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2537 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2H9 Get directions
$$$
Caterers, Caterers, Canadian Cuisine, American Cuisine, Wheelchair-accessible Restaurant
Reservations were made 6 weeks ago as most restaurants are fully booked near Valentine's Day. However, North 44 was 1/2 filled. Our coats were quickly taken, we were quickly escorted to our table which had wide comfortable upholstered chairs. The service was very good for the exception that our server was very soft spoken and I had to ask him to repeat the specials 3 times. I guess the noise level in the restaurant didn't help much. North 44 has some nasty acoustics going on. It was soooo loud inside - people talking over each other, etc. Definitely not a place I would want to go to for a romantic dinner. On to the food. Appetizers ordered were the Soup of the day, Lobster Bisque with 'blah..blah..blah" (couldn't hear the waiter), Quebec Foie Gras with other stuff that sounded like a lot on the menu but actually looked like a stamp on the plate. $24.95 for a teeny sampling? Well, as small as the serving was, the taste was really good, as was the texture. And I don't like anything with a ducky/goosey flavour...so this dish was surprisingly quite good to me. The lobster bisque had bisque foam on the top that tasted like lobster water (yuck). The bisque was seasoned perfectly for me and had a hint of cinnamon. The slices of seared? lobster (?) inside the soup was a nice surprise. The serving size was generous... probably too generous for such a rich tasting soup. Entrees ordered were seared BC halibut in banana leaf. It arrived with a side of barely warm basmati rice. Also ordered was the braised beef short rib 'rubbed with spiced cocoa rub & served with soft polenta. The halibat was unwrapped at the table. It looked impressive enough until you looked closely and noticed the whole top of the halibut was covered in slivers of fresh ginger. The fish tasted like ginger and not much else. As if that wasn't bad enough, the halibut was overdone. Severely overdone. The basmati rice was bland and tasteless...and cold. The waiter, when informed, replaced the halibut dish with a quick cook entree of grilled Ahi Tuna - which was grilled perfectly and had good flavours, albeit, again, portion size was extremely small for $42.95. The braised beef rib dinner was what I found most disconcerting. When the plate was brought over, I thought they had brought me another appetizer. The serving was that small! I would put the meat portion at 4 oz (maybe) . It sat in the middle of a pool of creamy polenta that was as soupy as cream of wheat. But...it tasted good. I didn't detect any of the 'spiced cocoa rub' flavour in the meat, but the dish did taste good and probably would have tasted better if there was more of it and maybe a few sprigs of string beans or some kind of veg. 2 'sauteed' strips of red bell pepper does not count as veg. For dessert we ordered the Chocolate Bomb and Kashmiri Chai Brulee. Dessert was disgustingly sweet but was also well balanced with the tart fruit coulis spread across the plates. The only alcoholic beverage ordered was a Lipstick Martini or Martini Lipstick. It was okay. I don't know if my expectations were too high for this restaurant or if it's because I am a true foodie and a great cook that I expect that when I go out to eat in a restaurant the food will be better than what I can cook myself. I found only a part of that to be the case. If you can't cook good food at home and you do want good food to eat, then I would recommend North 44. But bring money. Lots of it cause their meals are not filling. If it weren't for the delicious black olive artisan bread and endless water refills, I would have gone home starving. Read more
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