Sunday, 11 March 2012

Table 17

782 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON


In her opinion:
To say that I was excited about this dinner is an understatement.  I was beyond thrilled. March Break, 2011 I walked by this restaurant on my way to Bonjour Brioche in the neighbourhood and thought what a great looking place, but I knew nothing about it. I've gotten to know more about it since my Twitter involvement has grown and my food blogging has gotten serious. After all, Table 17 is one of my favourite Tweeters. They are very engaging and they make you feel comfortable even before you walk in their door.

I had read quite a few blogs about this lovely restaurant with great European preparations in the heart of Riverdale/Leslieville and thought wow, we need to go here.  So I took the bull by the horns and made a reservation for the three of us, knowing perfectly well that we would need to make a stop at Pizza Pizza or McDonald's for my non-foodie child (insert tears here)! Our 5:30pm reservation for three was the perfect time for a six year old and as expected, the restaurant was not full when we got there.  They sat is in a corner table and quickly filled our water glasses.

Since we checked in with Foursquare and it was our first time here, they offered us two glasses of complimentary cava or sparkling wine.  What a nice little offering to start our meal.

To start, we ordered two sharing dishes, "the Hotballs" and "the Duck Rillette".

The Duck Rillette

The Hotballs

The hotballs consisted of six Arancino rice balls, two stuffed with mushrooms and Fontina with a tomato sauce for dipping, two stuffed with goat's cheese with a wildflower honey dipping sauce and two stuffed with spiced lamb with a sweet mint sauce. Absolutely delicious. I really enjoyed all of these little Arancino but my favourite was the combo of the goat's cheese and wildflower honey.  So delicious.  The other two flavours were also very nice and their dipping sauces were the perfect match.  These little guys are absolutely delectable.

The duck rillette was some of the best that I have ever had.  I loved the house made pickles and the country toast. The presentation of this dish is also very well done. But for me, it was the fatty texture of the duck rillette that made me smile from ear to ear.  The flavour is perfect with just the right amount of spice and the duck fat that tops this delicious little spread is delicate and just perfection.  I would like to eat this every single day of my life. It's that good.

For my main, I picked "the Steak Frites".  I normally don't choose steak when I go out to eat unless there's nothing else that is appealing on the menu but in this case, I picked this dish because of the fact that Table 17's "steak frites" is rated one of the best by Toronto Life's Eating and Drinking 2012 magazine.

I ordered my steak with the bearnaise sauce for an extra $2.00.  So worth it. The dish is excellent.  My steak was cooked to a perfect medium. This cut of meat (an 8 oz top sirloin) was excellent. It was served with frites and house made mayonnaise with a little taste of lemon. So good. I really enjoyed this main and was glad that I ordered it.

For dessert, I ordered the "Flourless Chocolate Torte" with Peanut Butter Mousse and Banana Cream.

This was very very good.  The chocolate torte was dense and absolutely rich and indulgent. The peanut butter mousse was light and so scrumptious.  It was little eating an adult "Peanut Butter Cup". The banana cream and peanuts added a little bit of richness and crunch. I really enjoyed this dessert. It was the perfect ending to an excellent meal.

Overall, Table 17 did not disappoint at all.  They lived up to my expectations and then some. I found that the price of dinner for two adults was quite reasonable. I will definitely be returning here. The service and food were exceptional.

In his opinion:
Let me tell you that Leslieville is slowly but surely becoming a big hot spot for foodies as of late. The number of restaurants has increased but more importantly, the quality of the food has made the biggest jump. Table 17 was a very good surprise but not totally unexpected. Beside all the raves from all our fellow foodies, it has a three star rating (excellent) from Toronto Life's Eating and Drinking 2012 magazine. 

Walking in, I'm pleasantly surprised with the décor. A good mix of casual and sophistication with a very inviting feel. The expected bar on the right side of the main room, has a view to the kitchen. We were sat in the adjacent room in the far back, expected when you are dining with a 6 year old, but a well behaved child at that. At our request, the staff shared their WI-FI password and we put it to good use, allowing our son's Ipad to keep him entertained during dinner.

I must admit that my first impression on service was not stellar. Our waitress Lisa, although efficient stayed just that. We had to remind her to get us some bread and service seemed robotic, especially compared to her male counterpart that was serving and engaging the tables next to us. 
Before the meal started, Nadya took over as our waitress and we were much better served from that point on as we enjoyed our complimentary glass of Cava.

For Appetizer: Not much to add as my counterpart has already reviewed it in her "extensive" comments, but those goat cheese balls were amazing, and honey as a dipping sauce? Genius!!! 

Oh...and also the chef should seriously consider selling those jars filled with Duck Rillette to the public. Pickled vegetables were perfect as well!

For Entrée: Am I getting too predictable? Any time there are any French traditional dishes in any restaurants we go to, I seem to gravitate to them. In this case it was the "Duck Leg Confit" (Confit de Canard). The duck leg was cooked perfectly, the skin was the traditional extra crispy just as I like it and the duck meat was moist, tender and the flavour was amazing. I actually imagined myself in Gascony, France (original place for Duck Confit) with every bite I took of this delicious dish, served with a medley of sautee vegetables.

For Dessert: I listened to our waitress' recommendation to try the Honey Pistachio Tart and I'm glad I did. It is not something I would have picked out of the dessert menu but it was a pleasant surprise. Soft tasty middle topped with pistachios and a firmer outer crust that balanced the flavours very well.

The Good: Overall a great meal in a great restaurant. The culinary touch is definitely there. Chef John Sinopoli impressed me with his unpretentious presentation and well thought out, well balanced flavoured food.
The Bad: Our first waitress was just efficient, lacking the flare needed for a restaurant with this type of atmosphere.
The Verdict: Great restaurant, very well thought of menu and a good ambience in both rooms. The great food makes the difference and deserves all the accolades received of late.

I give it a 4 olives out of 5 as a rating.

Table 17 on Urbanspoon

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