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Where do I take a girl...

who has eaten at every restaurant in the city...

suggested Grace... she has been there..

she eats out at least once a week in new restaurants...

Where to go?

PS no seafood - she's allergic...

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  1. Get a new girl? (kidding)

    Does she have favourites she is willing to repeat? We keep going back to Harbour 60, JKWB, some neighborhood places, Starfish, Nyood, Kultura etc

    Or, old ones she hasn't been to in sometime? (Mr. Cheeze and I recently "rediscovered" some new-old restos) eg Noce, Mother's Dumplings, Auberge

    Out of town? Niagara? London (Ont)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: mac n cheeze

      Weezie's at King and Power - check out previous posts.

      1. re: mac n cheeze

        It is her birthday.. our thing is each year we go out on our birthdays and pick a restaurant neither has been too... last year was Perigee... she does not like to travel (long story) she is in the industry so knows someone everywhere.. which I hate because they tend to come by and interupt...

        1. re: OnDaGo

          mmmm...ok....going with the "Zanzibar" suggestion then... ;)

          hmmm -- Terra in Thornhill? (I don't know if that is considered travelling)
          Via Allegro on Queensway
          If it does not have to be "high end", there is Hooks, Rosewood Bistro in Mississauga

      2. How about to a place that does something a little different, as in not French/Italian/etc. so at least the odds that she's eaten that type of food recently is reduced, and of course make sure they do a good job of it...first thing that came to mind was 93 Harbourd...or you could just choose something that has good food, suits the mood and offers something special that you can enjoy along with dinner, like a great patio/view/entertainment/etc...if she eats out that much she should recognize that cost isn't necessarily synonimous with quality so your options should be wide open...I'm assuming this is a date, you could do take out from somewhere great and pic a special/intersting spot to eat it, that'd be different than her usual restaurant experience...

        Have fun!

        5 Replies
          1. re: dlw88

            Wow, that is a great idea. But with so many restaurants in the city... how could any one person have possibly been everywhere... Sometimes the best experiences are ironically places that turn out to be miserable failures.

            1. re: abscissa

              She has been everywhere... Table 17, Nood, Spice Route, Grace,.... old school places too... pubs, patios, every place I mention... she laughs...

              1. re: OnDaGo

                lai wah heen?

                i'm curious to know if perhaps one neglected area might perhaps be the charming ethnic options around the town? it might not be an all out celebration place, but it may help to fit the new requirement and might even get a smile out of her.

                i'm also going to throw out opus as a suggestion.... it's not often mentioned so it's hard for me to gauge where it sits on one's radar.

            2. re: dlw88

              Have you been outside lately? COLD.... lol :-)

          2. If she's really been there done that then here's what I think.

            Honestly amongst the most impressive characteristics a man can possess is the ability to cook. Even if it's simple "will that be eggs or pasta" cooking. I'd say your place for wings and mash my dear. It's far more personal.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Googs

              Sorry googs I have to disagree. No question a home cooked meal shows considerable thought but I would much rather go out than stay home and chomp on wings, especially so if this is a new relationship which I am only assuming. Maybe just me, but I had to add my 2 cents FWIW.

              1. re: millygirl

                i don't think it's a new relationship because of the comment of 'each year on our birthday'

                but i gotta agree, in fact, especially if it's not a new relationship, better to go out. if my partner offered me the choice of going out for dinner or him cooking at home for a birthday celebration, i'm pretty sure i'd choose going out.

                this would be exorbitantly expensive, but it would be great if you could find some place for the picnic idea that had shelter, and have it catered by someone great, and served and so on, so that it's like you're in a restaurant being served and blah blah, but the whole park is your restaurant.

                and you could finish it off with coffee and dessert at a favourite place if there is a desire for the 'other people around' vibe.

              2. re: Googs

                I'm with Googs. The effort is nice. Or, if you don't want to cook, and don't mind spending tonnes of money - then why don't you hire a chef for the evening?
                Other than that, I'd say a picnic. Take the ferry over to the island, bring your ipod speakers and a great bottle of wine.

