Sunday, September 25, 2011

Table 17 on Queen St. East

Queen St east of Broadview Ave is starting to go through the same type of gentrification that Queen West has experienced since the 80s.  The area, previously occupied by run down, low income housing and stores, is now sprouting art galleries, higher end shops and trendy restaurants including Ruby Watchco (and its associated grocery store Ruby Eats), Picnic, and Table 17 where we dined recently.

Table 17 features some interesting starters under its "sharing" section. First is their creamy polenta with featured slow-cooked sugo (Italian for sauce) of the day ($14).  Our sugo consisted of ground sausage and sweet peppers, accompanied with extra spices.  The polenta is presented unadorned on a wooden plank.  The chef comes out with a small pot of sauce which he spoons onto the polenta right at your table.  This is followed by the waiter bearing freshly shredded cheese and ground pepper.  This was a fun little ritual that made the course seem extra special.  This delicious dish is mean to be shared by the table.  Since there was just the two of us, Rich and I ate it right off the plank, although I'm not sure whether this was the proper etiquette.

Next we shared a trio of deep fried risotto "hot balls" which came in small (3 balls for $6) and large (6 balls for $11.50) sizes.  Each ball comes with a different stuffing and sauce.  There is a mushroom and Fontina cheese ball with a tomato sauce, a spiced lamb with mint sauce and one with goat cheese and wildflower honey.  We debated over the size and settled on a small since we were also getting the polenta, but regretted it as soon as we saw them.  We begrudgingly split the balls but vowed to get the large on our next visit.

For the main course we both had Ontario roasted leg of lamb with spicy merguez sausage, roasted carrots and beans and tiny pieces of lobster mushroom ($29).  Leg of lamb is usually served well done or else the cut of meat can be tough.  Our slices were closer to medium rare which is how I usually like my meat cooked, but indeed I found them to be chewy. 

We found the desserts to just be average - the chocolate cake with ricotta mousse and hazelnut cream and sticky toffee cake were both rather bland and a bit dry.

As we have found with many restaurants, the appetizers and starters are the most impressive and memorable and dishes I would definitely want to try again. The main course was tasty and well portioned but nothing special, and I would pass on the dessert.

Table 17
782 Queen St East

1 comment:

Bernie said...

Great write up, Annie! Thanks for posting. Table 17 seems like a hot place these days. I'd like to go myself.