Frequently travelling for business across Canada (mostly West) and the U.S. (periodically), we are privileged with eating in various cities, experiencing the life of the city and through the magic of food, different cultures.

The reason for starting this site was because we can't tell you the number of times we would look on other sites to find reviews of restaurants by the general public, only to come away scratching our heads. Yes, that likely will make us sound like snobs, but hey...there really is no accounting for some people's taste.

Unlike most "reviewers", we never, ever tell the restaurant who we are, or what we are doing. This ensures that we receive no special treatment, and that the establishments aren't on their "best behavior" just because we're there. So you'll hear about the worst of the worst, the best of the best and everything from fast food to luxurious restuarants in our travels, as that is the range and diversity of our palates. Please join us on what has been one hell of a food ride thus far, as we finally unveil, without prejudice, what we really think of the food and let you decide where to eat your next meal.

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Pangaea : Toronto Ontario

Big city life provides enough competition to ensure that when you go to an upscale restaurant, the experience is always worth talking about; Pangaea (pan-gee-ahhh!) is no exception. Calling to make reservations on a Friday evening we were delightfully pleased to find this place could accommodate us. Upon leaving the hotel our GPS decided to stop working, so we contacted the restaurant to ask for directions. The hostess was very helpful and provided us with enough directions to get to the restaurant. Adding to her helpfulness she was calling us to make sure we weren’t still lost as we walked in. (Yes we were pretty lost and far from the restaurant when we first called..). Remembering our names we were seated immediately, and although by this time it was almost 9pm, the restaurant was still rather busy.

Walking through the French doors into the dining area we couldn’t help but notice the artsy yet very elegant decor; sculptures adored the walls, the ceiling flexed into a wave pattern and a slim tree placed in the center of the room collectively made this place scream quality(the washroom area however, was a slight departure from the overall dining room ambiance...quite the trip if you ask us!). The manager, a rather ebullient man, Jovan Roknic, dropped by as soon as we were seated to welcome us, and recommend we wait until we speak with him to order a wine with dinner.

For appetizers we chose Calamari and house made Lamb sausage. The Calamari was delightfully presented and attached in a circular ring with a small “leggy”, but thankfully missing tentacles, piece on top to finish the unique presentation. [Editors note: Moxies review about tentacles]. Paired on the plate with anchovies, capers, gaeta olives, onions, roasted garlic, lemon and beurre noisette (French term for "brown butter" or literally "hazelnut butter") was a complete delight. For a person who doesn’t usually enjoy the strong taste of capers and olives, this dish was cooked perfectly. The accompanying ingredients...the aforementioned onions, garlic, capers and olives, provided a perfectly complimentary taste for the calamari. SJ’s house made lamb sausage which came with pearl barley and a grilled apple salad with arugula, rosemary and lemon vinaigrette, was also a pleasant surprise. The lamb, a meat usually known for having a slightly sharper taste, was adequately paired with a wonderful vinaigrette which made it ideal.

After our appetizers were finished and we had ordered our entrees, Jovan stopped by to assist us with the wine list. Asking us what we had ordered for entrees, and what our price range was, he scooted off and grabbed a bottle for us to taste. I had ordered Qualicum Beach Scallops, and SJ the Duck Breast, so Jovan chose a French white wine called viognier ($48 for the bottle...affordable!). Not too sweet, not too dry, just the right compliment to our meals.

At first, I assumed he must have been a sommelier as he seemed very knowledgeable about pairing the correct wine with our entree’s. After asking him, he joked about being the dishwasher and engaged a server to confirm his position there (Manager). The group of employees seemed to enjoy their work together, and the interaction between them was entertaining and well worth the money spent. Jovan was extremely personable as he made the rounds from table to table, and made our experience there memorable.

My entree, Qualicum Beach Scallops, accompanied with “Paella” risotto, chorizo sausage, saffron, mussels, clams, tomato and asparagus was succulent and cooked to perfection. Many restaurants make the mistake of over cooking scallops, leaving them too rubbery and devoid of taste, not this place....nooooo... they wouldn’t make that mistake. The amalgamation of sausage, mussels, clams and risotto was heavenly... I don’t know if there is one dish they couldn’t get right.

SJ’s chose to go “off the beaten path” and try something out of his ordinary comfort zone. So he chose the Duck Breast, which was paired with pan-roasted, potato rösti, butternut squash, sautéed rapini, and was accented with a cassis reduction. The duck was cooked to perfection, and the fat usually found on duck breast was crispy and cooked in a way you could eat it. This is a big deal for me as I hate...let me reiterate hate...the texture of fat. Given enough time and privacy (it’s a little embarrassing), I would painstakingly pick every ounce off of my food...SJ made me have a bite just to ensure I agreed with his opinion, and I actually did!

For desert we chose the Warm Citrus Doughnuts filled with ricotta, then rolled in sugar and accompanied with arrack poached kumquats, and an orange-cardamom shake. Knowing that we were stuffed by this point, we chose to split the desert and the waiter was kind enough to bring the shake in two separate glasses. These donuts were warm and well presented. A MUST TRY if you go here...I normally opt for chocolate but based on the description and the meal experience, I couldn’t help by give them a try...and OH MY they were good...

Overall experience: having tried four different dishes with desert, and loving each of them...I can’t imagine you could make a bad choice here. Its obvious in the presentation and preparation, that this place has spent a great deal of time finding the proper ingredients to blend together in order to create an award winning culinary experience.

Location visited: 1221 Bay Street (at Bloor)


Ambiance: Romantic
Presentation: Exceptional
Price: $50/serving
Service: Exceptional
Value: Exceptional – However, if you aren’t used to paying for quality not quantity, then you may disagree with that assessment.

Pangaea on Urbanspoon

The Meal Truth - Undercover food critics


  1. Glad you loved Pangaea! Just as an FYI the name is spelled with three 'a's. That might be helpful if people need to look it up.

    Next time you visit, try the mushroom risotto. Chef Martin Kouprie is rather famous for it. (BTW, in the interest of full disclosure I am his adoring and very biased wife!)

  2. just to let fellow pangaea lovers know the chef of Pangaea restaurant in Toronto has just released a terrific cookbook called Pangaea why it tastes so good,by Martin Kouprie.The recipies for the wild mushroom risotto and that terrific calamari among other well tested recipies are contained in that cookbook available at Indigo and Chapters.


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