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Jan 2, 2008 06:29 AM

Somewhere Special (within a budget)

happy new year CHers!

my SO and i are looking for somewhere to dine out in a few weeks for my highly uneventful 26th bday. we've exhausted our options at our more familiar haunts (Quince, 5 Doors North, Tabule) and want to try somewhere new.

the conditions, as per usual:
- somewhere romantic, but happening - so, not too quiet but still a nice room/atmosphere
- service, service, service - where they might do something nice for the occasion
- any type of cuisine, with particular interest in simplicity - no foams, bellies, livers, foie, etc - we like unique preparations of simple food like fish choices for myself and steak or pork for the SO, and i place lots of value on good veggies/sides
- good affordable new world wine choices
- under $30 mains (except steak, we could pay more for that)
- on the subway line or BONUS walking distance from mount pleasant/eglinton

some choices based on searches on the board:
- Niagara Street Cafe
- Trevor
- Wish

any ideas? thanks in advance.

ps- PLEASE don't say Batifole. too rich, food-wise, for my palette.

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    1. re: dlw88

      Hey LL, I have just the spot for you.....L'Unita at Ave and Dav. We went over christmas and really enjoyed it. Our group of four thought the food was really good. I had a lamb shank that was cooked to perfection. It's a new spot, very cozy and dim lighting, exposed brick on one wall, and service was excellent, focus on italian fare. The place was hopping but they did not rush us at all, our food was timed just right and pretty reasonably priced. It reminds me of Quince but on a much smaller, intimate scale. I really think you'd find it perfect for the occasion. Highly recommend it.

      1. re: millygirl

        I was thinking L'Unita too! Those tables down the north side that are set apart from the rest of the room by the half-wall would make a romantic little nook.

      2. re: dlw88

        do they have a menu online anywhere?

        1. re: LemonLauren

          Yes, check out L'
          Oh, and like someone posted below - do yourself a favour and scrathc Trevor's. Service is horrible and food is just okay - nothing special.

      3. Have you been to Zee Grill? Excellent seafood in a nice atmosphere. Service has always been good. It's on Mt. Pleasant, around Hillsdale or Manor, I think.

        1. I had the same requirements for my hubby's bday in Nov. and we went with Globe Bistro on the Danforth. It's right outside Broadview subway station. He was blown away...the food was delicious and the service was great.

          Wish is also nice...we've been there before too.

          Good luck!

          1. The Universal Grill is romantic, but without trying too hard. Food is well executed and has some interesting flavour zags (great jerk!) but without being weird for the sake of being weird. It's within your price point. And the service is very friendly and accommodating. It does look like it's kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it's actually only about ten minutes from the TTC.

            I second Wish and Rosebud (and am curious to try L'Unita). I think Trevor is over-rated (room is dank, food is just OK, service can be frustrating).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rabbit

              Hey, I was thinking of posting Universal Grill too. But it's not really romantic unless you're really into retro Diners. And i wouldn't want to make the trek from the subway in this weather either (or wait for the Dupont bus).
              So my choice would also be Globe Bistro - meets all the criteria. And the wine list is far superior to any of the other places mentioned - and their markups are lower than most other places.

            2. Love, love, love Wish. Totally romantic small space with great food. Service was good, not intrusive at all, just spot on. Their prices would seem to suit you more too - they are in the $19-$34 range (that higher one being steak), whereas a place like Globe's prices are more like $18-$44 according to their website's menu (only two mains under $30). I don't think the pics on Wish's website do it justice because they are taken during the day, and the place just sparkles at night. Hope you have a happy birthday!