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Patio brunching on trendy comfort food

June 16, 2014
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Patios and brunch are two favourite things of Torontonians. Combine these two together and you’ve got the perfect summer eating experience. There’s no better way to enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch than grazing outside on an intimate restaurant’s patio. While Toronto in inundated with patios, selecting one where the food is also superb may not always be easy. 

If you like a central downtown spot, you have to try Smith, located at Church and Wellesley.  There’s something magical about this cozy patio that has an intimate feel and doesn’t look onto the street.  The atmosphere is warm and nostalgic both inside the restaurant and on the patio. The amazing food and ambience keep the customers coming back.  The food doesn’t try too hard like other bistros, instead they prepare what you know and recognize, update it and make it superb. 

Begin your brunch with one of their delicious starters, such as freshly baked scones, house donuts or coffee cake.  I can’t resist the Huevos Rancheros on a tortilla with poached eggs, topped with black beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream.  A meal so filling that I can barely eat dinner!

Here’s my light take on a Huevo’s dish:

Huevos Rancheros
Makes 4 servings.

1 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1⁄3 cup diced green bell pepper
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp minced jalapeno peppers with seeds
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack or aged cheddar cheese (1. oz/45 g)
1⁄3 cup medium-hot tomato salsa
4 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp medium salsa

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a skillet sprayed with vegetable spray, add the oil and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the green peppers, garlic, jalapeños and cumin. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the black beans.
3. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet lined with foil. Divide the vegetable mixture overtop along with the cheese and tomato salsa. Bake for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, crack the eggs gently into a large skillet sprayed with vegetable spray. On medium-low heat, cook the eggs sunny-side up for about 5 minutes, just until yolks are still slightly loose. Place the eggs on the tortillas and garnish with cilantro and salsa. Serve immediately.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Make ahead: Cook the vegetables up to a day in advance. Cook the remaining dish just before serving.

Nutritional Information per Serving
Calories 248
Carbohydrates 28 g
Fibre 3 g
Protein 14 g
Total fat 8.8 g
Saturated fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 151 mg
Sodium 265 mg

Source: The Best of Rose Reisman (Whitecap Books) By Rose Reisman
Photo: Mike McColl, from The Best of Rose Reisman (Whitecap Books)

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