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Bestellen Restaurant

Posted by Ryan Spencer / Reviewed on March 21, 2012 / review policy

Bestellen Restaurant TorontoBestellen is former Executive Chef of the Mercatto Group, Rob Rossi's, new restaurant. Located at Rusholme and College West, there's been a considerable amount of buzz about Rossi's new venture, due mostly to his stint on the first season of Top Chef Canada, on which he was a finalist. With a focus on beef, Bestellen boasts a playful menu that showcases updated takes on classic fare. This, in other words, is not your father's steakhouse.

Bestellen RestuarantThere's a fresco illustrating cuts of beef cover the main dining room wall. It's a bit Francis Bacon, a bit Carnival Barker, which is in tune with the carne-centric menu. Exposed harvest wood ceilings and amber-hued Edison lights lend a warm inviting feel to the spacious back dining room. The only contaminant to the subdued atmosphere would be the fluorescent lighting in the kitchen, which is a bit bright and jarring as it spills into the dining area.

Bestellen RestaurantThe Old Money ($11), a Bourbon based cocktail, includes aperol and a surprise in the form of walnut liquour. At first taste, it was reminiscent of a Manhattan but quickly finished on a nutty nougat note. Again, Rossi's humour shines with a six pack of PBR tall boys ($30) offered on the menu. Highlights on tap are the Hopf Weiss ($5.5) and Flying Monkeys ($5.5). There's also pretty much the top 40 for both bourbon and whiskey, but nothing beyond the LCBO.

Bestellen RestaurantDevils on Horseback ($6), which is sorely quarantined to Christmas parties, is a favorite of mine. Rossi's updated devils omitted the stilton for dates macerated in brandy. The bacon still provided a savoury element to balance the sweet caramelized center.

The steak tartare ($13, see top photo) with an Espelette Aioli, olives and fried quail's egg was unlike most I've had. Refreshing and light with an herb mixture, we devoured it quickly with our brioche crostini. The one criticism that I'd make is that the herbs were a touch too fresh (yes, possible) and could have used a blanch to cut the chlorophyl note.

Salty, sweet, acidic and savoury, the Chorizo Stuffed Squid ($12) was my favorite of the three starters — a near perfect dish. Served over a plate of white beans, smoked tomatoes and a garnish of cilantro; every ingredient worked in harmony to create a sustained flavour. The only folly was that the squid was either cooked too much or not enough so it was a bit rubbery.

Bestellen RestaurantThe Bestellen Burger ($18) comes with a steep price price tag, but with the addition of house made Brioche and Raclette, it may warrant the mark up. Crisp and buttery, the brioche bun made the burger a knockout. A definite crowd pleaser that's been dressed up in all the right ways. Pair it with a nice Bordeaux if you're drinking wine - yeah, it's that fancy!

Bestellen RestaurantThe signature dish is a Wellington County Prime Beef, aged and cut in house. The 10oz Tenderloin ($29) came with the choice of one side. I decided on the tried but true combo of steak frites. A friend went with brussel sprouts and pork belly, which I later regretted not ordering after stealing a fork full (don't let this happen to you). The steak was cooked to perfection, sous vide, which magically turned this loin into one of the best I've ever had — and this without a crust, given that it was never grilled or torched after it's bath.

Alas no dessert this time. We were full and loaded.

One of the standouts about Bestellen is Rossi himself, laughing and joking with the prep line. That's not a sight you'd usually find at a recently opened restaurant. It's clear that he's having a blast with Bestellen from soup to nuts.

Bestellen Restaurant



fork / March 21, 2012 at 09:44 am
can't wait to try it

he should've won top chef instead of that clown who cheated in the final
dunit replying to a comment from fork / March 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm
That clown is one of Canada's best chefs with two stellar restaurants in Vancouver. Having enjoyed both I can tell you Dale's talent level is above Rob's (no disrespect intended).
Dee ID / March 21, 2012 at 02:53 pm
Blah blah blah. Both of you...shuttup. Fork...ok, you like this guy. dunit...humblebrag!?
Andrew replying to a comment from Dee ID / March 21, 2012 at 04:12 pm
Nailed 'em.
Mushys Pappy / March 21, 2012 at 05:00 pm
I wish they had not added such a great quantity of salt on top of the steak. Totally unnecessary.
p / March 21, 2012 at 05:14 pm
Nitpick: There's no such street as College West.
oph / March 21, 2012 at 05:45 pm
Not searing the steak after the sous-vide is pretty weird.
fork replying to a comment from dunit / March 21, 2012 at 08:56 pm
I didn't say he wasn't a great chef.

I said he was a cheating clown in the final and shouldn't have won the show.

