HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

High-end food, "boisterous" atmosphere

c
childofthestorm Nov 21, 2006 09:34 PM

My printer is coming into town for one of his "impress the clients" dinners. Typcially we go to steakhouses (Harbour 60 the last time, fantastic) because that's what he likes, but this time he has agreed to relax his restrictions. Just no sushi. Hey, he's from Winnipeg.

Here's the thing: when we all go out it tends to get a little, um, bawdy. Last time we were out a diner came over and demanded we stop dropping the f-bomb. Oops. An occupational hazard, plus we were somewhat tipsy.

So where to go? I was pondering the usual suspects for great food and wine - Splendido, Perigee, Canoe, etc. but am afraid that we'll be a little too much for the room, you know?

And please, no moderately-priced options! I can do that on my own...the whole point of this exercise is to see how high the bill can go, he sure bills us enough every month.

  1. p
    peppermint pate Nov 21, 2006 09:52 PM

    What about dining in the private room at either Splendido, Perigee or Canoe? That way, you still get the great food but nobody will be around to shush you.

    1. c
      childofthestorm Nov 21, 2006 09:58 PM

      Thought about that but no, we still want the atmosphere, you know?

      I guess we need some place LOUD. Hmm...

      1. p
        peppermint pate Nov 21, 2006 10:44 PM

        Maybe one of the lounge-restos would fit the bill then...Ultra, KiWe, Trevor, Kultura? Of those, I've only been to Ultra and the food is quite good, though all of them have had good reviews on this board. I think a place that turns into more of a bar scene as the evening goes on would be a ideal for you and your noisy little entourage:)

        1. b
          bigos70 Nov 21, 2006 11:09 PM

          It isn't super high-end, but it sounds like you would be unnoticed if you went to Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant at Queen & Leslie. The first time I went there on a Tuesday night a few years ago there was a table of guys for a stag type thing and they had a stripper at their table!! I was a little stunned, and even more so when she stood there at the end talking to one of the guys while she was casually putting her bra back on. I'd say at this place anything goes!

          1. e
            estragon Nov 21, 2006 11:31 PM

            How many of you are there? If it's between six and eight, do yourselves a favour and go to Trevor for the Chef's Table tasting menu. You'll get a private space right across from the kitchen, and the chef will come up with kick-ass food. A colleague of mine went last Saturday and said it was incredible. It's $130-150 per person, depending on what they're making. Chef Josh Wolfe cooks rich, flavourful, meaty man's food. You won't be disappointed.

            1. orangewasabi Nov 22, 2006 01:29 AM

              This might be the perfect application of Ki -- you'll be amongst a rowdy business crowd, spend a lot and in fairly stylish surroundings.

              1. c
                childofthestorm Nov 22, 2006 02:28 PM

                Thanks guys, yes I'm leaning towards Trevor or Kultura. Gio's is actually my local restaurant so I'll pass on that for now. Ki is too Bay Street, our company is not that scene at all. And Ultra is way too clubby for my tastes.

                Any thoughts on The Fifth? Our publisher from NY had a big dinner there a few months' ago, and they were probably way more vocal than we'll be.

                1 Reply
                1. re: childofthestorm
                  e
                  estragon Nov 22, 2006 02:35 PM

                  One more thought about Trevor: if you're a bunch of guys who like to drink, swear and talk hockey, you'll have fun with the eponymous Trevor Wilkinson, and his kitchen staff (if you choose the chef's table) will have fun with you. It's a boistrous group.

                2. t
                  TwinklyTerrapin Nov 22, 2006 02:45 PM

                  Have you been to Laide? Seems like the perfect totally unprofessional kinda atmosphere you're looking for...I haven't been there for bit, but the food was great when I went, and the only problem I had with the place was that I got a stiff neck trying to see the vintage pr0n they project on the wall...

                  1. c
                    childofthestorm Nov 22, 2006 04:32 PM

                    Only problem with Laide is we're a bunch of dudes, and the soft-core porn angle is a wee bit awkward, you know? Better as a "cheeky" place to bring a date I think.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: childofthestorm
                      t
                      TwinklyTerrapin Nov 22, 2006 04:50 PM

                      Ah, I always forget that guys are way more prudish about that sort of stuff than women are ;-)

                    2. c
                      childofthestorm Nov 22, 2006 05:51 PM

                      Ha ha, yeah, it's just weird for us. Plus a group of women on a drunken calorie-fueled night out can make sailors on shore leave blush.

                      1. c
                        ciaociao1 Nov 22, 2006 06:58 PM

                        I haven't been there in a while but I remember being at Turf Lounge and having a fun loud night out. Although it's perhaps more moderately priced than an "expense account" dinner.

                        1. spaetzle Nov 22, 2006 07:19 PM

                          The Drake might be another option. I heard last weekend that they have hired a new chef, and that the food has been outstanding lately. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

                          Or maybe Maro in the Liberty Village?

