Terroni

A couple of months back, I had a quick dinner at Terroni as I had to attend another engagement after that. Luckily, we arrived prior to the dinner rush and got a table right away. Terroni is a popular Italian restaurant located on the busy strip of Queen St W, Toronto, ON. The dimly lit establishment had an overall warm and cozy ambiance. 


I have read a lot of negative reviews in regards to the service here as some have experienced pretentious attitudes from the servers. I actually didn't experience any of that myself as I thought our server was knowledgeable of the menu, prompt, and friendly enough. He took our orders and then we were served complimentary bread with olive oil. The basket of bread was fresh but since I am not a fan of the bitter taste of olive oil, I forgo dipping in it.

Additionally, one thing that should be noted is Terroni's well-known policy regarding no modifications or substitutions of the food. According to the policy which is clearly stated on their website and menu, "our menu is filled with regional Italian dishes that have been prepared the same way for generations. So out of respect for Italian gastronomy—and our grandparents—we maintain a no modifications, no substitutions policy."


There was going to food at the event that I was attending that night, so I just opted for the Spaghetti in Canna a Mare ($17.95) and a glass of coke ($2.00). The dish was simply presented on a white oval plate giving it a clean presentation look. The Spaghetti in Canna a Mare contained fresh clams and mussels, calamari, scallops, tiger shrimp, and mixed with a light tomato sauce. The spaghetti dish was executed nicely as the noodles weren't overcooked and the light sauce helped to enhance the flavor of the seafood.

The couple sitting next to us ordered the affitisciuta pizza (I asked them haha) and it looked really appetizing. Surely, I will be back another time to try out more items on the menu. My overall experience at Terroni was pretty good. They do offer an extensive menu of different pasta and pizza dishes so there's a good selection here.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.3/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$$ || Online Menu

Address: 720 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M6J1E8

Terroni on Urbanspoon

[Touring Toronto] Game On 2.0 at Ontario Science Centre

If you're into video games and want to go down the nostalgic lane of gaming, then this is the perfect exhibition for you to check out. A couple of months back, I went to the Game On 2.0 exhibition held at the Ontario Science Centre. The exhibition is opened from March 9 to September 2, 2013, so there is still some time left to go check it out if you're interested. 


The exhibition displays more than 150 different titles of games, and many dates back as far as the mid 1960's. The purpose of Game On 2.0 is that visitors are able to see the historical background of the developments of video games. What I enjoyed most was the fact that the exhibit features not only coin operated machine games but also pinball machines, handheld devices, and various consoles (from past to present). 


The array of old arcade games ranging from the 60's to early 90's was particularly interesting, as it has been so long ago since people played these games. Fans will also get a chance to check out concept art and characters art from the creators of these video games, which are prominently displayed on the walls throughout the area. 


The price for Game On 2.0 is included in the entry fee for the Ontario Science Centre which is $22.00 per person (adult). Not only do you get to check out this gaming exhibition, you will get access to all other exhibits at the Ontario Science Centre (excluding the IMAX features as it's extra).



Pictured: The glass-enclosed case that displays the evolution of both the tamagotchi and Nintendo gaming consoles.


Pictured: Guests are able to experience what it's like to be in a three-dimensional virtual video game. They are mounted onto a 10 foot large metal sphere while doning a wireless head display which will allow them to feel like they're actually in the game.

Spring Sushi

About: Spring Sushi is an AYCE that is housed in the same building as the Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas Cinemas. As for location, it's conveniently located steps away from the Eaton's Center.

Atmosphere/Decor: Our group of four arrived for our 6:00 pm reservation. We didn't wait too long for a table to clear. I thought that the overall décor was very modern and clean looking.

Price: My friends and I went on a Thursday night so it was $23.99 per person. For weekends, and holidays; you'd need to add $2.00 more to the adult prices. Compared to other nearby downtown AYCE, some may find the prices at Spring Sushi to be a little steep.

Menu:  One of the great appeals of Spring Sushi is the novelty of using iPads to order. The iPads are available at every table and the orders are sent directly to the kitchen staff. I know of a couple of other AYCE that have also implemented the uses of iPads for taking orders as it does somewhat speed up the processes and also allows the restaurants to digitally showcase their menu. Spring Sushi's execution by using the iPads was pretty decent as the interface was both easy to use and the pictures were colorful.

