Progressive Portuguese Cuisine and Tapas | Fresh Seafood | Portuguese Wine List | Acclaimed Restaurateur
Dessert: chocolate mousse with espresso crème anglaise and raspberries
What to Drink: Chiado boasts an extensive wine that spotlights vintages from Portugal. The sommelier also curates a concise list of his favourite suggestions, making it easier for diners to discover the perfect pairing for their meal.
The Vibe: In the dining room, dark oak wainscoting offsets pale-yellow walls. Paintings of wild Spanish street scenes punctuate the space, including one large piece with vibrantly rendered street performers, jugglers, and onlookers that lends an unexpected dose of whimsy to the otherwise sophisticated ambience.
Fun Fact: In 2003, the President of Portugal knighted Chiado’s owner, Albino Silva, with the Commander Order of Merit for promoting Portuguese gastronomy and culture in Canada.
While You're in the Neighbourhood: Dance the night away with a beer in hand at The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue), a divey music joint with regular live acts.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Check out Adega Restaurante (33 Elm Street), restaurateur Albino Silva’s foray into Spanish-Portuguese fusion cuisine.
Inside Sant? Restaurant, the piquant scents of globally inspired cuisine mingle amidst the work of local artists, whose pieces fill the dining room's walls. This eatery and gallery is the brainchild of owner Donna Holtom, who believes that "beautiful art serves to heighten the dining experience," as she told Ottawa at Home magazine in 2009. Diners also get a better sense of this while dining among majestic and historic views of Ottawa and the four diamond vistas at the corner of Sussex Drive and Rideau Street.
Inside the kitchen, Chef David De Bernardi demonstrates his own artistic skills. David?s unique style of presenting food has earned him much acclaim as he perfected his craft in some of the finest kitchens, including CAA Five Diamond Langdon Hall, Stagiare/Montelimar, France, Reds of Toronto, and Toca at the Ritz Carlton. His seamless integration of European and Asian ingredients has effectively elevated Sante?s traditional signature cuisine alongside David?s visionary dishes to appeal to all palates. Using a palette of free-range chicken, organic salmon, and locally sourced produce, Chef David paints plates with aromatic curries and ginger-spiked stir-fries. To accompany these fragrantly seasoned dishes, Sant? Restaurant stocks its subterranean vault with a selection of Canadian and international wines. The elegant, intimate space and inventive cuisine earned the eatery Diners' Choice awards from OpenTable for Best Ambiance, Romantic, and Fit for Foodie.
Using authentic Italian and regional recipes, East Side Mario's chefs craft extensive menus filled with pastas, meat dishes, and kid-friendly food. Pizza kneaders hand-press and cattle-brand Sicilian-style thin-crust pizzas piled with toppings such as pepperoni, goat cheese, and caramelized onions before loading them into stone ovens to brown and crisp. Tortellini and ravioli pastas feature savoury fillings of braised beef or four-cheese blends, and the oven-baked lasagna boasts as many as 16 layers of noodles and bolognese-glazed sausage. The eatery also carries kid-friendly options in its Mini Mario's Meals, such as a kid-size chicken parmigiana and breaded triangles of mac ’n' cheese.
East Side Mario's staff fosters a family-friendly atmosphere, and its kitchens use fresh ingredients to concoct their edible Italian sonatas. Depending on the location, diners snuggle up to ample plates at cushioned booths or bistro tables arranged across tiled or hardwood floors surrounded by wood accents and framed vintage photos of approving Tuscan grandmothers.
At Casa Manila, named the best Filipino restaurant in blogTO.com's Best of Toronto, the scents of saffron, coconut milk, and tamarind slip among rustling walls of potted plants. Grass-thatched windows and bamboo shoots hint at the fistfuls of veggies that accent braised meats, grilled king fish, and stews. The dishes all display the exotic style of Filipino fare, which combines Malay, Spanish, Southeast Asian, and Chinese influences. Warm-hued lights, draped in fabric printed with frolicking animals, illuminate the plates, and imported Sarsi, a Filipino root beer, bubbles alongside them. On the patio, umbrellas shelter diners from the hot sun and the sight of clouds being born.
The Augusta House plies patrons with fine dining and down-to-earth drinks in a cozy, inviting atmosphere. For sophisticated palates, the extensive menu features meaty morsels such as the New Zealand half-rack of lamb drizzled with red wine demi-glace ($24), as well as a savoury selection of tapas, salads, and gold-rimmed monocles. Otherwise, lighter eaters can pair a crisp white from the wine list with a haute cuisine update of traditional beer-battered fish and chips ($11–$17). Live blues and Motown DJ sets on Saturday and Sunday get toes tapping and cochleae salivating in the gracious ochre dining room, while a regular trivia night with discounted import beers can tickle brains as well as bellies.
Each year, more than 180,000 diners fill their plates from Tandoori Flame, which chefs refill constantly with up to 150 different buffet items prepared in a wide variety of spice to suite any palate. Soups and naan greet diners at the start of the line before they move to batter-fried vegetable and fish pakoras, as well as less traditional offerings including onion rings. Then, they traverse to the tawa and tandoor section for smoked veggies, samosas, and potato tikkis (or patties). Main courses wait down the line?including goat curry, butter chicken, and palak paneer?before diners finish their culinary voyages the same way Marco Polo ended his: with fresh fruit, pastries, and Indian desserts. Diners can linger traditional drinks such as yogourt lassis, sip on Indian-inspired cocktails or select a bottle of wine or drink from their fully stocked bar.
The restaurant?s high ceilings, cloth-draped tables, and modern decor are a fitting backdrop for the abundant feast and bold flavours. Already with seating capacities up to 500 in Brampton and over 360 in the new location in the commercial hub of Mississauga, Tandoori Flame has plans to expand further into British Columbia.