I’ve decided to start a new category on this blog called the Date Night Review. But before I get into that, it might be useful to first explain what “Date Night” is.
Every week or so, I set a date to go out for dinner/drinks with my daughter. It’s been a long-standing tradition which has, at times, unfortunately fallen by the wayside. Living with each other doesn’t necessarily mean we see much of each other much, so Date Night is that opportunity to catch up with each other and share some laughs.
So Date Night Review will be a post of the overall experience of the restaurant/bar we happened to choose for the evening. Obviously, I’m no food critic by any stretch, but I have had the good fortune of dating and living with a fabulous chef who fed me very well. And I love good food. So as far as I’m concerned, that qualifies me to have an opinion, at the very least.
Disclaimer: I’m a huge advocate of the east side – namely, Leslieville and Riverdale. Yes I am a proud Leslievillain, but bias aside – the east side is a vibrant, fun and fabulous neighborhood that boasts some of the best restaurants, bars and shopping in all of Toronto. So, it can be expected that most of these will be written about east side locals.
I’m going to start with last week’s Date Night, which happened at The Curzon.
Located on Queen Street East in the heart of Leslieville, the Curzon has recently undergone some changes, which included a facelift from the popular TV show Restaurant Takeover (from The Food Network) and the introduction of a dynamic menu that primarily features locally grown food.
The overall vibe of The Curzon is warm, framed in it’s exposed brick and tree-themed wallpaper. It’s right up the alley of my personal style as far as interior design goes so I loved it. The owner, Mike Homewood, has retained the loungy feel of the place, with a couple of chic seating areas located inside the front windows.
This particular date night was more about drinks and music, as opposed to dinner. (Wednesday nights at The Curzon feature a jam session of musicians and if you love live music, this is a great place to be). However, after seeing the menu at the Curzon, we decided on the Winter Welcomer Special which was offered throughout the month of February. In a nutshell, you take your choice of 3 taster plates from the menu and 2 glasses of wine or beer for only $30. Amazing deal, especially considering Deron Engbers is the mastermind Chef behind it all.
We chose the Grilled Pork Loin w/green onion relish & jerusalem artichoke hash, the Grilled Flat Iron w/roasted marrow puree and the Vanilla Cured Rainbow Trout w/dupuy lentils in an orange reduction. All three were absolutely fantastic. For photos-that-turned-out-better-than-mine of these dishes, visit The Curzon’s Facebook page.
What capped the night off was the gang of musicians that came in and got the party started at around 10 pm. I’m officially sold when there’s live music involved, especially good live music.
In short: Great crowd, amazing service, fantastic food. A definite must try.
You can follow The Curzon on Twitter: @TheCurzon.