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What are the 5 Restaurants I need to try this summer?

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...Maybe it's because they are at the top of their game, maybe it's because they have a consistent track record...a great patio, top notch service...whatever the reason - where should I be sure to go this summer so I can say, "yeah, I've been there..it was great!"

Price point, location or type of food irrelevant to list....I'm wiiiide open to your suggestions!

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  1. in no particular order:
    1. Wish- mid-range price- absolutely great patio when it is hot, the food is fine- not outstanding but fine.
    2. Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar- fun fun fun- great food, great service- always lively and not bad prices.
    3. Cava- pricey, awesome food- poor location, excellent service.
    4. Quince- well-priced, very busy fun room, great service- way better food than what you'd expect from a neighborhood spot-
    5. Colburne Lane- arguably the hottest spot right now- high-end, great service- cool downtown room

    I could go on and on....
    one more-
    6. Bar One- my favorite brunch- horrible service (there's no denying it)- great food.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nummanumma

      Five I'm dying to try, in no particular order:
      1) Splendido
      2) Cava
      3) Colbourne Lane
      4) Amuse Bouche
      5) JK Wine Bar

      Memorable meals I've had in the past year, in no particular order: Scaramouche, Trevor, Rosebud, Blowfish.

      1. re: nummanumma

        Weighing in on Wish - it's a great place and I go all the time but I wouldn't say it's a 'top 5 to try' if the sky's the limit. As mentioned the food is good but in no way exceptional...

        My list is not the 'greats' but are great places at something one can afford habitually...
        1. Rosebud - seriously. The whole shebang at an excellent value
        2. JK Wine Bar - delicious food, wonderful wines, a fantastic meal.
        3. Japango - Tremendous quality and unique preparations in everything there. Authentic and delicious and not at all stuffy.
        4. Lee - controversial but a unique experience and still one of the best duck dishes I've ever tasted
        5. Seoul City - Korean fusion. HIts all the right points with good service and interesting mixes.

        I'm totally behind on my restauranting. Places I'd want to try are:
        Trevor
        Kultura
        Colbourne St

        1. re: artificialard

          agreed re: wish. just a great patio-

          1. re: artificialard

            artificialard, we are separated at birth: your five are mine (except for Seoul City, which I found good but not great). If we do indeed have similar tastes I say yes, go to Colbourne Lane; you'll love it. But skip Trevor, the food's fine but the service/room/overall experience are disappointing.

        2. 1. George. I'm stopping there. My dinner at George last week was awesome.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TwinklyTerrapin

            Interesting about George...I had an amazing dinner there a year ago Feb., we went back this December for a rather "special" birthday of mine and I was less than enthused..primarily due to service - our waiter knew NOTHING, appeared to be 12 and missing an evening of video game playing.. he rushed us through our food courses, I was savouring a sexy martini and he was trying to bring out the first course - never mind asking about wine!...the food runners, while lovely and polite could not even tell me which cheese was the strongest (hubby is not a fan of the stinky, but I am..) I was also quite surprised to note the repetition of various ingredients (I think 3 things contained goat cheese..which I love, but didn't expect with such frequency). I was sad after our meal cause it was a huge let down after my first visit there. <sigh> Toronto is consistently disappointing in it's lack of consistency! So rarely do I have amazing experiences on a regular basis...with the exception of Utopia, a different class of restaurant to be certain, but always great.....

            maybe I need to give George another chance...I don't like to hold a grudge!

            1. re: redhead

              I had a so-so experience at George and i've been holding a grudge for a while now- sounds like I should give it another go-

          2. Splendido - tasting menu with wine a must. Arguably the best 'total package' restaurant
            in town
            George - tasting menu but with BYOB since corkage much less than Splendido.
            Sushi Kaji - Go with an empty stomach and order the $120 omakase dinner.
            O Mei - Hwy7 and Valleymede in Richmond Hill. The house specialty ' Wok fried
            jumbo lobster' alone is worth the trip
            Fantasy eatery - Finch and Midland. Great tasting authentic Chinese cuisine at an
            unbeleivably cheap price. If you can, go during the June ' live west
            coast spotted prawns' window and savour some ultra-delicious delicacy.

            1. You need to make a road trip this summer. Drive down to Buffalo and go to the Anchor Bar for lunch to have chicken wings as they were meant to be (and see why they are so much better than Duffs). Then on the way back, take a side trip over to Paris and go to Camp 31 for dinner. Order the pulled pork and a full rack of St. Louis ribs.

              1. Keeping it fresh and local in the west side TO.

                1. Universal Grill - Dupont and Shaw (MUST TRY: Rajah's Dry Ribs....the best ribs you'll ever experience with over 50 secret spices)
                2. Cafe Cinquecento - King & Niagara St. area (Amazing Italian food with the best pasta chef in the city. 10 or so tables...friendly, authentic, and romantic)
                3. Bar One - Queen West at Shaw - (trendy, intimate, bustling, creative brunch though service is a bit slow...who's really in a rush for brunch anyway?)
                4. Niagara Street Café - Niagara St and King W (French fine dining - expert service, good food)
                5. Terroni's - Queen & Claremont (Hands down best pizza ever. I've never tried any of the other locations, but the Queen St. one is definitely happening...always a line up at peak hours, but the wait is worth it and it goes by quickly)

                1. In addition to the other suggestions, I offer Chiado (upscale Portuguese) at around 872 (?) College St. It is *consistently* excellent over the 10+ years that I've gone there. I find it bewildering that as restaurants (and fashion) come and go, Chiado is so good yet so often overlooked. Excellent wine list, as well. One of the few places in TO that is pricey BUT worth every last penny. I have never left with purchaser's regret.