BARBERIAN’S STEAK HOUSE / 7 Elm Street 416.597.0335
Let me start by saying: this is not a theme restaurant where people run around dressing like Conan The Barbarian. This is an old school restaurant from 1959 that is as classy, friendly and cozy as it was back in the day. Some of the waiters I’ve known for decades – and after countless meals I can’t remember one bad experience. That says a lot!
Barbarian’s Steakhouse would seem a strange choice as my favourite haunt to those who know I haven’t eaten meat or fowl since the nineties, but they have great fish dishes, appetizers and most of all, martinis and a ginormous wine list. The other thing I love is that they have private rooms upstairs (complete with a totally private outdoor patio) and you can rent the wine cellar for events as well. The wine cellar by the way, cost millions to make and houses millions of dollars in wine. Nice!
Why invest so much in wine? Well, despite the fact that this restaurant doesn’t alert the media every time there is a celebrity dining, I know for a fact some of Hollywood’s biggest stars frequent Barberian’s regularly. You can still see a famous politicain, rock star or a Baldwin at any given moment; and in the early sixties after Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got married in Montreal, they got on a plane (with Sir John Gielgud) and bee-lined to Barberian’s for steak. I love the Friday lunch special and can remember when $25 for fish and chips was pricey…but nowadays with the price of Halibut, and considering you get two big pieces along with a jumbo shrimp and fries…it’s the best bargain in town!
Oh yeah, and try the deserts!