We were in Toronto this past weekend to visit our good friends at California Closets. They will be having a grand opening for their new Yorkville showroom in the next few weeks, so we stopped in to take some photos for their blog and website. That evening, we had the pleasure of dining at George Restaurant on Queen Street East. That neighbourhood brought back some fond memories for us. When we lived in Toronto in the late 90s, we spent a number of fun summer nights on the rooftop patio of our friend’s apartment a couple doors down next to Henry’s camera shop. Good times!
I am so happy that I decided to make reservations at George, as it turned out to be one amazing meal and dining experience. The restaurant is housed in an old chocolate factory from the 1950s. I absolutely love the decor – paying homage to its historical roots while infusing classy and modern accents. I have to apologize right now that the photos are not my best as the restaurant is quite dark – great for atmosphere, not so good for photos!
The food at George is simply outstanding. I love the way the menu is structured with First, Second and Third courses so you can try a few dishes without over-eating. Rather than listing all of the various dishes our table of 4 enjoyed (and there were a lot of them) – I will hit on a few of the highlights (although everything was excellent).
The Squab Breast, White Lasagna with Candied Garlic was incredible. All the flavours and textures played off each other beautifully. Also loved the Yellow Fin Tuna, Golden Beet Salad with Radish from the Seconds offerings. Tender and succulent tuna with crisp and fresh beets and radish were the prefect combination. From the Thirds, the Veal Tenderloin, Zucchini Flower Tempura with Goat Cheese was a huge hit and I absolutely loved the Pacific Halibut, Lobster Sofrito with Smoked Apricot. Perfect balance between the seasoning and the sweet apricot. These dishes really elevate food to a heavenly level. And the wine list is comprehensive and well thought out too.
One thing I really have to mention is the incredible customer service at George. While the restaurant is fairly large and was packed on this night, the attention our table received was perhaps the best I have ever received. Our water and wine glasses were never empty, during every course our server checked in on us, when I rose to use the restroom, someone appeared immediately to escort me there – and the list goes on. Too many restaurants (even high-end ones) make excuses for poor service because “we are really busy tonight” or “we are short staffed”. George clearly puts a priority on having a full complement of staff to provide such a high level of customer service – and I for one really appreciate that. Makes you feel like your business is important to them and it creates a very memorable dining experience. We were there for the better part of 3 hours and it had nothing to do with waiting around for service and had everything to do with having such a great time.
Here’s another example of how George goes above and beyond with their customer service. Our server may have overheard or noticed our friend opening a belated birthday gift we had brought for her that night. So at the end of our meal, they brought her a nice plate of pastries with Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the plate compliments of the house. What a nice touch! Both being aware of what was going on at our table and providing some delicious treats to end our meal. George has customer service down to a science. HIGHLY recommended. For now, back to the cage.