin crunchy bread can barely contain the hefty portion of warm meat, which is brined but not overly salty. It’s topped with melted gruyere and a mustardy creamy coleslaw that provides a lovely hint of pickledness against the corned beef. The hot fries were equally delicious to munch on … meat and potatoes, the perfect Irish meal.


Sadly, the corned beef sandwich was all we could manage having had pizza an hour earlier. Who would have known that the 2017 World’s Best Bar winner would not only make amazing drinks but delicious food as well? Do yourself a favour and head to the Dead Rabbit earlier for brunch, you’ll be satisfied with their food and it’s your best chance to score a seat (by 3pm the place was packed). Don’t worry, there won’t be any Irish militia gangs on site, but you’ll likely still need to battle with the mob of thirsty tourists and traders.

How To Find Them
 Location: New York, USA
 Address: 30 Water Street

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Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Abbot Pub and Fare (Toronto)


Having recently moved, the change in location means a new local watering hole and a whole slew of fresh establishments to dine at. In the area, there’s a fair number of casual eateries and regardless of the evening, pubs such as The Abbot are filled. Rain, snow, cold weather … nothing will stop North Yorkers from getting a cold glass of ale (or in my case, wine).

As the calamari ($12) was presented, the tell-tale perfect rings signified frozen seafood. Get ready for the shriveled insides and coating that falls off, I thought to myself. Surprisingly, my worries didn’t materialize and the appetizer was decent – the calamari relatively plump and the light crispy coating adhered just fine on the seafood.


It doesn’t seem fair to write about a pub without trying a couple of their staples: fish and chips or a burger. Sadly, the staples are also what the Abbot seems to rest on their laurels with.

I’m told the thick oily batter on their fish and chips ($15) is a typical English style. For me, it’s too heavy and despite the pieces of fish actually being quite thick, still remained buried in coating; especially the ends that were so mummified I had to peel them off. Perhaps if the batter actually incorporated enough of the “Abbot Ale” or there was some other flavour incorporated into the coating it’d be better. Unfortunately, each piece of fish simply tasted like oil … the only respite was once I doused it with a liberal splashing of malt vinegar or added the respectable coleslaw to the mix.


The beef burger ($14 with an extra $2 for cheddar and caramelized onions) looked impressive with a thick patty, colourful garnishes and a fluffy buttered bun. Looks can be deceiving as upon biting through the bun everything was just… so … plain. Aside from the liberal squirt of ketchup, I really couldn’t taste much else. Despite being warned that their burgers are cooked to medium (the proper way any real burger should be prepared, in my mind), the actual patty arrived completely cooked through.  


Maybe it was an off evening and the cooks simply forgot to dip into the spices. Somehow, both dishes were so bland – even the tartar sauce could only add so much interest to the fish and chips. I know what you’re thinking, there’s salt on the table, just sprinkle it on. Sure, this helps a bit but I’m a firm believer that what makes a dish good is the layering of flavours (i.e. having spices incorporated into the beef patty and sauce on the burger bun) so that everything works together. Moreover, making a dish taste good relies more than just salt … that’s just table stakes.

Another visit yielded tastier meals. The chicken and waffle ($20), a special for the evening, had an amazing side: the bacon and Brussels sprouts hash was bang on in terms of flavours as the slivers of vegetable and soft bacon melded together into a wonderful accompaniment. I could have easily had a large plate of the hash as a meal.

Although showing promise, the chicken and waffles just wasn’t executed very well. The coating on the chicken was nicely seasoned (the saltiness pairing nicely with the maple bourbon glaze) and the meat was juicy, yet the breading fell off as soon as the knife pierced through. Chicken meat with hard crispy shards of coating anyone? The buttermilk waffle was made with a delicious batter, but so dense it could have been pancakes; the soft cake-like texture good on its own, but much too heavy for fried chicken.

The sole dish I’d order again is the beef brisket ($22). Each thick slice of meat so tender and flavourful, having been braised in beer. It’s a real "stick to your ribs" comfort dish paired with buttery scallion mashed potatoes. Mmm… meat and potatoes, perhaps this is what pub fare is all about.


