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Visiting Toronto Solo, 1st time...

  • c

I will be there for 5 nights, and want to go to some snazzy restaurants that are good for people dining alone (very interested in good, fine-dining food). Can anyone tell me about Rain, Canoe, North 44, or Susur (Lee)? Also, who has the best desserts? Please help if you can, I read these boards often and you all seem to have good knowledge and advice. :0) Thx!! -Cups

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  1. hey Cups,
    Canoe is outstanding - great food, impeccable service, very good wine list. The desserts don't stand out in my mind, but they're pretty good about changing the menu often. Canoe isn't a steak-and-potato kind of place. The last time I was there, I had the bison tenderloin since I'm not the biggest seafood fan. Expensive, but not outrageous, and absolutely worth every penny. I would advise making reservations, and if you're from the west coast, wear your nicest pair of jeans there - it's a bit less casual than we're used to out here. Also, if you make a reservation, try to get a table next to the window - on a clear night, you can see forever. I never have enough advance notice about my trips to Toronto to organize a reservation at Susur - it's at least a couple of weeks out, in my experience.
    My favourite indian food in TO is Babur on Queen West. A new one for me but an exceptional dining experience on a recent trip was at Crush on King West (close to Spadina) - I would also recommend reservations, but you can wear your nice jeans there, too.
    Have a great trip!

    1. I live in Toronto and I can say from personal experience that Rain was stunning, one of the best food experiences I've ever had. Admittedly I was there a year or two ago and I took my husband there for his birthday, which happened to land on a Tuesday night so it was about half full of regulars and expense account people. Everything was original, creative, delicious, incredibly complex and layered but not overly challenging...I kept encountering combinations and ideas that never would have occurred to me, but at no point did I have that "do I like this?" struggle in my mouth or mind. Who knew that a deep-fried red snapper spine would be the Pringle of the Gods? I dropped $410.00 on dinner that night but it was worth every penny (and we started to go crazy towards the end, swept along on a tide of food-euphoria..."well, why not? Sure, I'll have a glass of champagne..."). Staff immediately sized us up as bridge and tunnel people but were gracious and professional nevertheless.

      2 Replies
      1. re: LaGoulue

        thanks for the review of Rain - now I'll have to go on my next trip to Toronto. Let me know how your Vancouver dining experience goes (and, of course, where you go!).

        1. re: meganw

          We were lucky: the Rubinos were both in that night, and that was around the time they were still juggling Rain and Luce (Luce is closed now, so if anything I'd like to go back to Rain and see how it is when it's their primary focus...unless they're opening something else I don't know about). Thanks for the tips on Vancouver!

      2. Susur, North 44, Splendido all definites, all well worth a visit.

        1. Amuse Bouche has amazing multi course 'Dessert Tasting Menus'. Definitely worth a try. A few weeks back, five of us shared 25 different delicious dishes, only three were identical! Perigee serves similar ones after 9pm, pretty good too. As for a la carte dessert after a meal, both Rain and Pangea offers stunning ones.
          Just a few comments pertaining to some afore mentioned recommendations. Canoe used to be very good but found it gone downhill recently. North 44 is overpriced. Susur's service can be very inconsistent, especially when dining alone. For the complete package of food, wine, service and ambience, Splendido is still the best! Finally, do give Aprile's new restaurant in Colbourne Lane a try. Very innovative, original and tasty food reflecting Aprile's time spent in El Bulli's kitchen. Oh, by the way, if you don't mind travelling a bit, grab a taxi and go visit Sushi Kaji. Incredible Omakase dinner. One of the best in Canada. Enjoy!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Charles Yu

            Second the Sushi Kaji recommendations, but make sure you sit at the sushi bar and have the omakase dinner, as Charles said (make the reservation ahead to make sure you can be accommodated). You will be in for a lot of fun (the sushi chefs are quite entertaining, and you won't miss not having a companion) and some amazing food made right before your eyes. Colborne Lane is probably also a great recommendation. Haven't eaten there, but Aprile did some amazing things at Sen5es restaurant, where he used to be.

          2. If you like dining at the bar and people watching or chatting with the staff, the following restaurants are great: JK Wine Bar, Starfish, Trevor. None are 'high-end' fine dining, but all are very good (and very different from each other).

            Perigee is a fantastic fine-dining experience -- most of the tables are around the sunken kitchen, so you can chat with the chefs as you eat, if you wish. The dessert tasting is fantastic as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TorontoJo

              I second JK Wine Bar - great for a solo diner I think (haven't tried Starfish or Trevor though).