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Joanna Kates.

Toronto, Methuen, c1984.
237pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0458-97880-9.

Adult Palates.

Reviewed by Vivienne Denton.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

Those who enjoy Joanne Kates' restaurant column in The Globe and Mail will enjoy this selection from reviews by Kates, published in the Globe over the past two and a half years. Those who do not may take a masochistic pleasure in the book in any case, for these reviews are characteristic of her witty, snobbish, and often caustic reviewing style. She chooses 160 or so Toronto restaurants, and for some reason, throws in a few from Montreal and "out of town Ontario". The restaurants, arranged according to type, run the gamut of ethnic cuisines and suggest dining spots of varying glamour from cheap and cheerful to expensively chic. This array allows Kates to display the pyrotechnics of her reviewing style, with comments on ambience as trenchant as her criticisms of the food. Sections on Baton's Centre eating spots and restaurants for children could well have been omitted. They seem to be included to bear witness to the catholicity of the author's tastes and to give her a chance for set pieces on fast food and food for kids.

If one is bold enough to venture into the restaurants that Kates so roundly reviews, each review includes information as to location, prices, seating accommodation, hours, etc. Kates does not attempt to be inclusive nor to rate Toronto's best restaurants, and her selections are as idiosyncratic as the reviews themselves. The virtue of the book is that it directs one to a varied and interesting sample of ethnic cuisines, curious dives, and ritzy watering-holes, and is entertaining to read to boot.

Vivienne Denton, Toronto, ON.
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