Greta Solomon's


Mon Cheri and I decided to visit Greta Solomons for our 3 year anniversary, hearing about this neighbourhood gem from BlogTO.

The facade was a pale, baby-like yellow with the name of the restaurant written in a grey simple font, with an art-nouveau charm. Our first impression was of subtle, child-like friendliness.

Walking in straight through the open doors serving as a storefront, we realized that the restaurant didn't appear to have a ramp or a defined entrance. Inside, we found ourselves in a private 20-odd seat dining room, with warm brick walls, beautiful honey-brown tables and details as well as a pop of a bright royal blue, which is hard to forget. Black and white portraits and diffused lighting enhanced the atmosphere. All of this got us transported back in time to our honeymoon in France - an intimate environment, lots of vintage details and a faint Edith Piaf playing in the background. An overriding neutral palette of rich materials accented by inserts of colour speak to a vibrant, contemporary elegance and create a generally upscale impression

We had to make a reservation, as all the tables that night were booked. At the same time, we were the first ones to arrive at 6pm. We had our name on a tiny chalkboard next to us, written with a lime green colour (a not-too-appetizing detail). Their meal and cocktail menus were narrow and elegant, with just enough options not to be overwhelming. We noticed that the font use was not consistent across the printed materials. The wine cart was the largest list on the table - a wide single fold. Comparing to it, the meal menu was a smaller, narrower sheet.
Emma, our waitress, was helpful, but could be better in wine suggestions for our selections of Magret de Canard and Tartare A'agneau. We ended up going for their Burgandy région Pinot Noir, as well as the Malbec from South-Western France. We should note, we weren't impressed by the Pinot Noir, it lacked intrigue and a finish for a three year old wine at $17 a glass. It was low-mid weight, with just a light dusty nose. The Malbec, on the other hand was one of the more cost-effective selections of red wine by the glass - it had a solid expression of dense dark fruit nose and a dry finish which we both enjoyed.

We decided to go with Sardines appetizer to share, which in retrospect should have been accompanied by something else due to its' tiny size. The dish came topped with a cloud of Parmesan and dill with the sardines over two thick baguette slices. The fish had plenty of olive oil, creating a smooth texture while the crispy baguettes balanced it with rough crumbles. There were hints of horseradish and pickled onions, to add subtlety - we really enjoyed this salty appetizer.
Our main dishes were both presented with a sense of finesse. The Tartare A'agneau came with elaborate thin cumin crostini pieces, while cuddled in the middle of the bowl was the tartar meat with hints of mint, Harissa, much needed cucumber and light coriander. The lamb was fresh and tender, no sharp smell for you nose-sensitive foodies. We both agreed that the Tartare A'agneau was a sensational dish.
Margret de Canard roasted duck breast was traditionally presented and organized with parsnip purée, roasted carrots, braised cabbage all around. Unfortunately, Ma Cherie had a hard time enjoying the duck, which was not to a texture of her liking, and was further put off by the strong tarragon flavour. To our surprise the owner, noticed our discontent and insisted that she made Ma Cherie choose a new dish. Darlene suggested Filet de Bœuf and even went out of her way to top up or glasses of wine. Her warm personal touch really made our experience unforgettable. The seared Ontario Striploin piece beautifully piled in a rectangular place surrounded by sauce béarnaise, and prompted up by confit potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms. This was a remarkable dish which we enjoyed medium rare. The meat was incredibly endear and some light paprika, tarragon and chives added that subtle beauty.
Lastly, our dessert consisted of an unforgettable lightly cooked pear, drizzled in walnut honey sauce and filled with vanilla custard in the very middle. We were sure glad not to be surprised by the usual fibrous stringy middle, the custard was truly a beautiful addition. This dish is a treat and made for a great combination with our sparkling wines. Mon Cheri also insisted that we taste their Crème Brûlée, which lived up to all our expectations.

It can be sometimes hard to share your true feelings about a dish when a waiter comes and asks you in a rush. The hard work of the chef and staff this charming Lesliville bistro, made it next to impossible to complain and try to return a dish. However, we once again want to thank the attentive owner for rescuing our experience and boosting our experience without a question. Although Greta Solomons is a French inspired bistro, the service is nothing like Parisian rash temperament, the customer's experience is king here.

PS: note that their washroom is worth the trip too. As if we went south the French boarder, in the bathroom we found tasteful Moroccan style tiles and complementary toothbrushes.


Detroit Eatery

In general, the East End offers a plethora of breakfast and brunch options. Our search was for a diner on that Sunday morning and we found one where we did not expect, in Greektown.

