Now that this long year is about to come to a close (I still can’t believe NYE is in 2 days!!!), I figured I would end this first year of blogging on S&L with a unique post; and one that many of my friends have asked me to blog about for some time. What most readers may not know is that I really enjoy food, and love to indulge at many of Toronto’s different restaurants. I have yet to blog about some of my favourite spots to eat at, so here’s my post for some of those I’ve visited in the months of 2014, since moving downtown!

1. Bannock by Oliver & Bonacini – Queen & Bay

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 bannock oliver bonacini tortilla soup
Tortilla soup, avocado, chilli, lime
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 bannock oliver bonacini grilled cheese
Grilled cheese, apple, bacon jam, pickled jalapeño
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 bannock oliver bonacini grilled cheese
Close up on dat grilled cheese doe 🙂

A couple weeks back, I went to visit The Room at The Bay with a good friend, and had no idea where to eat beforehand! I had seen Bannock below The Bay on Queen a few times, and always wanted to try it. I already love some of Oliver & Bonacini’s other restaurants, so it was no surprise that Bannock was great too! It’s perfect for either grab & go, or a sit down lunch, right by the Eaton Centre downtown.

2. Buca – King West

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 buca toronto charcuterie
Salumi di Buca & formaggi board
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 buca toronto SPAGHETTI AL NERO DI MAIALE
Spaghetti al nero di maiale: pork blood pasta, n’duja, rapini, smoked burrata cheese

Although the pictures aren’t amazing, the food was. I started off with an eclectic salumi/charcuterie/cheese board of items that I cannot remember what they were called, but they were all delicious…although I wanted more. My main was a pork blood pasta, which sounded so odd, that I had to try it; and of course it was mouthwatering, with creamy, smoked burrata cheese atop (too bad they mixed it in before I could take a picture!)

3. Vegetarian Haven – Baldwin

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 vegetarian haven tofu drumsticks
Tofu drumsticks and hot ginger apple cider
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 vegetarian haven sizzling seitan
Sizzling seitan (similar to tofu) in black pepper sauce

Around the corner from one of my good friend’s place, Vegetarian Haven is super kitschy and cute, and of course all vegetarian! The food is outstanding, and they feature some really unique Asian-style dishes, with tons of flavour. It’s very cozy inside, with pillows on seats, and the staff are really friendly too 🙂

4. Montecito – Adelaide

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 montecito toronto up the stairs
Up The Stairs: brandy, apple cider, pear liqueur, mint, lime
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 montecito toronto mussels
Mussels, lemon, black pepper, grilled bread
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 montecito toronto rainbow trout
Rainbow trout, celeriac puree, kale, red wine jus
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 montecito toronto dessert
Chocolate budino (better than molten lava cake!)

A new hot spot in Toronto, which was popular during TIFF, and happens to be right around the corner from the Bell Lightbox downtown, Montecito is on the money. The decor is elegant, and the atmosphere is nice, but the food has to be the best part of course. I mean, these pictures capture every ounce of beauty, except for the taste. Every bite, sip, spoonful, was amazing. Check it out!

5. Valdez – King West

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 valdez chips guacamole cucumber mojito
Chips, guacamole, scallops ceviche, and cucumber mint mojito
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 valdez causa
Causa: chicha morada mash, king crab, jicama, cucumber, wakame, lemon & chia
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 valdez la reina
La Reina: arepa (fried ground maize), queso d’hoja, smoked chicken guacamole
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 valdez fried rice
Chaufa sin carne: fried rice, mushrooms, edamame, egg, soy, chilli, tofu

Another fav on King West, Valdez has to be one of my top Latin-food places in Toronto #HANDSDOWN! The flavour was through the roof!!! And the creativity in each and every dish, from the different bursts of citrus, spice, creaminess, and more flavours made for an amazing tasting session. I would definitely recommend going in a group and sharing EVERYTHING!!!

