Amy Pataki disses The Beach as "a desert of fine dining" but calls Brussels Bistro – the third incarnation of the Toronto stalwart – "a treat." Chef Roger Wils, after taking seven years off to build up and lose his prepared foods company, returns in top form: the "Carbonnade Flamande ($26) is a love letter to tender beef and dark ale," the "long list of fruity Belgian brew" surprises and delights, and the "Bisque ($13) couldn't taste more like lobster if you picked up a wriggling crustacean and licked it." And the atmosphere is chill. As Pataki says, "Expect no bells and whistles with the classic Franco-Belgian fare, just quality ingredients handled with respect."
Pataki continues her culinary jaunt to Cabbagetown where she finds style and salad at The Scullery, a café that opened seven months ago and is already giving "Daniel et Daniel down the street a run for its money." For a quick snack "delicate candied-ginger scones ($2.95) and strong coffee" do the trick, and for the health-conscious, a rotating roster of "pretty, creative and unimpeachably fresh" salads.
Call them Vesta North: David Sax heads to the airport and herald's Zet's Restaurant on Airport Road a leader in the breakfast trade. Around since 1968, and open 24/7, the old-school Greek diner gets top marks for generous servings and "proper short-order cooking" highlighting "honest work that avoids shortcuts:" the "chicken souvlaki is a neatly composed pita sandwich," "the steaks are grilled to order, arriving draped over the edges of a plate," and they do it all with "a rushed finesse that looks effortless." Established long before Pearson airport became the international hub that it is now, business booms on the weekends with flight crews beginning or ending their shifts and sluggish late-night partiers straggling home after a night on the town. To Sax, Zet's is the example, taking a dig at prim-and-proper breakfast places that "make the meal too fancy or the portions too stingy." As he says, "Toronto is a great many things for eaters, but a breakfast town it is not."
· Belgian pleasures await at Brussels Bistro in Beaches [Toronto Star]
· The Scullery makes Cabbagetown friends with salad [Toronto Star]
· Sunny side up, up, and away [The Grid]