Location: 3401 Dufferin Street, North York (inside Yorkdale Mall)
Since I’ve already established that the restaurant at the Restoration Hardware in Yorkdale is better than it has any right to be (I was shocked at how decent the burger was), it shouldn’t be a surprise that the grilled cheese is quite tasty.
It’s a classic, no-frills grilled cheese. This is a dish that a lot of places feel the need to gussy up, with toppings and condiments aplenty. But grilled cheese is perfect on its own; all you need is good quality bread, cheese, and a whole bunch of butter. No ornamentation is necessary.
And that’s exactly what the RH Courtyard Cafe gives you: the cheddar cheese is sharp and gooey, and the bread has the perfect amount of substance, with a crispy exterior and a soft interior.
It’s also ridiculously buttery, as it should be; if you can hold a grilled cheese sandwich without your hands instantly becoming slippery with grease, then you need to throw it right in the garbage. It’s worthless.
But then there’s the price. It’s 19 bucks. As good as it is (and it’s quite good), it’s still just a grilled cheese sandwich, which might be the easiest (and cheapest) thing in the world to make. So it’s hard to justify spending that much on it.
Address: 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto
I just got a couple of meat pies from Nadege in Yorkdale — beef bourguignon and chicken basquaise — and they were both fine. they were so middle-of-the-road that I’m having a hard time mustering up the enthusiasm to even write a few words about them, but this is a food blog. It was food. Let’s do this.
They both had the same puff pastry crust, which was light and flaky, if a bit dry. Like everything else about these things, it was fine.
They heated them up for me, but clearly not enough, because they were vaguely hot in some places, and lukewarm in others.
The beef bourguignon had big, tender cubes of beef interspersed with carrot chunks. It wasn’t bad, but nothing about it particularly stood out. There just wasn’t much going on, flavour-wise, and the sauce was nonexistent — it was just dry chunks of beef and carrots.
The chicken basquaise had big chunks of chicken interspersed with pieces of peppers (red and yellow peppers, I think? I ate this just a couple of hours ago and it has already almost completely faded from my memory). Like the other pie, it was a bit bland. It was also entirely sauce-less, and the chunks of chicken were kinda dry. But it was fine.
I know I’ve said “fine” an awful lot, but it’s really the best word to describe these things. By tomorrow they will have both entirely receded from my memory, like they never existed.
Cheesecake is good. You know what’s better? Cheesecake dipped in chocolate and nuts, and covered with chocolate and caramel sauces.
Cheesecake by Heirloom was in the Concept section of Yorkdale (I’m a bit late posting this, and it’s now gone — super useful blog post, I know, but supposedly they’ll be selling cheesecakes again at a different location in April), and it’s pretty great. I mean, how could it not be? They start with a good quality piece of New York style cheesecake, then they cover it in all the aforementioned stuff.
And all that stuff is quite good. It’s incredibly sweet and rich — maybe to a fault. It’s not a subtle dessert. It’s probably not something you’d want to eat all the time, but man, it’s delicious.
The macarons from Ladurée were delicious. You probably shouldn’t eat them.
I got four of them, and they cost about 15 bucks with tax ($14.92, actually), and seriously: get the hell out of here with those prices. I don’t care if you’re using the highest of high-end ingredients, there’s no way to justify charging $3.73 each for these tiny little things.
They are quite good, though. I tried hazelnut, pistachio, salted caramel and coconut lime.
They were amazing; maybe the best macarons I’ve ever had. The texture was the perfect contrast of crispy, airy, and creamy, and the flavours were uniformly great. Even the coconut lime, which I was kind of skeptical about, was top notch. It had a really satisfying coconut flavour, with a mild zinginess from the lime that never overwhelms.
But those prices? Nope.
Can that be my whole review? Just meh? It’s my blog, so yeah, it can. But fine, I’ll expand on that a little bit.
Nugateau is a fancy eclair place that is (for now, at least) in the Concept section of Yorkdale Mall (they have a permanent location on Queen Street as well).
I tried a pistachio and a salted caramel eclair, and they were both fine, I guess — but if I’m paying six or seven bucks for an eclair the size of a spring roll, I kinda want to be blown away. Nothing about the custardy filling in either of these things particularly stood out in any meaningful way.
Worse, they both tasted like they had been filled way in advance. The pastry was… well, “mushy” might be overstating it, but it had seen better days, that’s for sure.