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Okay - I am taking someone to the ROM on Friday evening - yes, it's 1/2 price at night. And we wanted to get a bite to eat afterwards without breaking the bank.

I have booked at Jamie Kenney at the Gardiner for his prix fixe because it seemed reasonable - we're only looking for a light supper.

But now I've been reading that it's noisy beyond all belief, uncomfortable to sit there and the tables are really close, which my husband HATES!

So are there any other options that aren't Italian food, sushi or Cafe Nervosa? GAHK!

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  1. Studio Cafe at Four Seasons

    Caren's Wine and Cheese Bar: http://www.carenswineandcheese.com/

    Flow (but it's expensive IMO)

    2 Replies
    1. re: pescatarian

      Thanks! We've done Studio to death... and Flow does look a little pricier, though nice. Caren's Wine and Cheese Bar looks super! Thanks for the info.

      1. re: kawarthagirl

        I haven't been to Caren's yet myself, but I've been meaning to because I've heard good things. If you go, I'd love to get your thoughts on the food there.

    2. maybe you should mosey on over to yonge street? it's cold but really not all that far and the plethora of current threads regarding bloor/bay and yonge/wellesley will certainly reward you with something more fitting.

      i generally try to avoid yorkville, but my only other suggestion for the area would be going to crepes a go go first (they close at 7, http://www.crepesagogo.com/) and then grabbing some drinks and a snack afterwards.

      a ha! it finally hit me, french. i've never been here and so i'm not recommending it per se but you can check out other reviews for jacques, http://www.torontolife.com/guide/rest... . i've always been curious about their perched location and a good boite is always desirable.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        Jacques is fantastic but beware the tables are very closely spaced. I've been many times for brunch but never dinner. It's also very small inside, only seats about 30 so reservations would be a must. If you go for dinner please let us know how it was.

        1. re: millygirl

          The 'tables really close' thing is a problem - he will shut down if he thinks someone is listening to our conversation... I went to Jacques for lunch once and I remember that about it..... What about Trou Normand? Anyone been there?

          1. re: kawarthagirl

            I went to the Trou Normand a little less than a year ago, and the experience was very unmemorable and not particularly worth repeating. Nice, cosy, intimate space, decent service, and very, very mediocre food in disappointing portions.

            1. re: vorpal

              I was there a few weeks ago and had the veal medallions. While it wasn't a particularly mind-blowing dish, it was far from mediocre. Ditto for my companion's roasted duck. French soup was terrific to start, and the creme brulee a nice finish. Good selection of calvados - a rarity in this city. Would I go back? Maybe. For Yorkville, this place is ok.

              1. re: spades

                Maybe they've improved in the last year and a half. When I went, I found the food quite boring, although not offensive in any way.

      2. Here are a few options that might work.

        Park Hyatt - Roof Bar has a menu with many small sharing plates that are reasonable and well-prepared. If you get there before 6 and are strategic, you could score one of the couches in front of the fireplace.

        The Host on Prince Arthur. Haven't been to this location in a while, but have tried the northern one recently and found it excellent. Beautiful room, as well.

        Cantine - Avenue Road and Davenport. While menu is predominately Italian, there are many other options. Area near the front has lounge chairs and plenty of space.

        Whle the food at c5 has mixed reviews, the bar looks like a great space for a bevvie. MIght be an additional stop, if you like.

        1. I haven't been in quite a while, but I'd advise against Trou Normande. I haven't heard anything good about it in years.

          1. I don't know if you've been to the ROM on a Friday night before, but I warn you the line-up is killer. After going to all the trouble of getting into the building you might just want to break the bank after all and go to C5. Not that I've been. Just thinking of your logistics.

            1. The Coffee Mill is an option if you like Hungarian food. It's open until midnight on Fridays. The tables aren't close together, and it isn't noisy. Also offers some of the best food in Yorkville.

              Since you're just wanting a light meal, maybe try the tapas at the Spice Room's Chutney Bar, http://spiceroommanyata.com/spiceroom...
              The Main courses are quite expensive, but 2 or 3 tapas at the bar wouldn't break the bank.