Food: Spring Sushi offers the typical AYCE fare but their menu was a little more extensive than others as they also have Thai and special sushi dishes. Their sushi and sashimi offering was decent and edible, but the rice in the sushi had a rather overly wet texture. Additionally, I thought that the cooked food was either a hit or miss. I enjoyed a majority of their grilled and deep fried dishes. However, their take on Thai dishes such as pad thai, satay skewers and coconut shrimp was just not very good. For example, the pad thai lacked immense flavor, and the noodles was excessively wet and soft. Although, I was happy that the servings weren't too big so that my friends and I were able to try out multiple dishes.

Service: We ran into a minor problem with the iPads during our second round of ordering as we didn't receive half of our orders. We flagged down a waiter and he apologized for the inconvenience, and promptly took down our orders by hand. I thought that the staff were attentive and efficient as our water was being refilled throughout the night and our empty plates were taken away right away.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.7/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$ || Online Menu

Address: 10 Dundas St E, Old Toronto, ON, M5B 2G9

Spring Sushi on Urbanspoon

Au Pied de Cochon

For the Canada's Day long weekend, my friends and I went to Montreal, QC, to hang out.
 On our last night there, we split into three different groups for dinner (the other two groups went for Greek and Sushi respectively), and six of us went to Au Pied de Cochon.


Au Pied de Cochon is a popular culinary establishment in Montreal. It has been a few years since I last dined at Au Pied de Cochon (the last time was with my family), so I was elated when my friend, Tim, made the reservation for 6 people. The six of us arrived for our 9:30 pm reservation on the Saturday night and the place was still booming with diners. The restaurant interior was narrow and long, and its decor had a rustic wooden feel to it. The overall atmosphere was quite lively and loud.


One of the great appeals of the restaurant is their extensive menu. The menu at Au Pied de Cochon offers concoction of dishes that entails the uses of animal parts that are not always found in other restaurants.

We were seated in the back and after a few minutes, our server arrived to take our orders. He went over the menu and told us about the restaurant's specials. We were given home-made bread and butter to snack on as we wait for our dinner. The bread was warm and very soft on the inside. I also enjoyed the creamy texture of the butter, which tasted great with the bread.


 For a starter, I chose the Foie Gras Cromesquis ($3.50). The dish arrived with two deep-fried cubes containing foie gras. As soon as you take a bite, the warm foie gras (fat liver) explodes with a burst of flavor in your mouth, resembling a rather cheesy flavor.


Brittany chose the Tomato Tartlet ($6.50) as an appetizer. This dish was basically sweet tomatoes and melted cheese on top of a pastry crust. For those who are health enthusiasts, many of the items on the menu are very fatty so you won't be able to find anything healthy. However, I believe that this dish was probably the healthiest out of the bunch even if it's slightly rich.


 Angelina chose the Duck Carpaccio ($13.00) as an appetizer.


Ray went for the Tarragon Bison Tongue ($7.50) as an appetizer.


Both Raymond and Brittany ordered the Duck in a Can ($43.00).  Pictured above is the unopened can that contains the "cooked duck".


Both of them were given a plate decorated with celeriac puree on top of a piece of bread; the duck in a can would then be poured on top of it.


The novelty of the dish is that the server would open the can containing the cooked duck, and then poured it right onto the plate leaving a neatly presented dish (which is pictured above). Be forewarned though, if you have a small appetite then this dish is probably not for you, as it is both fattening and filling. Both of my friends' plates contained heavy chunks of duck and foie gras swimming in a pool of rich oil.


I opted for the Bison Ribs ($28.00) as I have tried their foie gras before on my previous visit a few years back. The portion was extremely large, and I could only finish 3/4 of it before getting full. The bison meat was flavorful, meaty and slightly tender.

The fries (in duck fat) ($4.75) was pretty good as it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.


Angelina ordered the Cured Foie Gras & Boudin Tart ($28.00) as the main course.


Tim ordered the Stuffed Pied de Cochon with Foie Gras ($45.00) as the main course. You can probably tell from the picture alone but the portion was huge.


Tim's friend ordered the special of the week which was a 1.5 lbs lobster roll toped with fois gras ($48.00).


Brittany and Ray ordered the Lemon Meringue Pie ($5.75).


Even though, I was very full from my meal, I could not resist getting dessert. Especially when I saw that they had Crème Brûlée ($7.00) on the menu. I wished that I didn't order it as it was a very
 underwhelming dessert. The reason being was that my caramelized top was 75% burnt, and the taste of it seeped through into the custard. Therefore, I was left with a strong burnt after-taste and smell. The dessert was disappointing but everything else was good.

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 3.9/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$$$ || Online Menu

Address: 536 Avenue Duluth Est, Montreal, QC H2L 1A9