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Where do you go for your b-day dinners? Looking for unique dining in TO. . . .

Its my b-day next week and me and the galz are gonna go out for a dinner . . . . I am looking for a unique place to dine, good eats, unique scene.
I was thinking either morrocan (sultans tent), but wanted to hear where others go to eat great food and hang out on those special nights out . . . .
Where do you go for your b-day?

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  1. Because of group size and some people's low budgets, last year I went to Le Paradis, and the year before, Phil's Original BBQ. I went to Sultan's Tent last month for a friend's birthday on a Sunday night, and the entertainment was slightly disappointing (only one bellydancer, who was definitely not Egyptian), with mediocre to slightly good food not worth the cost.

    Next birthday, I would consider inviting everyone to Batifole, or try a place that is new to me, such as Starfish, Tempo, Xacutti, Fat Cat Bistro, or Boujadi, all of which are on my must-try list.

    1. I have to recommend that you do NOT go to Sultan's Tent. Overpriced, not very good food.

      I'd go to the Foundation Room for drinks, then just a couple of doors down to JK Wine Bar for dinner (or vice versa).

      4 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        toronto Jo- are we the same person? That's what I would write, without the vice-versa part- food at Foundation room= not so geat. Or i"d go to Lee which is what I did last year. Wait, that's not true- I threw a party at Wish- that was cool. Amuse-Bouche is a good one. hmmm. Now I'm thinking of where to go for MY birthday :)

        1. re: nummanumma

          :)

          Actually, my vice versa was misleading. I really meant "or JKWB for dinner first, then Foundation Room for drinks after". Not FR for dinner. No, no, no. But a nice place for drinks.

        2. re: TorontoJo

          Thanks for the honesty......maybe i'll skip the sultans tent then, I was hoping for some real belly dancers . . . . . .

          Well there are only going to be four gals so we are flexible, i have heard good thing about jamie kennedy's, so it is an option.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            i agree with the foundation room/jkwb combo suggestion and i'd probably throw czehoski into the ring as well. i like how the setting is different depending on the area you're seated in and they've got some tasty cocktails.

            the food is great, canadiana twists, and no one really cares how much you consume and will let you linger linger linger... i do however quite like queen st west a bit more because there are so many other places to bar hop over to within short distance that you can get a taste of a bunch of shops.

          2. Last birthday I took a group of friends to Ambassador for Dim Sum. Several had never been for Dim Sum and everyone loved it. I loved taking 8 people because I finally got to try all sorts of new things without having to forgo the/my usual favourites!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Atahualpa

              I passed by Lai Toh Heen today and after reading the menu and admiring the decor, decided to try a chinese banquet or dim sum party for my next birthday (either there, or in Markham, or at Lai Wah Heen!)

              1. re: Food Tourist

                I've been to Lai Wah Heen for dim sun and I really liked it. The offerings were all excellent and there was a complexity and gracefulness to dim sum that you don't find elsewhere.

                However, for my money, it isn't worth th extra cost. I go to Ambassador regularly and two people can stuff themselves -- stuff themselves -- for $30-35. Lai Wah Heen cost $60 for a decent amount. It is better, but, not that much better. Plus, I really didn't like the stuffiness of the dinner room for dim sum. There needs to be some bustle.

            2. Depending on budget and size of party, I think Mildred Pierce is the perfect special occasion restaurant. Magical atmosphere and food is always great. A bit on the pricy side but not outrageous.

              1. we are just a group of 4 ........... so its open game . . . . i dont want to go overboard in price. . . . just something kinda special and fun

                1. Hello,

                  I went to a birthday party once at Alleycatz (Yonge & Eglinton). I liked it a lot because of the live jazz band (I found this to be pretty unique). The food was ok and their martinis are really very good.
                  Dinner was about $30 per person.

                  1. I've been to Alleycatz a couple times. First time, the band was great (Man, they were playing Prince! Real funk!) but the place gets absolutely packed. It's stifling.

                    Can't comment on the food; only drank and danced.

                    1. been there, done that for the bday. We ate at the italian place down in the alley and then went there for drinks. It was insanely packed, the jazz live music was nice and all, but it was not the greatest experience being packed in like sardines.

                      1. I had my birthday dinner at Supermarket on Augusta last April....we ordered about 20 small plates, including Southeast Asian dishes like green mango salad green curry chicken & pad thai,as well as other dishes like fried calamari and Jerk Pork, to share and pass around to the 10 people at our table. It was a lot of fun...they have 2 seatings. the djs usually come on around 10...so you could stay for drinks after the kitchen closes.

                        Took a friend to Minimarket by Tempo for her birthday last weekend...the same people own Minimarket that own Supermarket. I found the food to be a bit better at Supermarket. But Minimarket's guava martini was delicious....it would still be a fun place for a birthday with a bunch of people. The good news is that Minimarket is significantly less expensive than the original Tempo. @ small plates, 2 large plates and 2 martinis came to roughly $50, whereas 4 small plates and 2 martinis at Tempo used to run closer to $80. Mind you, the food is less creative at Minimarket.

                        Also went to Veni Vedi Veci for a birthday in March...the butternut squash agnolotti were actually much better than I expected.

                        1. I loved the Fifth for Drinks and desserts. I don't know if they do it anymore though... last birthday we actually has sushi on the patio there. it's all about the ambiance - the piano, the old elevator, and the clubbing afterwards!

                          1. Not unique, but always fun for a group of gals is Coco Lezzone on College at Clinton. Great seafoods and fish Italian style. Always a fun crowd and nice setting.

                            Brassaii has great food in a long dramatic and cool room.

                            Lee and KiWe would be a great mix. Or you can just eat at KiWe - very cool!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: deelicious

                              Be sure to avoid the eggplant parmigiana at Coco Lezzone and be prepared for a loud atmosphere with expensive food!

                              1. re: Food Tourist

                                Coco is expensive compared to what? Pastas are 16 - 18 bucks with generous seafood and there are many mains in the 20s. Compared to the aforementioned restos I would certainly not call Coco expensive.

                                Althought I can't comment on the eggplant, I have never had a bad dish there.

                                And the atmosphere is very lively. So yes if you want quiet dining for 4 Birthday gals - avoid Coco.

                                1. re: deelicious

                                  Maybe I'm getting too old for College Street - but I like to hear my table conversation! I think it's just not good value for money, that's all. I realize most places in trendy areas aren't good value, however. I'm sure it would make a great birthday experience for a girls' night!

                            2. I've been wanting to go to Torito's for quite some time. I think that would be a nice place to have dinner. It's a spanish tapas bar and I hear it's cheaper than JKWB

                              1. Any suggestions for atmospheric bday restaurants in the downtown radius that are good for a small-medium group, not too pricey (different income ranges to consider), and not too noisey?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ah123

                                  Give the fine folks at Hair of the Dog a call, to see if you can book a spot in their room upstairs. Mains are between $10-15, and are filling enough for a meal sans app. Upscale pub fare is what they do well, and the atmosphere is fantastic.