Best way to judge the food

If you want to be sure you get a fair opinion of a restaurant’s food, you need two things:  a really good appetite and an all-you-can-eat menu.

Done and done for this foursome, Jennifer Avveduto with husband Mike Cosentino and friends Deni and Angela Papetti.

On a recent Saturday they checked out Riz (pronounced Rice), a trendy little place at 1677 Bayview, just north of Fleming Cres., that offers pan-Asian fusion, including some gluten-free.

It was their waitress who suggested the “all-you-can-taste” menu offered the best value at $31 per person ($29 during the week).

Angela Papetti, Jennifer Avveduto, Mike Consentino and Deni Papetti.
Left to right: Angela Papetti, Jennifer Avveduto, Mike Consentino and Deni Papetti.
We give $100 to help pay for a meal for three Leasiders at any restaurant in our area, the M4G postal code, which includes Leaside, Bennington Heights and the Leaside Business Park (known also as the industrial area).

The only caveat was that everyone had to select that option. They’re glad they did.

The group dug in by ordering several appetizers including spring rolls, mango salad, dim sum, wonton soup and Asian chips served with a sweet and savoury peanut butter sauce.

They were all “de-lish” said Avveduto, who by that point had forgotten the Bayview location (there’s a sister Riz in North Toronto) didn’t serve sushi, her favourite dish.

Next the entrees. Shanghai noodles, pad thai, chicken fried rice, Korean ribs, crispy beef, crispy Tao chicken and spare ribs.

The portions were generous and the group was almost out of room but succumbed to another order of Korean ribs along with crispy halibut served with vegetables their waitress insisted they try. Again they were glad they did.

“Our dinner was served fresh, hot and all very tantalizing, especially the Korean ribs and crispy halibut,” said Avveduto. “We’ll definitely be coming back. Not sure what took us so long to go!”

The diners saved just enough room to squeeze in a dessert plate featuring huge scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of deep fried bananas with a drizzle of chocolate. It was the perfect dish to end the night, they said.

“Good friends combined with a good atmosphere, great service and a delicious menu are a must-have combination for those rare occasions when you can break away for a night out for dinner,” said Cosentino. “Riz delivered on all fronts.”