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May 2, 2004 10:04 PM

Chicago Hound Broadens Request

  • j

Thanks for the marvelous suggestions for the "big event" dinner (see below). I'll continue to mull them over and hope for even more rec's to consider. Now I'd like to ask for rec's in the following categories: (1) Italian (our default dining choice), (2) Canadian, (3) serious, straight-ahead jazz clubs; and (4) delicatessen. Also, is the shoe museum worth it? Mrs. JiLS and I love the footwear! I'll expand my earlier offer to include my 3 must-have Chicago rec's for anyone who gives a response and provides an email address (see, we Chicagoans are all heart!)

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  1. My Jazz picks would be:

    The Rex Hotel - Old school place, it is a run down hotel with bad furniture, waiters who should have retired years ago, smokey... every thing a great Jazz club was 30 years ago! Cheap cover charge & People are freindly (but I would not eat there if you want a nice meal...). It is at Queen & Simcoe Area.

    Top of the Senator - Behind the old Pantages Theatre (now the Canon Theatre) It is a more upscale has a great reaturant below that is like a 40's dinner with a fine dinning menu. - 253 Victoria Street

    You also may want to check out Potato Blues, I have heard great things about their menu and the quality of the Blues... 115 John Street (two blocks south of the Rex)

    Here is a website that will help you:


    1 Reply
    1. re: Rob
      Guy Middleton

      Another great place for jazz is the Montreal Bistro.

    2. h

      Romantic: Canoe & Scaramouche have the best views of Toronto skyline IMO, great food, ambience, service & wine/champagne. Loved my birthday dinner a couple of years ago at Canoe - the boyfriend had Happy Birthday written on my dessert plate which was cute. My favourite restaurant is Monkey Bar & Grill (very small, intimate & yummy), but it's more midtown/uptown (Yonge n. of Lawrence).

      Canadian: Canoe has Canadian flair dishes. My suggestion to an earlier Canadian request would be a tasting tour of Toronto b/c it's so multicultural here.
      - Chinese (compares to HK in my relatives' opinions); mostly know north Toronto places, but Lai Wa Heen (Metropolitan Hotel) is top in decor/service & food is good; or walk around Chinatown (Spadina/Dundas)
      - Greek - Greektown is Danforth/Pape; no specific recommendation
      - Korean - no specific place, but Koreatown is Bloor/Bathurst
      - Portugese - Chiado? I've never been, but supposed to be good.

      Italian: Sotto Sotto

      Happy chowing!

      1. BTW when making your decision on the high restaurant, Perigee is located it the Distillery District - a place that is ABSOLUTELY worth the trip to see ieven if you don't end up going there.

        For your others locations to dine at. Here are a few suggestions:

        Italian - Terroni - 3 locations
        IMHO one of the better Italian spots in TO. excellent pasta and thin crust pizza. Good people watching as well.

        Canadian - Tundra
        Okay I suspect some may disagree with me.. yes it is located in the Hilton BUT I must admit, I went there and had a wonderful experience. The place was not busy and the staff were attentive and the food was well prepared. The place is stunning as well.

        Deli - St. Lawrence Market
        Hey, if you are in the city and want to have the ultimate Toronto experience, head to the St. Lawrence Market and go to Carosel to have peameal on a bun. I personally love wandering around the market and shopping at all of the different vendors there.

        Hey, enjoy the city! If there is anything else that I can help you with shoot me an email.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Otonabee
          Peppermint Pate

          I'd whole-heartedly second the recommendations for the Distillery District, Terroni and St. Lawrence Market (LOVE the peameal on a bun). Would also add an eating stroll around Kensington Market, ideally on a Saturday morning (note - both markets are closed on Sundays),including a great cup of coffee from one of the oustide stools at Louie's. Yum.

        2. 1) Italian: La Fenice on King St. West downtown and Il Posto (can't beat the elegance of the neighborhood)mid-town Yorkville. Great for wandering around at night for a drink or coffee!
          2) Jazz: Top of the Senator, yes (the food is pretty darned good) while it is quite mediocre at Montreal.
          3) Canadian: Don't know what this means. Multicultural eh!
          4) Deli: This one is easy. There isn't a good one for 150 miles. Kensington Market is great for lunch any day but Monday.

          5 Replies
          1. re: eatingzen

            I don't know what "Canadian" food means, either; but various guidebooks state that it exists and they even point to places where you can get it. Thus my query.

            1. re: JimInLoganSquare
              Guy Middleton

              Canadian food is:

              Poutine -- french fries, cheese curds and gravy

              Butter tarts -- you see them everywhere, but step 10 feet across the border and nobody has heard of them

              Peameal bacon -- not Canadian bacon, we don't have that here

              Tourtiere -- a meat pie from Quebec

              Banguet Burger -- a burger with cheese and bacon

              Also maple syrup, foie gras, caribou, morel mushrooms, blueberries, wild rice, icewine.

              1. re: Guy Middleton

                Thanks; looks like we were all right -- as suggested by eatingzen, Canadian food is multicultural; and it is a very multi-culti list you present, Guy! By the way, you should check out this poutine thread on the Chicago board:


                1. re: JimInLoganSquare
                  Guy Middleton

                  So are you planning on posting a report after your trip? :-)

                  1. re: Guy Middleton

                    But, of course! Posting a report is the payback any visitor owes the local Chowhounds for providing the tips.

          2. g
            Guy Middleton

            A great place for weekend brunch is Mildred Pierce. They don't take reservations, so be prepared to arrive early or stand in line.

            MP is also a nice spot for a romantic dinner, but is a bit more casual than the places I recommended earlier.