The end.
Chris / March 22, 2012 at 12:11 am
A great place to hang out with friends and get a great meal without it being to fussy. I had the tenderloin and it was seared on the outside after it was sous vide (clearly they forgot to mention that in the article). I thought it was seasoned perfectly, but it's all personal preference. I will be back for sure!
Grammar / March 22, 2012 at 12:29 am
"after it's bath." // after it is bath? :-/ really?
j-mitts / March 22, 2012 at 10:24 am
went here last night. i had the tenderloin, my girlfriend had the trout, and both were out of this world good. the steak was tender and just melted in you mouth, and the mushrooms that came with it were just as amazing. on top of that, the decore was comfortable and inviting, and the service was fantastic. i would absolutely go here again.

and yes...rob should have won top chef.
Dee ID replying to a comment from Andrew / March 22, 2012 at 11:13 am
Think so? Thanks!
JR / March 22, 2012 at 11:38 am
This needs a basic proofread. There are bunch of sentences (the very first sentence is a prime example) that aren't very clear because of attempted flourishes gone wrong.
jeff / October 30, 2012 at 09:12 pm
this is not a steakhouse
Duane Anderson / November 17, 2012 at 12:13 am
I need to chime in hear regarding Chef Rossi. I had the privilege as sous chef to Chef Rossi in the first season episode 5 at George Brown College. I thin k it was a nightmare for the contestants and the selected students who were on that episode. We were afraid of messing up and hurting the contestants chances and the contestants didn't know what to think of us. LOL. Chef Rossi was a true professional. Calm and articulate in his vision, plan and execution. I told Chef Higgins to hire him for the school for he is a great mentor. His menu items that he created for that evening were as far as I'm concerned the top appetizers I have ever seen produced with an exquisiteness in taste and texture. I was particularly involved with the prep and cooking of the scallop and crab cakes. The recipe was very simple with few ingredients but a very intense process in method. Chef always was aware and concerned for Food Safety and HACCP protocols. Needless to say, the two apps were fantastic. Everyone enjoyed them.
I truly admire Chef Rossi as he is a 'Chef' in every sense of the word and his love of creating memories through food.
Duane Anderson, NM
Rob / November 23, 2012 at 04:16 pm
Hey Duane, feel like sharing the recipe for those scallop and crab cakes? I need a new one?
Sam / March 8, 2013 at 08:37 am
I went to Bestellen a few weeks ago and ordered the steak tartare because the picture you have posted was so inviting and delectable looking. Well, they served me five dollops of tartare. They copied Black Hoof, they serve their horse tartare that way. Anyhow, the lesson to Bestellen is your customers know when you are cheaping out. And really, skirt steak for $25? Bestellen is overpriced and way overhyped! Never going back to this place.
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Minda / May 29, 2013 at 08:08 pm
I visit Bestellen last week to try there 32oz Steak, after reading this review and what a mistake that was. It was 32oz Prime rib with the bone and the server said that the bone was about 6oz and we were ok with that but there was so much fat that it account for at least 16oz basically all we end up getting was about 10oz and this cost $98, what a rip off.
tigerlily / May 31, 2013 at 03:35 pm
That picture of the tartare must be old or stolen from another restaurant because that is not how they serve it. They serve six little looney sized dollops. This restaurant is way overrated!!! Will never return and highly recommend Union for steak tartare.
MC / May 11, 2014 at 02:16 pm
Friday night I visited Bestellen with three friends. If you have to be there, I'd recommend sticking to the steaks and carcuterie. I made the mistake of ordering pasta, the Ricotta Cavatelli for $18, and it was really, really disappointing. The dish was overly wet and soggy with oil, and its dish presentation was sloppy.

The staff was friendly albeit a little overwhelmed, bringing our drinks really late, or then bringing us two orders of the same drink by mistake. The ambiance a loud. My friends and I found ourselves yelling at each other throughout the meal.

I won't be returning to Bestellen. For anyone wandering around College and Ossington, I'd recommend Bar Isabel over Bestellen any day.
Jamie Kennedy / July 20, 2014 at 01:19 pm
Despite the criticism Bestellen has on this board, I must say this has quickly become one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto.

First of all, the Bestellen burger should compete for the top burger in Toronto. It's actually quite disappointing that they are not front-runner in this category. Ground in-house meat, cooked to perfection (choose your temperature) - the soft, perfectly warmed brioche bun, brushed with butter, the caramelized onions, house-made ketchup? Yes please.

Their selection of oysters is always excellent ($1 Wednesdays? How can you go wrong?) The charcuterie plate is a staple. Excellent quality cured meats (duck, wild boar, etc.), grilled crostino, house-made pickles, whole-seed mustard - the combination (and quantity) for two has never once let me down. Possibly the best valued antipasto on College Street.

Their wine selections are modest, well-priced and will work for an avid wine drinker but their mixed drinks are exceptional. The open concept kitchen does add a wonderful ambiance to the room. While the room can be loud at times, I hesitate to fault a particular establishment for that - it's no louder than anywhere else.

Chalk it up to an appreciation for good food and good value, this place is a welcome addition to the Toronto restaurant scene. Thanks Ryan and Rob!
dlite / November 30, 2014 at 06:21 pm
i guess since the name means 'meat order' i should order meat when i'm there :)

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