Romantic Restaurants in GTA
I am looking to take a special lady on a first date ( I've waited forever for this), and I am stumped as to where I can take her that is special. I don't necessarily think the most expensive restaturants are the most romantic (scaramouche had been uttered to me numerous times), but I am looking for something quaint, quiet and with good food. If I need to spend a lot of money I don't mind, but I want it to be special and memorable...please help me!!!!!!
Provided ownership hasn't changed hands, Taro Grill on Queen W. has always been a favourite first date place of mine. It's fairly unassuming but cozy and the food's decent.
Southern Accent's okay.. the food wasn't so great though. I got a $20 Jamabalaya and it was really reminiscent of an Uncle Ben's microwaved rice side dish. Runny, too sweet, and the portion was tiny. Atmosphere was okay. Waiter was a douchebag. But, if you luck out and get a good waiter and don't order the Jambalaya maybe it'll be okay ;)
I agree with above posters that super fancy/expensive would be a bit much for a first date. Especially if the other person wasn't warned in advance, and felt under dressed (as I know I would if I didn't have advance notice).
I'm a special lady to a very special guy and some of our most romantic dinners have been La Palette, The Roxton on Harbord (shhh...don't tell anyone, I don't want it to get too popular and it's my fave), Julies (reminds us of our time in Cuba), Le Select, and Utopia.
First dates should be as relaxed as humanly possible. My suggestions is a place that's not pretentious with low lighting, a nice bottle of red and good but not intrusive service :)
I love the atmosphere at Kalendar on College Street, west of Bathurst., It's all dark wood, rich paint colours, chandeliers, and candlelight and very reasonably priced; nothing on the dinner menu is over $20. I think it's a great place for a romantic date.
546 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B1, CA
agree with that one - i went on a 2nd date there and now engaged to the fellow!
along the same lines is Insomnia at Bathurst/bloor, though i'd recommend asking for a table in couch section in the back. very affordable and yummy martinis to take off the first-date nerves!
uptown, also, if you want somewhere buzz-y, i think Tabule and Five Doors North are nice uptown destinations. for somewhere quieter but still with a nice romantic vibe, Quince is also really nice, and the menu is simple and safe with lots to appeal to different tastes, which is also important for a first date.
for somewhere on the nice end of the spectrum, but still reasonably priced, 93 Harbord is a lovely quiet room, great food and great conversation no doubt.
have fun and report back!
Five Doors North
2088 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A3, CA
2110 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A5, CA
563 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1Y6, CA
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA
93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA
I agree with Julie McCoy... sometimes super-fancy for a first-date can seem trying-too-hard or intimidating. I'd say save Scaramouche for your first anniversary! I like your approach... quaint, quiet, romantic, good food. A couple of additional thoughts:
- Amuse-Bouche (www.amuseboucherestaurant.com
)- The Rosebud
- Niagara Street Cafe (niagarastreetcafe.com)
- I love Jamie Kennedy's, but it's best (IMHO) with someone who likes to share and perhaps talk food. If that's your girl's personality, then a sharing-type, small plate resto might be really fun and a good ice-breaker.
- I like Crush Wine Bar too - it's both busy and romantic all at once, so it doesn't feel too hush-hush scary (www.crushwinebar.com
)- Starfish is pretty (with great food)
Please let us know where you go. Good luck!
I too agree that really fancy/expensive can be off-putting on a first date. The Rosebud and Amuse-Bouche are both great choices. I would be less inclined to suggest Julie's Cuban or Starfish, simply because they're quite boisterous/noisy and that wouldn't be so good for a first date. I love JKWB, but agree with Rabbit that (depending on your date) the shared plates format could be a bit problematic.
I also agree. This may sound terribly strange, but all the most memorable experiences I have had are **not** at the highest end restaurants. If you want a list of expensive places in Toronto you can find that here within 3 minutes. How about somewhere near where she lives? Not going too far is comfortable and there is bound to be somehwere with a memorable atmosphere. Also, I personally do not live near any of Toronto's greatest restaurants (many downtown) -- and driving to them has always been a burden. Perhaps a paradox -- but a closer, more downscale restaurant with a strange atompshere is nicer than a high end, well known place downtown.
In my opintion, #1 factor for such a date is a PRIVATE, QUIET place. Not the quality of the food.
The problem with saving Scaramouche is it's not likely to be around in a year; the landlords are apparently forcing them out. I'd recommend it though - it really is a wonderful spot.
Another place you might consider is Auberge du Pommier, near Yonge and York Mills. Another very beautiful spot with lots of atmosphere.
I would agree that expensive isn't necessarily the best way to go....I've had a romantic dinner at Julie's Cuban, at Fieramosca (Italian), at Le Select (French). I also think Jaime Kennedy Wine Bar would be a great choice. There's a recent post about Sidecar as well that makes me think it could be a good choice, though I haven't been myself. Sometimes going 'expensive' is intimidating on a first date.
I think you chould choose somewhere you like and maybe says something about you. If you know that she really likes a particular cuisine, then that could be a good starting place.