I'm looking for a place for a celebratory meal for two for this Saturday. Something in the "downtown" area (Bathurst-ish over to Sherbourne, the lake up to, say, St. Clair) that's nice, but not terribly expensive. This isn't a Splendido-worthy occasion, buuuuut... As to cuisine, we're open-minded (I'm considering Mengrai Thai, due to the large number of positive reviews), but atmosphere is important...
Where can we go that has great food, a decent wine list, won't break the bank, and might still have reservations available?
Suggestions would be appreciated!
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very affordable and fun and yummy and romantic is Kalendar on College west of Bathurst. also nice on College is Il Gatto Nero, i'm told, but i've never been.
a bit pricier but lovely food and ambiance is 93 Harbord. really really really good med-fusion cuisine.
and just for fun, i'm going to go a bit further north, just for arguments' sake - for atmosphere - Tabule on Yonge N of Davisville is louder but amazingly good middle eastern-ish food, especially appetizers, and Quince, just north of there, is more dim-lighting and a bit quieter, but really great meal and service for your dollar.
of course, there's Teroni. the new locale on Adelaide is supposedly very lovely inside.
this is just an entirely randomized list off the top my head, but maybe there's something here you'll like...
2110 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A5, CA
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA
93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA
Il Gatto Nero
720 College St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA
681 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1A7, CA
546 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B1, CA
Regarding Quince, I have had two really bad service experiences there lately accompanied by mediocre food and don't intend to go back. They have struggled since day 1 with the size of the restaurant and the staff just can't appear to handle it. In the last dinner, the following happened:
We waited forever for our (reserved) table in the freezing entrance. They finally ended up moving another table (that they had just seated) so they could accommodate us.
We were constantly receiving each others' dishes all night and then were accused of moving around when we corrected the waiter.
The person who ordered the whole fish asked for it to be deboned when ordering only to have it arrive whole and the rest of us had to wait while the waiter deboned it at the bus station (in the near-dark). Needless to say, all our food wound up cold and the fish had more than a few bones.
To their credit, they did acknowledge the service issues and comped us some dessert wines, but not until after we had ordered our desserts and accompanying drinks, so basically everyone wound up with 2 drinks and the free one would up basically discarded (it was a weeknight!).
I really wanted to make it a standard place of mine, but (i) the food, other than some of the specials, has generally been ok but not great; (ii) the room is extremely loud (not sure what they could do about that); and (iii) the service issues are inexcusable.