Malena, 120 Avenue Road
This is a restaurant that never disappoints. I have written a bit about them in the past (search the archives if you missed it) but Malena now has a new team executing their Ionion menu. Head Chef Alex Bruveris and Sous Chef Rebecca Ross are putting their love of food into Malena as well as into each other; they are a couple and they make a great team.
A mushroom and arugula salad ($14) is not just that. Grilled wild mushrooms are warm with fresh arugula that's dressed ever so lightly with pieces of focaccia that are torn and nicely charred. These are quite frankly the best damn croutons I have ever had. Parmigiano shavings finish off the salad.
The bf/gf combo make their own lamb sausage ($16) with the addition of oregano and lemon. The sausage is juicy and tender and has the right amount of 'game'. It sits amidst perfectly crisp square of fried potato and a generous amount of a peperonata puree.
A dark chocolate smores tart ($10) is super fun. White chocolate crackers replace the graham and marshmallows get the addition of honey. Let's just say, despite being a little anti-dessert, I finished it.
The room is uber romantic and apparently a little romance in the kitchen doesn't hurt either.
One of the must try cocktails is the Spiced Pear Cocktail ($13) - a delicious blend of Grey Goose La Poire vodka, Oakheart spiced rum, pear nectar and cardamom simple syrup.
Sitting on the pony haired bar stools for a late, light dinner is a great way to spend a Saturday night.
Pho Mi Asia, 1248 Dundas Street East, Unit #12
This is a restaurant that was so disappointing, I gave up eating to save myself some calories. It is a Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai restaurant in a strip mall setting. It's located in the Dundas and Dixie area so this is a heads up for all my Mississauga friends.
We are celebrating my Nana's 95th birthday (shout outs to Nana!!!) and my grandparents do not know what Thai or Vietnamese food is. They like Chinese, my aunt Linda likes Viet Bun, my mother likes Thai and the rest of us will eat it all so this place seemed to satisfy everyone's taste.
Now, I realize I should know better; any kitchen that claims to cook more than one type of cuisine (and not in a fusion way) is bound to spell disaster.
There are two things you need to know: this is a Vietnamese run restaurant and Linda's grilled pork bun is satisfactory but that's about it.
Everything else is bordering on disgusting. So bad, it is almost comical. Their version of chicken pad thai was nothing more than rice noodles in a fuchsia pink sauce with hunks of dark chicken meat. No cilantro, no bean sprouts, no tofu, no lime, no nuts??!!
I'm pretty confident there are better options for Asian cuisine in the 905 so please, I've warned you, do not order from this one.