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“Delicious and great service”
Review of Marben Restaurant

Marben Restaurant
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Ranked #176 of 9,076 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $66
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown West
Cross street: Portland
Transit: Closest transit stops are King and Spadina and King and Portland by TTC on either the King or Spadina Streetcars. A late evening taxi stand is immediately east of Marben.
Description: Marben is a bustling, downtown Toronto restaurant, renowned for its warm hospitality and seasonally driven, Canadian cuisine. Marben is a gathering place, a local spot where friends and family come to catch up over good food, drinks and music. Marben is your home away from home.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

My husband and I were in search of a great burger and oysters on a recent visit to TO, and Marben fit the bill perfectly! We went for a late lunch during the week and it was a real treat!

With the #2 ranked burger (according to Toronto Life Magazine) and Top Chef Canada Winner Carl at the chef, we were quite excited. We started with an heirloom tomato, beet, olive tapanade and goat cheese salad that was fresh, vibrant and delicious.

Then we had 4 perfectly shucked oysters with a house made minionette...superb!

On to the burger and fries, Mmmmmmm, juicy, cooked perfectly and melt in your mouth. The home made brioche bun was perfect and it was interesting that they use rib meat for the burgers (moist and tasty). Honestly, I would have liked a little crunch on my burger, but overall it was still fantastic.

Pricing was on the reasonable-high side, about $50.00 per person for lunch, but it didn't bother us that much because everything was fresh, delicious and made with love. The service was excellent and they had a really nice beer selection.

I would definitely recommend checking it out.

1  Thank Loves_good_things
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 12, 2012

Selected this spot using a combination of Chowhoud "toronto's best restaurant thread" for 2012, Tripadvisor, and convenience of Opentable. It certainly lived up to it's great rating in a city with great restaurants. At our table (6 friends) we had the coq au vin, steak, burger, duck and grouper -- as well as the vegetable sides. All -- perhaps with the exception of the burger -- we're excellent and worth a return visit. The burger was fine -- just not as terrific as the rest.

The service was a bit slow -- focused on turnover and cash. The music was so loud we had to raise our voices to hear each other -- and continued to be turned up over the course of our meal. Someone must have asked them to turn it down because it suddenly was cut back allowing us to speak at normal volumes.

We'd all go back for sure

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1  Thank jfmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Marben is tucked away on Wellington, close to the Toronto entertainment district, yet in a little oasis of calm and quiet. The design is cool yet inviting, and it's deceptively spacious. So it scores well on curb appeal and comfort.

I've been to this restaurant a few times quite a while back, and a few things have changed menu-wise. I remember the appetizers were amazing, and now (we had four) they're not. They were all just OK. The guacamole with lobster sounded intriguing, but it was average guac with some pieces of lobster on top. Not well integrated or interesting. The cheese plate - two types that would likely appeal to those with a less adventurous cheese palate - was fine, but not memorable (although the nuts were well done), the fries certainly didn't wow us, and the oysters (Rodney's) were perfect, as his oysters always are, so have the oysters.

For the mains, there was one vegetarian option, which is typical (and understandable). The pastas (there was also a lobster ravioli) were OK, but not amazing, which was disappointing as the menu used to be consistently great - and you expect that with a compact menu everything should hit it out of the park. However, as I recalled from past experiences at Marben, the beef here is still exceptional. Perfectly done, and a nice amount. And the duck dish was also memorable. The sides, alas, did not live up to the rest of the plate - fine but not stellar.

The wine list is small, but has all the bases covered, so that's a plus. Desserts were also good (I was ultimately defeated by the chocolate's richness, but I wanted to finish).

The decor seems more inviting now, whatever they've done has warmed it up a bit (I recall it being a bit dark and austere with the cooly lit marble bar), and the staff were excellent. The service was fast and flawless, especially for a packed Friday night, and we had enough space to spread out, so all round, still a good place to go.

I just wish they'd add some of the delectable, meaty, complex, even intriguing, apps back to the menu, given it is what they do best, especially since so much of the competition has upped its game in recent years. Other than a slight app letdown, overall, it's a good choice, especially if you have the duck and the beef.

And if you leave it too late to get a reservation elsewhere, it's definitely worth trying Marben, as it's got a lot of space upstairs, the downstairs is also a fine room, and there's a large patio to boot. At $300 for four (with tip, including a bottle of wine & prosecco with dessert), it's a good value.

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1  Thank mmaddasever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

I went here on a date with my girlfriend. We were seated near the open kitchen which was interesting to watch. The decore is well done. The food was great as well as the wine selection. I would recommend for a couple or a small group. Get a reservation as it is a busy place

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1  Thank RMC2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We went to Marben because we had been told that they serve the best burger in Toronto. When we arrived, a very friendly waitress offered to speak to the chef and to create a taster type menu for everybody (we were a group of 7) to share. The food was delicious although some of it was a bit of an acquired taste. Every dish was announced from the seemlingly very knowledgeable staff. The sharing meant that everybody only had a 1/4 of the famous burger which was too little to judge for ourselves whether it is the best or not. It was definitely tasty. The only caveat is that the food and service comes with a big price tag but I would definitely go back albeit for a special occasion.

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1  Thank Edmond_Dantes99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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