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Jun 12, 2008 07:59 AM

ISO the perfect place...

Hey all,

A special date is coming up (an anniversary for my BF and I) and I wanted to find the perfect place for dinner, since it is also combined with the celebration of his graduation. It is just for the two of us.

The place I'm looking for ISN'T anything fancy (Canoe, Scaramouche, ) or gastronomically intriguing (Colborne Lane). I want a good meal and a nice atmosphere. So far, I am considering Kultura, Reds and Boulevard Cafe (because I want the for rain).

BTW, no worries about Summerlicious because it is for June 20.

Does anyone have any suggestions? For a day like this, I don't mind going outside the downtown core, but preferably, not further than Yonge and Eg.


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  1. What about something like Rosebud or Sidecar? Or perhaps (although this is only judging from recent reports and not first-hand experience) Grace?

    Red's is "fancy" in manner of Canoe (same expense account atmosphere, although lovely room and solid food). Kultura is not only fancy, but "cool" and pretentious (also, I find their food over-rated). Our meal there was spoiled by inexpert and snooty service (bad combo).

    Rosebud and Sidecar both have good service, good food, neither tries too hard, and Sidecar has a great patio (and great cocktails!). Both are kinda the same speed as Boulevard, but perhaps with a bit more romance factor (perhaps a bit hipper too, but not in the same manner as Kultura).

    Fun dilemma... I'll keep thinking.

    (As for Grade, see Freelancer's recent report, which really put the place on my radar).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rabbit

      I love the idea of Sidecar, but we went there for another special day. I also considered Grace but it may be too busy...and thanks for the heads up about Kultura!

      1. re: pinkprimp

        OK... if you that those kind of spots, two of my other old, stand-by faves are the Swan on Queen West and Universal Grill. At either, I'd recommend asking for a booth. The back patio at Caren's Wine bar is also lovely (and I'm not otherwise a fan of Yorkville).

    2. while mention often on this board i'm a huge fan of jkwb -- no patio however and good pricing imo -- but it does have a good meal and a nice atmosphere

      2 Replies
      1. re: ssainani

        Have you considered Grace....I've read good things about it.

        1. re: ssainani

          I love JKWB, but it's not really a "special" place for us to go because we live close to it and we often go there for dinner.

        2. Do you guys like seafood? How about Joso's. Pretty close to the top seafood in TO but cheaper than all the other "top" places (and close to the subway and the University). It also "feels" very fancy. The atmosphere is enlivening (and very sexual to say the least!!).. the only case in which I would not recommend it is 1) you don't like seafood or 2) you are looking for a strictly quiet, romantic evening alone.

          I would go at some point because it is definitely one of the more interesting rest. experiences in Toronto. Remember, you will be eating about 1/2 to 1/3 of the time if you are lucky at any restaurant but you will be relaxing and talking most of the time.

          3 Replies
          1. re: abscissa

            Oh, what a great idea! I haven't been to Joso's in ages...but it always had an overtly erotic zing!

            1. re: LJS

              Must be the bust of a bust...ha ha ha.

              1. re: LJS

                if I recall correctly there is a naked woman with her legs spread out somewhere (only a statue!) and in the mens restroom there are naked women above the urinal... but of course the other decor is fabulous too!

            2. I second (third?) the rec for Grace. I was there earlier this week and sat in the little patio out back. I found it to have a very relaxing and intimate air about it - you could visibly see us get less and less tense as the night went on (it had been a long day!) They don't try to hard with the food, which I enjoy, but nail what they do try. One example - he had the steak, which comes with potato salad as a side, and I kept stealing bites when he wasn't looking. Perfectly savoury, not too mayo-y.

              One sour note - we both had the "special" cocktail that night, which, unlike the food, was really trying too hard. I believe it was vodka, gin, strawberries, mint, basil, soda water... should have known just from the description!

              1. OK, I think that you need to think of what HE would want to do, not what you want to do since it is, as you have pointed out, more his day than yours.

                Step outside your comfort zone and take him to a place like the Brass Rail (or similar)for cold beer, lousy food and, well, you know.

                Then, after he has had a couple of beers, surprise him and pull out a couple of Toronto FC tickets for both of you for the game the next day (which you will have to scalp or find online since the game is sold out). The games are fan intensive, raucous events, and, you can sample the various international "soccer foods" that are sold at the stadium.

                You'll probably accomplish your goal of achieving many more anniversaries.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Scary Bill

                  LOL. Actually, he told me to choose a place...and he loves a great meal (early on, we took a trip to NY and we had a fab time going to Jean George, Babbo, Bar Americain, etc.) so I'm trying to recreate some of the trip feeling, if you know what i mean. So, as for what HE would want to do, it's to have a nice meal out.

                  As for sports, we only watch basketball..and how i wish i could take him to NBA finals!

                  but thanks for the tips anyway! :-)

                  1. re: Scary Bill

                    Sounds incredibly romantic Scary Bill...I'll have to remember that rec in the future. Although I don't need to take my SO to the Brass Rail to "achieve many more anniversaries" if you catch my drift. I can achieve that by staying at home.

                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                      SWS, the guy in me thinks-though that is shirley misguided in a sea of estrogen-that the anniversary is the lesser of the celebrations, the greater being the one-time graduation.

                      Even PP doesn't mention "romance", rather a "special date", and I, as a guy, guarantee that my suggested date would be remembered well after time has eroded the memory of other anniversaries past.

                      Do this for your SO and who knows, maybe he'd surprise (shock?) you some day. And you'd remember that day too!