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Restaurants

The Roxton

Posted by Tim / Reviewed on April 21, 2006 / review policy

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I think I love the Roxton. It's not the kind of adoring love where I send them roses, write little love letters and make up poems that don't make any sense. Rather, it's the distant romance. The one that I know is good for me and has almost everything I desire even though I may not show them much affection.

While I don't visit very often, I almost always suggest the Roxton to friends who ask me for a reco where patio, beer and good (but not too pricey) food are the prerequisites.

On my most recent visit, my friends and I claimed some seats on their front patio. To accompany our rounds of Amsterdam Blonde, I ordered a spinach salad topped with feta, roasted red peppers and sauteed mushrooms. At $9.99 it was filling enough to make a meal, and the flavours were all just about perfect, enough to convince me that with the beers I'd stumble out of there having consumed a balanced diet.

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Sitting across the table sat one of the Roxton's famous burgers (also $9.99). Cooked just right with a crusty bun, side salad and roasted potatoes, it didn't last past the conversation where we wondered whether it was pumped full of hormones, grass-fed or massaged by virgins.

Rounding out our order was a side of roasted potatoes (both regular and the sweet variety). My friend who ordered this originally asked for onion rings or fries but the Roxton doesn't do anything deep fried so he had to settle for this. Lucky him. Herb crusted and cooked just right they went down nicely (and quickly) with the provided mayo.

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The menu at the Roxton changes daily. We were told the chef shops mainly in Kensington Market and simply buys whatever looks fresh that day. Although there are a number of recurring staples (like the burger, salads and burrito), new items crop up on the menu all the time. Not all are award winners though. On a previous visit I sampled a massive turkey leg which was merely ho-hum.

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During the summer the patio is definitely worth table-waiting for. But in cooler seasons (or when the weather is otherwise non-cooperative), indoors presents a cozy if not romantic alternative. The restaurant is open late with bar service continuing until last call.

Discussion

7 Comments

mysz / February 10, 2010 at 10:45 am
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Okay, so what happened? The Roxton was my local, my go-to, my home away from home. No more. The owner or the chef has changed and now there is only one item on the menu worth eating - the wonderful spinach and ricotta gnocchi.

The fish (now halibut - a welcome upgrade from salmon) on 3 occasions out of 3 has been dry and overdone! The potato gratin it sits on sounds lovely, but it tastes like a gooey shoe sole... The salmon is not a fish I think anybody conscious of ethical eating should touch, but it was grand (yes, yes I preach nice and not always follow). The daily risotto - oy oy - it tastes like porridge - stay away!

I am a vegetarian, so not too much on the menu for me, but I could, before, go for a yummy burrito, and super mac and cheese and a zingy sandwich, sometimes ravioli, and yes the lovely glazed salmon... now, there is only one dish and even it is at times wanting.

The wines have always been bad- overpriced, unimaginative and NEVER changing. Not much to report there... so my dear Roxton, if you have to change, do it here - go bold, go crazy, try new stuff, god knows you charge enough...

All this to say that I am not just hankering after my old hangout - things change and this is cool - but please get your chef to learn how to cook fish; offer some decent vegetarian fare; please please do something with those wines...
Todd / August 10, 2010 at 08:15 pm
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Yeah, the roxton has changed ownership....awhile ago if I recall. the old owner was the one who got all the praise...he was the owner and the chef I was told....the one who was mentioned going to the market everyday and buying all fresh stuff. pity he sold it....seems as though people think its gone downhill since then. I was back not too long ago and thought it was still great!
Gayle / February 22, 2011 at 01:11 am
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If you miss the food from The Roxton, as it was when Chris owned it, go to The Dakota, one of the head cooks from The Roxton went there when the restaurant changed hands. The burger, if not the same is pretty similar and the artichoke dip is even better.
Martha / April 3, 2011 at 03:35 pm
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I just went to The Roxton and the food has changed but is way better. The ingredients are much fresher and quality of items is much better. There are tons of places to get ok pub food but not a lot of places to get the kind of food that The Roxton is serving now. The make-your-own risotto is genius. I like the new Roxton a lot.
Pat / June 19, 2012 at 10:50 am
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My first trip to the Roxton was last week. The food and the service were both fabulous! So good in fact that we went back the next day. This pub is welcoming, the food is amazing and the service fantastic. The live music (Matt) on the Sunday night we were there was exceptional.
Sean / September 3, 2013 at 10:24 am
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Inspected on: August 26, 2013
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional Pass)
Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Operator fail to maintain food(s) at 4C (40F) or colder
TOFoodie / September 3, 2013 at 07:28 pm
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Eww..A yellow that's not good. Been here twice and after the last time won't go back... need to pay more attention to the hand washing in the kitchen.
Had the Risotto and it was crunchy... Wine list was ok but my Chardonnay was served room temperature

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