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Old School style fine dining?

So, my husband and I have finally decided to 'get out there' and try some fine dining in the Toronto/GTA area...spread our wings from our usual haunts like the Toronto Cricket Club dining room. So far we have tried Scaramouche (sp?) and loved the food but thought that the place wasn't that romantic/traditional at all. Next was Rain...hated it. Then Canoe...food was very good, excellent views, but what is with these "new" restaurants that have exposed ceilings, cramped tables, and soo sooo "new age"?

Where oh where are those traditional Old School kind of fine dining...the mahagony walls, the fine linens, the finished ceilings and items on the menu that I actually recognize? And exactly when did the cesear salad disappear from menus???

Any suggestions...getting tired of the Cricket club and RCMI...traditional and nice, but looking for a change. THANKS

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  1. I would say keep hitting golf/country clubs or hit the UK. Scaramouche is about as traditional as Toronto to gets. A fabulous restaurant btw.

    To answer your question, I think caesar salads disappeared circa 1985

    1 Reply
    1. re: industry worker

      LOL...Cesear salads are alive and well in my household. I agree, we are probably the 'club' kinda diners hence why we are trying to expand our horizons. But I guess i am old school at heart (and I'm only 43!). Thanks for reply.

    2. I think you might like the Rosewater on Toronto Street.

      6 Replies
      1. re: foodieinTO

        It's a beautiful place, but would they really recognize the items on the menu?

        1. re: embee

          Now, this is more my speed! Great suggestion both of you. I am not looking for a challenge here (I really am an easy going person) but I laughed at "would they really recognize the items on the menu". I guess I kinda came across as a bumpkin (no offence to the bumpkins out there) and didn't think it necessary to post my cooking/eating credentials to qualify that we do, in fact, have a very good understanding of cooking and food. Can't be the daughter of an Italian father and a Belgium mother without knowing a thing or two about food,lol.

          Rosewater food menu and wine menu look very nice and I thank you for the suggestion. Now I will show my Bumpkin-ness...what is a supper club anyway?

          1. re: northerncheapo

            Actually, I can't take credit for that line, since I was quoting you:

            "Where oh where are those traditional Old School kind of fine dining...items on the menu that I actually recognize?"

            ;-)

            1. re: embee

              LOL...touche! Yes, although I do have an extensive knowledge of food, I am severely limited when chefs start 'fusing' things together and I can't recognize what the heck it is. I do appreciate the Rosewater recommendation: Hubby and I have a reservation tonight at 7:15...I'll let you know what happens!

              1. re: northerncheapo

                Embee...just got back from dinner at Rosewater and it was very nice! I had the pan seared halibut which was presented with citrus and foam something or other. Fish was excellent, foam I could do without (my usual complaint...not that it was 'bad' just not my taste). I just ate around all the 'do dah' stuff to find a beautiful tasting fish. Hubby had, gasp, mushroom risotto. Very good! He started witht he cesear salad with tofu sesame dressing (very good and happy to see good ole romain lettuce, thank you Rabbit) and I started with the bocochani cheese and tomato salad with balsamic sauce. Was very good! We both found the old Gas company building to be very very beautiful and rich in history. Service was average (waiter crossed the line from 'friendly' to 'familliar' which I hate) but was alright overall. They had two flutes of pink champagne waiting for us at the table when we arrived as it was an anniversary celebration AND they treated us to a lovely plate of dessert on the house which we took on the outside patio. Ended the night at Reservoir Lounge jazz club. Very nice evening overall and I thank everyone for this recommendation.

                1. re: northerncheapo

                  I'm so glad that you enjoyed your evening. Happy Anniversary!

      2. What about Barberian's? That's pretty old school. Does it get more so?

        1 Reply
        1. re: hungry_pangolin

          Been to Barberians and was nice, yes. I failed to mention my husband is a vegetarian, LOL! Thanks for suggestion.

        2. What about Harbour Sixty, a very beautiful steakhouse with great service and excellent food? I also agree that Barberian's might suit you. Steakhouses are a good bet for the kind of atmosphere that you describe - and most have easily navigable menus - including caesar salad.
          www.harboursixty.com

          And, this isn't a challenge, but while I can understand how some people just don't like the vibe at Rain, I would hardly call Canoe "new age."

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rabbit

            Yah, "new age" was the only word i could come up with to describe the way non-traditional restaurants are today: exposed vented ducts, jailhouse chik bathrooms with tea candels, fusion this and foam that. I suppose I did use the wrong word,lol. Thanks for Harbour suggestions, i will look at it!

            1. re: Rabbit

              My Mom (63) was surprised at the atmosphere at Canoe when we went for Summerlicious. She was expecting old school, and thought it was quite casual.

            2. Sounds like you need a steak house. You will probably find the most traditional ambiance at Tom Jones or Barberians. I also like Carmen's, but it's a bit kitschy.