It was one of Toronto’s final stoic summer nights. I was coasting on the College Streetcar as the sun set crimson across the west end. I hopped off at Ossington and snapped a picture of Chiado’s red-carpet-ready facade. I could see a group of perfectly dressed waiters standing in front of the restaurants window. I was the first to arrive, it was almost as if they had been waiting for me. I was greeted by the restaurants charming owner and soon whisked to a private table in the adjacent room at the end of the bar by a window overlooking the street. I waited patiently for Mel to arrive.
Chiado would be my second restaurant review for Eatzclub (the first was at Blu Ristorante) a fantastic new Toronto based diners club which supports Daily Bread Food Bank. I was so pleased to talk to the owners of both restaurants who shared their honest enthusiasm for being involved in an initiative that gives back to those in need. Chiado has now celebrated its 21st year in Toronto, an amazing accomplishment for an industry so frenzied with comings and goings. The restaurants authentic haute cuisine offerings inspired by Portugal focus on and celebrate the good stuff from the sea.
Once Mel arrived we sipped from two glasses of rose sparkling and whisked our way through the menu. I wanted to showcase the breadth of the restaurants offerings but made sure to order a few of their seafood dishes (which they are so famous for). This particular dinner was one of the final nights of TIFF and we were happy to catch Gary Oldman enjoying dinner just down the hall from us.
The Chiado dining experience is top drawer with a focus on creating a relaxing and refined atmosphere with knowledgable and well groomed staff. Our waiter paired each course with the finest Portugese wines. Each plate was perfectly prepared with a focus on highlighting and contrasting flavours and textures. I started off the meal smiling at two huge jumbo shrimp and skipped out of the restaurant after several spoonfuls of their decadent chocolate mousse.
Chiado offers top drawer service, perfect for “that special occasion.” They are by far one of the best seafood centric restaurants in the city and now appear on my Toronto Top Restaurant List.
We sampled (* notes our favorites):
Grilled Tiger Shrimp *
piri piri, roasted jalapenos, banana peppers
Toasted Goat Cheese *
eggplant, portabella mushrooms, champagne vinaigrette
Grilled Quail *
piri piri with shitake risotto
Arrugula and Fresh Fig Salad *
aged lourais cheese, lemon, evoo
Grilled Filet of Atlantic Salmon *
fresh herbs, peppercorns, marine salt
Bistretto Beef Tenderloin
crusted peppercorns, pan jus, frites
Mousse de Chocolate *
espresso creme anglaise, meringue kisses
Tarte de Peras com Mascarpone
pouched pears on lintzer dough with mascarpone cheese