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Help With A Nice Restaurant

jamesm Jul 12, 2006 06:29 PM

Hi -- I've been charged at work with locating several nice restaurants as part of an employee incentive program. Could you recommend some places where dinner for two would be in the 200 dollar range, and worth it? So far my only suggestions are Canoe and Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. Thanks very much in advance.

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  1. Googs RE: jamesm Jul 12, 2006 06:56 PM

    I don't normally recommend the Toronto Life restaurant guide. I find it's more about promoting Toronto and less about critical review. Not that there's anything wrong with that... Anyway, you can input neighbourhood and budget and it will pop out a list including the star ratings of each. Might help. Of course, we can all help you narrow it down from there. Oh and I agree about Canoe. It's good, but not really worth the price unless you're a tourist impressing your spouse or a business person with an expense account.


    1. j
      jamesm RE: jamesm Jul 12, 2006 06:58 PM

      That's a great suggestion. Thanks.

      Does anyone have a personal favourite that is maybe a little off the beaten path? I'm considering La Pallette in Kensington, but I think people at work may want something with a little bit more 'brand' name.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jamesm
        industry worker RE: jamesm Jul 13, 2006 04:35 PM

        I'm a sucker for Pastis Express or Le Paradis

      2. v
        vinojoe RE: jamesm Jul 13, 2006 12:48 AM

        I would recommend you consider Boba at 90 Aveneue Road. Not off the beaten path, but consistently excellent food served in a warm atmosphere. If you serch recent posts, you'll find some reviews that discuss specific dishes. Boba definitely will meet the "and worth it" portion of your criteria.

        1. r
          racsanfran RE: jamesm Jul 13, 2006 02:11 AM

          I'd strongly rec George on Queen East. Best dining experience I've had in TO. An absolute must all around. Never felt so full and happy and appreciated patron.

          1 Reply
          1. re: racsanfran
            dlw88 RE: racsanfran Jul 13, 2006 02:20 AM

            I also had an incredible experience at George, but just a heads up that dinner without alcohol was $280 all in.

          2. Googs RE: jamesm Jul 13, 2006 07:28 PM

            Don't know what neighbourhood you're looking at or food limitations, but here are 3 that are on budget, name brand, good, and big enough to accommodate a corporate party: Hiro Sushi, Lee (not Susur), Southern Accent. As much as I love George, I agree you'll likely go over budget. There are many good places off the beaten path in Kensington market, but your co-workers may find the surroundings a little off-putting. Did you need a big place or is it really giving away dinner for two? There are more if you can go to small places.

            1. j
              jamesm RE: jamesm Jul 14, 2006 05:27 PM

              Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Much appreciated. It's more of a gift certificate type thing, rather than a company outing. So size isn't really an issue. As far as neighbourhoods, I think basically downtown Toronto is fine. Basically within the boundaries of the places already mentioned.

              1. redhead RE: jamesm Jul 14, 2006 06:29 PM

                How about The Town Grill on Carlton (has a bit of "off the beaten track" vibe)...or a litte further North - Scaramouche..or maybe CFood..and as far as going over budget for George (or even Perigee)..a 200.00 gift certificate might give someone the chance to experience a great restaurant - even if it means putting in some of their own loot to "top it off"...I'd happily take it!

                1 Reply
                1. re: redhead
                  dinin and dishin RE: redhead Jul 14, 2006 11:23 PM

                  If you are going to consider Town Grill, may I suggest The Laurentian Room. It is in the Winchester Hotel and the room is supposed to be an old haunt of Al Capone--so it has some history. It's been renovated and they have live music. I've always had good experiences there.

                  Town Grill has been hot and cold for me. I've had some great service and some slow service, I've had some great meals but on my last trip my tuna was less than fresh.

                  I rarely see anyone on this board mention The Fifth. I've been twice, but not for some time. It wasn't as good after the original chef (Didier I think) left, but it was still very good and it is an impressive location. The old freight elevator is unique and diners get free entrance to the club downstairs, so it could be good for an entire evening in the city experience.

                  I would also recommend Starfish, Zucca (Italian) and Chiado (Portuguese).

                2. z
                  Zengarden RE: jamesm Jul 14, 2006 11:29 PM

                  My favourite resto has always been Foccacia on Hayden Street. The meals are delicious and the cost is within your budget. They have a website so you can go and take a look at the menu. Location of the restaurant is at Yonge/Bloor.

                  1. l
                    liketoeat RE: jamesm Jul 15, 2006 02:42 AM

                    Susur or Rain. I always enjoyed every minute of my experiences there.

                    You would enjoy rain a lot if you like to have a few martinis and a more social environment for a crowd. Whereas, Susur is somewhere you go and just to enjoy the food and chef's brilliance in creating a new dining experience.

                    I am not sure 200 is enough for two persons though if you are ordering wine and drinks. I would try to budget 250~300.


                    1. Googs RE: jamesm Jul 15, 2006 03:27 AM

                      The Town Grill hasn't been good in years, unfortunately. As for the Laurentian Room in the Winchester it has been replaced, and I use the term loosely, by a Tim Horton's.

                      1. g
                        gigi RE: jamesm Jul 15, 2006 05:47 AM

                        Actually, the Laurentian Room is still around. For those in the know, it's in the back of the Winchester Hotel...down Winchester, in the side door, and up the stairs. They're doing Summerlicious as well:
                        As for the Town Grill: how embarassing what their 15 minutes of fame on Restaurant Makeover? Their money came from their customers, and they couldn't even come up with $1000 of their own cash! The place has really suffered in the past few years. The quality of the ingredients has gone down and in spite of the new decor, it's pretty sad.

                        1. Googs RE: jamesm Jul 15, 2006 06:53 PM

                          Thanks for the tip about the Laurentian Room. I'm sorry to say I've never been despite having lived in the neighbourhood for 15 years. I'll definitely give it a try now. I just thought it went the way all boutique restaurants go. Devoured by the great American chain food shark.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Googs
                            TOfoodie RE: Googs Aug 23, 2006 08:49 PM

                            I've been to the Laurentian Room and was very disappointed. I had Duck and it was over cooked. Every main our party had came with the same vegetable - boring!

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