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Nota Bene – Toronto

March 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Nota Bene - Toronto

We were excited to go to this restaurant by chef David Lee of Splendido fame, particularly because we had read that it was one of the best new restaurants in 2009.

You can’t miss this restaurant with the bright green lighting at the windows on a busy strip on Queen Street East. Once you walk in – the noise hits you. This is a busy restaurant – the tables and bar were packed and there definitely was a vibe.  Aside from the noise, the space was clean and modern with high ceilings and an airy feel even though the tables are quite packed together.  The service was fast – maybe too fast – like there was a lot of advanced preparation and  it seemed like one of our pasta dishes had been sitting around a little too long before it was served.


Although there were few vegetarian options on the menu, the restaurant is vegetarian friendly and the kitchen was happy to accomodate our one vegetarian guest.   Our starters were all quite good, including yucatan hot and sour soup, hamachi ceviche and mafalda pasta (mushroom bolognese).  The mains were less impressive  – in fact the papardelle pasta with grilled rabbit loin was the pasta dish that had a gluey consistency suggesting that it had been sitting around too long.  My grilled seabass was average – nothing special with no overwhelming flavour but not overcooked.  The side of onion rings was excellent – a huge bowl of strings of crispy fried onion rings that were so thin that originally I had thought they brought fries by mistake to our table.  Dessert was apple crumble (average) while the sticky toffee with spotted dick ice cream was quite good.   To tell you the truth – I ordered it because the spotted dick ice cream intrigued me. Turns out that spotted dick is an english pudding with dick being a collioquial word for pudding and the “spots” refer to raisins/currents.  The food was average.  But, if you don’t care so much about the food and want to go to a busy restaurant with some vibe (maybe just for a drink and dessert) – then this might be the place to go if you are in the area.

Nota Bene on Urbanspoon

Nota Bene

180 Queen Street West


Cost: $340 incl tip for dinner for 4 including beer and wine, most mains between $20-30

Verdict: average, does not live up to the hype


Tags: Toronto

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