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Aug 2, 2007 05:59 PM

Toronto: Returning for MORE!

Please help this return visitor with some wonderful dining suggestions. I will return for three days next week. What would be the perfect dinner line up? Last time I went to D (?) Kennedy's Wine Bar and had fabulous food and wine. Prefer chef owned establilshments, market fresh food, and a good (varied by grape) wine list. Any ideas? I sincerely appreciate your consideration.

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  1. You must visit Mistura....chef owned, fabulous food and wine. Great italian contemporary menu and the owner Massimo Capra is quite entertaining. Afterwards you could go upstairs to the lounge Sopra and hear live jazz and have a nightcap. If you go, you must order the lamb rib appetizer - outta this world. Next night visit Scaramouche for elegant french inspired continental cusine in a beautiful setting...simple but elegant. Ohhhh, I'm jealous!!!!!

    1. You might try Kultura (on King St East - maybe 10 minutes walk from JKWB). Excellent winelist - not quite as extensive as JKWB, but IMO the food is better - and similarly 'small plates'. Reservations probably needed (you dine upstairs - there's a bar on the main floor).

      4 Replies
      1. re: estufarian

        Had an excellent experience at Kultura again last weekend. Highly recommended for a small plates fan.

        1. re: spades

          Spades (or estufarian)... my sister and I are planning dinner at Kultura tonight. Any specific recommendations re: menu items?

          1. re: Rabbit

            My favourites include the mushroom orecchiette, the chicken samosas, oxtail croquettes, and the foie trio. The only thing I would take a pass on would be the carribean shrimp.

            1. re: spades

              With all respect to previous posters, I would caution against Kultura. I am a huge JKWB fan and was eagerly anticipating my visit to Kultura, but I found it disappointing. Here's my review:


              If you like the small plate format, I think George would be a much better bet. I would also second Mistura or Sopra, and either Chiado or their sometimes neglected casual next-door tapas and wine bar, Senhor Antonio's (Portugese tapas!).

      2. "The breadth of the wine and spirits list is without parallel, its depth spanning centuries, but smaller budgets are also considered. The list also boasts 750 scotch sel­ections and 200 grappas. "

        This comes from a review of Via Allegro, an Italian place in the far West end of Toronto near the 427 & QEW.

        If you ca nmake it out there, go. The food is generally terriffic and the wine list is the largest I have ever encountered.

        Reviews are generally positive, though there have been complaints about slow service, however I have never been in a hurry when I've gone, which is usually for pizza and wine at lunch. Dinner can be pricey, though no more so than restaurants with comparable food.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Scary Bill

          Via Allegro - the food isn't bad - huge portions, which you'd expect in a place that's essentially in a shopping mall - almost a roadhouse in appearance (no tablecloths). Wine selection is indeed vast - and priced accordingly. You may find an occasional bargain but you need to be an Italian wine expert to do so.

          1. re: estufarian

            "almost a roadhouse" ?????

            It is in a strip mall, but a roadhouse decor???? Thanks for the laugh!!!

            There are also excellent sommeliers to help with your wine or alcohol selection, so great expertise is not needed.

            1. re: Scary Bill

              I know what estufarian is meaning when he says a "roadhouse" but really, not isnt the case as Scary Bill points out...the atmosphere is meant to be rustic Italian, like a winery almost, which means there is lots of natural wood and beautiful murals on the is really all about the wine.

              Unfortunately, since they discontinued their mushroom risotto it just hasnt been the same!

        2. Welcome back Hercules,

          Here are a few suggestions based on you liking the Jamie Kennedy Winebar. (assuming you are staying downtown?)

          George on Queen -
          Great menu, service is subtle and flawless, the internal patio is beautiful and one of the best in the city IMO.

          Perigee in the Distillery District -
          This is a major price jump from Jamie Kennedy and George, but if money isn't an issue it's quite an experience. Situated in the Distillery District (great restored walking only Industrial Victorian neighbourhood full of bars, cafes, art gallerys... makes a great full afternoon or evening) it is wonderful food served a la carte as a "trust the chef" tasting menu.

          I have had great experiences at Globe Bistro on Danforth. Stunning room and excellent food.

          Finally, for a cheaper option in another great funky walking neighbourhood (Kensington Market) you can try tapas at Torito. I really think it's one of the best food values in the city
          I wouldn't make this my marquee dinner because all of the other rooms are better dressed, but if your wallet is hurting after a night or two of big splurges this is a fantastic option to still dine really well in a funky little spot.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jgloverwork

            Fabulous and thanks to all for ideas. 1) is the Distillery District accessible from the area around the Four Seasons? 2) Any ideas for Spanish or Portugese restaurants that are good chef owned or great wine lists?

            1. re: herculesmulligan

              Portuguese - Chiado, although I don't know if it's chef owned, but someone on this board will.
              The D-District is probably a $10-$15 cab from the Four Seasons.

              1. re: thenurse

                Chiado! Yesyesyes! Albino Silva was the chef/owner, is still the owner, but the last couple of times that I visited, he wasn't at the stove, but it made no difference to the quality.

              2. re: herculesmulligan

                Yonge Street subway to King Street. Then take the King streetcar (free transfer from subway, get a transfer when you enter) east to Parliament and walk south a few blocks to Mill Street, the centre of the Distillery District.

                1. re: herculesmulligan

                  Distillery would be a $10 - $15 dollar, 10 minute cab ride from the Four Seasons. For Portuguese, agree with Nurse and I would suggest Chiado.

              3. George is high on my list.

                Exquisite food. Small plates like JKWB, though more refined. Chef focuses on local ingredients. Great wine list. Hard to beat.

                111 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2, CA