White writing on a bright red, Detroit is written in a linear detailed font while eatery is written in an odd font trying to imitate folks - not the best choice. Staples of the diner are written all over the storefront, adding clutter, but at the same time quite right for this old-timer spot.

A tiny storefront opened up to an elongated packed hall which greeted us with tons of Detroit Red Wings memorabilia. This was something we did not quite expect from a diner, especially not from a one in a middle of Greektown. We purposefully picked a seat next to the kitchen to watch the breakfast magic happen and take a more detailed look at the cabinet full of vintage cola bottles. 9am on a Sunday, the spot was buzzing with people and energy.
We were impressed with the enthusiasm and sincerity of the main server / host. We thought he is part of the owning family, but found out later that wasn't the case. Awesome to see such a level of commitment - his energy and social engagement did more for us than the expectantly bland diner coffee.

There was something appealing in the idea of a morning Hamburger Steak, so we gave it a shot. Our second choice was a straightforward Greek Omelet with Feta paying a bit of homage to the restaurant location, we figured. It took our food a bit longer than we expected, but when it arrived, there was plenty to dig into. Juicy and generous in size, the chunk of meat was a bit on the greasy side, but with no foul smell of overburn. Two simple eggs on the side (pouched as Ma Cherie wanted them) and large-cut boiled potatoes then lightly fried with no skin, were balancing the meat well. As much as the dish sounded like a heart-attack on a plate, we did not find it to be that overwhelming - as the steak was more of a large minced party. Ma Chérie struggled to make it half way with the steak and the older gentlemen which we found out is the owner had to comment that she needs to eat up. As far as the Omelet went, it was also served king sized with a side of home potatoes. There was more than a fair share of cheese and spinach inside, but we found it to be a bit too salty for our taste. Overall though, halfway through our meal we concluded that the atmosphere rather than food was the more important part of our experience on that Sunday morning.

It might be hard to find a table for more than two on a weekend morning, but it will be well worth to try. Detroit Eatery is one of those stalwart spots sticking to its roots and refusing to cave in to trends. Our experience was reminiscent of a visit to Avenue Diner sometime ago which we definitely enjoyed. We wish Detroit Eatery to stay true to itself and continue charging people up with traditional fare and beaming energy in the morning.

PS: as an additional bonus - there is a vivid sports fan base congregating in Detroit Eatery. Surrounded by plenty of memorabilia, the dedicated folks were deeply involved in conversations adding to the general vibe.

Detroit Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Adamson Barbecue


We ended up taking a good part of a day off to check out Adamson BBQ. Jumping ahead, it was well worth it. The succulent meat, traditional sides and an inevitable white Texan bread took us back to our recent experience in Franklin’s BBQ in Austin which was apparently the inspiration here.

All the action happens in a warehouse-like building, much like many alike lining the streets of this Leaside industrial park. During the working hours (which are very limited), Adamson is impossible to miss – a huge smoker proudly occupying a chunk of the parking space, a side wall painted with the Texan Lone Star and a persistent carnivorous crowd hovering around are sure signs you are in a right place. Talking about parking - at around noon, we found it difficult to find a spot to pull over. We were warned that people get toed if parking in lots of other businesses. Street parking is your best bet, as Adamson unfortunately doesn't have much of spots, mind you they have done their best leaving parking even by the entrance. We literally had to circle around a car to get to the simple concrete sidesteps leading up to the entrance under a bright hand painted teal wood sign, suspended with chains.

The first shock for us was the absence of liquor license. A pound of brisket with coleslaw would have been perfect to wash down with a pint of lager, but… another thing throwing us off initially was the poppy electronic music feeling a bit out of place in this temple of food. The interior was surprisingly not large, it consisted of raw concrete flooring with the back half of the space opening up to the outside with a roll up garage door – it was rough and airy, but fitting the ambiance.

We glanced over the menu items all written on brown craft paper imitating an old style BBQ joint, but lacking the age. All the info was glued on an unique angled subway tile wall - an artistic touch which almost seemed like a mistake. Finishing up the rough look were the plywood boards all over. Their fibrous and rustic look was somewhat contrasting with the IKEA teal coloured lights, creating an edgy and hip contrast of materials and styles. Our fast moving line drew us closer to the meat carving spot and we stopped paying attention to all other details, as the aroma drew us closer.


