EATS: Stratosphere

Hello everyone! Most people associate great food with the downtown Toronto scene, but there are many fantastic places on the west side (WEST SIIIIIIIDE). I am an Etobicoke fiend – most of my life is there – work, friends, gym, yoga (and hopefully will be living there within the next couple of years.) Some time last year, my good friend Sarah (of Evymama – sidenote to all the new moms and moms to be – excellent maternity and nursing wear! Ships all across North America – support local!) and her partner introduced me to Chris and Eleni who are the owners of Stratosphere. A newer addition to the Kingsway area, Stratosphere is a winebar and gastrolounge which features elevated casual dining.NOTE: I was invited to review here recently but these first 2 photos were taken a few months back. I decided to check out their patio when I came to review despite the humidity being a bit high. It was actually lovely in there as the sun had already started to set and the patio was in the shade. I brought my trusty foodie plus one, Brandon with me and we started off with cocktails. I opted for the Pineapple Mojito which was citrusy and fresh while Brandon went for the Raspberry Gin and Tonic (both $8.)We started with the Pan Seared Calamari ($11) which is served with a hearty and delicious spicy marinara sauce. The sauce wasn’t really spicy but it was so good, we started dipping our bread in it too! The calamari itself was tender and beautifully cooked and definitely paired well with the marinara.Brandon ordered the Salmon Nicoise Salad ($14) which I must admit, I had wanted to order. This is the 2nd time where my guest has chosen what I wanted – darn! He was kind enough to let me try some though and WOW! The lemon mustard dressing is light and perfectly tossed (because dry salads are the worst!) and there’s so much protein and the heartiness with the potatoes, Brandon described this as the perfect “dude salad.” The salmon was a touch on the overdone side but it wasn’t dry so only a minor flaw. I will definitely be ordering this the next time I’m in! I decided to try the Blackened Mahi Mahi ($17) but asked for the cauliflower puree instead of the rice pilaf (because points!) This is definitely another great option as the mahi mahi is a fantastic light protein and it was perfectly seasoned. The puree however sealed the deal as it was so creamy, you really could forget it’s cauliflower. We ended our dinner with the Creme Brulee ($8) as Brandon had never enjoyed this wonderful dessert before. You really can’t go wrong with Creme Brulee, and it’s always so satisfying cracking the bruleed top.
I need to give an honourable mention to their 3-Cheese Mac n’ Cheese ($15) before I end this post. I ordered this the last time I was here in the winter and let me just preface this by saying I generally don’t order mac and cheese at restaurants – but I will if someone recommends it. Their mac and cheese game is RIDICULOUS and definitely my favourite cheat day dish that they have. A wonderful blend of applewood smoked cheddar, mozzarella, and grana padano – this is literally the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I would HIGHLY recommend it if you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food when you come here.Stratosphere is located at 2956 Bloor Street West in Etobicoke. You can find them online at http://www.stratosphereresto.com and also follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Stratosphere is also participating in Summerlicious this year! They are featuring a 3-course lunch for $18 and dinner for $28. Summerlicious runs until July 24th so I highly recommend you come here at least during this awesome event! Check out their Summerlicious menu here.

Thanks so much for stopping by and let me know what you ordered at Stratosphere, or where you are going during Summerlicious! Stay tuned for my Summerlicious recap post in a few weeks!

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