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Re: “Chief O'Neill's

We came here on a whim one night, in search of good fish and chips. They have a huge garden patio out back and it's set up almost like someone's backyard. There was some confusion at first, as to how to get to the patio, and then a few minutes of a confused wait until someone noticed us and seated us. A few more minutes before a server noticed us and then everything was fine from then on. Unfortunately, sitting outside as we were on a gorgeous night, everyone there was smoking and the breeze seemed to be blowing it all our way. Fortunately, the tables are fairly well-spaced and it wasn't too much of a problem. We ordered the artichoke dip appetizer and it was quite drippy and cheesy, perhaps very similar to the cheddar guinness soup that we didn't try. However, the toasted pita chips that came with it were hot, crispy and quite good, which made the difference. Our entrees were a tuna nicoise salad and the fish and chips. The salad was what you would expect. A ton of greens, with a nice-sized, nicely-cooked, if somewhat bland tuna steak, hard-boiled eggs, kalamata olives, tomatoes, potatoes and green beans. The ingredients were all fresh and tasty, but the dressing was horrible. Sort of a sweet, honey type that didn't quite go with the salad. A vinaigrette or a dijon vinaigrette would have been just fine. That said, the highlight of the meal was the fish and chips. Two nice sized, battered pieces of white fish with chips that were thick, but still flavorful and crisp. Some of the best fish and chips I've had in the city, and believe me, I've been looking all over for some that are this good! All in all, since we don't drink, I suppose it would be a great place for a nice beer or scotch (there was a long list of those) and a decent meal. I know we'll be back for the fish and chips.

Posted by Susan Okimoto on 08/22/2006 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Marigold

Marigold is swanky Indian food, with prices to match. The decor is very hip, with lots of reds, oranges and, of course, gold. It wasn't terribly busy on the Sunday night we visited, and we were seated right away. The benches were just a tad too high for the tables, making me wish just a bit for one of the tables with regular chairs. We ordered the Masala scallop appetizer, which was perfectly cooked and quite delicious. There were two scallops and plenty of asparagus to make a nice sized appetizer for two. Our two entrees were the coriander-encrusted halibut and the shahi paneer. The paneer was quite the freshest paneer I've ever had. The sauce was creamy and rich and delicious and the dish came with a molded pyramid of basmati rice. If we weren't dieting it would have been a good meal with the appetizer and some nan, but since we were, we took some home and skipped the nan. The halibut came out the first time quite cold, but warm enough so that I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be that way. When we asked the waiter to warm it up, he said they'd make another one. However, the same fish came back on a different plate and was probably only one degree warmer. I couldn't really figure that one out. That said, the dish was just ok. (Maybe a hot fish would have made it different?) It was served on a bed of daal with some nice sauces drizzled around the plate. The best part was the pakora style vegetable (green beans) on top of the fish. These were green beans, battered and deep fried in a chickpea flour batter and were nice, crispy and hot. All told, the setting is lovely, the service was more than attentive and most of the food was interesting, well prepared and beautifully presented. It is definitely not to be compared with the restaurants on Devon, as the prices were high and the portions on the small side, but if you're looking for delicious, upscale Indian in a swanky and hip setting, Marigold is the place to go.

Posted by Susan Okimoto on 08/22/2006 at 9:27 PM

Re: “Over Easy

We went on their third day of existence and our experience was very pleasant. The decor is bright and casual, with whimsical egg card holders on the tables and egg curtains hanging down (you'll have to see them to understand). The chef/owner made it a point to come out and say hi and ask us how things were, which was a nice gesture that probably won't last too long, but was definitely appreciated and added to our sense of satisfaction with the meal. The service was somewhat tentative, which can be excused due to the newness of the restaurant. That being said, the food was very good. We had the Tofu Chilaquiles, which had great flavour and a good veggie sausage, but, I realized later, didn't really have tortillas in it. That didn't matter, as the dish was full of flavour and quite spicy. We also had the Strawberry Marscapone French Toast, made with brioche. This dish was ok, but not outstanding. The table next to us got an apple pancake, which seemed like a better choice, but since I don't like apples, not one I would have made. There are enough dishes to satisfy many different tastes and I look forward to trying a few more before the place becomes too packed with eager breakfasters. It seemed busy enough for a Friday morning on their third day of business. If that was any indication, they will be drawing in the crowds in no time.

Posted by Susan Okimoto on 03/12/2006 at 12:36 AM

Re: “Bhabi's Kitchen

We were greeted at the door by the effusive owner, who gave us the choice to sit in the front dining area, which was smaller, but near a strong breeze in the doorway, or the larger back dining room, which only had fans to cool it. We chose the doorway. With one meat eater and two vegetarians, everyone found something they could enjoy. We started with vegetable samosas, which came out fairly quickly and were made with a nice flaky outer dough, with spicy potatoes and peas inside. The two requisite sauces, the spicier green cilantro sauce and the sweet red tamarind sauces were nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. With Bhabi's help we ordered our entrees. My friend ordered the butter chicken, which Bhabi recommended over the butter shrimp. The two vegetarians got sarsoo ka saag and bhagarey baigaan upon Bhabi's strong urging. Along with rice and the onion and green pepper naan, we were set. The wait was not terribly long and the food was very good. The Bhagarey baigaan (eggplant with spices) was particularly good, while the subtler flavors of the sarsoo ka saag (rapini and spices) were a little harder to detect. The naan was excellent, slightly chewy, warm and just a little bit crispy on the bottom. Bhabi was particularly welcoming and friendly and the food lived up to the fresh and rather wholesome (for Indian food) reputation. I would be glad to return and try some of the other dishes and especially some of the other naans.

Posted by Susan Okimoto on 09/05/2005 at 1:14 PM

Re: “Kizoku

Firstly, the room is beautifully decorated. A very large room with a serene atmosphere and somewhat trancelike background music hips up the joint. The service was very attentive, almost overeager at times. I like this place and find the food to be delicious, so I am always a bit saddened to see how empty the place is. However, tonight seemed to be slightly more busy, so maybe word of mouth is spreading. The menu is fairly standard for Japanese, with your typical rolls and nigiri, with many cooked and noncooked choices amongst them. They had a special on otoro, or fatty tuna, which was excellent. We also ordered a dragon roll, hot roll, spicy tuna, negi hamachi and a spider roll. All were artfully prepared and delicious. Overall, a pretty good value for good service and wonderful food.

Posted by Susan Okimoto on 05/11/2005 at 11:58 AM

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