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“When you've had enough of Downtown TO...and are looking for great food in a fun neighborhood...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Boland's Open Kitchen

Boland's Open Kitchen
575 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4164822424
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Ranked #277 of 6,550 Restaurants in Toronto
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Steakhouse, Seafood, Sandwiches, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Christopher Boland brings an impressive pedigree spanning more than three decades and including ownership in Telfers , Trappers, The Tasting Rooms and now Boland's Open Kitchen.On any given evening Christopher will be seen out front meeting each and every guest, as well as joining the kitchen staff in the centrally-located kitchen - the heart of the restaurant.A recent review noted that "eating at Boland's is like being invited to Christopher Boland's home for dinner", which is just what Christopher is striving for.Manager Ricardo welcomes you with his signature smile and old world attention to service and detail.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“When you've had enough of Downtown TO...and are looking for great food in a fun neighborhood...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

Boland's Open Kitchen is located on a fun commercial strip of Mt. Pleasant road in Toronto, about a 15 minute cab ride from the downtown King and Yonge area of the city.

We have tired of the 'over the top' TO 'big boy' restaurants in the Financial District and so decided to try some neighborhood places. One we found was Boland's Open Kitchen and, boy, did we find a change!

Run by owner/chef/greeter/busboy Chris Boland and his family, the restaurant lives up to its name. No matter where you are seated, you pretty much have a front row seat to Chris's kitchen and all that goes on there...which is a lot.

The food was worth the trip, too. Every bit as good as most we have had downtown, the place seems to be particularly good at the inventive seafood it is offering...I had a blue crab soufflé along with fresh halibut which were excellent; while my wife had the salmon special of the evening which was also very fresh and well prepared.

It also didn't hurt that Boland's has a 1/2 off sale on all wines, I believe every night, for remainder of the summer!

Anyway, if you are stuck in 'condoland' down by the Toronto lakeshore, and maybe tired of the glitz of the downtown TO places ...or perhaps the "buzziness" of West Queen, give Boland's a try. Very likely you will leave a happy customer.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Owner at Boland's Open Kitchen, responded to this review, September 3, 2014
Hello Thomas. Thanks for taking the time to leave us a wonderfully detailed review! We appreciate all of your support and recognition. We look forward to having you join us again soon for another delicious evening here at Boland's! Have a great day!! Best, Chris Boland (Owner)
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27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    9
    6
    0
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great find...finally”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

Knew about this place for years but never went. Now I wish i had tried it out years ago. I guess you would classify it as a "neighbourhood" bistro. Not too big. Cosy. Nice atmosphere. It was a busy Saturday night but busy in a good, convivial way as opposed to a stressful, bad service kind of way. And the food was great. My short ribs were everything they should be and my wife's fish was among the best she's ever had. The couple we went with went back three days later to take advantage of the Tuesday half price wine. I'll go back soon as well.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Owner at Boland's Open Kitchen, responded to this review, May 12, 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us, Phil. We’re so glad to hear you gave us a chance. We love to hear our customers favorites and we are so pleased to know you enjoyed the short ribs and fish. We’d love to serve you again soon! Best, Chris Boland (Owner)
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Special birthday day! Special date with my husband!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We loved the food, the service was good and the place is very cozy and busy! We will go back for brunch with the kids today (so much we liked it)... it will be our fave date spot from now on. Wine is a bit tooo expensive! Caipirinha was the same as in Brazil :)

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Owner at Boland's Open Kitchen, responded to this review, May 12, 2014
We are happy that you recently joined us, Ana! We will give your great feedback to our kitchen and service staff. We’re thrilled to be your new favorite date spot. See you soon! Best, Chris Boland (Owner)
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Brunch at Bolands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

Sunday Brunch is one of our favourite outings and we are always looking for somewhere new and were happy to find out that one of our favourite local spots is now open for brunch. Boland's has a family friendly brunch with lots of choice for everyone. We went as a family with ages ranging from grandma in her 70's to grandchildren starting at 6. loved the French toast and the option of various sides. The croissants are wonderful and the children's menu while small is all good.

The fish options for my mom who is health conscious was a nice change from the heavy brunches we often see but they also had the traditional favourites for my husband.

Look forward to out next visit and a nice addition to the neighborhood

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Owner at Boland's Open Kitchen, responded to this review, May 12, 2014
Thank you for the kind words! We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed our brunch menu choices. We hope you begin to regularly join us on Sundays. Best, Chris Boland (Owner)
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Toronto
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Limited Selection, Most Sold Out”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

I dined at Bolands given the good reviews and it's proximity to my home. I was hopeful that I would be pleased with the food and service so I could make it one of my regular spots. Unfortunately I was disappointed in a number of ways.

Entering the restaurant we were greater promptly and courteously. Out coats were grabbed and whisked away. We were seated at a table at the corner of a long banquet which was appreciated so that my date and I could sit next to each other and be intimate. There were soft cushions available to place behind your back. The atmosphere was comfortable and well appointed in a "Restaurant Makeover" kinda way but fine for a romantic dinner or a larger gathering.

The waiter, while charming, couldn't stop talking about his previous customers and adventures. It was obtrusive while my date and I were trying to enjoy our own company. To make matters worse, he spoke softly and with a heavy spanish accent which made it hard to understand. His attempts to be entertaining were just irritating.

The owner of the restaurant was dressed in a lumberjack shirt and beige kakis. He frown and scowled through the night and was visibly drinking wine throughout the evening. When he came over to our table I asked for recommendation which he failed to provide. I would expect the owner would tell me what his speciality was or what he felt was the freshest ingredients. For the record when you ask for a recommendation and the server says "everything" I aways assume that means everything is mediocre and nothing stands out.

I ordered the crab soufflé appetizer which was sensational. My date ordered the liver on a bed of cubed bacon. Far too heavy and far too large for an appetizer. The liver was fine, acceptable but not great.

The mains on the menu consisted of 7 selections and 2 specials of which 4 SELECTIONS WERE SOLD OUT. I would like to point out that we had a 7 PM reservation and it was unthinkable to have such a poor selection of food on a Saturday night. Basically you could chose from a grilled hunk of meat or a grilled hunk of fish. To make matters worse, one of the mains, a phyllo wrapped red grouper was explained to us in great detail by our server prior to being told it was sold out once we ordered it.

I was offered a quail dish that wasn't on the menu and my date chose halibut. The quail was done well but I was forced to use my fingers to eat it on a date, My plate was packed with sauces and vegetables and corn and other things which made the whole dish heavy and strange. On my last bite I got something burn and distasteful to finish my meal. My dates dish was simple and well cooked but dull and uninspired. She did not finish it.

We were offered a nightcap as an apology for the lack of selection but did not take them up on there offer as were were very disappointed and just wanted to leave at that point.

The bill came and we felt a bit cheated. It was not cheap and we ordered the least expensive wine on the menu.

Overall I was disappointed. White there seems to be potential here the lack of selection and overbearing staffing made us uncomfortable and unhappy. I will not be returning as there are far better selection in this area.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris B, Owner at Boland's Open Kitchen, responded to this review, September 3, 2014
Hi Jason. We are disappointed to see that did not enjoy your visit here at our restaurant. We hope that in the future you will give us the opportunity to impress you, as we should have the first time. We are dedicated to providing excellent, attentive, and friendly customer service but never in an overbearing form. Here at Boland's we strongly encourage the quiet intimate evening out to enjoy your partners company. We look forward to hopefully seeing you soon! Have a great day!!
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