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Nov 13, 2007 10:23 AM

B-day Dinner - Need Help Deciding

I am taking hubby out for his b-day dinner on Thursday and I have narrowed it to these choices:

Bristro Tournesol

Also, can anyone recommend any restaurants that offer a menu that uses a majority of ingredients from Ontario (besides Il Fornello)? Hubby has become obsessed with Ontario ingredients lately...if the menu has fresh Ontario game, that's a bonus.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Hi there!
    I recently went to both the Restaurant and Pasta Bar and Grill at Scaramouche and you can find my review of the Restaurant at
    In short: amazing. Flawless service, beautiful and interesting use of ingredients without gimmicks, and gorgeous room. I'm not too sure about its use of local ingredients, but everything was fresh!

    Tournesol, which I enjoyed last month, is a completely different animal - it's a small cozy bistro with decent bistro food. It's not what I would characterize as a special occasion locale, but hey, that's just me.

    Good luck!

    1 Benvenuto Place, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, CA

    Bistro Tournesol
    406 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R1V9, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Yum2MyTum

      I agree. Bistro Tournesol is my neighbourhood joint, and I'm happy that it's there, but not a special occasion sort of place. Scaramouche is always spot on, good food, flawless service, lovely room. I enjoy Rosebud, too, for a younger, noiser room--reminds me of an NYC dining vibe. Wonderful food too, but there have been a few misses. Never been to Joso's.

      As for game, the Bier Market is having a "Wild Game Festival" at the moment, but I by no means endorse the food there, and I'm not sure of the local connection.

    2. Lucien, George and Panagea all focus on fresh local regional cuisine in their menus. The game, I don't think so.

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

      36 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E1C7, CA

      1221 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5R 3P5, CA

      18 Replies
      1. re: JamieK

        Did someone say Scaramouche? It is my all time favorite so I must get my vote in. Everything about the place is perfection, food, service, atmosphere. It's perfect for a special occasion. Like the others said, Bisto Tournesol is okay for what it is - but it's not anywhere close to Scaramouche. The food is just alright, it's the atmosphere that makes me want to return. I've never had anything at BT that wows me. Another place you may want to consider that is less expensive than Scaramouche but nicer than the others you mention is Globe on the Danforth. And they are very much in to local ingredients. They list the providers on the menu, etc. It's a nice, new hot spot with good food and pretty reasonably priced.

        1. re: millygirl

          Ooh, thanks for suggesting Globe...I looked at their menu and it looks quite good as well. And it's right on the subway line so we can split a bottle of wine and TTC it home!

          1. re: LovesToEat

            Globe is lovely interesting food. A little pricey. My vote is also with Scaramouche and Tournesol. Food that really makes your tastebuds tingle!

            1. re: LovesToEat

              yes, good suggestion, I've added the info about seasonal, regional local ingredients to the place link so it will come up next time in a search.

              124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

              1. re: LovesToEat

                p.s. If you do decide on Globe, they do really nice birthday desert plates but probably good to call ahead for that kind of thing.

                1. re: millygirl

                  We're going to go with Globe because Scaramouche didn't have the time we wanted (my fault for booking so late!). So, I will report back. I'm sure it will be fantastic!

                  1. re: LovesToEat

                    ..although I think I have decided what I'm ordering already, the girl is taking me there for the first time for my b-day on Friday, please post anything I shouldn't miss!...Enjoy!..thanks in advance...

                    1. re: Recyclor

                      Im going on sunday so if everyone please post your reports :)

                      1. re: Recyclor

                        I've been a few times now. Not one of my favourite places, but the SO seems to love it. The Pig and Scallop is the one thing people seem to consistently enjoy (although last time we were there they've added beans which no one tried, so who knows.) I've had the beef braised with coffee, which I really did NOT enjoy and did not think the flavours worked well together at all. The ribeye is a decent steak with a neat presentation, and the black cod is nice and savoury.

                        1. re: Minnow

                          I've had the cod a few times and quite enjoyed it. My hubby always gets the red meat, which last time I think was served with bone marrow and mashed stuffed inside the marrow. He loved it. They also serve a wonderful mushroom gnocchi appetizer.

                          1. re: Minnow

                            Yes Ive been once before so I know i like it but of course the menu has changed alot since ive been (Millygirl, i know the gnocchi you're talking about and i just LOVED that dish, sadly its not on the menu anymore).. but just looking at the menu now, is the coffee beef dish you're speaking of described as: roasted striploid, braised shortribs, coffee gnocchi, chanterelles, cocoa nibs, espresso froth? Or was it a different dish when you had it? i thikn the menu has just recently changed again.

