I have 3 friends coming into town next month. One is a sommelier, so I'm looking for a restaurant with a great winelist(this being the 1st priority) good ambiance, and great food.
Here's the kicker though, I don't want to break the bank taking them out.
Thought about JKWB and Barberian's, wondering what are the other options.
Thanks in advance
You could try Reds Bistro (Adelaide St. in 1st Cdn Place), or Crush Wine Bar (King St. W.), both are premised on their wine list, but they might be close in price to JKWB, both probably have websites to check out. Recently had dinner at Reds with a client who was a wine conaisseur/collector and he was impressed both with the selection and the service. Food was very good but not cheap.
Provence Delices in Cabbagetown has a reasonable though not cheap price point, and apparently excellent French food & ambiance (there are a few posts on this board about it) AND prides itself on having a good wine list. I think the website is provencerestaurant.com? I have a dinner booked there soon so we shall see.
Another option to keep in mind if you really want the JKWB experience is to go there for lunch: you can make reservations for lunch AND it might be a bit more affordable if you all tend to eat less at lunch (i.e. order fewer dishes) than at dinner, perhaps?
globe bistro perhaps? they're one of the newest ventures to feature tasting sized pours and will easily do flights if you ask. the wine list is fairly good and features more accessible wines than say your $200 bottle.
they have a formal dining area and front of the house bar/tapas section. i personally think the food is good although not the best in the details (ie. chocolate/espresso wings definitely not tasting of these flavours, gravys thickened with too much flour) but it's gotten good reviews all around. service is excellent.
Crush on King West sometimes has some interesting wine choices. They also do 3 oz glasses, so there are lots of tasting opportunities.
Good atmosphere (brasserie-like, but warm, with exposed brick, high ceilings, airy but not cavernous). It's not inexpensive, but there is bar area seating, so you could always stop by for wine tasting and shared apps, which is sometimes more fun than big-commitment dinner (also good area if you wanted to do a little bar hopping).
Chiado is one of my top restos in the city, but I wouldn't send anyone there for their wine list (which is also published on their website). Unless, of course, the sommelier is from Portugal and only cares about Portuguese wines.
As an aside, if my friend were a sommelier, I would take them to Via Allegro just to look through the tome that is the wine list, and let them drool at the 5 figure wines on that list (or stare at the scotch wall, as I do). Lunch there (as Balthazar said) would be nice but they will be happy to let you sit and look at the list alone. I would suggest the same for Opus on Prince Arthur (who will also give you a tour of the off-site wine cellar if you call ahead).