Saturday, March 22, 2008

23. Ukraine: Amber European Restaurant

Amber European Restaurant
2372 Bloor Street West
(just east of Jane St)
416 763 6164

It's easy to walk along the north side of Bloor Street and pass by Amber European Restaurant with its narrow storefront. I have memories of dining there with my older sister when we were teenagers and thought ourselves adventurous and sophisticated for sampling Ukrainian cuisine. I wonder if the business is owned by the same family today.
We were warmly greeted by the serving staff and cheerfully elegant interior. It was quiet when we got there at noon on Saturday but it quickly filled to capacity. Ice water with lemon and rye bread and butter are brought to our table promptly.We order: borsch (cabbage and beet soup) $4.75; chicken soup with meat dumplings, $4.75; potato pancakes, that come with sour cream and applesauce on the side, $7.90; chef salad, $4.95; potato and cheddar pirogies, $10.80; cheese blintzes (crepes filled with cottage cheese and applesauce), $12.00; coffee, herbal tea and soft drinks $2.20 each. The house specialty, Amber schnitzel [pictured here], is a huge portion and comes with a full-sized salad for $20.95. Total bill including tip was just over $100 for six generous lunches.
Although the restaurant is bright and spotlessly clean, there is nothing about the decor that evokes the feel of traditional Eastern Europe.

Ambiance (3)
Service (3)
Food Presentation (3)
Food Quality (3)
Value for Money (3)

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