Breaking the bank!!!! need some input
Hey hounds, I am taking my girlfriend out for a belated Bday dinner, so I think a tasting menu is order. I am leaning towards Perigee or Susur, but I have been to neither and have read good and bad reviews for both.
Not to sound cheap, but I feel I will be obliged to do a wine pairing at Perigee which sounds like fun but also a will turn the cost of meal into the per capita GDP of a third world country. From what I have gathered the wine list at Susur is kind of an afterthought and the both us like to guzzle back the vino. In the end it's the food that counts, but I am also taking the whole experience into consideration.
So what do you guys recommend for the big blowout dinner, any other suggestions will be considered.
Thanks for all the replies, I have made my reservation for Perigee for the 29th. Thankfully My GF decided to split the cost with me so it will now also cover my Bday dinner. So 7 courses + wine pairing + cab home seems a lot more manageable on the wallet (and may I dare say "prudent" given my love of food).
Estufarian, I will take heed to your advice and call them back tomorrow and request a ktichenside table for two (I was assuming by the pics on their site all the tables were).
Wow I am excited, and if I don't end up too sloshed I'll try to give you guys a proper review, otherwise I'll give a half arsed yay or nay.
My 2 cents!
Splendido is the best 'dining experience' in TO when you take into account ambiance, service and food.
Susur is the most talented chef - but the service has been patchy. And his backwards menu (main course first) is just havoc with wine.
Perigee is more expensive than either of the above (tasting menu is $15 more and wines $10 more per person). It's also more casual and informal.
You'll probably have a great time wherever you go.
In the past 2/3 years I reckon I've been to Perigee twice, Susur 4-5 times and Splendido around 10 times - that shows exactly where I put my money where my mouth is!
For wine (by the glass) Splendido is by far the best. Every course has a wine by the glass available and they are well chosen. You can also choose how much you want - 2 oz is certainly fine but you can order more if you wish. The Perigee selection is less interesting to my palate and not as well matched.
Susur does now have wines by the glass - but the selection is limited.
If you do choose Perigee - be absolutely sure to request a table alongside the open kitchen. If you get a 'distant' table, the food is often cold (OK cool) by the time it reaches you.
i would also do perigee over susur.
my meal at perigee was exemplary. very few fine dining places in toronto provide DIFFERENT courses for each diner participating in the tasting menu, so that was a lovely touch. i like that the food is very high-end (down to the bread and butter/condiments served at the beginning of the meal) but served in quite a low-key atmosphere.
and i definitely DO NOT recommend george. the food is ho hum, and distracted, if that gets my point across. i found the chef was lacking focus and direction and it showed in his dishes. nothing i ate there really coalesced into something that elevated the disparates parts of the dish into a cohesive whole, which is one of the things i look for in a dining experience.
Thanks for all the replies, it's greatly appreciated.
Regarding Splendido, I know the place has had some amazing revues and I would surely get a top-notch mear there. I have found from others' revues their menu to be a little less exciting than Susur or Splendido, but hey if any one wants to sell me on it....
Regarding Sushi Kaji, I actually suggested going there a few months ago to my gf, she did not seem too enthused. I on the other hand would love to experience chef Kaji's Omakase, but considering it is a belated birthday dinner for her, Kaji will have to wait.
And finally with regards to the wine situation, I'll probably cab it back as I have learned that even splitting a bottle of wine requires a nice long walk before I am comfortable driving.
I am prepared to drink more than a bottle, I just don't like the idea of dropping an extra $200 on wine pairings. The pressure to do so wont be from the wait staff but rather the voice in my head who has no regard to the Visa bill that will be forthcoming.
Finally it seems as the board is leaning towards Perigee, and truthfully so am I, but I have wanted to try Susur for years. So if you think I will get a better meal there, let me know.
I'm hellishly biased but among my fave places for celebrating accomplishments/triumphs/transitions is Sushi Kaji. The owner has very sensitive antennae and never puts a foot wrong. Superb food and drink served by a maestro at close range in a comfortable setting.Different, admittedly, but sometimes that's welcome, no?
re: Charles Yu
I don't remember ever getting a 5oz serving for the wine pairings at Splendido. I was there last week and had the Sept. tasting menu, along with the wines. I'm sure each serving of wine was less than 3 oz. If they were 5 oz each, we'd each be drinking at least a bottle of wine and I know I had nowhere near that.
I love Perigee and have only done the wine pairings once. I found I was so toasted by 2/3 of the way through the meal (they are very generous with their pours) that I couldn't enjoy the food as much anymore. I prefer to just order a bottle of wine or just go by the glass. There is no attitude if you don't order the pairings. Not everyone drinks and heck, someone has to drive!
Go to Perigee & only one of you get the wine pairing-especially if you are driving there. I ate there w/my wife on a visit last year & it was incredible. I had driven in from Buffalo so I didn't get the wine pairing buy my wife did & the pourings were liberal-she was tipsy after 2 courses... We live in NYC & eating out is our big vice & I can honestly say that our dinner at Perigee was a top 5 highlight-very unique & well worth the cost...
even if the wine at susur is an afterthought, it's might mighty expensive compared to perigee. of all the things that i've heard, the dessert tasting at perigee gets consistently rave reviews.
my friends just got back from amuse bouche a couple weeks ago and couldn't stop talking about it and even mentioned during the dinner that it was a shame i was out of town for it. the space is also fairly intimate which might be rather nice for you and your gf.