A Gentlemen's Evening Upon the Town
I will be entertaining my about-to-be-brother-in-law at a Bachelor party. I've invited a group of 15-20 chaps who range in age from 30 to 78. They come from the US, UK and Italy. Many of them don't know each other too well but I believe that a common love of wine and food will make fast friends of them all.
So here's my dilemma. I'd like to stay central and south of Queen. No one is especially rich, so I can't go too high end. I don't really want to go to a barn like Milestone or Fazooli's.
I had planned to go to Frisco's -- it was a perfect fit in terms of location, price and wine list. But they want to shuffle us upstairs to the 'Up Lounge' which seems a bit too 'nightclubbish' to me and doesn't seem to share Frisco's excellent wine list.
I'd be really grateful for some alternate suggestions, fellow Hounds. My own feeble brain has drawn a blank!
I've always loved The Academy of Spherical Arts - has great atmo, pool tables, dartboards, as well as a great selection of potables ...all of which make it easy for large gatherings of 'strangers' to mingle comfortably. I have noticed that they are often booked for group functions so call ahead...
I went to a bachelorette part at Laide ( 138 Adelaide @ Jarvis). There wine list is not huge but they have a wide enough variety and it is mostly consignment stuff from around the world: Italy, Austrailia, France, etc so you get to try something that is not at your local LCBO. Food is again a wide variety from Roti to Seared Tuna. Prices are good (but portions not huge) $8-14
Also since it is a Lounge the it is not as stuffy as a restaurant so if your guests start laughing and getting loud it is no problem yet it is not "clubby".
Plus the 1920's erotica projected on the wall will make it feel like a bachelor party!
For a fine dining experience at a fair price,
Le Select Bistro
(north side of Queen's St., just east of Spadina).
The pre fixe dinner used to be a really good deal,
but I see from their webpage that prices recently
went up ($28.95 covers appetizer + main course +
dessert --- I'd go for the duck confit). From
the a la carte menu Pave d'Alberta Beef is the
best steak in town.
Its one of my favorite Toronto restaurants,
and has one of the best winelists.
But not a place to get rowdy.
I've been to Up Lounge and they share everything with Friscos - wine list, food, etc. It's all owned by the same company and managed by the same people. But Up can be a bit night clubby at times, especially later in the night.
Two Rosehill, Yonge and Rosehill area (too north for you?) is great for your sort of party - my wife had her bachelorette party there and loved it - maybe you can try there too.
Fez Betic (sp?) is at Queen/Peter area and GREAT for parties. A friend had a going-away party there, said she loved it.