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Restaurants

Pero Restaurant

Posted by Jason Finestone / Reviewed on December 13, 2012 / review policy

Pero RestaurantPero Restaurant adds a bit of contemporary cool alongside the comfortable vibe that's on offer at its spot on Bloor near Ossington while traditional Ethiopian cuisine makes up the menu.

It was just starting to get cold out when I visited Pero a few weeks ago with some friends. We had a hunger in our bellies and a chill up our spines and figured some hearty, stick-to-your-ribs food was well in order. Surrounded by woven bamboo stations and a mélange of East African pottery and carvings, we sipped aromatic clove tea as we waited for one of our mates to arrive.

Pero RestaurantThe wiry, metal chair backs were cold and rigid and we wished to ourselves that we could stretch out amidst the comfortable looking pillows in the VIP room, but sadly it was already reserved. Nevertheless, as the evening proceeded we were comforted by the cuisine and well cared for by the staff.

Though I was hoping to sample a few of the more adventurous options on the menu, such as the sautéed tongue with caramelized onions and green peppers in a fresh tomato sauce ($15), or the Tripa: ground beef, liver, tripe, jalapenos and onions sautéed with their "special sauce" ($14), we sprung for the Pero's special so we could satisfy everyone's cravings.

Pero RestaurantLike many Ethiopian dishes, the Pero Platter (1-$19, 2-$32, 3-$45, 4-$60) is meant for sharing. A combination of beef kitfo, a distinctive dish made from rare beef marinated in mitmita, chicken tibs with a beautifully smokey, grilled flavour, and sections of stewed lentils, chickpeas and collard greens. The different dishes are separated by rolls of soft injera (the traditional Ethiopian flatbread made from teff that serves as one's primary utensil as well as a spongy bed that soaks up all the fragrant sauces.

Pero RestaurantWe also sprung for an order of a favourite of mine, Lamb Cha Cha ($16). Served steaming on a sizzling skillet, the boneless bits of succulent lamb come spooned overtop of the vinegary salad in the middle of the platter, making for a perfect mix.

Pero RestaurantIf you've never had the privilege of experiencing a traditional Ethiopian meal, then taking part in a coffee ceremony is a must! Considered to be a mark of friendship or respect, this isn't like your grab-and-go Starbucks. A process that's not to be rushed — the coffee ceremony takes place in a number of stages ‐ from the roasting of the beans and the wafting of the fumes over the participants, a gentle smoke drift of frankincense at the table, a hefty bowl of freshly popped popcorn and of course, the near-artistic pouring of the thick, strong coffee at one's table. This is the only way to end an altogether excellent meal.

Pero RestaurantBefore we leave the restaurant, we chat with Pero about the stunning avant-garde paintings he has on display by David Vasquez and get a sneak-peek at the basement bar that by now is likely turning out jazz tunes with relative frequency. As if the food wasn't a worthy draw on its own, I'll be back to check out some of the downstairs performances sometime soon.

Pero Restaurant Toronto

Discussion

13 Comments

winta / April 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm
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we went here for dinner on Tuesday night and had the best time. My boyfriend and I live in the area and I always wanted to go to the eritrean restaurant that was here before because the atmosphere looked so romantic and cute, though, there was nothing that interested me on the menu. I got very excited when I saw the the her majesty [chicken with boiled eggs] very testy different flavour amazing amazing dishe.

It was better then I had hoped for, spiced just enough to feel it but not too crazy. My boy got the pulled the beef tibs and loved it too. Our waitress was also amazing. She got excited when we asked her about the food, made me a nice traditional coffee, and was just overall a sweet girl.

This place has a home like feel and a good atmosphere. nice deco on the wall you feel you-re in Africa
Michel / April 14, 2012 at 09:18 am
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Although it is not expensive,the peros platter 6 choices only $18,it can feed 3ppl, it is totally worth it! Everything was so fresh and delicious. Very authentic, but upscale ethiopian -you cannot find this in the GTA.
I went half a year ago but now i love the new deco totally amazing especially the VIP area,and I don't know why I haven't been back. My mouth is still watering from the shiro they call it the gigolo and appetizer chef wondiy special ,i hope i spell it right the name.
love the service thx peros stuff
Davia / April 14, 2012 at 09:25 am
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Best Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant in Toronto, what a service
Angel / April 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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I'm a frequent diner of Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants in the Toronto area and I do have to say Pero's has set a new standard for others to follow.New standards in food quality, customer service, and ambiance. The food was prepared like at home, fresh, spicy, and tasty. The customer service was on point, the waitress was very attentive to us, something not usually seen in other Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurants. The atmosphere was lovely also, perfect for any occasion. All I know is I'll be back soon.
Laura / August 9, 2012 at 11:33 am
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I went here with my family this past week. All I have to say was that it was AMAZING! The owner, atmosphere and food was all outstanding.
Marilyn Lastman / December 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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How do you share the platter for one?
D / December 14, 2012 at 09:16 am
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I have been to this restaurant countless times over the last couple of years and it is soooooooooo delish. It is such a lovely experience and the staff is always wonderful. On one of our recent trips we had a chance to meet Pero. He's fantastic!
N replying to a comment from winta / December 17, 2012 at 11:25 am
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Not to sound rude but I think you mean, makes you feel like you're in Ethiopia. Africa is a really big continent with thousands of varying cultures.
Za-Moon-Da / December 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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OK, so I went on Sunday and tell me why I was in heaven! Is Pero the guy who comes around to ask how your food was? He was stellar and SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice.
Bob-Fau / March 16, 2013 at 08:54 pm
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Terrific food, great vibe and super service. The tibs and veggies were sooooo good. Just the right amount of spice to warm the mouth and add to the flavors - not overwhelm like some places do. Washed it all down with a steam whistle. Staff was really attentive, nice and knowledgeable made us feel very welcome and relaxed. Nice crowd, not loud but very relaxed.
Try it you'll like it!
Elizabet / April 28, 2013 at 12:15 am
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I know this web site presents quality depending content and extra information, is there any other web
page which provides such stuff in quality?
Jane / February 8, 2014 at 02:24 pm
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First time trying Ethiopian food and it is amazing - food was delicious, service excellent. Will definitely recommend.
Carly Hylton / February 17, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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Pero himself served us the most delicious food, food unique to this restaurant created by Pero and their chef. The atmosphere was warm and extremely comfortable and Pero was very helpful and had great recommendations. By far the best Ethiopian food I have ever had.

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