Restaurant: Eastside Social
Location: 1008 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M4M 1K1
Price Range: $$
Initially Tien (Acornerkitchen) and I wanted to visit another restaurant for dinner but it was closed down, which I thought was strange because it had so many good Yelp reviews!! We decided to go to Eastside Social instead since we were around the area anyways.
To be honest, I never really visited Queen Street East before because the area doesn’t seem as hip or as nicely developed as Queen Street West (I’m sorry lol). However Tien told me that a lot of famous restaurants actually originated from Queen Street East before moving to other parts of the city! After some Yelping around, I was also surprised to see so many highly rated restaurants in this area so Queen Street East will be on my radar now ;).
Upon entering Eastside Social, we were quite confused because there was no bartender or server at the front, and the restaurant was practically empty. Only when we walked to the other side of the restaurant, a server saw us and promptly we were seated at the patio.
I must mention the restaurant was spacious with the space divided into two separated areas – a bar and dining room. The decor emulated a Maritime theme and the dining room was bright enough for dinner, but soft and low enough for comfort.
This was my first time having dark molasses bread and to be honest… I’m not so sure if I like it. The bread was significantly denser and I’m usually not a fan of those, and I found the taste to be bitter yet sweet at the same time?
Prior to ordering the grilled octopus, the server warned me that this dish would be quite garlicky, and he was completely right! The octopus was tender and charred just right to bring out the flavors. With that said, the dish was too salty and heavy because of that puddle of olive oil. I love garlic and I thought this was a bit too much for me as well, and it was incredibly spicy because of the red chilies! I honestly think a salad on the side would’ve been better to balance out the heaviness of the dish.
This was perhaps the best of the evening. The salmon was buttery light and fresh, I liked how the soy & lime vinaigrette wasn’t too overpowering and complimented the fish perfectly. With that said, the dish was overly salted as well…
Overall our waiter was friendly, efficient and professional. However given all the great things people have been raving about Eastside Social, I’m not sure if it’s just a hype or not. The restaurant was empty at 6PM on a Sunday night while the other (Smoke + Bones) were packed. Don’t get me wrong, Eastside Social know their seafood and I can tell they were really fresh from the dishes I had, sadly they were too heavy handed with the salt.