                1. re: tochipotle

                  I'm with the picnic vote. If she spends that much time in restaurants, another restaurant is kind of the same old thing...unless it is that one that she has been dying to try and cant get a res for.

                  Go to somewhere like Dash Kitchen or Summerhill market and ask them to prepare you a picnic basket. Or try one of the finer hotels, I bet they do for guests, so why not for you.

                  It will be a surprise and if the weather is great, and if it something you can see her enjoying, you really can't go wrong.

                  My most memorable date ever was a guy who surprised me by taking me to a drive-in movie at one of the last places to offer them. The surprises continued through the evening when he brought out a cooler with champagne, brie and baguette for nibblies and then a pizza was delivered right to our car. Imagine my surprise when the guy knocked on the window.
                  Sure, it was just a pizza, but the overall effort and coordination was so impressive.

                  I didn't marry him or anything like that, but I still remember the date some 20 years later.

                2. re: Googs

                  Kitchen is under constructions... no kitchen sink at the moment... :-(

                    1. re: OnDaGo

                      LOVE the drive-in suggestion. How unique! Solves the no kitchen sink, cold weather, dinner interruptions, and been there done that problems. Not sure about the no travel issue though.

                  1. I am pescetarian and when I go out with my foodie boyfriend I always ask the kitchen to surprise me with a prix fixe with my dietary constraint. I have had fantastic experiences.
                    Canoe - they have a really nice regular vegetarian prix fixe but I have called ahead of time and asked them to include some seafood dishes in it. They had no problem with that.
                    Bymark - it's a very meat oriented place, my food experience was soso. But I like the crowd
                    Rain - delicious vegetarian menu. They are always changing their dishes and if you call ahead and tell them you are willing to try some of their more ..eccentric dishes, they are always very generous about it.

                    Bottom line is, you can never repeat a truly good restaurant too many times, especially when they change their menu seasonally. And if you get to known the owner, even better! no?

                    good luck :)

                    1. When is her birthday? There are a few places opening in a couple of weeks. I'm sure she wouldn't have eaten at a resto that hasn't opened yet:)

                      4 Replies
                        1. re: OnDaGo

                          Nota Bene,(Splendido), Oasi,(Mildred Pierce), the new Omi,(but not in this situation because of the seafood allergy) ,and Chris MacDonald is opening a dessert focused place next to Cava.

                          1. re: dragonflygrl

                            walked by Nota Bene did not look like it was opening anytime soon.. no activity since licquor licence application went up as far as I can tell..

                            Have not heard anything about Oasi in a while any ETA?

                            Went to Cava on a previous Bday.. she knew the waiter and the manager..

                            I have heard the "new" Susur will open in July....

                            1. re: OnDaGo

                              I called the Nota Bene number listed on Open Table today and the guy said that they are set to open Mid July

                        1. Martiniboys publishes a list places that have just opened or which are poised to open. If you scour the list you might be able to find something:

                          Otherwise, Crush Wine Bar recently renovated and got good press (I haven't had time to check it out yet).

                          1. Has she been to Globe Bistro already?

                            1. How about Tabla for upscale Indian food?
                              Check the threads on this board for specific recommendations from the menu.

                              1. Does she have a sense of humour? How about Midieval Times? You get funny hats and can call your waitress wench? It's not foodie paradise but it sure is different!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Beef Pattie

                                  OMG, no. The food is absolutely disgusting there. Had to go there for a work function once and was starving.

                                2. Not sure what your budget is but I once had a friend whose hubby surprised her with a flight to Montreal for dinner at Toque - you could go to Niagara on the Lake or somewhere else and, time/$ permitting, even make a sleepover of it. Otherwise, I agree that you should go with something different rather than "just another" restaurant - love the idea of a gourmet picnic or a chef cooked meal at home.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: peppermint pate

                                    I'd be keen on that but does his date want to travel outside of the city? Prince Edward County would be a great place to go as I understand there are lots of interesting food spots.