The Abbot does offer a great rendition of sticky toffee pudding ($8), served hot in a ramekin that keeps all the buttery syrup soaked into the soft cakey cinnamon bread. Yet, the syrup isn’t overpowering – just sweet enough to bring justice to the dessert, but balanced out by the neutral whipped cream on top that adds a creaminess to everything.


What I’ve learnt from attending the local restaurant: forget about the fried dishes, go for the meat and potatoes. And by all means, save room for dessert!

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3367 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


The Abbot Pub & Fare Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Uptown Pub House (Toronto)


Sometimes pubs are dark environments where their carpet stinks of stale beer. At other times, their dining room is like The Uptown Pub House: brightly lit and the carpetless. Their menu still has the typical pub fare – burgers, wings, Shepard’s pie and the like.

The batter on the haddock used in the fish and chips ($14.95) was thin and light, albeit a tad soggy in the centre. Thankfully, the tartar sauce isn’t the packaged Heinz variety, instead thick and zippy but would be even better with more pickles. Even though the chips weren’t the thick cut version of Scotland, they were hot and crispy … I couldn’t help eating one more.


You really can’t go wrong with anything deep fried. The crispy shrimp ($11.95) arrived blistering hot in a crunchy shell and a tangy horseradish laced homemade cocktail sauce. Similarly, the sweet potato fries ($5.50) must be some of the best in the city – keeping their length with a really light dusting of flour so the sweet starchy flavour was the most evident.


The only disappointment was the pub house chicken curry ($14.95), which didn’t hold up to its British counterparts of making excellent thick creamy curries. Instead, it’s as if the chef merely took the chicken, pea and potato mixture used in the pot pie and added curry powder. Indeed, the dish had a vibrant colour, but lacked any heat or flavour. Even the curry aroma was non-existent, it’s a passable dish.


I’d just go with the chicken pot pie ($15.95) instead. Although I didn’t taste it, at least the crust appeared flaky and as the steam arose from the chicken and gravy, it smelled like something.


Despite its gloomier exterior, The Uptown Pub House is surprisingly family friendly inside. This may be a tad disappointing for a lonely soul who wants to knock back a few at the bar and be miserable in a shadowy silence. But for those who want to eat, at least it doesn’t smell like rank beer.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3185 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



The Uptown Pub House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Freiberger Schankhaus (Dresden)

Dresden is a beautiful city to behold, with gigantic gothic buildings all grouped around a large square. Although the buildings look historic, most of them have actually be rebuilt within recent decades (some reclaimed original materials) as most of the city was destroyed in World War II bombings that left the city centre devastated. Some buildings were rebuilt based on their former self while others replaced with something entirely different. Freiberger Schankhaus is a restaurant that took over a former pharmacy when the land was finally redeveloped in 2006.

While visiting Germany in the spring it’s spargal or asparagus season. Many restaurants cater to this creating special menus to celebrate the season. At Freiberger, I tried their asparagus salad (€10.90) a large fresh dish with leafy lettuce (baby leaf, bibb and iceberg), sweet tomatoes, endives, and plenty of chopped spears of white and green asparagus. The asparagus is much lighter tasting than the Ontario variety; thick spears that’s really crunchy.


The dressing is what made the salad a meal with chopped eggs and finely diced ham in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette. At first, I thought it arrived undressed but after digging into the dish, realized the dressing was in the middle. You really need to get in there and mix it up or end up with overdressed leaves at the end.


Freiberger’s regular menu is predominantly comprised of hearty Saxon fare. Their freshly baked pretzel (€1.80) is made-to-order and much lighter than the ballpark variety. It’s simply topped with course sea salt and not a brush of butter at all.


My husband’s meal was much more carnivore friendly. The master brewer style pork escalope (€12.90) was a crispy, breaded pork chop stuffed with ham and cheese. It wasn’t overly salty and leant itself to being dipped in the rich beef gravy on the bottom. The dish also arrived with plenty of hot fries and a side salad; a filling meal at an amazing price.


Located right in the heart of the busy Neumarket area of Dresden, Freiberger is a great find. A lovely airy pub atmosphere set over two storeys, it’s not overly busy and serves substantial dishes at affordable prices.


Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Dresden, Germany
 Address: Neumarkt 8

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!