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Chicago Hound Seeks Very Special Toronto Dinner Rec's; Offers Compensation

  • j

My wife and I will be visiting Toronto for a few days surrounding her birthday, which is September 1 (but we'll be targeting that weekend, 9/3-4). I'll probably be back here looking for recommendations for other more Chowey meals, but right now I want to lock down the "big deal" restaurant for the birthday dinner itself. Premises include: Just the two of us. Excellent wine list and wine service. A quiet, romantic (or at least elegant) atmosphere. No-no's would include places with video screens and pounding deep house soundtracks, "steak and cigar and power tie" joints(got enough of those here in Chicago and plan to leave my pinky ring on the nighstand anyway) or anything outside the city limits of Toronto or not within easy access to public transportation. Price is no object (really, literally, I mean that -- go ahead and suggest the most expensive restaurant in Toronto, if it is actually the best for an intimate birthday celebration for a party of two). Cuisine can be any style; seeking only quality. Thank you in advance for your rec's. As an added incentive, I'll provide the individual who provides the best suggestion my Three Indispensable Tips to Visitors Dining in Chicago (just in case you're planning a trip to my town, you see).

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    1. re: JayCee

      North 44 is good, Perigee's food is spectacular however their wine program is very linited. A window table at Scaramouche is an all round winner for food, service, wine, and romance.

    2. It's been more than a year since we've been there, but I would can my vote for North 44.

      Link: http://www.north44restaurant.com/

      1. j
        JimInLoganSquare

        Thanks for the rec's. I've looked up some details on all three and it will be a very hard choice, indeed. So, let's see, now. We'll be in Toronto four nights ... ,>)

        1 Reply
        1. re: JimInLoganSquare

          If you are looking for another place (especially for Saturday lunch), I suggest one that my wife and I tried on a whim...Pangaea. We happened upon it while wandering around Yorkville (it's near the Bay/Yorkville TTC station), and we had no expectations of it whatsoever. The chef was standing outside as we walked by (it was early), and we asked him to describe the food. His description was intriguing enough that we decided to try it We were very pleasantly surprised. Good beer and wine selection, including wine pairing suggestions. If I remember correctly, they had some interesting Canadian wines.

          Pangaea
          1221 Bay St.
          Toronto, ON M5R3P5
          Phone:  (416) 920-2323

          Link: http://www.pangaearestaurant.com/menu...

        2. p
          Peppermint Pate

          I'm particularly incented to answer this one as I'm planning a week-end in Chicago sometime this summer...

          At the moment, I'd cast my vote for Luce. It's a newly opened Italian restaurant in the also newly opened (last fall) St. Germain hotel. The chef, Guy Rubino, is one of the great chefs in Toronto. His food is inventive, delicious and IMO - very, very sexy. There are lots of dishes prepared 3 ways with an astounding range of ingredients - truly, it's artistry on a plate (or in this case, a floor tile, the eating surface of choice). The room is dimly lit with high ceilings, lots of candles and comfy seats. I can't recall if the wine list was strictly or at least mostly Italian but I recall a good selection. And if you want to be very romantic, book a room at the hotel so you can mosey up there afterwards (seriously, you should consider this boutique hotel for your stay). Enjoy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Peppermint Pate
            j
            JimInLoganSquare

            Peppermint P.: Thanks for the thoughtful rec. We're already booked in a hotel, but who knows, its the Westin and we'll probably get sick of it and want to move someplace prettier. Send me an email at the address cited above and I'll provide you one of my three invaluable Chicago tips (that goes for all who have provided rec's here).

          2. If my partner gave me a choice for a romantic dinner, I'd say Cornerhouse on a non-busy night. The food isn't spectacular but yummy. And the place is such a charming little place that I can't imagine any women who wouldn't like it as a birthday surprise. The service is friendly, the yellow walls refreshing and if the weather is nice, the neighbourhood is great for a little after-dinner walk.

            Link: http://www.toronto.com/profile/145764/

            1 Reply
            1. re: garp7
              j
              JimInLoganSquare

              Looks mighty inviting, but not quite the "spectacular" sort of spot I'm looking for Mrs. JimInLoganSquare's birthday. I've put it on the list of possibilities for other meals (we've got 4 days in Toronto -- that's about 27 meals, right?)

              Email me if you'd like one of my three Chicago tips, too, garp7.