Friday, August 2, 2013

Joso's, Toronto, A Frequent Favourite and One of North Americ's Best Seafood Restaurants

For me, Joso's is easily one of my favourite restos for fish and shellfish in North America! This is where I come for truly fresh fish, a freshness that I can depend on in a city not on the coast. Joso's does not get enough attention in the Toronto region , except often wrongly, for the flagrant exposure of the nude, voluptuous, female and male torsos. 

Few restos in North America prepare fresh fish and shellfish as well. If this resto was located in New York, it would be praised world wide and often featured in world media. Torontonians and the Toronto media, in my opinion, often take local true success stories for granted. Torontonians, often fail to recognize a truly successful venture that is successful on a world scale. They will talk about how great a resto is in Paris or Venice, but, if it is in Toronto, it barely is worth mentioning in that context. 

For many of the dishes this evening, if I closed my eyes, I could be in a good local resto, on the island of Lopud, on the Croatian sea shore. I have concluded, based on my well experienced travels around the world, that virtually no restaurant prepares sliced octopus as well, so that it is so tasty and the consistency so tender.

Joso salad, the signature salad, I enjoy EVERY time I eat here. So simple and yet so satisfying, with chick peas, kidney beans, spring onions, romaine lettuce and radicchio with an eminently simple but highly complementary vinaigrette dressing.

Smoked Ontario rainbow trout dressed with olive oil, capers, green onions and olives. Leo Spralja, the owner, wanted me to try this. Pretty tasty, the way he presented it.

Calimari and shrimp kornati, lightly floured and fried in canola oil, crispy and greaseless, a frequent starter for me. I also often enjoy the delectable, perfectly cooked sliced octopus schiavona (steamed and dressed with olive oil, capers, garlic and olives) (but not this time).

Spaghettini Leonardo with perfectly cooked diced octopus and shrimp, combined with capers, a touch of lemon, garlic, parsley and white wine, all tossed with perfectly cooked noodles. This is one of the reasons I have kept coming back to Joso's for over 30 years!

Fish is typically served whole, head on, bones in. Here, the dover sole (I usually enjoy the scorpian fish, if it is available) in it's entirety, with it's roe, simply grilled over an open flame, with a touch of lemon, garlic and olive oil and cooked to pleasing firmness. I usually request my fish slightly underdone, but I shared this fish and was delighted as usual.

For dessert, I often enjoy the palacinke, soft, paper thin crepe-like pancakes rolled around apricot jam and dusted with powdered sugar. A very satisfying way to finish (no photo).

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