6. Fresh – Queen West

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 fresh on queen vegan poutine
Green poutine: fries, steamed bok choy, kale & swiss chard, roasted mushroom gravy, fresh ‘cheese’ sauce, green onions & sunflower seeds
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 fresh on queen burger and bowl
Jersualem bowl (top): flax hummus, falafel, grilled spinach, tomato, cucumber, parsley, red onion, sunflower sprouts, olive oil, tamari, lemon
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 fresh on queen thai vegan burger
Close up of the peanuty goodness on the Thai burger: almond & grain patty, peanut sauce, green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, and kale slaw

Fresh never ceases to please my tastebuds, and I find myself trying something new every time I go. Far west on Queen, Fresh is worth a visit. Their vast menu is filled with some of the most unique, flavourful, and also fairly vegan (except for a few), dishes!

7. D Bar – Yorkville

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 boulud d bar four seasons
Cobb salad with grilled chicken

Although I only had a Cobb salad at D Bar, it was absolutely delicious! Their menu offers some very gourmet and fancy twists on certain, staple dishes we North American’s love, in a very hip and modern setting. D Bar is the hotel café version of Cafe Boulud, curated by chef Daniel Boulud, inside of the new Four Seasons, and it’s a great place to stop for some lunch while shopping in Yorkville!

8. Guu Izakaya – Church

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 guu izakaya short ribs
Karubi: grilled salt & pepper beef short ribs, scallion sauce; and edamame!
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 guu izakaya fried chicken
Karaage: deep fried soy sauce chicken & garlic mayo
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 guu izakaya sashimi salad
Sashimi salad
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 guu izakaya dessert
Green tea crème brûlée and deep fried bananas with mango sauce

Recommended to me by a bunch of friends, Guu has to be one of the coolest Japanese Izakaya restaurants I’ve been to yet! As soon as you enter, you’re not just greeted, but welcomed by the whole staff of the restaurant screaming at the top of their lungs in Japanese; it’s super cute. They also have a massive menu with little dim sum style dishes to be shared; I like pretty much everything! I also had their kinoko bibimbap fried rice and salmon natto yukke, which missed being photographed (sorry)! But if you like good food and a good time, check Guu out 🙂

9. Mercatto – Bay & Adelaide

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 mercatto octopus salad
Polipo: lemon-rosemary octopus, baby kale, olive tapenade
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 mercatto pizza
Orecchiette Pugliese pasta (fennel sausage, rapini, peperoncini, grana padano) and Salsiciia pizza (Italian sausage, roasted peppers, peperoncini, fior di latte, san marzano)

Another easy spot to dine at, with many locations throughout Toronto, Mercatto is quaint and delicious! Serving up fresh and authentic Italian cuisine, there dishes are always super yummmm.

10. Momofuku Noodle & Milk Bar – University

sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 momofuku noodle bar
Chilled spicy noodles: sichuan sausage, spinach, crunchy cashews
sass & leather toronto restaurants 2014 momofuku milk bar
Milk Bar: cereal milk & coffee twist ice cream with cereal topping 😛

Momofuku, straight from New York, is pretty awesome. They contain 5 different parts to the Momofuku restaurant complex featuring the noodle bar (ramen), milk bar (desserts), nikai (regular bar), daishō (a la carte and sharing), and shōtō (tasting menu), all housed in the new Shangri La downtown. I have yet to check out daishō, or shōtō, but the noodle bar is great with open bench seats, and simple menus with a few ramen options to choose from. My favourite has to be the milk bar, which not only has the most delicious ice cream, but is a giant walk-in fridge with the best treats #EVER!!! It’s a great spot to check out downtown, for sure.

– – –

Well, I hope you enjoyed these 10 restaurant choice of mine in my lovely city of Toronto! This was a pretty big post, with a ton of pictures, and even more words, but I wanted to give you a taste of something I take passion and appreciate, aside from fashion. I will definitely be making more food-posts in 2015, so look out for that!

And now, since this will be my last post before 2015 comes, I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year! Indulge yourselves with great food, wine or champs, dress to the nines, and be with good company; I know that’s what I’ll be doing this NYE 🙂 So until next year…cheers!

S&L

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