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Chichi For The Hoi Polloi

Friday, June 30, 2006

Toronto St. FacadeRosewater Supper Club
19 Toronto St.

Dinner for Two – $120 (with wine)

I wasn’t sure what to expect upon arrival at the Rosewater. I am in no way an expert on food or dining – I think the fanciest place I’d ever eaten at before was Café Nervosa (which is nice, but not fancy). There was even concern that a blazer would be required. Turns out I had nothing to worry about; this is fine dining in a Banana Republic, as opposed to Canali, sort of way.

Upon entering the historic Toronto St. building, you immediately encounter a new ‘lounge’ area, replete with equal amounts polished marble, burnished steel, taught leather and glowing hardwood – but no hostess. After a couple of minutes had passed my companion and I were a little unsure if we were supposed to seat ourselves, but finally the hostess arrived to show us to our table. The service was very prompt after that, although it later became a bit of a comedy of errors, as you will see.

We ordered our wine and an appetizer, which unfortunately I don’t know the exact name of because the current menu has not been updated on their website and I can’t remember offhand; it was something with lobster, lettuce, guacamole and a very heady, but delicious, cheese. It was a bit of a wait until the main course arrived, which wasn’t a problem. My companion ordered the salmon with maple glaze, which she said was delicious. I ordered the duck and was brought beef.

Main Dining RoomI’m not the type to worry about these things; I don’t care if it wasn’t what I ordered – if it looks good, I’ll eat it. And it was good. ‘Succulent’ may be an overused word in these cases, but it’s the only one that describes this meal properly. Juicy medallions of Grade ‘A’ Alberta Prime overtop a bed of lentils, garnished with pickled beets and potato, a portion just big enough to be filling after the appetizer. Well, there was still a little room left for desert, so we ordered a plate of Caramelized Strawberries with Sherbet to share between us. We were brought two. When we pointed out the discrepancy to the server he just sort of shrugged and set them down on the table. The theme of the whole evening seemed to be ‘Oh well – enjoy,’ and given that we were only charged for the less expensive duck and one desert, whatever the reason we definitely came out of these lapses in service for the better.

It could be they were just having fun with us – an amiable though oblivious young couple out for a nice meal. Maybe they’d run out of duck and wanted to see if I’d notice it was beef, or if I’d really know if I received the valpolicella that I ordered; I even have a sneaking suspicion they threw me Glenfiddich in place of the Glenlivet I asked for.

Overall though, it was good atmosphere, good food, good wine and good scotch, so I’ve nothing at all to complain about. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to impress a date without going bankrupt. The new lounge area looks like the perfect place to either begin or finish off a night out on the town.


As long as you’re not too concerned about what you may end up eating. 03971semaj

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