                                    1. re: Zengarden

                                      Oh, that's right, she doesn't like to travel. Scrap the out of town ideas then. Is the idea, first and foremost, to come up with an evening she'll enjoy (in which case, some of the non-restaurant novelty ideas might work) or is the main objective to try and find a place - new or old - where she's never been (and which will provide a good meal)?

                                  2. Grappa, on College St. Although they do seafood, are really great about allergy stuff. Just ask for a table far from the kitchen and be very specific about the allergy. They will treat you well, not like an annoyance,

                                    1. There are three dinner concerts coming up at Chez Victor in three musical styles: classical, world and jazz. Might be "different" even if she's been there before.
                                      (scroll down a bit) -

                                      30 Mercer Street, Toronto, ON M5V 1H3, CA

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JamieK

                                        The new restaurant from Splendido, Nota Bene, is slated to open approx. July 15th. Sounds like that would be a perfect choice.

                                      2. Table 17 has only been open a few days. Lots of spots on the east side people miss.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JamesJT

                                          Shes been there.. she lives in Leslieville... :-)

                                        2. Right now it is looking like "Stonegrill on Winchester" niether of us has been... any comments?

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: OnDaGo

                                            Is that still around, I thought it closed long time ago.

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              No, no, no, no, no. To both of you. Stonegrill is very much still there. Not a place for a hound unless you really, really liked my idea of cooking it yourself, but now wish to supplement that with high prices. It's strictly brunch in my books.

                                            2. re: OnDaGo

                                              I have been to Stonegrill recently. It actually has other locations in Vancouver and HK... I think it is reasonably good, price range is like Keg, and fun to DIY with the hot stone. Simple approach and the steak is tender and good as you eat it right after you grill it on the stone. With its price range, I think it is pretty good.

                                              Forgot to mention : service is a bit too slow though.

                                              1. re: OnDaGo

                                                i went once. i gotta say, it was kind of meh. the food was decent, but not for the price. there was no wow factor. and the service, honestly, it was pretty terrible.

                                                it's a shame, i had really high hopes for it.

                                                there's a newish place at the corner of carlton and ontario that looks promising, but i haven't tried it. oh, and i've heard good things about piccalo (also on carlton just west of parliament)

                                                1. re: mainja

                                                  What is the place at Carlton & Ontario? & what kind of food is done at Piccalo? might be an area she has overlooked...

                                                  1. re: OnDaGo

                                                    Both of these rooms are quite pretty and offer well-executed food at reasonable prices. Both have patios. They are more neighbourhood resto than destination dining, but given your pickle...

                                                    I have a preference for Piccolo. If you remember the space Tapas was in this is the same property. The layout loans itself to making a night of it. On Friday nights they have jazz in the basement bar, so you can indoor dine, outdoor drink, then conclude with a show.

                                                    JamCafe's claim to fame is the chef/owner Av Atikian. I've included his pedigree below.



                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                      Ah, the famous Av! I recall being in the Rosedale Diner a few years back where he was telling everyone who would listen that his food was better than Susur's and, of course, much cheaper.

                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                        Oh how I loved Tapas.. spent 2 New Years Eve's there way long ago.. I wish there was a place like that around now...

                                                2. A few suggestions:
                                                  Simple bistro on Mt. Pleasant or Gilead Cafe. Both recently opened.
                                                  Do something different like take her to a cooking seminar/demo like dinner evenings at Bonnie Stern's school or a Tasting Club event at Coupe Space.
                                                  But if you really want to take her to a place she's never been, take her to Gale's Snack Bar. Seriously. Make it a surprise -- dress up, bring her flowers then do something romantic and non-foodie afterwards, like seeing a musical (Dirty Dancing at Royal Alex), cruise in the harbour etc. It sounds cheesy (and it is), but women really dig stuff like this.