                            1. re: hungryabbey

                              That's what I'm thinking of--when I had it, it was served as a special. Since it is on the menu now enough people must have liked it, so maybe ignore me! (But I REALLY didn't like it.)

                              1. re: Minnow

                                :s was it a really strong coffee taste or somewhat mild? I ask only because this is what I was thinking of ordering haha and now im reconsidering it

                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  I bet it has been tweaked since I tried it, so don't let my experience stop you. My problem with it was that I felt the coffee just made everything taste muddy. There wasn't really a strong coffee taste... but not a strong beef taste either! The gnocchi were tough, as well. However, it was a special, so they've probably worked out those kinks. If you try it, please report back... I love me some braised short ribs and always happy to know where to get some good ones!

                                  1. re: Minnow

                                    I will definetly let you know then

                                    1. re: hungryabbey

                                      Okay, so we had our dinner at Globe last night...and I'm happy to report that the hubby was quite impressed!

                                      We arrived around 7:15pm for a 7:30pm reservation and were seated right away at a table for two on the second floor, overlooking the first floor. Wait staff were super friendly, everyone saying hello on the way in. We waited about 10-15 minutes before our waitress arrived with menus and to take drink orders.

                                      They brought over some bread with a curry flavoured hummus. I had the lobster bisque to had little chunks of lobster and paneer floating in it! Hubby had the perogies and oxtail. Both were to an amazing start!

                                      For mains, I ordered the black cod and hubby had the elk. I thought the black cod was good, although I was wondering if it has been slightly wasn't quite flakey and still a bit slimey, but not raw. The cod was on a bed of mushrooms and potatoes, which were good as well. The elk was ordered medium rare, which was too rare for my tastes but hubby enjoyed it.

                                      For dessert, we ordered the "banana" and they decorated the plate by writing happy birthday in chocolate and added a candle. Very nice end to a lovely dinner.

                                      Thank you to everyone for their suggestions. Hubby was definitely impressed with the Canadian ingredients used by the restaurant.

                                      I think Globe makes for a very nice special occasion dinner. Pricewise, total was $160 with tip (including a glass of wine and beer).

                                      1. re: LovesToEat

                                        thanks for the review ! I ll report back with mine on sunday :)

                                        1. re: LovesToEat

                                          Great to hear!! I'm glad it was a success.

                2. Went to the Globe with my boyfriend on sunday night and had another wonderful experience. Service was very polite and they sat us on the upstairs level which was nice because it was private and quiet. They brought us a wonderful homemade sourdough loaf which was served with a homemade hummus type of spread. MMMM, i had to really stop myself from eating several loaves, it was nice a chewy and dense and the hummus had a nice earthy flavour. They brought us an amuse as well which I think was some type of trout wrapped in a light batter, deep fried and served with a creme fraise sauce. For apps, my boyfriend had 6 oysters which he really enjoyed, and I had the oxtail perogie. amazing! It was 2 large homemade potato, truffle paste and riccota stuffed perogies ontop of a big mound of a kind of BBQ saucesd pulled oxtail meat. For mains my boyfriend had the Cod in a maple syrp and wild ginger marinade with truffled hashbrown potatoes which I tried and it was delicious,. A beautiful cut of fish cooked perfectly and the marinade was just the right amount of sweetness. I had the Beef striploin with braised short ribs, and coffee gnocci, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very nice thick piece of beef, and the pieces of short rib mixed beautifully with the little gnocci pillows that were light and airy like they should be. And I didnt find the coffee taste overpowering at all, rather it was very subtle so perhaps its been revamped since Minnow had it. For drinks my boyfriend just had a beer, and I had a great dry Tawse winery riesling from niagara that was nice and fruity. As I had a bday cake waiting at home for him, we didnt have dessert but since they knew it was his bday they brought us complimentary ice wine after dinner (very nice touch). The bill with 6 oysters, my app, a glass of wine, a beer, and 2 mains came to only 137$ before tip. Very reasonable and I think he really liked it. Cant wait to return again!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    Oh yes, how could I forget to mention the tasty bread with the curry flavoured hummus. We had two helpings...I couldn't was delicious! No b-day ice wine for us though :(

                    1. re: LovesToEat

                      haah i had to servings too! lol when they asked me again if we'd like more I had to force myself to say no