Monday, February 18, 2008

Lee Restaurant in Toronto

This Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Lee Restaurant in Toronto. If you don't know much about Lee, it's owned by chef Susur Lee, a renowned and famous chef. (He's been on numerous TV shows, including Iron Chef America, and Opening Soon. In fact, the episode of Opening Soon was about Lee Restaurant!)

Lee is right beside his other restaurant (aptly named Susur) on King Street in downtown Toronto. The menu at Lee is all about tapas, and the atmosphere is hip and funky. We had reservations right when they opened at 5:30, and by 6:30 the restaurant was jam packed. Don't expect much privacy as the tables are fairly close together.

My wife and I had a wonderful dinner. The server knew all about Celiac disease and let me know which items on the menu I could and couldn't order. She even knew which items contained soya sauce, which of course most of the time has wheat.

I'd say about 1/3 to 1/2 of the items were naturally gluten-free. (You can check out an example of the menu yourself here:, though it does change.)

The food was outstanding. Some of the best tapas I've ever had, in fact.

I ordered the Coconut with lime, chili and shrimp soup, and my wife and I shared a beet salad with blue cheese dish, a baked polenta with ricotta cheese dish (almost like lasagna), the 4 meat satay, and jerk chicken. All of the items were naturally gluten free except on the of the 3 sauces that came with the meat satays, which I avoided. It was a ton of food, and we were very stuffed.

Unfortunately we were so stuffed that we had to pass on dessert, which looked amazing too. My guess was that they had 3 items on the menu that were gluten-free, including creme brulee. (though I didn't ask any more details at that point)

We both ordered drinks ($13 for a martini - a little steep, but a very good martini!) and the bill came to just over $100. This floored me. For the amount of food and drink we got, the quality, and service, the price was a steal really. As a Celiac, I had full confidence in the server's suggestions and knowledge about gluten-free, as they apparently have Celiacs in their restaurant frequently.

So if you haven't tried Lee and you're in Toronto - go for it!

(Ever been to Susur? How is it? I imagine it's just incredible.)

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