TFT Travels: Montecito, Toronto

Legendary Hollywood director Ivan Reitman’s award winning resto-lounge in downtown Toronto lives up to the hype, serving Californian cuisine using the best Canadian produce.

Montecito, located off one of the busiest streets in Toronto, has a limited (around 10 options) but delicious menu at lunch. We started with Pimm’s Cups (as seen here) to get us in the mood – they were strong, infused with fresh fruit and refreshing.


One of the many things we munched on were the highly recommended ‘Montecito Potatoes’. Irregular shapes and sizes of deep fried potatoes crisp on the outside, soft on the inside dusted with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Any potato lover’s life is incomplete without tasting these – they can put any hand cut fry to shame.


We also ordered barbecued sausages, the most flavourful sausages I have eaten, considering sausages aren’t usually something I prefer. The Canadian grilled cheese in sourdough bread was good, and the beef burger had a beautifully done patty; the key to a mean burger. Definitely a carb fest, worth enjoying on a summer afternoon.

Let’s be honest, Montecito had very little for vegetarians. There was nothing on the menu except the side dishes, so the kitchen made me a grilled cheese sandwich. I pretty much sustained myself on the great atmosphere and good looking Canadians lounging around. Oh, and the Montecito Potatoes.


These were incredible – mashed potatoes made into balls and deep fried, then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. The grilled cheese was a tad boring for my taste, though the spicy mustard was delicious. I think a grilled cheese needs either superb cheese or a superb pairing with it, which this lacked. I did appreciate how they served really fresh, lightly dressed green salads aside all main dishes – balanced out all the potato eating, as it were.


The Pimm’s Cup made up for a lot. As a vegetarian, I would go back here only for drinks. It’s definitely a great place for a night out when you’re not looking to eat too much.

There are sandwiches and then there are sandwiches. This one was smoked salmon on rye bread with cream cheese and a soft boiled egg on top. The superior quality of each ingredient made this humble looking sandwich unlike anything else.


To counter my healthy choice of main, I dove into the sausages and bacon – great decision. The sausages were delicious and superbly flavoured, so much so that the table voted them the best of the trip. And of course Canadian bacon, there is nothing like Canadian bacon! The memory of my beer, this great sandwich and the ambience is all the fuel I need to go back to Montecito.

Montecito, 299 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Canada. Call 416-599-0299.