Alo — Toronto (9/2015)

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Alo opened a couple of months prior to my visit.    The suggestion to visit came from the sommelier at Shōtō, who knows the chef.  He thought it would match up well with the type of food I like to go after.  It was very easy to make a reservation on OpenTable.com.  What I didn’t know was that they have a Chef’s counter where they serve an extended menu.  You have to reserve a seat there separately.  However, after I was seated, I did ask if I could have the extended menu even though I was seated at a table.  They asked the chef and there were enough portions available to let me have the extended menu if I didn’t have to make any adjustments due to allergies.

From the street, you enter a relatively unmarked door into a narrow hallway where you are greeted by the receptionist.  From there, they send you up an elevator to the third floor.  As you exit, you see that about a third of the seating area is allocated to a bar area, where they serve drinks and small plates.  The rest of the space is devoted to an open kitchen and seating for the restaurant.

The standard tasting menu consists of five courses.  You get to choose among pairs of items for the non-dessert courses. There are small bites offered in between as well sometimes. For the extended menu, there is no menu presented beforehand.  However, from what I could tell, several of the courses were smaller versions of the dishes offered on the standard menu.

They had a list of specialty cocktails, as well as a list of wines by the glass, mostly featuring Canadian winemakers.

After you are seated, they bring a tray of napkins, where you can choose to have either a white or a dark napkin.

For the full write-up, click here.

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