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Restaurant near Panorama

Hey there, a bit of an odd request, but I need to find a good restaurant that can accomodate 20 - 30 people for a sit down meal, and is within walking distance to the Manulife Centre/Panorama. And if there is a place with a prix fixe menu for about $ 30 - 40, that would be a bonus. I am organizing this for someone that currently resides in San Francisco, but would like to have the shindig in T.O.

I know that some will say that Panorama can do it, but it has been crossed off the list by the "organizer" and they prefer Panorama for drinks afterwards anyways.

And before anyone else suggests them, the following places have also been crossed off the list:

Sassafrazz (too pricey)
Flow (too pricey)
Mistura (too far)
Pangaea (too pricey, and spotty service)

I know that I may be asking a lot and may be restricting the list quite a bit, but any and all suggestions are very much appreciated.

Thanks

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  1. a walk away, i would suggest foccaccia on hayden street (off of yonge/bloor). they serve lovely and interesting food that's a fun twist on the usual. service is quite nice there as well and the setting is fun small bistro. with 30 people you will probably take up the entire downstairs area, they have an upstairs that seems to fit 10 ppl or so.

    they are currently doing summerlicious but i think their prix fixe ($35) is being extended for all of the summer. you might have to call asap for availability because of that.

    http://www.focacciarestaurant.com/

    there are a number of bloor/yonge options in threads going around... i might suggest that you take a quick look at those. wish seems to come up as a consistently good place as well, but might be farther than you want.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      Actually, tomorrow I have reservations at Matignon on St.Nicolas, but I was going to stop in at Foccacia to have a look at the place. I found their website recently and saw that they were extending until the end of August, which is when the soiree is planned.

      I did dine at Wish on Sunday, but the main room looks quite small, and the server that I spoke with even admitted that more than 20 people might start to get a tad cramped.

    2. You can try 5th Element (Bay south of Charles) they are billing themselves as an event / party / dining place. Large patio and indoor area.

      If your Prix fixe is food only I think Bistro 990 may be able to do something for that price and they have a private upstairs area.

      I love Carens in Yorkville on Cumberland not sure if they can fit 30 though (by that matter I do not think Focaccia can fit that many either)

      Also in Yorkville Dimi is a great Italian place I love their carpaccio..

      1 Reply
      1. re: OnDaGo

        I just have a word of warning about Dimmi's, where I've been a couple of times with larger groups (8 and 12) and service was absolutely horrendous both times. With the group of 8, the servers we had were utterly condescending. None of them could be bothered to describe any of the daily specials, nor could they be bothered to bring our food and/or drinks without some serious lag time and constant prompting. With the group of 12, it was just incompetence - mistaken and/or forgotten orders, without any sort of apology or caring. Never again.

      2. I went to a large group dinner at Segovia, and it was fantastic. The food was great, the service friendly, and the atmosphere was great for our group. The menu prices are well within your price range also.

        www.segovia.ca

        1. Wish (Yonge and Charles) is less than 5 minutes walk away but I don't know if they can handle more than 20.

          I highly recommend it though sleek, modern atmosphere but comfortable surroundings (think chique beach house). The price range is less than that of the Yorkville excess and the menu is not incredibly original but they're nice dishes with professional polish.

          Staff are always jovial and accomadating but can sometimes be absent. The restaurant is part of the Summerlicious prix fixe ($35) so it's a good time to try it out - it's always the choice for my friends when we want a fun and good meal out.

          http://www.wishrestaurant.ca/main.html

          1. Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner is now open. Accepting lunch reservations between 11:30am and 2:30pm daily. And on Friday nights, he hosts a first-come-first-serve seasonally inspired a la carte menu. http://www.jkkitchens.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: mummy2Luna

              Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner!!! I completely forgot about that it was open! I will give them a call. Hopefully they fall within the price range that I have been given.

            2. Flow in Yorkville is quite impressive - and they have a private dining space to accomodate up to 50. Food is delish and the service is outstanding - nice wine list, too.
              Foccacia is lovely, too.

              1. Hey again,

                Still waiting to hear back from Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner, but a colleague of mine suggested the Bloor Street Diner in the Manulife Centre.

                Had a look at their website, and the price is certainly right (for the prix fixe). I am going to try an pass by there this week and check them out.

                But before that happens, does anyone have any thing to say about the Bloor Street Diner? And if someone could verify for me, but didn't they used to be on King St. W some time ago? Or is my memore failing me?

                Any info is much appreciated.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lazar

                  Not a fan of Bloor Street Diner. The food isn't offensive but the prices charged are. I just think that you can get better value for your money at some of the places already suggested. I am a huge fan of Foccacia but I don't think that they can handle the numbers that you have mentioned. But do go there if you have a smaller party. The food is delicious.

                2. I've eaten at the Bloor St Diner about 3 times...they used to have at least 3 branches throughout the city, and one location was on King. The food is similar to the old version of Le Select- not-too-authentic/ hit or miss bistro food. Nothing I had there was awful, but nothing was memorable, either. That being said, it is probably the most economical restaurant in the Bay/Bloor area...

                  Dynasty might be another option for a prix fixe- I'm sure one of their set menus would fall in the $30 to $40 price range, and they could easily accomodate 30 people.

                  1. Please don't say the Bloor Street Diner.

                    Bistro 990 has beautiful private rooms upstairs for private parties, and the food is much better than average, although I'm not sure about the price range for you (had my father's 75th birthday there and it was fantastic).

                    Dynasty on Bloor can easily accommodate your group, but not everyone likes the communal Chinese food thing (I do!). Wish is too small (which is too bad). Flow is OK (and just ok). 5th element is bad. Went to a private party there and found the food to be worse than frozen dinners (how do you make pizza inedible?). Dimmi's food is a bit above average and as above, service can be spotty. Glad Sassafraz is too pricey, because the food there is quite possibly the worst in the area.

                    I hope Jamie Kennedy gets back to you - can't go wrong there.

                    CK

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Cereal Killer

                      Chinese food is not always communal. In banquet style dining, only one course comes out at a time, and the waiter serves a portion to each person. Dynasty must have such menus, or can easily set one up to your liking.

                    2. Oh yeah - you could go to Host (Indian Food) on Prince Arthur. It's quite good, not cheap and can easily accommodate a private group.

                      CK

                      1. Well, unfortunately Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner is out...I had a feeling that it would be pricey, but it was higher than I expected (sorry CK, Bistro 990 too)

                        HOWEVER, finally hit Focaccia last night with their extended Summerlicious menu, and I think we have a winner. The food was good, nicely plated, and the service was excellent to the point of becoming instrusive (there were a couple times when I was about to ask the Larry the waiter to take a step back). The price is definitely right and I find the place cozy.

                        The only thing is the size of the space, they tell me that they can sit 28 people comfortably (although I still think it may be a tight squeeze), but the final number of people has not been finalized yet, so I am wary that the party could grow past 30. I know that the have an upper floor, but the intention is that everyone would at least be in the same room.

                        That said, I am still looking at Bloor Street, much to the chagrin of some to whom I am thankful for reply to my original post. But I do have a tentative booking with Focaccia, as a "just in case"

                        But thanks for the info and other suggestions.

                        And yes, it is a shame that Wish is too small, otherwise that would have been a slam dunk.