Shoto 8th Visit — Toronto (4/2016)

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This was a late-winter/early spring visit to Shōtō.  Unbeknownst to me, the former chef de cuisine, Mitchell Bates (who came from momofuku ko), left at the end of the year.  They promoted Peter Jensen from within, so there was a great deal of continuity in the menu, although there were some differences.  One change was that diners can have a shorter menu.  I think they knew I wouldn’t do that, so I wasn’t even asked. Also, they changed their reservation system to use Opentable.com.

Right away, there was a hot roll and butter to start off.  It was nice and crunchy/chewy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.

For wine, I started with the rare pour white, which was a Chassagne-Montrachet, which was fine but not as good as a Meursault.  Eventually, I asked for the rare pour Pinot Noir as well later in the meal.

The snacks continued with roasted sunchoke soup with arctic char roe and East Coast oyster with green chilies.

The next bite was toasted cheddar cheese with Worcestershire sauce and some tapioca to hold form.  It was almost as good as the grilled sushi rice bite (which was not served with this meal – first time ever).

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 7th Visit — Toronto (12/2015)

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It was a nice time for a late Fall visit to Toronto.  The weather was actually temperate for a December weekend.  And for this trip, I was staying at the attached hotel, so when I was done, which turned out to be fairly late, I didn’t even have to go outside to get back to my room.

I was greeting promptly with a porcini bread roll, which was very nice.

Chris, the sommelier, pointed out that he had not changed the rare pours from my prior visit.  He recommended that I go with the Chenin Blanc.  This would not have been a natural choice for me, but he made the recommendation based on knowing the kind of wines I had selected and liked in the past.

Before my wine was poured (on the right), he brought out a sherry that he wanted me to try with the small bites on the menu.  It was dry with a nice rich body and pleasant flavor.

The snacks continued with the grilled sushi rice with toasted nori and back to pork fat  Next was East Coast oyster with house fermented hot sauce. This was followed by crispy fried chicken tail with some chili.

The soup was carrot, crab and curry. There was a touch of sweetness and a touch of spiciness for contrast.

We then had a simple bite of grilled duck heart and celery.

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 6th Visit — Toronto (9/2015)

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My late summer/early-fall visit to Shōtō was a nice time to be in Toronto.  It was at the tail end of the Toronto International Film Festival (bad for hotel rates, but good for liveliness), and the weather was still summer-like most of the time.  Even though I had been there only two months before, the menu was going to be mostly different.

They were kind enough to pour me a taste of the sparkling wine from Ontario. After that, I went with a glass of the rare pour of the Chardonnay from Montrachet.

The first snack to start things off was an East Coast oyster with pepperoncini.  After that, it was a new item – herbed cornbread with some cheddar and cultured butter.

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 5th Visit — Toronto (7/2015)

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My midsummer visit to Shōtō was meant to take full advantage of the season’s Canadian bounty.  I had seen a few tweets on some of the dishes they have been creating, so I was looking forward to the visit.

They started me off with the first snack of a whole wheat and rye roll, served nice and warm.

For wine, I started off with a glass of the Tasmanian sparkling rosé and then moved to the German Riesling on the menu.

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 4th Visit – Toronto (April 2015)

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I thought it was time to pay an early spring visit to Toronto and check out what Shōtō might have to offer on the menu.  It had been a few months since the last visit, so I expected the menu to be mostly different.

The wine list was definitely different.  There were no premium pours this time.  The sommelier said he was still working on what to offer with the addition of spring items to the menu. Teas were added to the beverage menu as well.

I was told they were pouring the Domaine Roulot on the bar side if I wanted some.  I decided I would just go with the German Riesling they were offering.

For the full write-up, click here.

After a hot towel, they quickly offered a hot dinner roll to get started.  And after my wine came, the succession of snack presentations started.

Shoto 3rd Visit — Toronto (1/2015)

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I decided I needed to venture to Toronto in the middle of winter.  Actually, I thought it was time to pay another visit to Shōtō to see what they might cook up during the winter.  While it was very cold in Toronto, the weather was generally good, so I had no travel issues, which made my quick dash easy. Plus, it’s a little less expensive to go and stay in Toronto in winter.

Upon getting seated, I was quickly provided with the wine list and a warm dinner roll to munch on.

At my last visit, they were not offering the Domaine Roulot, but on this trip it was back.  So that was going to be my wine for the evening.

For the full write-up. click here.

Shoto 2nd Visit — Toronto (9/2014)

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I was at Shōtō a little over a month ago. I had reason to come back to Toronto, so I decided to dine a second time.  I had a very nice experience the last time, so I wanted to see how it would be the second time around.  I was not disappointed.  It was again a Friday night, and the first seating group was running a little behind, as I had to wait about 10 minutes after my appointed time to get seated.

The “Rare” pour wine list was shorter than the last visit. What was missing was the Chardonnay that I really liked.  Everything else was mostly the same.  I was going to try the other Chardonnay, but I was advised that maybe I shouldn’t, based on some comments from a prior patron.  They went ahead and poured me a taste and told me what the other person said (a little astringency that shouldn’t be there).  I actually agreed, so they served me an Ontario Pinot Gris (2013 Five Rows St. Davids Bench), which I liked enough to start off the meal.

The first bite was pretty much the same as last time (above is after the oyster was eaten). It was an East Coast oyster with pepperoncini, which was again, a quick and spicy start.

For the full write-up, click here.