Volume 95, Issue 23

Friday, October 12, 2001
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Grayline puts the fun back into rock

Disc of the Week

Chancey Smith's: Great food with attitude

Tori and Live break the silence

Gazette Comics

Chancey Smith's: Great food with attitude

Chancey Smith's
Covent Garden Market
130 King St.

Three 1/2 stars (out of five)

By Molly Duignan
Gazette Staff

Lauren Starr/Gazette

Not far from the trodden, bar-filled path of Richmond Street is a hidden oasis also known as Covent Garden Market and within it lies the downtown cuisinary paradise, Chancey Smith's.

The classy decor of black, white and brown, the sparkling floors, a unique glass wall of bottles separating the bar from the dining room and high ceilings put Chancey's in a league of its own for fine dining in London.

Despite the restaurant's elegance, Chancey's is by no means a black-tie establishment. With a healthy crowd at the bar and many full tables, Chancey's is a place to visit any day of the week.

Although the restaurant specializes in steak and seafood, the menu also includes everything from mussels and baked brie to pork, chicken and pasta. Menu highlights include Alfred's Rack of Lamb and a wide range of steak cuts and fish dishes.

Chancey's also offers an extensive, four-page wine list and wide selection of domestic, Belgian or premium beers.

As a student, one's first glance at the menu may make your wallet flinch, but the food is well worth the price. The special appetizer, an Arctic Char, is a unique treat, perfect for two.

But Chancey's most impressive feature is surely the presentation of dishes. A colorful mountain of spinach, smoked Char and tomato – the Arctic Char looked almost too good to eat.

Another special is the 8 oz. Beef Tenderloin, beautifully served with a creamy mushroom sauce and asparagus. Cooked to perfection and served with garlic mashed potatoes, the dish was a delicious choice.

The pork tenderloin was equally as tasty and even better looking. The thin cuts of moist meat and seasoned grilled vegetables were better than expected. With a glass of Chancey's Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabaret Sauvignon from Australia, your days of student meals will be long forgotten.

Among the list of mouthwatering desserts is Chancey's own version of Death By Chocolate, a rich treat for even the pickiest of sweet teeth. A list of specialty coffees including Chancey's own Frangelico and Bailey's is also available.

A closer look at the restaurant's decor reveals it to be a little known museum of London's downtown history. The walls are covered with pictures of the downtown in its prime, while most of the servers are well-informed historians.

Still, despite their knowledge of local history, servers at Chancey's don't always match the quality of the food. At times, the server came off as intrusive and forgetful. And in an industry where service is supposed to be friendly and accommodating, a moderately unprofessional server can ruin an otherwise enjoyable meal.

Luckily, Chancey's polite managers and incredible food made up for the lack of persona lity in some servers.

Another unfortunate downfall of Chancey's arose on a trip to the washroom. While one may expect the bathroom decor to match that of the dining room's elegance, the washrooms (shared with neighbouring Alfredo's) were infested by flies and appeared to be neglected.

Although a potentially perfect evening was marred by somewhat sketchy service, that could take away from the superior quality of food and eclectic atmosphere of Chancey Smith's.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001