Friday, August 24, 2012

Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill

One of the best sources for the freshest and widest selection of fish and seafood in Toronto, is Diana's Seafood, located at 2101 Lawrence Avenue East. Serving many of the city's better hotels and restaurants, Diana's also has a dedicated retail clientele of rapacious regulars, who trek up to Warden and Lawrence for Diana's enviable selection of oysters, fresh whole fish as well as octopus, lobsters, clams and winkles to wild scallops, organic Irish salmon and sushi grade tuna — all at a fraction of the cost of what one would pay elsewhere. I go there at least twice a week for my fish and oyster-fix. Earlier this year they opened their first restaurant, Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill, which sits on the same property as Diana's Seafood.

Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill menu

Taking advantage of their superlative produce from next door, Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill offers a sleek indoor oyster bar to slurp up the freshest oysters from both coasts of Canada and the U.S., and again, at a fraction of the cost of downtown oyster bars. "There are no transportation costs. We just walk five steps across the parking lot to get more oysters," says manager Philip Ho, who used to be at Starfish as well as Rodney’s. Jason Kennedy parachuted in from Pusateri’s and is now ensconced as executive chef. His food is fresh, fun and above all, good looking. We stopped by for a quick lunch before heading into Diana's Seafood, and enjoyed a wonderfully fresh Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Grilled Octopus and outstanding Fish & Chips.

Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail served with classic cocktail sauce and lemon

Diana's Fish & Chips with crispy beer battered fish chosen daily 
served with homemade fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce

Grilled Octopus marinated in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon zest & fresh herbs, 
served with a warm tomato caper and kalamata olive salsa, charred lemon and sliced baguette

There was a large table beside ours feasting on platters of Oysters, Littleneck Clams steamed in a roasted garlic fennel cream sauce, Fried Calamari, Steamed Whole Lobster and Sashimi-Grade Yellow Fin Tuna Carpaccio. Yet another table were enjoying Beer Battered Fried Fanny Bay Oysters and Diana's Lobster Club Sandwich, which led me to only one possible conclusion — we had to come back again very soon. There are just too many temptations to succumb to in one afternoon!

Diana's Beer Battered Fried Fanny Bay Oysters