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Nov 13, 2007 08:24 PM

Birthday dinner (under 50/person) suggestions in TO?

I know the budget is a bit tight (50 just for food, no drinks) but I would love to treat the birthday girl (my sister) to a nice restaurant. Any suggestions? Italian, fusion, contemporary or other European cuisines are all welcomed.
I read about Karuchie in some other posts but there are some mixed reviews on the board...

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    1. You can have a very nice dinner for $50/person without drinks, so don't worry about it. Are there any specific locations you had in mind? Or a particular atmosphere?

      Rosebud and Citizen are both great choices for homey contemporary cuisine, though between the two, I prefer Rosebud. You could also do JK Wine Bar for contemporary Canadian cuisine -- $50 will get you 3 or 4 dishes each, easily. Romagna Mia or Zucca for Italian. Tabule for fantastic Middle Eastern (and you'll stuff yourself there for way under $50). Torito in Kensington Market for tapas. And there are lots more choices!

      1 Reply
      1. re: TorontoJo

        I second Zucca for Italian. You can definitely do under 50 there - they have a prix fixe on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - salad + pasta for $22 per person. Can't beat that! Terroni on Queen is also fun - and you can do that for under $50.

        There's also French: Bistro Tournesol on Dupont, and Le Paradis as well.

        Although I know you didn't mention Chinese as an option, you can also treat your sister to a beautiful dim sum brunch at Grand Chinese Cuisine at the Doubletree Hilton in Mississauga. It's a bit of a drive, I know, but the dim sum is really quite spectacular, by Toronto standards.

        Good luck!

      2. If you are willing to go off the beaten path, Batifole is consistently excellent at a very reasonable price point - I think they usually have a table d'hote menu for around 35 dollars. It is not in a "nice" neighbourhood, being just east of Chinatown East on Gerrard, but it's excellent food, good service, and the place itself is nice, although not "fancy". Check the reviews on this board and you will find them consistently glowing. Although if you are looking for a place with linen tablecloths and fine china, Batifole isn't it, unfortunately.

        6 Replies
        1. re: 11oclockish

          I'm pretty sure that Batifole doesn't regularly has a table d'hote... at least, I've only ever seen one offered for the various *liciouses. I think, however, that just ordering a la carte could be done for $50 per person, and I enthusiastically second the recommendation.

          1. re: vorpal

            Just had my birthday at KiWi Kitchen. Great meal. If you want an intimate table away from the crowd call to reserve a booth....Staff were friendly. It was a great time!

            I've also had a birthday at beer bistro on King. Good atmosphere. Also great staff.

            1. re: vorpal

              It would be difficult or almost impossible to stay under $50. per person at most trendy restaurants.
              The Rhino at Queen and Dufferin is large enough to accomodate 50 people, and will custom the food for you.
              They serve generous portions, and have a private room if you require it.
              They will also serve a buffet in the private area of roast prime rib, chicken, fish, etc including app's. and desserts.
              With drinks you would have no problem staying within your budget.

              1. re: erly

                erly, I don't think the OP is looking for a restaurant to hold 50, I think s/he is just looking to take take sis out for a nice dinner under $50. :)

              2. re: vorpal

                I stand corrected regarding Batifole. But I can confirm Vorpal's observations re: a la carte - our group of 4 had dinner (a la carte) for four, including wine, and apps for about 200, before tip (but no desserts - we didn't need or want them...) That was such a good meal, and the people I took were wowed. Always nice to introduce someone to a great place.
                And oh, goodness, am I craving the tartare now that I think of it. . .

                1. re: 11oclockish

                  i'm not sure if you have to stand corrected... as far as i've seen on their menus they've always had a table d'hote where it was something about $28 with a restricted selection. it's only a couple dollars cheaper than if you were to select a la carte and not quite worth it in my opinion since the stewed and saucier items are fantastic and never included. the atmosphere at batifole is a touch lacking, it is a bistro.... so i wouldn't recommend it for that reason.

                  i personally think $50pp will get you pretty far sans alcohol. i've done senhor antonio and had a $13 glass of wine for under $50 and left very full.

                  i've done citizen and not rosebud but the meals i've had at citizen were very well received by guests and absolutely delicious to me. one visit was rather salty and the second one they seemed to have taken notice and changed it up. the room is spectacular for leslieville and will certainly make you feel special.

                  torito is also a great suggestion with very reasonably priced and delicious food. they hardly ever disappoint but the setting is much more casual but upbeat funky fun dining and less so elegant. the room gets very noisy because of its hard materials.

                  you might be able to get away with JK but it's a stretch, i usually dont' leave there without spending about $75pp but then again it does include wine and beverage is very spendy there.

                  it's hard to tell how adventurous your sister is from your listed cuisines, but banu is a great place that might also provide a catch all situation. alongside the lamb fries (testes) they have a chicken breast. it's very meat centric however... i really love their cheese, herb app and it comes with some of the most amazing bread that they'll gladly refill. the fresh juices are wonderful albeit small. they do have other grilled meats and skewer things that are really delicious too. love their mint tea. very chi chi kind of room that she might get a kick out of.

                  i wouldn't do beerbistro unless she's into beer. the atmosphere there can be seriously offputting sometimes because it's just way too loud and can often feel chaotic. the service isn't entirely helpful either, but that's very touch and go... otherwise i've had some really delicious meals there.

            2. Thanks for your response!!
              Just to sum it up, here are all suggestions:
              The Town Grill
              JK Wine Bar
              Romagna Mia
              Bistro Tournesol
              Le Paradis
              KiWi Kitchen
              Senhor Antonio
              I didn't include Batifole and Grand Chinese Cuisine as we are the regulars there :-)
              As my sister doesn't like surprise, she is going to do the pick.
              I will post a review after the night out~
              Thanks again for the help!