By Annabelle Goodman –Peter Pan Bistro 373 Queen St West 416 593 0917
You know the wonderful feeling when you return home after being away from so many familiar people and things. I have been visiting Peter Pan Restaurant for over 30 years. It has always been a favorite. It has been far too long since I have returned. I remember it as the first re-furbished diner in Toronto. Crazy art work hung on the walls and the servers were usually dressed in black leather and worked between their acting and art jobs. Over the years the place has become more gentrified. The stylish tin ceiling remains. The banquettes still are my favorite. White table cloths and little vases of fresh flowers have been added to the other tables along the wall. The paintings are a different caliber and are more serene and elegant. One thing has remained constant. The food was always creative and beautifully presented. It is one of the few restaurants in this city where there are so many beckoning suggestions I have trouble deciding what to enjoy.
How happy I was to greet Jeff Berg once again.(Obviously he has not been managing for over 30 years but is has been many years that I have appreciated his outstanding service) He remains as friendly and welcoming as ever and has maintained the superb quality of food. This is a reasonable place to enjoy exquisite cuisine. The presentation of the food deserves a gold medal. You would think you were dining in the high end restaurants of town. I plan to return soon for the $15.00 3 course lunch offered daily.
I must mention the bread. It is actually made in house. It is so delicious and the dipping sauce
of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar was wiped up with this tasty bread.
My friend and I had just come from a film at the Toronto International Film Festival. We were starving. In the evening a $25.00 Prix Fixe offers 3 courses. The regular daily menu is extensive. The Prix Fixe was too good to refuse.
The Vegetable Spring Roll was presented in 2 rather large sections. They were served with an Asian dipping sauce and some fresh arugula salad. Amazing. The Herb Crusted Salmon was a very generous portion placed on top of roasted baby potatoes, sautéed red peppers and spinach. The fish was moist and tender. The flavors were incredible. The plate looked like it should be photographed for Gourmet Magazine (even if it doesn’t exist anymore) and the taste was appreciated bite by bite. The Prix Fixe included the best Tiramisu. It wasn’t too sweet. The chocolate and other flavors melded together for a tasty conclusion to our perfect meal.
On many occasions at lunch or dinner I have enjoyed the Roasted Beet Salad with poached pear, spiced walnuts, chevre and mixed greens.($12.00)
The Peter Pan Burger served with a mixed green salad or hand cut fries is a house favorite.($14.75) I also love the Quesadillas.($14.95) The chef has a way with using spices and herbs to enhance the natural flavor of the food being prepared.
I have enjoyed many Pasta dishes here. The Linguine Primavera offers al dente pasta with garden fresh vegetables in a light cream sauce. ($17.50) There are always several options offered each evening.
I never know what to choose because everything is so delicious. At these prices you can come many times and enjoy a variety of gourmet prepared meals. It is such a friendly place. I was so happy to be back home.