I do have an excuse though...honest.
First of all I was on a pretty strict elimination diet to figure out the root of all my tummy troubles.
Which completely sucks when you are as into eating out as I am.
Restaurants can be tricky when you have no control of what goes into your food.
Thankfully I feel %1000 better and am enjoying life once again and am not freaked out when dining out.
I just tend to do it less than before.
So when we are finally able to get a night "off" and manage to get a babysitter and actually feel up to going out for dinner, the big question is where to go?
Do we play it safe and go to one of the many tried and true restaurants where you know what to expect and can just relax and enjoy an uncomplicated and good dining experience?
Or risk it and try somewhere new?
Because lets face it- eating out has become more of a luxury than in the past.
As in pre-child.
Generally over the past few months we have ended up at the same ol same ol.
Tutti Matti, Cava, Teronni, our local Sushi joint, Gio's,
Celestin...just to name a few.
But we have managed to check out a few new spots as well.
Like for example Table 17 on Queen St East.
Leslieville seems to keep getting better and better all the time, with small neighbourhood restaurants and lounges popping up faster than you can say Gentrification.
Which is fine by me.
Table 17 is a homey relaxed European style bistro.
It's a really charming space with super high ceilings, black gilded mirrors, banquettes with cozy brocade throw pillows and intimate tables with crisp white table clothes all made even more inviting with the perfect dim lighting.
I especially loved the long rustic dark wood harvest table in the middle of the restaurant that was covered in interesting pewter water jugs, baskets of fresh baked bread and candles.
They have a cozy wine bar and also a private room upstairs- which I didn't get a chance to check out, but I'm sure it's as cute as the rest of the space.
The menu is seasonal and leans towards local produce- which I love.
We decided to start with the Polenta.
The presentation is family style and it's served on a long olive wood board imported from Italy.
The toppings change daily.
This particular day it was a delicious and hearty meat ragu with grated parmigiano reggiano $12.
The charcuterie board also looked equally enticing. but you can only eat so much meat in one seating- but next time for sure.
We also shared the Beef tartare- chopped tenderloin of Ontario beef with roasted baby beets and traditional garnishes $12.
I had the Organic Black Cod- served with shiitake mushrooms, sugar snap peas and fingerling potatoes $25 which was good, but I'm not sure that it really went with the rest of the menu, seeing as that it is mostly Italian and Spanish influenced.
But I enjoyed it none the less.
Big daddy had the Rabbit Soffrito braised with lemon and black olives served with fresh tagliatelle $25.
I had total entree envy.
It was delicious.
They have an interesting variety of both old and new world wines and sell over 20 different wines by the glass, which I also love.
We shared the spiced chocolate pudding $8. with was very decadent and had quite a bite to it. It was actually garnished with a red chili.
I finished my meal with a 2006 Fielding estate winery select Late Harvest Cabernet Franc.
Which was the perfect way to end a fantastic meal.
THE only thing I would criticize was the music- or lack there of.
When we first walked in, there was some Zeppelin cranked in the kitchen (or on a really crap sound system) and no music in the main dining room.
The place was full and lively but I think good music would have turned it into a better dining experience.
Because the food, service and atmosphere were all spot on, other than that.
I will definitely return both for dinner and even to drop in for a cocktail at the bar.
A very nice addition to the Leslieville 'hood.
782 Queen St. East
Hours of Operation:
Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11:30 - 2:30
Brunch Saturday-Sunday 10:30 - 2:30
Dinner Tuesday-Sunday from 5:30pm