Decadent Dining

I’m starting to get excited for Let’s Do Lunch Downtown, when 21 downtown restaurants will be offering up awesome lunch specials starting at just $6.99. Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing the special menus that have been prepared for you. And if you Do Lunch Downtown, you’ll be eligible to win an amazing $500 restaurant package.

I’ve also got lots of gift certificates to give away and the winners of the last two are:

The Beachcomber: Leana Buhler

Modern Restaurant: Lindsey

Congrats!

I’ve got two more awesome prizes up for grabs again today. This time I’ve got a $50 gift card from Lobby on York to offer and a $50 gift card from Hy’s Steakhouse.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which one you’d like to try along with a way to contact you. (You can leave your email address in the form–it will be kept private.)

You’ve got until Wednesday at 9am to enter this one.

____________________________________________________

Lobby on York
295 York Avenue, 896-7275

I think oysters are becoming the new hot item in town and never one to miss an opportunity to eat, I knew I had to indulge. I’d been hearing about Lobby on York’s oysters for a while and last week, finally got the chance to check it out.

It turns out oyster night is every night (now that’s something I can get behind) in their lounge. They come nestled in a bed of ice, served with lemon and Tabasco and are perfectly tender and briny just as good oysters should be. Couple that with the sensuous atmosphere of Lobby’s lounge and you’re in heaven.

While we were there, we decided to try out a couple of menu items as well. I can’t rave enough about the tuna tartare. I adore tartare in all its forms and this was over the top. Flavourful and fresh, with just the right amount of avocado, sesame oil and chili aioli mixed in. It came with these incredible homemade ripple chips that were crispy and satisfying. I could have eaten whole bathtubs of both items.

We also tried their beet salad, which was also delectable. The beets were roasted and came with arugula, walnut, pear and chevre. The dressing was a maple balsamic reduction that was so rich and velvety, it almost seemed like my salad had been drizzled with chocolate. I’m not kidding. I actually had to ask the waitress if there was chocolate, but no, apparently the chef can just make things taste like chocolate without it. Kind of like turning lead into gold I think.

And finally, agedashi tofu is another of my favourites and Lobby’s upscale version goes to the top of my list. Light and airy, it came sitting in a shallow pool of truffle scented ponzu and flavoured delicately with ginger and lime. Pure heaven. (Trust me on this, even if you think you don’t like tofu. It’s to die for.)

The lounge is also featuring a new menu where we tried a plate of angus beef sliders. The meat was tender and juicy. My favourite items was the upscale poutine (you all know how much I love poutine) made with crispy fries, cheese, slices of pear and house-made demi glace. It was without fail, that perfect combination of salty, gooey and awesome.

I am going back soon to try the lemon truffle chicken wings, which sound so ridiculously good, I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Lobby is also offering a special ladies nights on Thursdays with drink specials, appetizers and the chance to win a $100 gift certificate. So get the girls and party like it’s 2011.

 

_____________________________________________________

Hy’s Steakhouse
One Lombard Place, 942-1000

Walking into Hy’s Steakhouse is liking walking into a castle. Soaring ceilings, big white fireplaces, rich dark walls, silky fabrics and the smell of a humming kitchen permeates the air.

Last week, I headed over for lunch and enjoyed a decadent two hours enjoying delicious food and good company.

One has to start with the signature cheese toast that comes wrapped in foil and piping hot from the kitchen. Thick slices of bread are covered in melting gooey cheese that is just amazing. It’s the perfect appetizer. One of my lunch companions also decided to try the French onion soup, which was delectable. The broth was rich and earthy and came topped with bubbling crust of cheese.

For my lunch entree, I opted for the beef dip, aptly called “rare dunkin'” on the menu. A soft white baguette was topped with tender slices of rare beef and served alongside a flavourful jus for dipping. I also opted for a side of their crispy, golden French fries. It was all delicious.

One of my favourite things about these classic types of restaurants is their ability to bring old school recipes to life. Another of my lunch companions had the crab Louie salad–a concoction that was apparently first served in Seattle in the early 1900s. The salad consists of crab meat (obvs), romaine lettuce, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, tomato and cucumber all tossed in a Louie dressing of mayo, chillis and peppers. Hy’s version was a fresh, flavourful and satisfying lunch option.

For dessert, we shared a slice of bourbon chocolate cake that is going to become one of my picks for Peggy’s Bucket List. Dark, dense and rich, it was absolutely sinful–and wow, could you taste the bourbon! It came topped with a big dollop of white chocolate ganache that melded perfectly with the dark chocolate and bourbon. Don’t miss out on this one.