MADRAS DOSA HUT (1330 Gerrard East, at Highfield, 416-677-3672) A suburban chain of southern Indian restaurants moves to Little India. While there are lots of veggie options, some meat dishes are available. Best: clarified-butter-fried Mysore Masala Dosa stuffed with curried potato and spread with minced chilies and ginger; huge vegetable samosa starters with veggie sambar, sweet ketchup-like hot sauce as well as coconut and coriander chutneys; vegetarian thali with eggplant, cabbage, lentil and goat curries sided with sambar, chutney, pappadam, sour pickle and yogurt; sweet mango lassis to sip. Complete dinners for $15 per person, including all taxes, tip and a domestic beer. Open daily 11 am to midnight. Unlicensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: nNN
ROCCO'S PLUM TOMATO (585 Bloor West, at Markham, 416-539-9009) Popular suburban spot specializing in mainstream Italiana brings its family-style over-the-top digs downtown. Cooler types will want to take it to the patio to dine in the neon glow of next-door Honest Ed's. Best: oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with bread dressing and sauced with rosy cream; misnamed Rustico Club -- an Italian sub, really -- piled with prosciutto, grilled chicken, Asiago and arugula; 8-ounce strip loin spiked with peppercorns and sided with straightforward pasta with tomato and near-bitter rapini; hearty vegetarian minestrone with a kitchen sink of fresh veggies -- beans, spuds, carrots, Swiss chard, celery and tomato. Complete dinners for $35 per person, $20 at lunch, including all taxes, tip and a glass of Chianti. Open daily 11 am to 11:30 pm. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNN
AMADEU'S (184 Augusta, at Denison Square, 416-591-1245) Traditional, coastal Portuguese seafood eatery. Simple, semi-formal decor offset by noisy crowd bent on celebrating en masse. Those on a sodium-free diet should specify that mains come salt-free, otherwise a heavy, if classically Portuguese, hand runs amok with the salt shaker. Best: the Revolution, a paella for two that honours Portugal's non-violent overthrow of fascism (really!), thick with large shrimp, clams, mussels and wayward fish; the House surf 'n' turf, an 8-ounce New York strip served with an oxymoronic giant shrimp; grilled catch of the day or sardines on special occasions; daily inexpensive seafood specials that often sell out by suppertime. Complete dinners for $40 per person, including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Open Monday to Thursday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Friday to Sunday 11:30 am until midnight. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN
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