Clay ovens bake the naan that accompanies lamb and beef curry dishes; chutney pairs with vegetarian samosas amid Pakistani music
50% Off Indian and Pakistani Food at Mogul Divaan
If you peer into the open kitchen at Tusq from visit to visit, you'll rarely see the same process twice. Mirroring its rotating tasting menu, Tusq has recently revamped the restaurant with new chic décor creating a swanky feel and a freshly updated menu to match.The tasting menu include flighty dishes that change at a few weeks' notice, offering a small window of time for guests to sample the likes of pan-roasted scallops or crème brûlée. Those interested in constancy can turn to the regular dinner menu. With duck confit wontons and a 9-ounce strip steak in a root-beer reduction, it's ample evidence of the chef's adventurous streak. Lunch is similarly creative, featuring sandwiches of orange-glazed salmon and penne pasta with wild game sausage.
Tusq serves these plates and made-from-scratch desserts in an upscale dining room. Two private rooms also host gatherings, one in a chic corporate lounge, and one in a bistro-style space with its own bartender. Still, the restaurant's atmosphere avoids pretension—after supper and wine, you can belt out your favourite songs at StaQatto, where a duelling pianos show entertains crowds every Friday and Saturday. The pianists take suggestions from a set list of 2,000 songs, and encourage audiences to participate by dancing, singing, or stretching strings from their mouths to their feet and serving as a standup bass.
When Joe and Theresa Klassen first founded Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in 1985, they were simply looking to create a friendly neighbourhood eatery that served made-to-order seafood. Though the company has since expanded to more than 69 franchises across Canada, it still falls under the leadership of its founder, who frequently develops new strategies for growth and expansion while continuing to supply each location with fresh, Pacific-based seafood.
Joey’s offers two distinct dining experiences: full-service restaurants (designed for families and their hungry sock puppets) and quick-serve places (designed for younger generations). At the quick-serve eateries, foodsmiths dole out a smaller menu of fried fish and shrimp. The full menu includes seafood entrees such as sautéed PEI mussels, blackened Pacific snapper, and Joey’s famous fish 'n' chips—fillets of halibut, cod, or haddock dunked into a secret-recipe batter and then deep-fried in canola oil.
Nationally, the company supports the Alzheimer's Society of Canada through local and national fundraising efforts. Since 2000, its franchises have collectively raised more than $950,000 for the organization.
Though Dinner Rush is always bustling, no one ever dines in. That’s because Dinner Rush is a place for guests to come assemble take-home meals that can be cooked at home throughout the week. These meals feed between four and six people, and guests can assemble up to 10 meals in two hours.
Patrons first select the entrees they want on the website and book a time to come in. When they arrive at Dinner Rush, staffers give them a brief orientation and an apron to wear. Patrons then head to the recipe stations and assemble their meals using easy-to-follow instructions.
In order to accommodate all taste preferences, the menu features a variety of food and changes frequently. It may include entrees such as lemon-pepper grilled chops or cheesy lasagna rolls. Because the ingredients are pre-washed and pre-chopped, the meal assembly is efficient, ensuring that guests can spend more time at home hanging out with their families or sewing fancy hats for the dog.
At Ufondue & Stonegrill Restaurant, guests savour cheesy and chocolaty fondues in a merlot-tinted dining room peppered with high-back chairs and cozy booths. Within this elegant, romance-inducing atmosphere, chefs churn out a signature four-course fondue feast. The interactive meal commences with soup or salad before segueing into cheese fondue, which beckons couples to dunk french baguettes and seasonal veggies into bubbling pots of gooey swiss cheese or smoked aged cheddar. Vegetarian- and carnivore-friendly entrees arrive next, ready for guests to spear morsels of beef, tofu, or seafood on a fork and cook them to personal perfection in hot oil. Finally, servers position themselves tableside to flambé dark-chocolate-infused fondue with a night light to protect diners from bad dreams. Any of Ufondue & Stonegrill Restaurant's items can also be enjoyed without the four-course commitment, as can glasses of wine and creative martinis and cocktails.
When visiting relatives in Southeast Asia, Noy Phonsavath picked up a few culinary tricks. Here she perfected creamy coconut curries and mastered the art of frying beef jerky to be chewy and flavourful. She brought the recipes she picked up from her travels to the kitchen of Royal Thai Restaurant, along with a few favourites of her own. Here, she showers pad thai noodles in crushed peanut, chicken, and shrimp, and slices up fresh salads with diverse ingredients such papaya and spicy calamari. For dessert, she tops sweet rice in coconut pudding.
Her extensive array of Thai, Laotian, and Vietnamese dishes are served in a sunlit dining room, where bright orange and soft green walls are decorated with colourful paintings and a vivid Southeast Asian mural. Elegant black and gold cloths drape over intimate tables––each ideal for sharing a meal or hiding under when Krampus comes to pick up his takeout.
In 1985, when Joe and Theresa Klassen opened Joey's Only Seafood Restaurant, they may not have imagined a name change would be necessary. More than 25 years and 69 locations later, the veritable school of Joey's Seafood Restaurants dishes out succulent poached, grilled, and blackened seafood. An affable yellow fish mascot named Finley helms an expansive menu headlined by Joey's signature fish 'n' chips, fried in trans-fat-free canola oil, which shares plate space with St. Louis–style ribs and lightly battered shrimp in a mealtime mélange as diverse as the vending-machine options at the United Nations.
