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martini bars in TO?

m
malyshka Jul 19, 2007 11:21 AM

I don't mean to post so much, but I'm just so excited about finding this resource ;)

Can anyone recommend a good martini bar where we could go for drinks after dinner. The dinner will be downtown, but the bar can be anywhere from downtown to Richmond Hill (preferably not east or west, though)...

I found Babylon here, but apparently it's since closed... so, does anyone know of any other bars where one can have a drink and talk. Live music would be nice, but the volume must be reasonable (we'd like to be able to hold a conversation and relax)

thanks.

  1. thenurse Jul 19, 2007 11:27 AM

    The Pantages Hotel - they have a martini bar
    minibar on Mutual St.
    Any 'after work' bar will have martinis ie. Ki, Bymark, the Keg on York

    2 Replies
    1. re: thenurse
      m
      malyshka Jul 19, 2007 11:39 AM

      wow, thanks for the recs... is there one that you'd recommend above others? do you know when they close? do they have parking available (and how much is it)?

      1. re: malyshka
        thenurse Jul 19, 2007 12:11 PM

        I don't know exact info about parking - sorry. It won't be cheap, although after 5 is usually more reasonable... usually, not always. Parking is available everywhere in Toronto, at a price. I would suggest parking at City Hall - $6 after 5 pm and you can walk everywhere from there.
        Ki is apparently busy with Bay St. types, the Keg is for the 'over 30's', minibar is a student (Ryerson) hangout, and I'm not sure about the Pantages bar, although I might try it out tonight.

    2. p
      Ppott Jul 19, 2007 11:48 AM

      college street between grace and palmerston has a few martini bars to choose from, and it's not too far from downtown. 'ciao edie' on the south side of college has a young feel, 'sousdel' on the north side is the one most worth checking out (has a brown/rusty looking sign), and eat my martini was just okay when I went a couple of years ago.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ppott
        m
        malyshka Jul 19, 2007 12:13 PM

        thanks, we're definitely not looking for a "young feel", as the youngest of us is 31

        1. re: malyshka
          c
          childofthestorm Jul 19, 2007 12:25 PM

          I would recommend the 18th floor bar at the Park Hyatt. Great views, awesome cocktails (incl. martinis), and nice complimentary bar snacks. My personal favourite for a classy drink or four.

          1. re: childofthestorm
            t
            tochipotle Jul 19, 2007 12:36 PM

            This is what I thought of too. It's a great setting, great view, great service and really good bartenders. Plus it's a bit of an older crowd. Feels very posh.

      2. g
        GRobin Jul 19, 2007 12:05 PM

        I love Avenue in the Four Seasons for a martini. You get your own little shaker and the martinis are excellent.

        1. i
          ishmael Jul 19, 2007 12:25 PM

          While not exactly a martini bar, Harbour 60 (60 Harbour street east of York street) has a very nice bar that should fit the bill. Very good bartenders and a creative bar menu. Bonus--complimentary valet parking and a recently opened patio where they allow smoking.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ishmael
            p
            professor plum Jul 19, 2007 12:39 PM

            Pravda Vodka Bar is also a good choice. They are at 36 Wellington.

            1. re: professor plum
              midtowngirl Jul 19, 2007 01:20 PM

              I believe Pravda closed and is re-opening further down the street this summer.

              Not specifically martini, but the rooftop at Ultra is a nice spot for drinks on summer evenings, although on the weekend it gets really busy.

              1. re: midtowngirl
                s
                Snarf Jul 19, 2007 02:11 PM

                The downstairs bar at Centro has a nice atmosphere, does a great martini, and even has live jazz a few nights a week.

                The Park Hyatt is good as well, but you have to pick your times judiciously. Apparently, someone in guest services there has been telling guests that there is a bar on the roof, so the polyester count is increasing, sadly.

                1. re: Snarf
                  dlw88 Jul 19, 2007 04:27 PM

                  Roof Lounge used to be my gem. Now, entire offices go there and stay the night. Service has really suffered, while trying to tolerate these obnoxious yahoos.

          2. h
            hungry_pangolin Jul 19, 2007 04:34 PM

            Not a favourite of mine, but a lot of people (largely, but not exclusively, gay crowd) like Byzantium. Church and Wellesley.

            1. g
              gimel Jul 19, 2007 05:25 PM

              Banu is an Iranian-themed vodka bar on Queen St. - not your usual menu of multicoloured martinis! nice grilled snacks available as well... www.banu.ca

              Otherwise, sousdal on College is an old standby.

              1. g
                Gary Jul 19, 2007 07:09 PM

                Insomnia at Bloor and Bathurst has a large martini menu. The place is kind of cool with a laid-back vibe. I don't recall ever seeing any live music there, but I think they sometimes have DJs.

                Note: I don't know why the map link below is calling it "Insomnia Catering". It is a bar/restaurant.

                -----
                Insomnia
                563 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y6, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gary
                  t
                  tartiflette Jul 20, 2007 07:24 AM

                  One note about Insomnia - it's LOUD. They do have DJs every night, and on busier nights (ie. Thurs thru Sat), the place gets quite rammed from about 8pm to last call. Between the music and the chatter of the other patrons, it's nearly impossible to have a conversation without shouting.
                  They do make a great martini, though, and their bar selection is beyond impressive (one of the few places in TO that actually has Dubonnet Amber on the menu).

                2. Rabbit Jul 20, 2007 04:15 AM

                  For "adult" cocktails, I'd second Avenue at the Four Seasons, the Roof at the Hyatt and Harbour Sixty (especially if money is no object).

                  You might also try Doku 15 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, the plush patio at Vertical (in summer), 2 Cats on King West (a smaller, more "secret" space), the bar at Senses... or they mix great drinks at Rain.

                  1. t
                    tasoid Jul 20, 2007 08:58 AM

                    Try Canoe on the 54th floor of the TD tower, superb drinks!!..They will validate your parking after 6pm..Although you really should not be driving when drinking Martini's!!!

                    1. Mr Rabbit Jul 30, 2007 11:01 AM

                      My favorite is the Library Bar at the Royal York. I like to order an Old Fashioned and pretend I'm at the Drones Club.

                      The bar at Harbour 60 is nice as well. Avoid the fake Sazerac but do enjoy the all-you-can-eat bacon strips.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Mr Rabbit
                        d
                        danthediner Feb 29, 2008 07:24 PM

                        Anyone been to The Roof Lounge (Park Hyatt) lately for drink and/or a meal?

                        Any feedback is appreciated! :)

                        Thanks!

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