              Second Caren's. Tables aren't close together, and she has a nice selection of small plates.

              2 Replies
              1. re: phoenikia

                I like Caren's too... but you might want to make a rez. Last time I was there on a Friday, I arrived 9:00ish and there was only bar seating (and we lucked out to get that).

                I actually find the Bloor Street Diner not bad (French brasserie-ish menu).

                And Wish is a charming spot, but it can be squishy (really depends where you sit).

                1. re: Rabbit

                  I second Wish and also suggest Fire on the East Side:


              2. If you want to go super casual, there's Pho Hung on Bloor. "Breaking the bank" is a bit relative but Boba and Joso's are nearby and you could enjoy a nice dinner at both without spending a lot more than you would have at Jamie Kennedy's (well, Joso's might be a fair bit more). The Host is a good mid-range restaurant - good food. I'm not a fan of the food at Bloor Street Diner. Have fun!

                3 Replies
                1. re: peppermint pate

                  Very good recommendations above. A couple of points relating to the concern about being close to other diners. Upstairs at Boba is definitely close. There is a nice, quiet section on the main floor in the north west portion. Joso's is always fun, but a requets for a quiet table would also be a good idea. If you're going to go that far, you could go another block and try Vittorio's in its old home in the former Lure space. Quite a hike, though.

                  1. re: Snarf

                    Have you tried the new (old) Vittorio's yet?

                    Also, I just noticed that a new restaurant has opened where Arlequin used to be - I drove past it this afternoon but I can't remember the name of it (I do recall it had a tomato as the dot of an "i" so at least I know there's an "i" in the name!!!).

                    1. re: peppermint pate

                      That new restaurant is called L'unita. I have not been but a friend said it's good. I believe it to be italian fare. Apparently they are full pretty much every night and reservations are recommended. Anybody been??

                2. I had a good time at Yamato in Yorkville a year and a half ago. Very nice and unique upscake Japanese food, and the majority of the options are non-sushi:


                  I don't recall the tables being that close together, but I don't know how picky about that your dining companion is.

                  1. I would recommend Bar Mercurio at Bloor & St. George for light pizza/pasta, but I can't remember how close the tables are - can anyone jog my memory? They also have a more casual space on the south side of Bloor east of St. George but I can't vouch for it as I have never been.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: downtown

                      Bar Mercurio's space is ok you can find a secluded spot....but I hate having to order my meal and then pick it up...table service on the Weekends...Asuga Japanese on Yorkville is great...but small and fills up quickly...then there is Foccacia at Yonge and Bloor...wonderful food and service...Miranda

                    2. Sooooooo KawarthaGirl. Where'd ya go?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Googs

                        I gave up on saving money and also gave up on going to the ROM, so we went to Flow Restaurant & Lounge (after a Kir Royale at the Avenue Bar - Four Seasons!)

                        I had the foie gras app, which was ok, though there was truffle oil on the plate and I found that a little much - foie is best on its own with a bit of sweetness but truffle oil is one step too far. Hubby had the tuna tartare... overpowered by this green onion topping but he enjoyed it.

                        I had the Ahi Tuna (seared) for main - that was quite good... Hubby had the Black Cod. No complaints came from him, so it must have been good.

                        Then there was the Valrhona Tartlet for his dessert, which was quite decadent.

                        I was thinking about a cheese plate but decided against it. I don't enjoy Parmigiano-Reggiano, just as it is... yikes.

                        With 1 large pellegrino, 1 glass of sauternes, 3 glasses of wine (paired with other courses), and 2 coffees, we came in at $220.

                        One weird thing. We had this waiter who whispered! I couldn't hear him when he spoke to us, and with our 7:30 reservation, it's not like the place was jumping packed!

                        1. re: kawarthagirl

                          lol, the waiter who whispered -- sounds like a Seinfeld thing...

                          133 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R1C4, CA

                          1. re: JamieK

                            It felt like one - I actually looked around for a camera! ;0)