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Oct 5, 2007 12:07 AM

Help to narrow birthday dinner...

Hey I have a birthday coming up and my parents want to take me out to dinner. They know I'm quite the chowhound so they're letting me pick. Normally I'm more reserved but I'm willing to go upper-middle class since it's a birthday and they want to go somewhere special too.

I definitely do enjoy the modern, minimal, luxe kind of settings but my parents wouldn't feel comfortable so I'm ruling out places like Kultura, Colbourne Lane, and Trevor which I still want to try.

In the past we've really enjoyed The Rosebud, JKWB as a family.

So do you guys have any suggestions? There's lot of places I want to try but I don't want it to be a fortune (like Susur, Perigee, etc.) or too-cool-for-school type things. I'm thinking at this point either C5, Hiro Sushi, or Cowbell. I'm going to pick a place I haven't tried...

Help is appreciated!

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  1. I've heard good things about Fire on the East side.

    1. I don't think you should rule out Colborne Lane.

      I wouldn't put it in the same hipster category as Kultura or Trevor... the music isn't hyper-loud, and service isn't too "cool." Plus, there's more serious focus on the food (which I don't think is particularly good at either Kultura or Trevor). The dining room is actually quite civilized. If the parents like JKWB, I think they might like Colborne Lane. You can always go in for a quick drink and snack at the bar - or even just a look-about and a menu-read, if you want to research the vibe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rabbit

        Agreed, in fact I had some great service at Colborne Lane, it is not the Splendido type of service, but it is friendly and efficient. However, it is more expensive than JKWB. IMO, the food at Colborne Lane is better than C5 too.

      2. niagara st cafe
        amuse bouche - be warned that the tables are tight together
        starfish - although reports of their service makes it iffy... still super tasty

        hiro sushi just really did not do it for me. neither did trevor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Sad, but true. Hiro's day has been and gone. I still consider him to be the blade that launched a thousand sushi bars in this city.

        2. These are fantastic suggestions - I will think about Colborne Lane again but what is the pricing like? I hear some people say it's just 3 dishes pp while others saying it's 4/5 to be satisfied... We're a typically tiny Chinese family so don't tend to have large appetites. I remember 2-3 dishes pp at JKWB was satisfying for a table of 3...

          I also am looking at George now - what do you guys think?

          I want a more complete dinner experience where Starfish seems more focused on the raw bar - but will definitely check it out some other time.

          Been to Niagara Street Cafe and Fire on the East Side already a few times times and it's enjoyable but wouldn't be that 'special' as I'd like something new...

          Amuse Bouche I keep reading highly variable reviews so that makes me pause on them.

          So at this point I'm deciding between:
          Colborne Lane
          Fallback: The Rosebud ('cause it's just so great)

          3 Replies
          1. re: artificialard

            i'd definitely rule out Hiro.

            perhaps Kaji if you want a nice sushi place...what about Kaseki on's been getting rave reviews on here as of late

            1. re: artificialard

              We are not big eater too but order 7 dishes to share for the 2 of us and then one dish each for dessert at Colborne lane. I think 3 dishes pp + 1 dessert pp is good at CL.

              IMO, foodwise C5 is not as good as the other 2 in your list with CL having the most interesting combination (but not sure if CL is for everyone on some of the dishes, such as the peking duck dish they have which does not taste like or as good as a normal good peking duck in a chinese restaurant). Portion at C5 is relatively bigger, see one of the great striploin dish I had at C5 in the picture, it is very nicely cooked and very tender.

              On your list, George is my pick if I want to dine again in one of these 3 restaurants next week.

              1. re: skylineR33

                That makes sense. In any case I think my friend wanted to take me to C5 for lunch so now it's:

                -Colborne Lane

                I'll report back after dinner..