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North Toronto on a Sunday Evening

I'm meeting friends from Richmond Hill (I'm downtown) for a sunday evening meal. Bistro-style - especially if BYOW - is preferable.
So where can we meet 'half-way' - say bounded by 400 and DVP/404?

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  1. Nothing spectacular jumps to mind in that area. But Wildfire Grill and Millie's Bistro are both open on Sundays. The first is on Yonge, south of York Mills (almost across from the Loblaws). Millie's is on Avenue, south of Wilson. I'm not sure if either is BYOB.

    Sapori Trattoria is also open... not bistro, but Italian... but they have the most phenomenal amarone wine list that you have to ask for separately.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      Wildfire Grill IS BYOB - we actually tried that on a previous meeting. Looking for somewhere different - but an excellent selection. I'll check out Millies.

      1. re: estufarian

        Just a note that despite the name of Millie's Bistro, the cuisine is actually Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. I haven't eaten there yet, so can't vouch for the quality, though I've heard positive reviews.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Not far from Millie's and/or Wildfire Grill - just a five-minute drive, actually - is Paese, on Bathurst St. north of Wilson Ave., which charges no corkage whatever on bring your own wine (except on Saturday, as I recently learned, when bring your own is newly verboten.) Still, when most BYO joints charge $20-$25 corkage, thereby making BYO a useless exercise, a refreshing choice for a Sunday night. I believe Paese has a two-bottle limit per table (the policy seems rather fluid, from what I've seen). A mainly Italian menu, though with a lot of non-Italian dishes, all nicely done. I'm pretty sure the place is open seven nights a week, which, naturally, includes Sundays. Easy parking. If you can't find a spot in the small plaza housing the restaurant, there's a residential street just north of that plaza.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Then why post if you haven't been there?

            1. re: howdydoody

              I requested Bistro in original post. TorontoJo kindly pointed out that this isn't "really" Bistro. Potentially useful info. Can you add any recommendations?

      2. Depending on the weather, the Miller Tavern might work for you. Nice outdoor patio, or more intimate on the inside. While there are some more pricey options, you can keep the budget down if you choose carefully. Great seafood. 20$ corkage on Sunday (1$ on mondays).

        A bit further south, Zucca is always excellent, unknown about the byo, though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Snarf

          Had forgotten about the Miller - great idea.

          1. re: estufarian

            I find the Miller to be ok food but way overpriced for what you get (though it's got great atmosphere). And last time I went, the lovely patio only served a limited patio menu -- sandwiches, salads and such.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              I agree 100% on all counts. Mighty as well go to Terra. The price difference is small.

        2. Thanks so far. Does anyone have any ideas further north (Finch/Steeles/ Highway 7?). The recs so far are relatively close for me - but quite a distance for my friends. It's probably my turn to travel a little further.

          4 Replies
          1. re: estufarian

            Historic Unionville is a rather charming area with some restaurants that serve some decent (but not necessarily memorable) food. However, nothing that I know of is a "bistro" in the truest French sense of the word. For example, Blacksmith's Bistro serves Italian fare, not French.

            Likely the closest thing to a bistro along the Hwy 7 corridor would be Bluestone Bistro (http://www.waterfrontbistro.com/home.php), which in reality is more of a European continental casual fine dining place than a "bistro".

            If you don't mind Italian food, you expand your options by orders of magnitude. There are some surprisingly nice restaurants hidden in the ugly semi-industrial plazas in Vaughan.

            1. re: Juniper

              Thanks for both those - Unionville was completely off my radar.
              And I used the word"bistro" to avoid too many Italian and Asian places - yes, I'm aware of some of them too. Any particular choices for Northern Italian? I avoid tomato based dishes as I find the tomato flavour always dominates and is wine-unfriendly.

              1. re: estufarian

                Sorry, Estufarian. I just realized I gave you an incorrect URL for the Bluestone Bistro (but I'm sure figured that out and managed to find the correct website for the restaurant)!

                Unfortunately, I can't help you with a strictly Northern Italian restaurant, since I haven't found one myself. But some, like La Grotta on Main (in Historic Unionville), do a hodge podge of Italian and Mediterranean fare, so there is a broader selection of non-pasta and non-tomatoey dishes.

                In the Woodbridge area, I've enjoyed the meals I've had a Pranzo e Cena, on Langstaff. Again, there are tomatoey pastas on the menu, but there are some lovely specials like butternut squash ravioli in a chicken and peas broth, which I had during the winter.

                Hope this helps somewhat...

                1. re: Juniper

                  Thanks for the additional info - and I did find the correct URL!

            1. re: phoenikia

              Dropped by there on Monday to try them out.
              "Temporarily closed. We apologise for any inconvenience"

              1. re: estufarian

                That's too bad. I walked by today at lunchtime, and they were open for business.

                  1. re: estufarian

                    Is that where you ended up? How was it?

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      No - was driving home and noticed they were open. The dinner is next Sunday and we're still negotiating who travels the furthest! (Whoever finds the BYOW place wins!).

            2. Wildfire Grill is good....auberge du pommier is wonderful. If you're prepared to travel a little further south, Lolo on Mt. Pleasant is probably my favourite bistro.

              Cheers!

                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                  I almost certain Tutto Bene is closed on Sundays.

                2. Thanks everybody.
                  We excluded Tutto Bene for ‘experience’ reasons (too noisy and tables very close together). Tried to check out Millie’s but never found it (didn’t have the actual address on me at the time). Unionville was ‘just too far’. And I have a real ‘hate’ for Auberge du Pommier – where I was accused of over-salting my meal before tasting it so they refused to take it back and didn’t remove it from the bill (incidentally I won’t even accept pepper from a ‘peppier’, or whatever you call those guys with oversized grinders, without tasting first). Decided on Wildfire (competent the one time we were there) – BUT when I called for a reservation 4 days ahead, they said they were fully booked for that Sunday?
                  So we ended up at Miller Tavern (BYOW $20 except $1 Monday, as Snarf said above). The company was great – and the wine was pretty good too!
                  But fairly ordinary food. Much of the seafood was ‘heavy’ (overbreaded) especially the scallops. Shrimp were better, although the crab/shrimp cakes didn’t ‘zing’ – just ordinary.
                  The meats (essentially different steak cuts) were just not worth the significant prices (mid-$30’s). Dried out at edges and plenty of tendons, although cooked to order. The ‘truffled’ potato crisp had no detectable truffle aroma or taste.
                  Even though we took our own wine, did check out the wine list. Competent with one bargain – the Veuve Clicquot Champagne at $75 (cheapest I’d seen it elsewhere was $99). And their ‘Summer Specials’ included “Honey Harbour Scallops” – maybe that was the cause of the scallop problems – one of the participants spent her entire childhood in that area and never EVER saw a scallop!
                  All-in-all a competent but uninspiring effort. But did notice Mimosa (also BYOW) was open on my drive up, so that’s probably the next venue.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: estufarian

                    Thanks for reporting back. And yep, you confirmed my previous experience at the Miller Tavern.