                                                  1. An old fave of mine....how about Trattoria Giancarlo?

                                                    1. Hey How about Citizen in Leslieville or Torito in Kensighton or the Rosebud on Queen.

                                                      BTW-What line of work does she do to have been to all these restaurants?

                                                      1. I vote for the picnic from Summerhill or all the best or somewhere similar. Hire a water taxi and take it to the island.
                                                        or take it to a fabulous hotel suite for the night.

                                                        or hire a chef at home with a cooking lesson.

                                                        It sounds to me as though she won't be impressed by any restaurant, so you could wow her with the setting or the activity.

                                                        1. You've had a lot of good suggestions, all of which seem to be repeats of places she's tried. Hmmm she sounds familiar.....

                                                          What about somewhere completely off the radar screen, with an old world vibe. Senior's Steak House comes to mind.

                                                          Or something ethnic, like Kowloon on Baldwin, or Amadeu's on Kensington. I don't envy your challenge.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Snarf

                                                            No to Kowloon on Baldwin. I like it but this place doesn't speak "occasion." But dim sum is always lovely, especially if you go to some of the spots in Markham.

                                                          2. if she is so adamant about having been everywhere, why don't you simply ask her to pick a place she has never been?

                                                            It seems you haven't given any feedback to all the help people have posted. instead simply stating "SHE"S BEEN THERE, NEXT!". You can at least throw us a bone and describe her preferences instead of just shooting everybody down.

                                                            I would agree w/ other posters and suggest you try the ethnic selections. Think of all the Chinese, Indian, Korean, and Japanese places you have at your disposal in this city.

                                                            I assume by no travel you mean nothing outside of the downtown core, no suburbs (north york, etobicoke, scarborough, etc)? Unfortunately, the majority of good ethnic restaurants are in those areas. Here are some ethnic restaurants w/ decor that is more upscale than the usual low budget asian spots.

                                                            Japanese: Hashimoto, Sushi Kaji
                                                            Chinese: Lai Wah Heen, Casa Imperial, Empire Court
                                                            Korean: Sariwon

                                                            19 Replies
                                                            1. re: aser

                                                              Great suggestions ! Top Japanese restaurants in GTA, Hashimoto for traditional kyo-kaiseki, Sushi Kaji for high end Japanese omakase. Top Chinese restaurants with Lai Wah Heen (high end cantonese with a twist), Casa Imperial and Empire Court for more traditional high end cantonese cuisine !

                                                              1. re: skylineR33

                                                                Yeah, but the no fish rule makes the Japanese suggestions less optimal, no?


                                                                1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                  Did you only read half of the post ? There are other suggestion there. If you don't know, Lai Wah Heen, Casa Imperial and Empire Court are not Japanese restaurant and they have tons of non-fish dishes ....

                                                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                                                    Personally, I give up....take her to McDonalds and tell her to get over it.

                                                                    1. re: millygirl

                                                                      Arby maybe a better choice because it got a board range of beef burger which is not fish. Also I think there is less chance she knows the manager at Arby or McDonalds which is a good thing.

                                                                      1. re: skylineR33

                                                                        She loves McDonalds.. but sorry she has already been... her fav though is the Harveys at Home Depot...

                                                                        1. re: skylineR33

                                                                          Why skylineR33, you have a great sense of humour! This post just made my day!!!!

                                                                      2. re: skylineR33

                                                                        I know. If you didn't figure it out..I was playing along with Aser's NEXT comment.
                                                                        Obviously the other places a non-Japanese. Hence, my comment "the Japanese suggestions"...

                                                                  2. re: aser

                                                                    The whole tradition is I find the restaurant.. I was hoping for some hidden jem... Japanese is out because of the fish, We have been to the chinese suggestions..

                                                                    Would like to hear more about Sariwon...

                                                                    She is not picky she likes the Tulip as much as she liked Susur.. She has taken me to Dangerous Dans and also Cava....

