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Seeking a great meal that's a bit interactive (great tapas?) for 6 - spherical arts been there, done that

Have a group of 6 executives that I need a great location and meal for on Feb. 12th. Prefer a restaurant where we can talk, share our meal together and have a sense of community develop over the meal. Am thinking of a very good meal that transcends the evening together into an experience or an activity. Help!

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  1. For tapas, Torito would provide the vibe that you are looking for but, depending on your group, it might be too downscale for a group of execs (depends what they like).

    How about the communal table at Colborne Lane? Obviously, it's not tapas, but it might provide the atmosphere that you're looking for.

    1. You could try Lee for Asian style tapas. Feb 12 is a Tuesday so it shouldn't be too noisy. Also JK Wine bar.

      But if you want an "experience" maybe consider going for Japanese teppanyaki? This thread had some suggestions, maybe others here have new suggestions for good high-end entertaining teppanyaki experiences in TO (Yamato?)?
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384875

      1. i would have said torito as well but it might be too downscale for you. that being said, i really enjoy the food there and find that the bench seating may disarm your execs to get that community feel. plus a couple pitchers of sangria can't hurt.

        if you mean tapas as in the traditional form rather than it's nouveau definition of small plates..... then an upscale version would be senhor antonio. i'm actually less impressed with the food here because it's simply fantastic seafood cooked quite simply and mostly perfectly. it doesn't seem to require the effort that it takes to make me feel that chickpeas are transcendent (as torito does).

        i realize that this is absolutely downscale... but if i really wanted a community to develop over a meal and my diners were fairly open minded... i would just go ethiopian. when everyone is stripped down to using their hands and stuffing their faces... well i think it's certainly an experience that allows you to feel a little more free with your coworkers.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          i second senhor antonio...upscale, great food. quieter setting but should be good for during the week.
          torito is excellent but may be too casual and they don't take reservations.
          liked cava but didn't love it....can get very noisy.
          colbourne lane is yummy. much more trendy & upscale. small plates but not traditional tapas per se.
          if you want more casual, but fun,good asian inpired small plates, supermarket on augusta could be good and they take reservation.

          are there any japanese restauants around still where you have your own little room, have to take off your shoes etc? i recall one a long time ago around bloor & jarvis.....that sounds like it could be what you're after.

          1. re: todc1996

            actually torito does take reservations! only for groups 6 and up. we did it for one of the chowhound meetups.

            i found cava very underwhelming but my experience with chris macdonald has been fairly poor so far.

            i'm not sure if i recall correctly, but i believe nami has the tatami rooms. so does ematei but there's a lot left to be desired with the decor of the restaurant.

          1. I would suggest George's tasting menu. I know this does not meet your tapas requirement, but they have private rooms, a lovely setting, and a delightfully creative chef. Sharing a delicious multi-course meal in a beautiful restaurant: what better bonding experience could there be?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Yum2MyTum

              I had George's tasting menu recently in one of their private rooms. And I'm a long-time fan of George too. HOWEVER the food was not very exciting - certainly competent but it seemed way-overpriced for what was delivered (I had seen this criticism from other posters on this board, but never experienced a problem until this visit). Honestly, the food is fine, but the price is just too high (the tasting menu is $110 to start, which puts it into Susur or Splendido territory).

              And Senhor Antonio (also mentioned) seems too formal for what you've specified. With a group you'll be put at a table with very formal service (last time I was there on a Tuesday, the 'back' room was closed and everybody seated in the formal dining room). Of course, they do have a private room downstairs too, that you might be able to book.
              Cava, Lee are just too noisy - you won't be able to hear people at the other end of the table.
              I like the teppanyaki suggestion. If your budget can accommodate it, I think Kaiseki Sakura would be an excellent choice.