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Toronto's best "Guy Place" Dining experience sought

I have been charged with locating a great "guy place" for a meal out. Specifically asked that this not be a sports bar. Would like a high-end experience and steak was mentioned.

So - looking for a something special.

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  1. Barberian's for steak.
    Red Violin for all you can eat meat experience.
    Hooter's for other kinds of experiences.

    1 Reply
    1. re: merlot143

      Probably should have mentioned... I'm not a guy so the experience has to work for me too! I have been reading the boards about steak places and people are all over the map on a few of them like Harbour 60 and Jacob and Co. I'll look up the two you've given me (sans Hooter's!). Thanks.

    2. + 1 for Barberian's. You can go to Harbour 60, but you'll pay more and the wine list pales in comparison.

      2 Replies
      1. re: deelicious

        I second Barberian's for a good high-end steak experience. And the atmosphere would be good for a slightly classier kind of guys' night out....which is what this sounds like.

        If you want to go a few steps down the food chain, there's Carman's, which can be enjoyable, but can also strike people as pretty kitschy and old school. Barberian's may be nearly 50 years old, but it seems classic.

        1. re: rsvp7777

          I'll second Carman's. The old-school atmosphere is great and the heaps of appetizers and sides fills up hungry guys. Although it's less expensive than Barberians, etc. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a few steps down the food chain, just a few steps down the snob chain. Of course, your mileage may vary.

      2. Still think the best steak in the city is House of Chan...also terrific Lobster. Just west of Bathurst on the north side of Eglinton. Yup, I know, the decor is dreadful, atmosphere still red flocked...but if you're in the mood for a serious chowdown on a side of beef or a 2 lb lobster...yum.

        1. Not steak, and not quite as high-end as some of the steakhouses mentioned, but Beer Bistro might be appropriate.


          2 Replies
          1. re: detritus

            What an excellent suggestion; the chef @ beerbistro is quite amazing, and they do outstanding food pairing meals. I am not a beer fan generally, but after I sat through one of those, I find m'self with these little cravings periodically!!! A great choice.

            Beer Bistro
            18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

            1. re: The Goddess

              Beer Bistro gets my vote too. They have beer they have steak and it is a great atmosphere. What else would a guy want? I haven't been to the other steak places mentioned but this would probably be the most laid back and relaxed atmosphere of the group.

          2. Thanks for all the great advice. Dinner is this week. Will let you know which one we landed on and how it was from a guy's point of view...

            2 Replies
            1. re: xssnrg

              Harbour 60 is rudely overpriced and mediocre at best I would avoid it at all costs...eg $12 for a bottle of Coors Lite, and in true upscale-steakhouse gouging fashion charges you extra for sides. Bardi's on York Street is old-school and will not dissapoint, also the Keg on York St has a more upscale interior than most Kegs, and you will pay less than half than what you would at H60 or Ruth's Chris or any other of the overpriced expense account places.

              1. re: mediumrare

                I agree. Avoid the very costly disappointment of H60.

            2. Ok - I promised to provide an update. We went with Barberians - I got high points from the "guy" in question, he said that Barberians was a "perfect guy place". My experience started with attempt to make a reservation, on the first call - approx. 11:00 a.m. I got a message machine and was directed to leave details for a return t/c. I waited until 1:30 pm and called back, immediately got a reservation for the time and date needed. On the way there I called about directions/parking and was provided excellent and detailed suggestions. The restaurant welcomes you on the street with a cloud of garlic and steak, it's definitely an old school with decor that has not been refreshed in 20+ years. With that said, it works - it's not pretentious and the service is excellent - attentive, well paced without being invasive. I had asked for a quiet table for a business meeting and they complied with that request quite well. Restaurant was not busy last night. Wine list was amazing but cliffed dramatically between $50 dollar bottles the kind only very large expense accounts for ENRON execs. We had a great cab. I had the shrimp cocktail to start, 3 of the largest shrimp I have ever seen - had to share 1/2 just to finish! He had the oysters. Steakhouse calls for steak and ours did not disappoint - he had 10 oz rib-eye and I had the 10 oz NY strip, both cooked to order. Our seasoned male waiter did not wince (well not too badly) when I asked for steak sauce... Sides we had included baked potatoes (my personal weakness), mushrooms (not special) and spinach (steamed in butter, lemon and garlic - quite good). We finished with coffee and were not rushed out, leaving at 10:30. I had valet parked because it was FREEZING and my car was right at the door when I left - cost to park was $10.00 + tip. So - it was a very good evening, a perfect traditional guy place with attentive service and a great steak! Thanks again for the suggestions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: xssnrg

                Thank you so much for a follow-up. It's frustrating sometimes when we go to lengths to come up with suggestions to a request and never find out how it went or if our suggestions were helpful. Sounds like overall you had a good night.

                7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA