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Suggestions for nice lunch for Parisian Boss

I am taking my former employer out to lunch next Monday. Looking for something low-key, but somewhat upscale. It has to be fairly close to the University/College area (only have 2 hours), and would like to avoid the "suits" if possible (so Canoe is out). Help. Almost all places are either closed or don't do lunch!!!

Thinking Vertical maybe???

Want decent wine list too.

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  1. Is JK Wine Bar too casual? They do take reservations for lunch, and the wine list is lovely.

    1. What about going French-Canadian? Le Pappillion is a good choice. It's a little farther south than where you indicated - it's on Chruch Street just south of Front Street.
      They take reservations and also have an interesting wine list.
      Their website is www.lepapillion.ca

      3 Replies
      1. re: SMJ78

        Ooh, sorry, I have a dissenting opinion on Le Papillon. Not very good food and very uncomfortable chairs. Two hours in those will not impress a former boss! :)

        1. re: TorontoJo

          LOL, those chairs ARE phenomenally uncomfortable, they actually make the restaurant memorable for that specific feature

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Me too. Le Papillon is not a good choice

        2. fairly close by foot?
          Right at University/College is awful -- you could go west to Little Italy for say, Bar Italia or north to Yorkville like Prego (both are open for lunch)

          1. How about a truly Canadian (& lovely) experience at JK at the Gardiner. I was there a few weeks ago. It's an amazing space that's sure to impress - not very "suity" at all - on the top floor of the Gardiner Ceramic Museum right across from the ROM. The menu is Canadian-eclectic/multicultural with an intruiging selection of Canadian wines matched to the dishes. This would really fit the bill, I think & is in the 'hood. Make reservations - they are essential most of the time.

            1. Gallery Grill in Hart House. Very close to your intersection, good food in a non-pretentious, no suit atmosphere. Can't vouch for the wine as that's not my thing but they do have wine pairings by the glass on the menu and a winelist online (see link). Quebec cheese plate. Highly recommend any dessert featuring the salted caramel semifreddo but I also liked the fact that they asked if we wanted sparkling, still or tap water.


              1 Reply
              1. re: julesrules

                I second Gallery Grill, particularly if you like your former boss. It's a great place for a good long yak - quiet, sunny, calm.

              2. Osgoode Hall has a lunch "cafeteria" as well. That's always an interesting experience - maybe not suits, but lots of robed lawyers and judges. There is a price fixe menu and I believe you can also order a la carte. It's different, anyway. And it's at Queen and University. The service was great and the bread basket kept getting refilled with an assortment of breads...

                1. Chiado is open for lunch on Monday's. A bit of a hike to College and Ossington, but if the traffic Gods are with you, it would be worth the trip.

                  1. would Bocca on Baldwin be too casual? I have enjoyed that in the past for a low-key but tasty meal...

                    1. Thanks so much for the wonderful suggestions fellow hounds. I think I'm leaning towards Gallery Grill (I adore my old boss, and he's an academic so this fits perfectly), and looking foward to a long yak with some nice food.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                        I think you'll be happy with the Gallery Grill.

                        I had my first lunch at the Gallery Grill 2 weeks ago. The spinach gnudi were fantastic.

                        I was surprised how delicious and interesting the food was. One of the better lunches in downtown Toronto. Good service, too.

                        1. re: phoenikia

                          Yes those gnudi were tempting even to a meat-lover like me, but we went with a rabbit appetizer and the cassoulet. Too bad they didn't have a dessert with a 5th kind of meat in it! It says something that the gnudi dish almost won out.

                          Agree, great meal. I think if they did dinner they would be much better-known. We were also encouraged to order a cheese course even though it meant lingering well past the rest of the crowd. I was just really impressed with the place.

                      2. Didn't know about the Gallery Grill...looks good and will definitely check it out!

                        1. For a great Alsatian lunch you could always try Thuet..

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tasoid

                            This was the first place that came to mind actually, but a bit of a hike unfortunately.