Traditional Pakistani music slaloms through the air in Mogul Divaan's dining room, wafting alongside the spicy aromas that emanate from Pakistani and Indian dishes. In the kitchen, a clay oven brings naan to fluffy fruition and sizzles up specialty dishes such as fiery chicken tikka. Chutneys accompany a selection of samosas, which pocket veggies or meats within a triangular shell. Guests can build custom meals or start a restaurant-wide food fight at an 18-item lunch buffet Tuesday–Friday, or fill their plates with fare from the expanded selection of 21 items at the dinner buffet.
Since 2008, Trent Loewen has started his day at 3 a.m. The baker starts with the baguettes before moving on to the rest of the breads he and his staff craft for Earth Bound Bakery and Delicatessen. Each loaf is made by hand in-house, rather than in the mouth of a dragon. The bread is composed of local and organic ingredients, much like the rest of the menu, which includes paninis, pastries, and soups. Further shrinking the eatery's carbon footprint, the staff makes sure to reuse and compost what it can and packs all carry-out food in recyclable containers.
At Sawaddee Bistro, curries brighten tables with saturated reds, greens, and yellows. While the instinct may be to finger-paint with these brilliant sauces, they impart just as much colour to palates. So does the rest of the menu of traditional Thai noodle-and-rice dishes such as pad thai and sweet-and-sour pork. The restaurant itself is intimate, with mostly two- and four-top tables scattered between green accent walls, stone columns, and a single flourishing palm tree.
Schryer's Smoked BBQ Shack's menu alone is enough to make your mouth water. It's full of made-from-scratch specialties, including hickory-smoked pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and ribs. The secret is the 16 hour slow-smoked meats that linger in the earthy hickory flavors for hours, emerging as slow-smoked chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket and tender and juicy ribs.
Touting 70 televisions, including two 168” big-screen editions, Sports on Tap maximizes game-day viewing, while their indoor golf simulators, live thoroughbred race wagering, Buzztime Trivia, foosball, video lottery terminals, and billiards tables make the Lorne Avenue restaurant and bar a sportsman’s super bowl. While working up an athlete’s appetite, starters like piggy fries (pork tenderloin covered in seasoned batter, $12) and classic poutine ($10) will get diners through to half-time. Main menu items such as one pound of wings ($12) or one pound of bone-in-ribs ($12) can make a bee line to your mouth, coated in one of 24 different sauces including Caribbean jerk, honey hot, suicide, salt and pepper, or plum. The 8 oz. steak sandwich ($13), a flat-iron steak served on garlic toast with choice of rub, is a meal fit for a medalist while the build-a-burger ($8+) or build-a-pizza ($9+) options could feed a professional rugby team with endless hearty combinations. Sports on Tap's jovial atmosphere channels the spirit of a communal man cave, even as it caters to sports-averse foodie friends who tagged along just for a taste.
A&W Restaurant, one of the largest burger chains in Canada, has been trapping burgers between buns and filling cups with creamy root beer for generations of famished families. Choose from a brood of belly-busting burgers, such as the Papa Burger, leading the pack with two beef patties (a $4.92 value). The Baby Burger induces burger purists to shed a single tear upon seeing the simple beef patty on a bun salaciously adorned with nothing but A&W seasoning and a dollop of ketchup (a $1.89 value). The beefy Uncle Burger (a $5.70 value, $0.50 extra for cheese) bogarts all the mouth room, sprawling its sirloin patty and lettuce-tomato-onion suit all over tongue sofas. Round out a meaty meal with a medium order of crisp fries (a $2.79 value) and a medium soda (a $2.34 value).
Eight TripAdvisors give Manos Restaurant an average of four owl eyes and more than 200 Facebookers are fans.
The Spadina Freehouse's global fusion menu features tastes and textures from all over the map, jet-setting from Jamaica to India to Korea and beyond, like an heiress with philanthropic pretensions. Try the miso wrap, a grilled chicken breast glazed with honey-almond butter and rolled in a warm flour tortilla ($12), or sample one of the many wood-fired pizzas garnished with exotic toppings such as tandoori chicken and mango jerk shrimp ($14 for 9", $17.50 for 12"). Recovering carnivores can dig into the roasted vegetable linguini, swathed in a mélange of squashes, zucchini, and sundried tomato pesto ($14). The gluten-free crowd can enjoy a variety of options, including an oven-baked halibut that sleeps on a bed of rice, broccolini, and a rich lemon-caper butter sauce ($21).
Papa John's has been popping out perfectly personalized pies 'round the clock for the past 25 years, fleshing out its lineup of specialty pizzas with a munificent menu of wings, breadsticks, and desserts to satisfy any taste or mouth shape. Movie-preview lovers can apply the same principles to a meal with an appetizer such as 12-inch cheese sticks ($6.99) or a massive 20-piece order of buffalo wings ($14.99). Begin the first act with a large Hawaiian BBQ Chicken ($22.99), or go all-out and get an extra-large The Works, a top-heavy combination of pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, fresh-sliced onions, green peppers, gourmet baby portobello mushrooms, and ripe black olives ($21.99). Like a bangin’ club or especially bangin’ fireplace store, Papa John's stays open late, making it an opportune eatery for impromptu pajama jams and uncontrollable sleep-feasting.