Restaurants for birthday dinners in Toronto?
A group of us use our birthdays as an excuse to try out the high-end restaurants in Toronto. We're starting to run out of places we know we want to try and are looking for suggestions.
Places we've already been for birthday meals:
- North 44
- Amuse Bouche
- Barberian's Steak House
- Mildred Pierce
We were planning on C5 but it's booked. We're thinking of Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner. Any other suggestions?
While I'm definitely down with Splendido and Scaramouche, one that's not often mentioned around here is Chiado. I took my SO there for his birthday a few weeks ago and had a wonderful time. Lovely preparations of fresh fish and Portuguese seafood (he had a tilefish filet and I had this wonderful sort of bread stew... bread mixed with fish and seafood, which has soaked up the savoury broth... it sounded slightly off putting and was fantastic.) The service was impeccable. I had mentioned briefly when making the res that it was his birthday, and they were lovely, attentive without being over the top, and gave us a little something special with dessert. I can't speak highly enough of that night.
Auberge du Pommier
Was just there on the weekend for the SO's birthday, our first time there. The food was WONDERFUL, and delightfully creative. Service was excellent. I had the Coquille St. Jacques (with Kobe beef) appetizer, and Kona Kampachi (seared Yellowtail) - and could not resist having the Chocolate Truffle. The SO had the escargots, the poussin and crème brûlée. We both loved our meals. The creativity in the flavour and texture combinations was lovely, and within some dishes they would present variations on a theme (e.g. escargots consisted of one prepared wrapped in cabbage, the other inside a ball of something - can't remember). The food looked beautiful and was so delicious! I highly recommend Auberge!
I should note that although I was mildly curious about AdP before, and heard good things, I had never bothered to go (uncool location, didn't seem as flashy as other places)... the decor is nice, classic/contemporary, but boy was I surprised when the food arrived at just how good it was. They make you feel at home. My first thought was: I regret I didn't come here before!
(-10C Winter tip: If you're in the fireplace room but not in front of the fireplace, the room can get cold, so dress warmly. Better yet, ask for a seat in front of the fireplace if you can get it.)
It's not downtown (at York MIlls & Yonge) but not far from subway, or it's very easy to drive there (they'll validate your underground parking ticket).
Thanks for your informative post 'balthazar'...I was wondering about AdP and how they survived the renovation....we have a Birthday coming up in April (after our return from JA) and will treat the son and daughter-in-law to dinner so we can see/taste for ourselves.....Glad that you enjoyed your evening and that your first experience there was a good one!
In addition to what's been recommended, you might consider:
- Red's (I think chef Michael Steh is one to watch)
- Truffles (at the Four Seasons... Lora Kirk is another young cook getting lots of good press)
- Mistura / Sopra
... and I know the board is divided on this one, but somebody's gotta mention Susur!
I totally support Susur as an option. I had my graduation dinner there, and it was such a memorable, delicious, creative, meal (I could continue with a list of positive adjectives...)
1 Benvenuto Place, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, CA
601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA
Don't know if Auberge du Pommiers has re-opened since their renovation (am not in Toronto at present) but along with Scaramouche it is really good. We have never had a meal that could be faulted in any way..it is 'special' and we reserve it, along with Scaramouche, as our personal 2 top restaurants that we do the 'big celebration night' at!