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Fred's Not Here

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on February 10, 2006 / review policy

feb0906_Fred01.jpgAfter a few year's of Winterlicious attendance, there have been good meals and not-so-good meals, but one thing always remains the same... I make a reservation at Fred's Not Here EVERY time.

Fred's serves up the best $25 dinner value around, hands down, with a 3-course menu that offers 8 appetizer choices, a whopping 9 entree picks and 3 desserts to round off the meal.

The only tough thing about the experience is choosing which to have! To solve that problem, I brought along 5 other friends who like to share...

Seated, we make the usual mistake of half-filling up on bread. But it's so easy with the choice of french baguette, whole grain loaf and spicy cornbread.

feb0906_Fred03.jpgFirst up, appetizers. While a couple folks ordered lovely fresh salads, the appetizer menu contains one of the key reasons I choose to come for the dinner menu instead of lunch: Baked Lobster & Crab Soup.

The soup is one of those wonderfully balanced seafood soups that just enough sea and just enough food -- if you know what i mean. Not 'fishy' at all. It is served in a ceramic pot and topped with baked puff pastry that grows into a croissant-esque lid in the oven. SO damn good.

A variety of entrees were ordered including "Grilled Jumbo Gulf Shrimp & Atlantic Salmon Filet w/ Arborio Rice Cooked in Aromatic Shrimp Stock, White Wine, Baby Spinach Grana Padano & Butter" (the whole descrip was worth cut & pasting), Grilled Veal T-Bone w/ Celeriac Potato Mash, Pan Roasted Pistachio Crusted Venison Scaloppini "Mushroom Marsala", and Grilled "Alberta" New York Strip Steak w/ Yukon Gold Frites & Roquefort Butter.

feb0906_Fred02.jpgAll were fantastic. Notables were the the tender jumbo shrimp that surely lived up to its name, being the biggest shrimp I'd ever seen in my life, and the venison, which was a surprisingly tender and delicious dish with the pistachio and mushroom infused sauce.

Dessert saw the boys ordering warm cranberry bread pudding (more like bread loaf) with coconut ice cream and white chocolate while the girls split between love of chocolate and craving for ice cream -- mousse or a fruit sorbet trio. feb0906_Fred04.jpg

The mousse, I'm told, was a bit like eating nutella right out of the jar -- which to me would seem weighty, but no one left even a smudge on their glass. The fuit sorbet was probably the best way to end the meal with a nice freshy mix of lemon, raspberry and mango flavours.

Fred's Not Here - 321 King Street West, (416) 971-9155



Joe X / October 4, 2007 at 12:11 pm
I've been to Fred's a few times and have thoroughly enjoyed the food everytime (their bread pudding is awesome!).
Suzi / July 28, 2010 at 07:02 pm
I went to Fred's during Summerlicious and it was a total tourist trap!!! The lobster and crab soup was thin, flavourless and had no sign of lobster or crab. The puff pastry on top was raw and chewy! The steak, which was bland and tough, tasted just like the steaks they used to serve in my college dorn cafeteria and was served with frozen peas and bland french fries. The tartufo dessert, which you can pick up at your local Costo, had freezer burn. Over-priced, poor-quality, wouldn't ever go back.
Tara / November 11, 2010 at 11:07 am
The Red Tomato is located just downstairs from Fred's not here and offers a lot of the same delicious menu items, BUT has TERRIBLE service! Never in my life have I experienced Such BITCHY sarcasm and attitude.

It's really a shame because the food was good but it left such a bad taste in my mouth because of the BITCH that served my party of 7. I will never come back to this place or recommend that anyone support such horrible service.
jayko / December 29, 2010 at 06:19 pm
I went to the Red Tomato last night, and must say, this place is going down hill. The menu used to be interesting and the food flavourful. Neither is true today, as many outdated and uninspired items on the menu. To make things worse, I am not so sure anyone working there would even care if you told them. I used to love taking people to the Red Tomato and it was truly a one of a kind experience. This time was a huge disappointment, the service was unfriendly on top of the poor quality food and the overall value would be low. Take some pride why don't you!
Gilbert / May 7, 2011 at 05:54 pm
This place is disgusting....very dirty washroom, server smelled like he was drunk. Food smelled sour. I used to dine here a few years ago, but recently noticed that I wouldn't even let my dog eat the food here.
M L / August 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm
I appreciate that that this review is probably futile, as this place is a tourist trap that exists solely on the back of a volume of first (and only) time visits, but my experience at Fred’s Not There was just so ridiculously tragic this evening, I need to put it out there and off my chest. I visited as part of a larger reservation, which in anticipation of I decided to message several days ahead regarding my dietary restrictions — a message that Fred’s decided to ignore.

Come today, I figured a call would be necessary to sort our whether I should be planning to eat ahead. Entirely missing the point, the man on the other end of the phone informed me that I should just ask the waiter on arrival. After some more back and forth, it was determined that the kitchen would be able to sort me out.

I was presented with one option alone, one horribly executed "chicken curry", sans main attraction, chicken. Midway into the dish, the waitress took it upon herself that I was done and started piling utensils from the table (not my own) onto my plate.

In consistent fashion, I was presented with a bill for the chicken dish, despite being served in the absence of chicken, what amounted to rice and carrots in coconut milk. Robbery in other words.
Derek / January 8, 2015 at 03:55 pm
The maitre'd at this restaurant was an older man, and he was incredibly rude to us. We were looking for a place to eat in the neighbourhood, and had made a reservation online about 30-40 mins before we arrived. When we got there they didn't have our reservation in the book, and they acted is if they couldn't possibly seat us, even though it wasn't busy. The maitre'd exclaimed that it is ridiculous to expect him to go back and forth from the computer to update the reservation book as new reservations are made. We were finally seated, but the entire experience of dealing with him was a sign of things to come. The food was fine, but some of it was horrendously over priced. My friends paid $22 for 4 pieces of ravioli. And we were a group of 4 and the system they had apparently made it impossible to split bills. They need to update everything about his reataurant. I hate that people still go there just because of how close it is to the theatres. I recommend going to eat at one of the restaurants at TIFF Bell lightbox or Montecito if you are looking for somewhere to eat before or after going to see a show.

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