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May 29, 2007 11:51 AM

Patio with Upscale Food

I am looking for recommendations for a patio that is not near traffic (more on the quiet side) for a business dinner. Could be downtown or up as far as Lawrence.


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  1. - The Fifth has a gorgeous patio. Feels secret and "Toronto," but also suitably adult. Grill menu is easy to navigate and not "weird" if you're dealing with fussy eaters.
    -Ultra... although on the busy bit of Queen Street, Ultra's patio is private and plush. It can be a little scene-y. Might want to make sure there's no event happening that could run interference.
    - Walked by Vertical yesterday - patio looked welcoming and probably quiet enough for business. It's next on my to-do list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rabbit

      Thanks Rabbit!

      At The Fifth, do you still have to go through the elevator routine?

      1. re: garlicscapes

        Yeah, you do the elevator thing, which I think can be kind of charming if it's your first visit.

        But I'd forgotten about George. Pretty spot - and definitely more interesting and probably "better" food, in my opinion.

    2. George has one of the most beautiful, "hidden" patios in the city. Perfect for a business dinner.

      8 Replies
        1. re: dlw88

          I would have to agree with TorontoJo also in that George has a great secluded patio and the food is fab although I haven't been for about a year or so. Come to think of it, I should add that to my list of places to go real soon.

          1. re: dlw88

            That's what I would have recommended too!

            1. re: estufarian

              I like George. But, I think many overlook Messis which has an awesome patio and very good food as well. Plus, for many who do the business dinner thing, this can be a new destination.

              1. re: lowchen

                I've been to George, but never to Messis.

                Could you tell me a little about it? Is the patio out front? Probably not a problem on Harbord.


                1. re: garlicscapes

                  Messis is really great- and I agree with lowchen in that it's an under talked-up resto on this board.

                  But by no means is it in the same league as George.

                  Patio is on a side street, so suitably quiet. Food has always surpassed my expectations, but this is a neighbourhood resto. George is one of Toronto's best. Again, they're not the same creature.

                  1. re: Rabbit

                    Thanks - that really helps! Maybe I should save Messis for a casual dinner with friends.

                    For the business dinner, I am hoping for more upscale. I would appreciate any other suggestions.

                    1. re: garlicscapes

                      George is very upscale and would be perfect for a business dinner.

        2. I've enjoyed the patio at Crush Wine Bar, but have only been there after work for wine and their "wine appetizer plate" [a great accompaniment of oysters, white shrimp carpaccio and goat cheese]. They have over 30 wines avail. by the glass. I have yet to try other items on their menu but it's definitely upscale, contemporary French cuisine, so the menu may fulfill your needs.

          I enjoy the patio location, as it is somewhat hidden between historical buildings on King St. West [west of Spadina].

          Some pix:

          Dinner menu:

          2 Replies
          1. re: cava_girl

            Cool - I didn't know that Crush had a patio.

            What about restaurants in the Distillery district?

            1. re: garlicscapes

              Actually, that's a great idea -- depending on which restaurant you choose. There's no shortage of patios in the Distillery and it is a fun place in the spring/summer. However, I think that most of the restaurants there are fairly casual, so if you're looking for upscale, you'd be left with either The Boiler House or Perigee [the latter doesn't have a patio, as far as I know].

              I enjoyed the Seared Mahi Mahi at The Boiler House, but I dined indoors. What drew me there in the first place was the award winning interior design... it's really gorgeous. So I'm afraid I can't vouch for the patio experience or the rest of the menu items there.

              You might want to be careful which evening you plan to book, as the weekends get quite busy with tourists in the spring/summer and there is live jazz every weekend -- even on Sundays during brunch. Depends on how quiet you want the venue to be.


          2. I've had lots of business dinners on the patio at La Maquette (king & church).

            5 Replies
            1. re: chyxx

              This is another good choice. Right adjacent to the Sculpture garden with waterfall etc.

              1. re: estufarian

                La Maquette is a gorgeous setting to be sure, but I think one can find better food at that price point.

                My vote also goes for George.

                1. re: childofthestorm

                  Does anyone else find the patio at George rather loud? Maybe because we were sitting beside the fountain. The patio is very pretty though.

                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    If you look further up the thread, I also voted for George first. But coincidentally, I was at La Maquette tonight, and can still recommend it unreservedly. The current art exhibit is quite haunting (looks like a spiders web gone wrong) and the food was certainly respectable and the whole experience very relaxing. Overall better ambiance than George, although George has better food generally. For a business meeting, La Maquette is definitely a viable alternative.

                    1. re: estufarian

                      Yes, I would agree that La Maquette wins hands-down for ambience. I think it's one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city.