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Yonge/Eglington Dinner Recommendation?

My wife and I will be visiting from California and want to take a relative out to dinner on a Monday night. I noticed from looking at www.opentable.com that quite a few restaurants are closed on Monday, unfortunately. She lives north of Yonge/Eglington, and I don't want to travel too far from her home, since she's working that day. We're looking for a place with a decent wine list and varied menu, but not necessarily as wallet-busting as North 44 or Auberge du Pommier can be. Any assistance would be most appreciated!

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  1. Zucca is a great choice. Just a block or so south of Eglinton, it's highly recommended on this board. I believe it's open 7 days a week.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Yongeman

      Agree with Youngman... Zucca is a great neighbourhood spot (and won't bust your wallet). I recommend the fish (the whole fish)... fantastic!!

    2. I agree -- Zucca ia great and another option is Quince, just south of there.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Degustation

        Or Taboule, for middle-eastern cuisine.

        1. re: Degustation

          fyi- quince also does a whole fish...from a wood-fired oven. Both Quince and zucca are great choices-

        2. I like La Vecchia a lot. It isn't a popular spot on the Chowhound board, but I enjoy the food, and my Italian friend says it's authentic. Get something off the grill there -- it's great!

          2 Replies
          1. re: merlot143

            Lol, yeah a restaurant owned by Moraccans which serves a 'risotto' with kiwi fruit is very authentic! Give me a break! This place belongs exactly where it is.

            1. re: The Macallan 18

              I was wondering when you'd show up. I'd hate for some poor visitor to think La Vecchia is the best we can do here. They may never come back!

          2. Thanks to you all for your recommendations! Zucca looks like it's right on target. I'll also see if she's up for a little Middle Eastern food at Taboule. Any other recommendations would be welcomed.

            1. If you and your guest like Indian, the Chef of India at 30 Eglinton East is excellent. They are famous for their buffet but are open for dinner as well.
              Heres the CBC review -

              1. I agree with merlot...La Vecchia was quite nice. MAKE SURE TO DO RESERVATIONS though, because we had to wait a LOOOOONNNGGG time, but the food was really nice and it was really romantic. If you don't mind the wait it's great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: BuggySer

                  Zucca and La Vecchia both have attractive websites. Zucca offers this prix fixe menu certain days of the week which seems too good to be true. Hmmm. Tough choices. Out of the two which would you recommend?

                  1. re: OCKevin

                    Nooooooooooooo not La Vecchia. See my recent experience there.

                    Even The Macallan 18 likes Zucca and he(?) seems, shall we say, very picky about Italian restaurants.

                2. Zucca is definitely one of the better regional Italian places in Tdot. Another local place that has improved much over the past year is Alize. More mainstream and less interesting than Zucca, but still good, and not in the stratosphere in pricing.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Snarf

                    The cool thing is, in two days, I can walk to each one of these restaurants on the way to the subway and check 'em out for myself. I don't think I will have trouble with reservations on a Monday night - but I'd better be safe than sorry and give Zucca a call to reserve a table. Googs - I read your La Vecchia review: Yikes!

                    1. re: OCKevin

                      Zuuccccccccccccaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Don't walk anywhere else. Okay, walk. Check, even. But when you dine, do it at Zucca.

                      A couple of other things about Zucca:

                      1) Most (not all) of the pasta is made fresh daily in-house - if ordering, be sure to check with your server that your choice is of the freshly made...

                      2) My very favourite pasta is the simplest one there - ciriole al pomodoro piccante (first on the Primi part of the menu here: http://www.zuccatrattoria.com/zuccaTr...). I always recommend pasta lovers visiting Zucca for the very first time to try this... someone on this board once also mentioned that you can ask for a "one-and-a-half" sized order if you're hungrier. They indeed do that, and I get it every time and polish the plate.

                      I think this is the best Italian resto in Toronto.

                      1. re: sweetspotlee

                        Just wanted to say that while I like Zucca (and have been an early advocate for OCKev's dinner outing), do keep in mind that this is a nice, little neighbourhood resto.

                        We made a special trip to Zucca based on the glowing reviews from this board, and while I don't have a bad word to say about the place, "best Ital in Toronto" is probably a bit too much hype, and I think perhaps even sets up the diner for disappoint.

                        This is a charming spot with great service and good, sometimes even excellent food. Enjoy, but don't expect a gastronomic revelation.

                        1. re: sweetspotlee

                          Not too sure what you are trying to say here, but... 'fresh' pasta and 'dried' pasta are like comparing apples and oranges. Fresh pasta is most commonly made with fresh whole eggs + yolks and high grade 'doppio zero' flour. Dried pastas are most commonly made with semolina flour and water. They each of their own very specific place in the Italian kitchen and are paired with condiments that suit that type of pasta (and shape) accordingly. Eash of Italy's 20 regions have their own classic recipes for both styles of pasta. So to say that one is better than the other is just plain silly.

                          1. re: The Macallan 18

                            Let me clarify - I was speaking/recommending in the context of eating at Zucca. In their kitchen, the virtues of fresh pasta shine. And especially since OCKevin will be visiting for the first time, I advised that he confirm he's getting the fresh over the dried (the one or two dried pasta choices available are - as I've been told by Zucca staff - usually those which require a lot of labour to prepare fresh and so they opt to just bring it in...)

                            Of course, this board is all a matter of individual opinions... and I agree with your statements in general re dried/fresh-apples/oranges.

                            Hope this helps.

                    2. also open on monday is mirabelle (www.mirabellewinebar.com) and it's just a couple doors down from zucca and quince.

                      i've only been once around when they opened but i've heard of a few people dropping in and making it a more regular neighbourhood spot and really enjoying it. they're a gastro wine bar that's sort of bringing back really old classics and doing it well. they dont' have as extensive as a wine list as i would like but a huge number of the selections are by the glass!

                      my review: http://tongueandcheek.ca/2006/06/20/j...