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Has anyone tried any of the following...

My friends bday is coming and its on a sunday so has given me a couple options that shes considering for dinner, just thought Id ask your opinion on them since I havent heard much about the following restaurants:
Cielo on Elm st
River on Roncesvalles
Bodega on Baldwin
Politica on Strachan ave.
Riva supper club on College

Any info on any of them would be appreciated!

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  1. I used to eat at Bodega fairly often a few years ago, but haven't been there recently. I recall the food as being very good, but with two irritants - 1) the tables were too close to each other, and 2) the owner would always come to the table and give a rather lengthy and affected-sounding discourse on each of the mains.

    2 Replies
      1. re: ekammin

        I had the same reaction to the pompous owner, but didn't he sell the place a year or two ago? I'm pretty sure the place is under new management.

      2. 3 of those are on my want to try list, but I've only been to Riva.

        I was very pleasantly surprised by Riva since 65-degrees was nothing special. Tasty, well thought out dishes. A good value for the quality. Nice atmosphere. I recommend it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Delish

          thanks for your input, would you remember what you had by chance? it does look like a good value. which ones are on your list?

          1. re: hungryabbey

            I know we shared an appetizer platter, then I believe I had lamb (sorry - this was close to 2 months ago). I do know that I enjoyed it, and my one complaint was that the food was served more warm than hot, despite the place being empty.

            I may have mis-typed as there are actually only 2 on my list... River and Politica.

        2. I've tried Cielo on Elm for lunch. Reasonabley executed italian, nothing stellar.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bluedog

            We went to River for a friend's b-day a few months ago. I don't really recommend it. The food wasn't that amazing and service was lacking. I'd pass on River.

            1. re: bluedog

              I had dinner at Cielo, good but agree that it is nothing stellar. With it's price, it is good in value., main from $18 to $28, pasta all below $16, portion is big. Environment is ok with tables widely spread. Service is friendly. I think it is a good spot for group lunch/dinner with it's price point and environment, it has a second floor in which I saw quite a few large group of people there.

            2. thanks for all the replies, I think Bodega seems like a good bet. has anyone else had experiences there?

              4 Replies
              1. re: hungryabbey

                Food is good, but it's kinda a bit stuffy when it doesn't need to be - just in the fact that I think they take themselves a little bit too seriously. I'm sure your group will enjoy it there.
                As for Politica, I haven't ever heard of anybody eating there. I used to live right up the street, and never once saw anybody eat there (before and after it was Politica). From an outside point of view - it's a strange place

                1. re: hungryabbey

                  I have - but my experience was pretty negative. I went two years back for a birthday dinner. It was a group of 8. The food was far from memorable, and not nearly worth the price we paid. I distinctly remember that the service was very slow, although the place was nowhere near capacity.
                  It's a lovely space - so disappointing though.

                  I haven't tried any of these other places, but I've heard good things about River, though. Good luck!

                  1. re: Yum2MyTum

                    oh that complicates things slightly.. I do hate slow service...

                    1. re: Yum2MyTum

                      I had a very similar experience at Bodega last summer. There was six of us and we had a variety of the dishes on the prix fixe menu and we were all underwhemled. I had the steak - it was very overcooked, but tasty. I asked for med-rare and there was not even a bit of pink to be seen in the centre. Disappointing, especially since I was the one who proposed the place...

                  2. I've been to Politica twice. Once it was a big group of us on a Friday at about 7, and the other time was myself and two friends at 9:30 on a Saturday. Both times the service was great and the food was terrific.

                    When I went on the Saturday night, I did find the music a little bit loud (they had a DJ spinning), but the back area was quieter. The atmosphere both times was fun, and comfortable.

                    The first time I was there I had a salad to start, and then a pizza. The pizza was terrific. On my second visit I had the seared tuna nicoise salad and LOVED it - I would definitely order it again. My friends ordered pasta and really enjoyed their food as well.

                    I will definitely go back again, and the friends I have brought there have said the same.

                    -----
                    Politica
                    127 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2S7, CA

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: furhead

                      hm ok thenmaybe thats another option

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        I have fond memories of Bodega being the first place that I tried "weird" salad. I was just a kid, but I was convinced the chefs had gone out to the park and picked some greens off the lawn and sprinkled dressing on it.
                        Agreed, the tables were very close together, but then again, the place is supposed to feel kind of "homey" anyways.