                          1. c
                            childofthestorm Nov 22, 2006 08:24 PM

                            The Drake I've done to death as our office is right near there - although you're right, I do want to try the new chef. Is Maro open on Mondays? This is my BIG problem that I probably should have mentioned in the thread title.

                            Pondering Canoe right now, actually, they're used to dealing with semi-rowdy businessmen I'm sure. Plus they're open on Mondays.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: childofthestorm
                              e
                              estragon Nov 22, 2006 08:37 PM

                              Monday. Chef's day off. Drag! Go for Canoe - they take weekends off. And the Masters of the Universe who dine there won't have any trouble dealing with profanity.

                            2. c
                              childofthestorm Nov 22, 2006 09:43 PM

                              Done. Thanks everyone. I guess I will have to wear a shirt with buttons and everything, but it's a small price to pay for the freedom to Let Men Be Men.

                              Now I just need to convince all of my dining companions to go for the tasting menu with matching wines.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: childofthestorm
                                e
                                estragon Nov 22, 2006 09:51 PM

                                You lucky man. The scallop-and-crab appetizer I had there last month (from the Taste Canoe menu) may well have been the single best thing I've ever eaten.

                                1. re: childofthestorm
                                  NovoCuisine Nov 23, 2006 12:41 AM

                                  I hit up Canoe in jeans all the time.. girl speaking, though ;)

                                  Get Jeff to serve ya at the bar. I've seen him put up with just about everything; nothing but an amused grin on his face.

                                2. c
                                  childofthestorm Nov 23, 2006 10:27 PM

                                  Rats. I can't get into Canoe.

                                  Here we go again...party of 7, MONDAY night, high-end, chef-driven, expense account-priced food scarfed by frequently loud and profane guys. Any thoughts?

                                  This Monday thing is killing me.

                                  1. e
                                    estragon Nov 24, 2006 01:45 AM

                                    Hmmm... Why not try Globe. It's had rave reviews over the last few days here, and the place is big enough that you likely won't disturb anyone. The hors d'oeuvres I had last week were fantastic, and the menu looks like just what you're looking for.

                                    1. c
                                      childofthestorm Nov 24, 2006 03:29 PM

                                      Yeah, jerks, kind of, it's true. Ha ha. But not so much that I want to join the Spoke, aka Land of the Bleach-Blonde Cougar.

                                      Does Globe have its liquor license yet? As jerks, we need lots of booze to fuel our jerkiness.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: childofthestorm
                                        e
                                        estragon Nov 24, 2006 04:40 PM

                                        They say any day now. We're going on Saturday and may try to bring our own. Give them a call. http://www.globebistro.com.

                                      2. OnDaGo Nov 24, 2006 03:46 PM

                                        How about Maro? in Liberty Village, David Adjey's new place? It is a restaurant lounge so noise level should not be a problem..

                                        Do not know if they are open Mondays though...

                                        http://www.martiniboys.com/Toronto/Ma...

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: OnDaGo
                                          e
                                          estragon Nov 24, 2006 04:43 PM

                                          Maro got a nasty review from La Kates last weekend:
                                          http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servle...

                                          On the positive side, Adjey's such a jerk on TV, he couldn't possible object to his customers acting like jerks... ;)

                                          1. re: estragon
                                            orangewasabi Nov 24, 2006 10:26 PM

                                            what happened to Nectar, if anything?

                                            1. re: orangewasabi
                                              icey Nov 28, 2006 11:38 PM

                                              from what i understand, david adjey has divested from nectar and now is doing a whole bunch of consulting jobs at brasaii and some new restaurants.

                                        2. s
                                          schnauzer Nov 24, 2006 05:03 PM

                                          Ultra or North44 (upstairs or down)

                                          1. c
                                            childofthestorm Nov 24, 2006 05:39 PM

                                            Yeah I read that review, honestly I think the micro-plates would drive most of us crazy too. I like Adjey's cooking, had a great meal at Nectar once, but this tiny plate trend has gone too far.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: childofthestorm
                                              OnDaGo Nov 24, 2006 06:03 PM

                                              What would be funny is to order one of each on the menu then when they are all delivered go back and order another one of each and drive Adjey crazy!

                                            2. c
                                              childofthestorm Nov 28, 2006 11:27 PM

                                              Just as a follow-up, we ended up at Scaramouche in the dining room. I had mentioned our particular circumstances, and they were good enough to make sure there was a buffer table on either side of us. Best part was that I convinced my group to get the tasting menu with matching wines, and I asked for a seared foie gras course to be included. As far as I can remember it was:

                                              - Steak Tartare
                                              - House-Smoked Salmon
                                              - Roasted Shetland Island Organic Cod
                                              - Rack of Lamb

                                              I think I may be forgetting a course, but yeah nothing deviated from the menu, which was fine. Plus foie gras, cheese course, and a stellar poached fruit with Armagnac ice cream dessert. Oh, and we shared a few coconut cream pie slices. Wines were terric, service impeccable. A great night out.

                                              Show Hidden Posts