December 3rd, 2010

Feast

Paramour

Location: 94 Ossington, north of Queen West. Toronto. Canada.

I don't usually give so much feedback on a meal while I'm eating it, but our waitress asked, and, more to the point, was patient, interested, and caring enough to listen. It's not that anything was wrong, so much as that they were clearly trying, and some things could be better: wine warm enough to taste, portions of dips proportionate to the things being dipped. We didn't have a chance to comment on being rushed out the door at the end, but that was a nearly-inevitable consequence of giving us time to digest before dessert, crossed with two strictly-regimented eating sessions.

But let me back up. The problems were - relatively speaking - so trivial that C. wondered if Paramour would become our new local if we moved back to that neighborhood, close to where we used to live in Toronto. It's part of the happening new stretch of restaurants on Ossington north of Queen West whose vitality - oddly - has been fed by a city-mandated freeze on the issuing of further licenses along here for a year. As a result, those which got their license in time have a little extra aura to them: the rare, the special, the open.

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Service was why we came to Paramour in the first place. Splendido, which used to be our favorite Toronto restaurant, was bought out last year and we wondered what had happen to their best, most astonishly intelligent and attentive waiter: he'd gone on to head up the staff at Paramour. Although he wasn't in the evening we were, the staff clearly had their hearts in the right places. After a day in the processed air of indoors Toronto in winter, I was thirsty. The staff kept my glass topped up all evening. Our waitress really was interested in passing on our feedback to the kitchen. The service really was good, if limited by the timing of seatings.

Food was competent and cozy, if undersauced and - for our stomachs - overportioned. Next time, I'd share a starter and a dessert rather than tackling more of the meal's structure on my own.