It was Smoked Chicken day and we took it over Turkey. Brisket was all finished so our second plate was Ribs, with two sides. Surprisingly the BBQ sauce staple was not on all tables, but our dining neighbours were happy to share theirs with us. We liked this very thin and sour condiment with a hint of sweetness. Our two small sides were quite tiny, but we also got a side on onions, pickles and typical slices of white bread of a store-bought Wonderbread variety. The meat looked awesome though! Ribs were fatty, but tender and juicy. The meat was falling off the bone and melting in our mouths. Enjoying it slowly, we stretched our experience further. For the chicken, it was seasoned with allspice and cinnamon flavoured, in all honesty, not our cup of tea. It was tender, but not extraordinary. Your experience with Adamson cannot be concluded though without trying their brisket, that’s where beef is at its best. We had to come back at try it a few weeks later, it is very much worth the earlier lunch start. Fatty, juicy and tender, just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Make sure to slowly chew through it, well covered in their sauce and looking at a “Texas Authentic” certificate hanging on the wall.

Juicy meat, friendly attitude and great energy all over made this one of our best lunch experiences in a long time. So much so that Mon Cheri convinced his co-workers to come back a day after for a treat. Adamson BBQ's only significant downside is that it is only realistically open until late lunch hour and only offers sober lunch as an option. The good stuff runs out fast, so be there early and enjoy the meal. Don’t let the industrial neighbourhood off the beaten path and the simple handwritten sign mislead you!

Adamson Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato




A colleague brought me here on my last day at work. Both being enthusiastic about food and graphics, our attention was solidly grabbed by the gorgeous and gentle vinyl window stickers on the Front Façade.

For the first time, after passing by so many times, I noticed their modern wordmark is not written backwards but rather it's reflected at the corner of the building - a funky touch.
We briefly considered their breezy patio submerged in the city streets, but decided we will miss out too much of the interior if staying outside.


We were sat down in no time, being able to beat the lunch rush. The feel of classy feminine lightness was in the air with plenty of off-white shades, veiny marble and a ceiling unlike any other. The gentle flower patterns from the exterior tied in above our heads with details making me feel engulfed in the petals. The large furniture behind and around the bar was rounded and sectioned - the crystal glasses all around give off a vintage feel. It was hard not to notice the unique custom-made kitchen arch, combining a few styles of mosaic tiles into a surprisingly beautiful centerpiece.

We settled on their muted olive green tufted banquette, as we read their lunch menu leaflet and sipped water out of old crystal glasses. Drawn to the dish on the table next to us, we inquired about their regular menu, which we ended up picking from to shake up our food experience.
All the waiting staff was dressed in dark blue or black with just a leather full apron to stylistically unify them all. This made the staff stand out quite a bit in the light airy space, attention was definitely on them.

Our high quality laminate table, with a bleached wood look and shades of warmth made a decent backdrop for our dishes that followed. The Zucchini Fritti arrived first, creating a small mountain of fried tempura-coated zucchini, thinly cut in swirls. The dish was sweet and crispy with a subtle hint of key lime pie, as it dripped honey - a bit too much for us. Scattered around in lumps was a lemon crema fresca with a whipped cream texture. We both thought that a more yogurt-based cream would have helped add a slightly sour edge to this dish, balancing out the oily sweetness. We couldn't finish this dish, there was a need for a Pinot Gris perhaps.
Our arugula salad was refreshing, we both agreed there was perhaps a tad more then necessary balsamic dressing. Adding a kick to this dish, there were some sundried tomatoes, grano padano and marinated shallots.
Our experience would have been close to ideal if it wasn't for the three flies bothering all the patrons at the banquettes. It was disappointing to see even the staff shooing them without fixing the problem. Definitely not up to par with the atmosphere set initially. The warmth inside didn't help as everyone kept on chucking cold water (I would stereotype the demographic as mostly female and highbrow). Our waitress kept very professional, as we inquired about the warmth. The A/C was not having the best day, mind you, it was a very hot day.
Next came our Eggplant Puccia, served with a side of herbed potatoes - a soft, fresh, a tad salted side treat. The sourdough pita of the sandwich is also worth mentioning, as it was stuffed with zesty meaty eggplant with tomato preserve, a bit of Grano Padano and plenty of arugula leafs. I found it hard to pierce through the dense, long pieces of eggplant. It turned out not to be a graceful dish to eat.
Our other main dish was their Pizza Margarita, with slightly charred crust right out of their wood oven, it was everything we expected. The funky part was that our main dishes were served with a side of a mystery glass dropper bottle which we found out was hot sauce. We enjoyed our dishes, listening to remixed drum & base and some hip hop. A slightly odd music choice for the elegant interior and atmosphere.
Lastly we shared a scoop of their blueberry gelato - light, not overly sweet, with fibers adding to the texture. We happily ate it without feeling any strong, artificial flavors. We found it to be quite a treat, actually.

Our hour in this elegant space had a few small flaws which could be easily fixed to portray a well-rounded experience. Splashing out on a beautiful interior work is always important to set the mood and ambiance, but the same amount of care and attention to detail should we applied throughout the maintenance of the.