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Mar 13, 2007 10:00 AM

dinner tonight?

I know it's last minute, but I'm wondering if perhaps some of you with a moment this afternoon might be able to offer some advice. My girlfriend is all dressed up today, so I want to be spur-of-the-moment romantic and take her some place nice for dinner. I have reservations at Colborne Lane. Here's where it gets a bit complicated.
Over $200 for dinner, as a sweet gesture, is a bit out of our price range - but I'm willing to do it if I can't come up with something else.
Here is my ideal - good food, but doesn't have to be the best meal I've ever eaten. Also, close to a subway stop would be nice, as we live in Bloor West Village, and I would like to buy her a bottle of wine and not have to drive.
If anybody has a suggestion for a nice place (okay, maybe not an exquisite place) for me to go close to a subway stop - then I would really appreciate it.
Just so you know, I've spent the morning doing research, and nothing other than Colborne Lane (just because it's new and special) has seemed to fit - other than the location.
She will be at King and John (but by all means, no need to stay there - actually, I would rather be along the Bloor line), so I've looked at other posts for that area: Fred's Not Here, SoHo, Chez Victor at Le Germain, Crush Wine Bar. Plus I've even checked out Splendido, Susur, Starfish, JK Wine Bar etc - but besides Fred's Not Here, they're all pretty much in the same price range, so it seems to make more sense to go with CL.
In BWV I've checked out Bloom - but wasn't too inspired by their offerings.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thanks very much

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  1. We had dinner at the Globe Bistro on Danforth a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It's very close to the subway and a good place to show off a fancy outfit, however dinner for two with two drinks, bottle of wine, two starts, two mains, one cheese plate and two glasses of after dinner wine (we live down the street and weren't driving either ;-) was, I believe $180ish before tip.
    ...and if you sit in the balcony you can admire the gallery of bald spots below...

    1. Cheaper than C.L., but still somewhat nice, could be described as romantic datey-places-
      Rosebud- just west of the Queen W. subway stop ---I think? check that one out- i'm directionally challenged
      La Vecchia- maybe ten-minute walk north of Yonge and Eg.
      Wish- right at Yonge and Bloor
      Quince- south of Yonge and Eg- five-minute walk
      hmmm. still thinking...

      5 Replies
      1. re: nummanumma

        Thanks so much for the suggestions. Around $200 is okay (but preferrably below!).

        1. re: tochipotle

          if around $200 is ok- you really should go to Colburn Lane!

          1. re: nummanumma

            Confession: I'm a little intimidated about CL. And I really feel like, after tip, I would be spending close to $300 there. I don't want to go and limit myself because of the cost - I would rather save it for a special occasion...if I'm going to go - i'm going all out.
            Also, I'm a novice foodie, thus, a tad ignorant about just about everything and I get intimidated in such places - thinking that I'm ordering the wrong wine etc...
            Do you think I should just get over it and go already?

            1. re: tochipotle

              DH and I went, ordered 3 plates each (the recommendation) and drank 3 glasses of wine each (don't tell anyone!) and the bill was $200. Honestly? yes, just get over it and don't be afraid to say to the server..."I just like to drink wine. can you recommend something to go with the...."
              It's better than being a poseur, right?

              1. re: tochipotle

                Well, it sounds like Coulbourn Lane will be around for awhile, so maybe save it for another night, when you're really into it--it sounds like a place that would be best when you're into it.
                On a related note, there's nothing like good eating to train a novice palate, and good servers will be happy to talk to you about the menu and make suggestions. They'll also make suggestions on wines, so ask what they'd suggest--they should know their wine list better than you could be expected to. And here's a tip: if you want a suggestion for a bottle of wine, but don't want your dining partners (perhaps your girlfriend's parents) to know the price, hold up the wine list so you and the server can see it, and say that you'd like "Something in this range" while pointing at the price of a wine with your finger. One of the things that I enjoyed about the Globe Bistro was that our server had some excellent suggestions for wine (my honey's a bit of a wine geek) and when we order a cheese plate for dessert, she checked with the sommelier and brought my honey half glasses of a white and a red wine to go with the cheese--I thought that was classy and adventurous.

                Finnegan suggested Foccia on Hayden, which is a great little place, with Larry, the larger-than-life waiter. If you want to practice your food and wine exploratory skills, he's the man to talk to. He loves his job, and by the end of my first meal there, I loved Larry...and not just because he kept bringing me excellent liquor...

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. ...I've been thinking, and there's also Cava, which is on Yonge, therefore close to the subway, and has been sounding very nifty, although I haven't been myself. It's small plates, so I guess you can be a frugal as you wanna be. Also, Bar Mercurio on Bloor, between the St.George and Spadina stations is very nice, a dress-up kinda place, and would be about $100 for dinner.
            (it's just buggin' me that more suggestions aren't coming to mind, but then I don't often go to fancy clothes restaurants because fancy clothes itch too much and don't have the elastic waistband to let you really enjoy your meal)
            If around $200 is okay, then I'd take nummanumma's suggestion and go to Colbourn Lane. The Globe Bistro was lovely and the food was great (I had the venison...mmm, ultra red meaty), but it sounds like Colbourn Lane is hitting it out of the park, and how often do you get a chance to wine and dine your fancy-dressed honey on a Tuesday at a really stellar place--that'll get you huge boyfriend points...and you can eat spaghetti at hone this weekend to make up for the splurge...

            1. Can I just say, "aww. that is really, really sweet of you." I mean it! Enjoy your dinner