Five Doors North
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- Five Doors North is my neighbourhood spot. I have visited it on several occasions, and each time I leave, I debate whether sharing this place with the world is worth having to wait for a table during an already busy dinner rush. My conscience prevails, as 5 Doors North is too great of a restaurant not to review, and share with my fellow TOFoodReviews readers.
A spur of the moment, “Thursday night out” decision, led Andy and I to Five Doors North, knowing we would get a great meal. We were seated in the front area of the dining room, perfect for people watching along the Eglinton-Davisville and Yonge street corridor. The furnishings are worn, kitschy, and mismatched, but only add to the warmth and charm of the restaurant. The restaurant menu is hand-written and photocopied, followed by an evolving list of specials on the chalkboard, which are carefully selected, and always guaranteed to be great.
The wine list is small and filled with some robust reds. I ordered the Pinot Noir, which I have to say, just didn’t do it for me, it was a bit thin and wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. Andy’s Malbec was fabulous, so we both ordered another glass for the second round. Wines by the glass are anywhere from $7 to $11, and bottles in the $30-$50 range. Overall, wines are priced fairly well, but I would love to see a little more variety to match the diverse food menu.
The appetizer list is long, and everything sounds incredible. They have smoked salmon, Prosciutto, mussels, a delicious polenta dish, on top of the list of daily specials, which included cauliflower soup, avocado bruschetta, and crab cakes. We went with the soup, beef Carpaccio with Pecorino cheese & roasted onion, and the beet salad. First out was the roasted beet salad with scallion aioli & lotus chips, which was wonderful, the goat cheese soft and warm, and the beets sweet and crunchy. The roasted cauliflower soup was smoky and creamy, but not too heavy; a perfect start to the meal, and the beef Carpaccio was some of the best, the cheese and onion offsetting the beef perfectly.
For our mains, I ordered the gnocchi Gorgonzola special and Andy the braised brisket ravioli. The meals were incredible. The gnocchi was awesome, fresh and soft, but the real winner was the Gorgonzola cream sauce. So creamy, it certainly blew my cheese calorie allotment for the week, but so worth it. Garnished with scallions and fresh pepper, the meal needed nothing more to bring out the strong flavours in the Gorgonzola.
The braised brisket ravioli was probably one of the more interesting meals we have ever had. I was unsure what to expect, but the beef was perfect, melt-in-your-mouth, wrapped in fresh pasta, with beef au jus and cream to make up the ravioli sauce. It would be worth phoning in advance to see if this was on the specials menu, as this dish just has to be tried.
The prices are right, entrées run from $14-$20, with appetizers in the $8-$12 range. The service is extremely friendly, with everyone pitching in to seat, serve and check-in. It’s a family run restaurant, and you can tell by the attitudes and the recommendations of the staff that they all love the food at Five Doors North as much as you will.
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