When my mom came to visit me, the first place I took her after she landed in Toronto was Table 17. Given all the great things I’ve heard about this restaurant, I was excited to finally give it a try.
The restaurant is located on Queen East, near Broadview and has a warm and cozy atmosphere. The lighting is dim and the décor is quite homey and rustic which makes it a nice little date spot… or in this case, a nice mother-daughter date spot!
Their European-inspired menu changes seasonally and I’ve heard they offer a great brunch. Oh, and for those of you with Foursquare, don’t forget to check in to get your free glass of cava!
There was one thing I already knew I was going to order before we even arrived at the restaurant, and that was their famous Hot Balls ($7 for 3 or $12 for 6). Since we were hungry, my mom and I decided to go with six of them.
The Hot Balls come in three different varieties, each with its own separate dipping sauce. The first one I tried was the Mushroom & Fontina Arancino, which was a fried risotto ball stuffed with mushroom and fontina cheese. It had a nice mushroom flavour and was served with a sweet sauce. The exterior of the ball was nice and crispy without being too oily. This was my favourite of the three.
The second hot ball I tried was the Spiced Lamb Arancino, another deep fried risotto ball. The lamb filling was delicious and we thought this was another hit. The last hot ball was the Goat Cheese which was served with wildflower honey. Since I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, I didn’t particularly care for this. It was a huge piece of deep-fried goat cheese so I found it a bit too overwhelming. However, my mom really enjoyed this and gladly ate mine as well.
The second appetizer we ordered was the Duck Rillette – with house made pickles and country toast ($11). It was served in a cute little mason jar, served with several slices of crisp baguette. The rilllette had a thin layer of fat on top and as you can imagine, was a very rich and filling dish. The two of us couldn’t even finish the enter rillette. Tastewise, it had a nice flavour and tasted great with the toasted baguette. Next time, I wouldn’t order this with the deep-fried hot balls. It was just a little too much to start.
For my main, I went with the Beef Tartare – chopped beef tenderloin with roasted beets & traditional garnishes ($21). Since I ordered this as an entrée, it also came with a green salad and frites. If you want the tartare as an appetizer, it’s also available for $15 simply with country toast.
When I ordered this, the server informed me that she loves this dish and the ironic thing was that the beef tartare is actually prepared by a vegetarian! She just has someone else taste it for flavour. Interesting, eh?
What I found interesting about this dish was the beet. I have never seen beets in a beef tartare before but it actually worked quite well. Or maybe I just thought that because I really love beets! The dish was solid but I can’t say it’s one of the best beef tartare’s I’ve had though. Oh, and I think it’s worth mentioning that the fries were fantastic – perfectly crisp and seasoned well!
My mom often orders fish when we go out for dinner, so it was no surprise she went with the Arctic Char – heirloom radish, fregola and citrus salad, fennel pickle and black olive vinaigrette ($24). Unlike my mom, I typically stay away from ordering fish (unless it’s black cod) because I prefer it a little underdone and find that it tastes incredibly dry when overcooked.
This was my first time trying arctic char and Table 17 did a fantastic job! We both really enjoyed the fish, which was perfectly cooked – the meat was moist, flavourful and had a lovely crisp skin.
The one thing I didn’t love about the dish was the side salad. I’m just not a huge fan of the ingredients in it, so it just didn’t do it for me. Luckily the fish more than made up for it! If fish was always done this well, I’d order it more often.
After all that food, you’d think we’d pass on dessert. We were quite stuffed at this point, but we felt like ending the meal off with something sweet. After reading over the menu, we decided to go with the Sticky Toffee Pudding – with apple butter and ground cherries ($8).I have to admit, I’ve never actually had sticky toffee pudding before and was pleasantly surprised by what was served. The pudding was moist and wasn’t overly sweet. However, when eaten with all the toffee covering the dish, it might be a bit of a sugar overload. Overall, a great way to end the meal!
We had a really personable server who really added to our experience. She was sociable, dropped by at the right times to check on us and provided us with great suggestions. The food was enjoyable from start to finish and was an excellent way to introduce my mom to all the great food in the city!
The topping on the polenta changes daily. I believe it was wild boar last time I was here. This was a great dish and I’d order it again in a heartbeat.
For our main, we went with the featured Dish Duel dish, Beef Short Ribs – slowly braised with red wine & served with parsnip puree, confit cipollini and roasted root vegetables ($25). I could tell they’ve been braising for a while since the short ribs simply melted in my mouth. That’s all I’m going to say about this dish for now… to read more, check it out at Dishduelto.com.At a glance:
• European-inspired menu
• Check in on Foursquare for a free glass of cava
• Warm and cozy atmosphere
• Located on Queen East, just past Broadview
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 4.5 stars