Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Food for thought: Corner House

Corner House
Address: 134 Davenport Rd.
Neighbourhood: Upper Annex

Having a great meal at restaurants in Toronto - is not easy, but there are plentiful locations to appease the most high-nosed customer. During my tenure in Toronto, there is a striking commonality amongst fine dining experiences - the coffee isn't really good. Either it's been brewed in an urn since the start of service, OR it's overextracted to the point where my face puckers up and I stop after 2 sips. Unsure whether the first sip was me, but then confirmed like someone striking me in the head with a dodge ball.

Case in Point: Corner House.
Amazing French food, with care and excellent execution. From their apps, mains and even their desserts - quite lush.

Machine: Faema E16
Beans: Segafredo
Verdict: le sigh.
How can this change?
Proper training of baristas, and a great coffee program.
Amazingly crafted food, prepared with care should translate to how they finish off their meal - with excellence.
Is it really hard for the food industry to give a little bit more attention to this area. I'm quick to NOT order coffee after a meal, because 9 out of 10 times the coffee is so bad, I rather not spoil my fine dining experience with a bitter cup.
If restaurants are to serve coffee, please serve some better tasting, better prepared drinks. I'm really not asking for too much - but maybe a little more effort.

I can only name a handful of locations which I would get an after meal coffee...(more to come) but this shouldn't have to be a decision to deter patrons away from desserts and coffee.

Here's a push for better coffee programs/ and coffee preparation.
Hump day questions: Do you drink coffee after a great meal?


  1. Ughhhhhhhhhhh. I went to Corso Italia one night hoping to find some palatable espresso. Went to a few Italian restaurants and they were all major let downs. Stale grinds sitting around, improper tamping, porta filters left out in the cold, the whole experience was simply disappointing so now I just opt for tea instead of coffee/espresso at restaurants.
    I remember reading a reddit post about this not too long ago. I remember one restaurant owner explaning that rather than trying to train his staff into baristas or serving poor espresso he decided to nick the espresso machine in favour of French press. The server would bring the press to the customer's table, give them a brief run-down on how to use it and let them do the rest. It's quick, easy and the customers seemed to enjoy the interactive element to it. So far, I know of one place that does this in Toronto which even offers a choice in beans along with tasting notes.

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