I thought I discovered a new restaurant the other night. Surfing the web, looking for an answer to that all-important Saturday night question, “where should we go”, I thought I was stymied. Everywhere seemed to be booked. Post-snow-day-in-Feb-not-yet-winterlicious. And booked. Was everybody going out for dinner? More importantly, where were they going?
Anyhoo, found this spot, read a couple of announcement blurbs – as opposed to reviews. And booked ‘er down. And it was delicious. Flawed, but delicious. And as I sat down to share my so-called discovery, I received an email from the local daily listings thingy… Guess what they were writing about? MY discovery.
Granted, I didn’t open it, I don’t know the owners, and I have nothing to do with it in any way. But I didn’t know anybody else who’d been there and, aside from a couple of head scratches and that-sound-familiar’s it was mine to share. At least it would’ve been if it wasn’t for those damn kids.
So I read through their review, kept my opinion mostly to myself and then thought, f&ck it. I’ve seen the pictures of those staffers and they certainly didn’t look like foodies to me. Exercisers? Yep. Makeup experts? Maybe. But most of ’em looked like they could use a good meal.
So, if anyone out there is looking for a good meal – and you’re in Toronto (sorry internationales) (and locals too, have you seen it outside?) head on down to Eleven. Guy from Xacutti closed up shop on College (I didn’t know either. It’s winter. Who knows anything.) and he moved south. No, not south south, just Jarvis and Front. I don’t know why either, but he did. And, though there are some, ahem, service issues, the food is DIVINE. Most of it.
They call it Global Comfort Food, but really it’s just tasty plates. To share. Or not – go ahead and be piggish. Especially if you have the honey glazed chicken on sesame rice. I doubt I’d share that next time. Share the goat’s cheese and mango salad – or give it a miss entirely. Yam fries are good. A little thick and need to be double-dipped, but good. Mushroom rolls are good too. But it’s all about the chicken starter. And that sauce! You can dip the other apps in there too. Not that I did. Much.
We had the famous cinnamon-guava ribs – a little gristly. And they don’t hold a candle to the BBQ’d beef or the cod on coconut lentils. Spectacular. Also recommended were the duck and halibut, but on of our gang don’t do duck, and the table next to us ordered halibut and it smelled a little…high… for my liking.
HAVE DESSERT. You’ll want to anyway since you’ll be sharing so you never won’t really be that full. Ginger donuts are like fancy Tiny Tims. In a good way. We had some kind of chocolate cake – can’t remember if it was flourless of what -but it was ish. And then there was the carrot and toffee pudding?! I know, you’re thinking “carrot?!” but just think toffee. And get one. Or two. Lick-the-bowl tasty.
Unfortunately, the service was a little challenging. Cocktails arrived with McD-like speed. Wine was so slow you’d think they were stompin on the grapes in the back. Which would also explain why the food took so bloody long. At times. Things arrived in drips and drabs. One thing. Long pause. 3 things. Long pause. One thing. Longer pause. Well, you get the picture.
So go for the food, stay despite the service, and only share with those you love. Especially the bill. STEEP.
Better still – get someone else to pay, accidentally sneeze on the honey chicken, and grab that carrot-toffee-goodness before anyone else notices.
Or do take-out. They do that too.