The Old World is alive and well at Europe Bar and Restaurant. Amid colorful landscape murals, breaded wiener schnitzel perches atop hand-embroidered tablecloths in an eatery that Jason Finestone of BlogTo describes as "a primal mecca of fried, stewed and spicy meat-centricity." Hungarian classics such as goulash and plump dumplings land on plates in heaping portions, though none so big as the dish known as the Wooden Plate. Finestone lauds the shareable dish for two or four as a “seven-item tower of tantalizing proportions.” To create it, chefs pile veal wiener schnitzel, pork chops, fried mushrooms, fried perogies, bacon, pork sausage, and fried potatoes onto a wooden board; the resulting tower is held in place by four knives that can cut through all seven layers or carve your date’s initials into each piece as a show of chivalry.
Twirls of fettuccini and dollops of tender gnocchi reflect culinary traditions that trace back to 1961, when Adolfo and Maria Mirra opened Mirra’s Place. Their legacy continues with a robust Italian menu that features classics such as veal piccata, chicken parmesan, and pastas composed of white, wheat, or spelt flour. Red and white wines from Italy and California, including a signature house blend, complement every dish. Stools at a small wooden bar offer a view of the candy-coloured dining room, in which baby blue and salmon pink walls, intricate white crown moulding, and gold chandeliers evoke a baroque vibe where Mozart might appear and sing a rondo at any moment.
Takara Bune Japanese Restaurant pays homage to the Japanese takarabune, a treasure-ship of legend that carried the Lucky Seven Gods. If, as it is said, images of the ship bring people luck, then guests at the eatery can expect a rise in fortunes. A sailboat serves as the restaurant?s logo?emblazoned on the walls and menus?and wooden model sailboats carry inventive sushi rolls to diners. Guests can sit at the sushi counter and watch as chefs wrap sheets of seaweed around barbecue eel, deep-fried soft shell crab, and pickled radishes. And in the kitchen, another set of chefs are busy slathering teriyaki sauce atop steak or grilling salmon belly to pair with miso paste.
The complex flavors of the hundreds of vintages on Giorgio D. Ristorante's wine list contrast strikingly with the eatery's simple menu, focused on fresh seafood and authentic Italian cuisine. Since 1976, the restaurant's culinary team has imbued gourmet proteins with Tuscan flavor, working with everything from char-grilled black tiger shrimps and seared Canadian sea scallops to veal cutlets. The staff can also pile plates with fresh pasta, pairing penne with vodka sauce and prosciutto, gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, and risotto with a daily-rotating array of toppings.
The chefs at Panino Cappuccino earned attention from the Toronto Sun for their focus on rustic Italian cuisine. Each day, they fire traditional pizzas in a stone oven, dressing the pies in toppings such as prosciutto, vinaigrette, mushrooms, and peppers. They grill AAA strip-loin steaks, sear racks of lamb, and toss gnocchi in a gorgonzola cream sauce. Along with their entrees come desserts such as housemade tiramisu, and a selection of wines from Italy and Australia.
Celebrating its 13th year of pouring authentic bubble teas and serving Taiwanese cuisine, Tea Shop 168’s kitchen produces rice and noodle dishes, Japanese-style snacks, fresh-brewed beverages, and indulgent desserts. Tapioca pearls lie in the depths of cool drinks composed of lychee and passion fruit, waiting to be siphoned out through straws or vacuum-hose attachments.