                                                                    This is not a "date" it is more like a contest... If I took her to a place she has been she would not complain but that is not what I want to do...

                                                                    The Ethnic places may be good option but i want somewhere high end and I really do not know them except for the japanese and chinese...

                                                                    1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                      Here's one - unless Mississauga is "travelling" - I am not sure

                                                                      There is a restaurant called Breakwater (yeah, no jokes please) in the Waterside Inn. It is at Stavebank and Lakeshore in Port Credit.

                                                                      The room is lovely, the service is excellent, and the food is very good. It is "higher end", but not high end like a Scaramouche, etc.

                                                                      Here is a link


                                                                      Mr. Cheeze and I go often and have not been disappointed

                                                                      Otherwise, I've got to go with the Medieval Times suggestion that another poster had

                                                                      1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                        Well, a place like Ema-tei is Japanese but would have a wider selection of foods that don't contain fish or shellfish.

                                                                        1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                          Another thought,
                                                                          Fat Cat on Eglinton @ Avenue Road. More midscale than upscale but the finest dining in that area.

                                                                          1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                            Sariwon is a nice Korean restaurant. Great place to take non-Koreans. I highly recommend it.

                                                                            The kalbi is very nice - BBQ at your table. Remember to get the marinated kalbi (not the traditional non-marinated kalbi for the Korean grandfathers). The waitresses will usually check on the meat and turn it for you.

                                                                            7388 Yonge Street (not too sure if north of Steeles is too much travel).

                                                                            It can get busy, so perhaps make a reservation? (905) 881-5103

                                                                            1. re: ghetto_scarlem

                                                                              Food is good but it is not high end if OP is ok with it. And since you are doing BBQ at your table with no ventilation system, you will smell like BBQ afterward too, so wear something old. It is good experience if you two have not been to this kind of thing before.

                                                                              1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                Eau de barbecue is one of my favourite colognes.

                                                                                1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                  You will smell with korean food, bbq or not. I do find sariwon has better ventilation than pretty much every korean restaurant in the city. The decor is modern, it doesn't remind you of your Korean grandma's basement. Tables are spaced apart and it has a clean open feeling.

                                                                                  They serve Sikhye as a post meal drink, quite tasty.


                                                                              2. re: OnDaGo

                                                                                Have you tried POP Bistro on Queen St. East yet? It's small and the owners are very sweet. I've always had great meals there. And they called me a couple of days ago to say they've just opened a patio out back (so not on the street).

                                                                                good luck...sounds like a great contest.

                                                                                Pop Bistro
                                                                                686 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1G9, CA

                                                                                1. re: dinin and dishin

                                                                                  If you go to the patio, could you post comments? I always go by that place and it's one of those "should really check it out sometime" places. I'm talking about Pop Bistro.

                                                                            2. Ahhhh you're looking for a gem? How about the Gem on Davenport near Ossington? If Mama's in the kitchen, you're in for a treat...or head up to Mezzetta on St. Clair at Christie...and if all else fails, hit up the sausage vendor at Queen and Spadina.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: escoffier

                                                                                Never heard of Gem.. I like places with mama in the kitchen... Tell me more..

                                                                                I remember Focaccia when it was just take out Mamma in the kitchen the boys out front... daily special and a drink $5... and Mamma inviting me to her home for Easter...

                                                                                1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                                  The Gem is on the south side of Davenport, just west of Ossington. Eddie runs it and supplies a rather interesting menu, some italian, some dips etc. and other goodies. His mom cooks sometimes and also tends her own herb garden on a very spacious patio. It's got a funky, neighbourhood vibe, very welcoming and unpretentious. Beer, wine, spirits of course, nothing too exotic, just good food, well prepared in friendly surroundings.

