Latest news reports suggest that Toronto is likely to remain in lockdown through at least the first half of May, so Mr. Chuckles is going to keep barbecuing away while I contribute to our sustenance via the Goodfood meal kit subscription. However, sometimes a break from cooking is nice, so we have been filling in the gaps with takeout or delivery and justify this as a way to continue supporting local businesses.
Since the city effectively shut down last month, several restaurants that used to be strictly dine-in only have had to pivot into takeout or delivery. This includes some high end venues that are typically very difficult to get into, or places that are located a bit out of the way. I have to say that one of the few upsides of this sad situation is that homebound foodies like us can now experience restaurant menus that would otherwise be more cumbersome to access.
Here are a few of the finest lockdown takeout meals we’ve had in Toronto lately.
📍163 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5V 2L6
I’ve written about Alo before in my first post about Toronto on this blog, mentioning that this is the top rated restaurant in Canada. For some reason, we do not get Michelin reviewers into Canada, but this restaurant deserves at least one star, if I say so myself. The usual dining experience at Alo is an incredible 8-12 course tasting menu, with reservations highly coveted and usually booked up within minutes of being released each month. In the current situation, it’s obviously impossible for diners to have the tasting menu, so they have transitioned over to a weekly takeout option that we ordered last week. They do not offer delivery so I had to go over to the restaurant to pick up our package, which included beef short rib bourguignon, ricotta agnolotti, hamachi sashimi, bitter greens and cara cara orange salad, and a dark chocolate cremeux dessert. I wasn’t blown away by the bourguignon but the rest of the meal was quite good. The takeout meal definitely doesn’t compare to the tasting menu, which is excellent more so due to the ambiance and in-person experience, but it was an interesting treat to try out anyway.
📍163 Spadina Ave 1st Floor, Toronto, ON M5V 2A5
Aloette is the more casual sister restaurant of Alo. We’ve actually ordered from them several times via Uber Eats this past month, and have had some delicious meals. I would say that I enjoyed these ones more than the Alo takeout menu, even though I would usually opt for Alo dine-in over Aloette. In particular, I recommend the glazed pork belly, sweet potato gnocchi, and mushroom salad. Mmmm.
📍176 Wicksteed Ave, East York, ON M4G 2B6
This place wouldn’t be described as fine dining per se, but it is the finest barbecue in Toronto for sure. Serving Central Texas style barbecue, Adamson is a meat lover’s paradise. Fortunately for my waistline, this restaurant is located quite out of the way for us, so we rarely have the chance to get there in non-lockdown conditions. In the current situation, they have switched over to curb side pickup or free home delivery for pre-orders. A couple weeks ago, we were delivered a massive platter of sausage, turkey, bacon, brisket, and pulled pork that lasted us over a week. Meat sweats, galore. The sides including corn bread, coleslaw, and potato salad were really good as well.
Update 28/04/2020: A disappointing turn of events relating to the management of Adamson BBQ.
📍222 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1V6
I could probably eat sushi everyday, and Jabistro is one of my favourite sushi spots in downtown Toronto. We like to go here for the omakase, but this of course does not deliver well, so the last time we ordered Japanese takeout we had the Maguro Don, featuring negitori tuna belly and tuna sashimi atop a bed of sushi rice. It was offered at half price for a couple weeks and was an amazing deal, but it looks like they have gone back up to $34 per bowl which is a bit hefty for us, so we haven’t ordered again. I’m really missing this place and it will be top of my list to visit again once we are out of lockdown!
📍202 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1L8
For something sweet, this place is it. Named for the Cantonese word for ‘cake’, Daan Go produces some of the cutest and tastiest pastries I’ve ever seen. Many of their flavours are Asian inspired so there are many selections that are not as sickeningly sweet (think Hojicha, Ovaltine, matcha, etc). There are two locations, but the one we’ve been to in person is in Kensington Market, another great spot to check out if you’re ever in town when the world opens up again. I don’t think they usually offer delivery from here so we have had limited opportunities to try them out, again another good thing for my waistline. Now that they are temporarily delivering via Uber Eats, we were able to order some of their macarons and also a slice of durian cake – it was good!
Now I’m hungry.