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Romantic dinner under $100...can it be done??

c
chowchow985 Nov 7, 2006 01:34 AM

Hi all,
My boyfriend is visiting Toronto this weekend from Ottawa and I have been charged with planning a Thursday night date. I'd like to spend around $100 including a bottle of wine. I would like to take him somewhere romantic (I picture low lighting, candles, etc.), but of course the food is most important element. A romantic atmosphere with good food at a reasonable price seems almost too good to be true. We both like all kinds of food (although he is not crazy about Indian).
Can anyone help me with this? TIA!!!

  1. c
    chowchow985 Nov 11, 2006 10:20 PM

    Update: We ended up at Toro - I found it to be a good, but not great experience.
    Here's a summary of our dinner:
    Appetizers -
    Sardines Mediterraneo - two grilled sardines with a mint chili oil and watercress salad. The sardines were very nicely cooked, but I did have some trouble eating around all the bones(obviously not the restaurant's fault). The mint chili oil was nice, but perhaps too mild in flavour. The watercress salad was way overdressed - the leaves were almost transparent with the amount of oil on them.
    Soup of the Day - oxtail broth with carmelized onions and shaved oxtail. This soup was really really good - it was almost like a French onion soup (without the baked cheese on top).
    Mains -
    Steak frites - the steak was nicely cooked and the sauce was quite good (I think it was some sort of peppercorn sauce, can't remember exactly), but I got the feeling that it had been sitting out for a while. It was on a bed of frite which were rather soggy from sitting in a pool of sauce.
    Moules frites (with the roasted garlic sauce) - the mussels were quite delicious. The dinner portion is HUGE (1kg) so I could only finish half. The frites were a little soggy, but I like mine like that so it was fine for me.
    The service was very friendly, attentive, and knowledgable. No complaints there.
    Overall, it was a good dinner. Nothing to really complain about, but nothing to really gush over either.

    1. h
      Hondapendragon Nov 8, 2006 10:24 PM

      After Toro, if you walk a few blocks east, there is a dark & sexy bar called Strada. You could try that...

      I love Bryden's, but it's not romantic at all.

      1. l
        LovesToEat Nov 8, 2006 07:50 PM

        If you go to Toro (please report back 'cause I might take my hubby there for his b-day dinner next week), a nice place to grab a drink is On the Rocks (on Bloor West, closer to Islington). It's a nice martini bar. Or closer by to Toro is Brydens...more of a neighbourhood pub. And across the street from Toro is The Fan, which is a family restaurant/sports bar but still has booths and tables for drinks

        1. c
          chowchow985 Nov 8, 2006 06:45 PM

          Thank you to everyone for all your suggestions!

          I've narrowed it down to the following:

          - Ematei followed by a drink at the Beaconsfield
          - Caju followed by a drink at the Beaconsfield
          - Toro - anyone know a good place for a drink after dinner?
          - Batifole - same question

          Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! TIA!

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowchow985
            e
            estragon Nov 8, 2006 07:53 PM

            After Batifole, walk down to Leslieville. How about drinks at Over Joy Lounge? http://www.joybistro.com/joylounge.html

            I can't think of any loungy places in Bloor West Village. How about a romantic walk through High Park?

          2. HarryLloyd Nov 8, 2006 02:01 AM

            Not sure if someone has mentioned it but maybe Via Oliveto.

            Also try Batifole. Apps for 8, Mains for 16, dewssert for 6. should do ya just fine and all for under a C-Note.

            Chow!
            HL

            1. d
              DDD Nov 8, 2006 01:42 AM

              Mammina's is a good bet for under $100...Silver spoon is nice, but hard to make it under $100

              1. Brain of J Nov 7, 2006 10:56 PM

                How about Mammina's? Their low mark-ups on wine will give you some flexibiity. Here's their website:

                http://www.byow.net/

                1. t
                  TOgirl Nov 7, 2006 09:36 PM

                  Its been a few years since I've been there, but I remember Bodega on Baldwin St being fairly romantic. And wasn't very expensive.

                  http://www.bodegarestaurant.com/

                  1. c
                    cloverkill Nov 7, 2006 01:58 PM

                    Just this past saturday, my boyfriend and I ate at Kalendar for $52! We split an appetizer, and each had an awesome pasta (I had sausage fusili and he had beef canelloni). His pasta came with a salad which we also split. Didn't invlude wine, but I had a diet coke, he had a gin and tonic. It was very romantic! :)

                    1. TorontoJo Nov 7, 2006 12:18 PM

                      What about Serra? It's on Bloor, a block and a half west of Spadina? Always reliable food - pastas, pizza and some good meat and fish mains. Not incredibly romantic, but still a nice atmosphere. Hubby and I had dinner there the other night - 1 app, 2 mains, 2 capuccinos, 1 bottle of wine (a $40 Chilean red) for almost exactly $100, including tax and tip. My recommendation is that you skip dessert and walk a block down the street for Greg's ice cream.

                      If you don't like Serra, Via Oliveto is right next door.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TorontoJo
                        h
                        hungryabbey Nov 7, 2006 11:11 PM

                        i LOVE this place, highly recommend it. And I found the atmosphere to be really nice!

                      2. a
                        Alektoronto Nov 7, 2006 03:24 AM

                        Not sure about the $100 with wine (tough in TO) but my suggestion would be Sugar Cafe on Queen Street just west of Shaw. Nice, intimate, candlelit at night. The owner is really nice and the food (When I went) was great. The menu is small with only about 3 apps and 4 mains thou. You may want to give them a call.

                        1. m
                          Mushka Nov 7, 2006 01:57 AM

                          Silver Spoon on Roncesvalles is a definite possibility. White tablecloths, china, silverware, candles, good service and great food. They have a website, www.silverspoon.ca you can check out. The wine is a little pricey so you may be pushing that $100 limit if you get a bottle. Across the street is River (www.river413.ca) with lovely large banquettes to sit on (side by side?). It's more reasonably priced, with great food but a limited wine list.

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