                                                                                2. Hi OnDaGo - really enjoying reading all these posts. Have to say I'm kind of relieved for you that this isn't a date, but rather a "contest", otherwise my advice would be of a different,albeit unsolicited sort. Anyway, not sure if Hamilton is out of the question, but if not, I refer you to recent posts re: Chicago Style Pizza, in which Toronto hounds have made the trek to the Hammer and really, really enjoyed themselves at this legendary local spot.

                                                                                  1. Okay, okay, I'll say it: Take her to Hooters. She's probably never been.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: merlot143

                                                                                      How wrong you are... she once took me to For Your Eyes Only for my birthday... as I said she is adventerous...

                                                                                      1. You are going to update us once you've decided where to go, aren't you? And tell us the verdict? I feel a bit like I'm living in a soap opera for some reason, and I *need* to know the outcome.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: mainja

                                                                                          Definately will do... her mother came to town so it has been delayed a bit.. amd definately now thinking Piccalo where the old Tapas used to be... mostley for nostalgia purposes for me..

                                                                                          1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                                            The suspense is killing some of us. Please don't forget to come back with a full account.

                                                                                          1. re: FrancoYYZ

                                                                                            I thought about it, but can't remember why I ruled it out. I suppose I got caught up in the picnic idea. I can't believe someone who lives in Leslieville and dines out all the time could have missed this gem. But yeah, great choice!

                                                                                          2. So? Where'd ya go? How'd she like it? Where's our promised update?

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: mainja


                                                                                              Yes we went actually we waited until last Saturday and went to.....

                                                                                              Wait for it.....


                                                                                              Note Benne!!

                                                                                              Had a great time the people are super freindly... but alas we walk in and the Bartender was the brother of my freinds ex-boyfreind who just moved to Toronto.. and the chef de cuisine had once applied to be a chaf at one of my freinds ventures and our waiter was her next door neighbour... lol I told you!

                                                                                              The place is rich... everything brand new and shiney top of the line.. I counted 22 fridge doors behind the bar... the cost must have been huge. We had a tour of the kitchen and again massize and only the best and most of all spotless...

                                                                                              The dining room has no windows and the kitchen is totally closed in. Very high ceilings but the whole feel is of hotel lobby... lots of wood.. sharp lines.. fancy lights.. lounge is large but on saturday night it was totally empty.

                                                                                              As for the food had the Charcuterie platter to start. It was a bit smaller then others I have had but everything was great on it. Shared an onion rings which were the best I have had in ages more like onion straws but in rounds...

                                                                                              For mains I had the Rabbit Parpedelle and she had the double pork chop. I found the sauce a bit thick and everything kinda fused togeather but it was a large portion and tasted great.(except for the olives but that is my personal thing - i did not notice them on the menu or else I would have ordered something else) I tasted the pork and it was fine sitting on a corn salsa but nothing special.

                                                                                              For dessert I had the pistacio Icecream and she had the chocolate tart. Ice cream was great but the tart was a large slice and very rich. too much for one person as it came also with a lrage scoop of raspberry sorbet.

                                                                                              Basically when the bill came the bartender comp'ed our drinks the floor manage comp'ed our desserts and I think the waiter picked up the onion rings ::-) so all in all a very cheap night!

                                                                                              I would go back.... but I am not sure if they can fill that place once the newness wears off... it is just enough off the beaten path and out of the queen street vibe that I am not sure the crowds will keep going...

                                                                                              1. re: OnDaGo

                                                                                                That's the new David Lee place, right? If so, they won't be short of customers.

                                                                                                1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                                                  They were last saturday, tables available all night and not one person in the lounge that seats about 40 people... usually the first few weeks should be jammed...

                                                                                                2. re: OnDaGo

                                                                                                  The charcuterie is done by splendido's kitchen and transported over to nota bene.

                                                                                                  I hope you tipped mega large w/ all those comps.

                                                                                                  It's very close to the four seasons centre, so I'm sure they'll get the theatre crowd. They'll do fine, they're centrally located. That restaurant would never work on queen west west.