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23rd Birthday Party resto-night club suggestions?

I'm organizing a birthday party for a friend who is turning 23 on July 18, 2008, but am needing some help in making a wise venue choice. I recently moved to Toronto from Vancouver, so I'm very unfamiliar with the Toronto night life/restaurant scene.

The party is for upwards of 10-15 people. I'm looking to have the event in a slightly more upscale setting, where dinner is served earlier in the evening, then the place transitions into a night club space. A full sit down dinner isn't necessary, but would be preferred. Communal dining would also be a fun alternative. So far, I've only tried one place called Brant House. Great location, but only 25 and over. Does anyone else have any suggestions? My budget currently sits at about $25-35/person, but anything reasonable will certainly be considered. Music wise, we're not terribly picky, though top 40 never disappoints.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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  1. Couple of questions about your first... Does it count food only or food and alcohol? Pre-tax+tip or post?

    2 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      Do yourself a favour! This city does not do resto-lounges well. My advice would be to make a late dinner reservation at Spice Route via opentable.com, say 10pm, and tell everyone to have a light dinner first. This way you can sample and shmooze over their communal dishes, and transition into the lounge in good time.

      For a not as upscale alternative, but better food, try and see if you can reserve the private room at Supermarket.

      1. re: TorontoJo

        i) Food only.
        ii) Pre-tax+tip.

      2. I haven't been in half a year, but Brant House is one of my favoutites. I love the music they play and the way the DJ mixes it and it's def more upscale (no underaged kids in here!)

        I haven't done the prix fixe before, but it's $35. It might be worth checking out.

        http://www.branthouse.com/

        1. My suggestions (purely based on the theme of dinner + dancing) are: Ultra Supper Club or Maro. Brant House went downhill recently. I went about 2 months ago on a Friday night and it was relatively empty compared to how it used to be.

          I've never had food at Ultra, but I would assume they would do a decent job to please younger crowd. I had dinner at Maro once and it was alright. I like both places, but I feel like Ultra is more happening on Fridays than Maro.

          1. You could also try Li'ly Resto Lounge on College St - they have a tapas style menu and a lounge/dance option later in the evening, if you like the College crowd...but there isn't really anything that fits exactly what you are looking for. I would eat first at a "nice" restaurant and move your party over to a dance club near by...Do you really want to spend 3-5 hrs at the same place anyways who can neither do both food and club well???

            2 Replies
            1. re: The perfect bite

              My main motivation for holding the event all in the same place is to simply avoid having to pay cover again! Hahaha (University student mentality I guess?) But if you guys have any ideas for venues which are in close proximity to each other (or at the very least, reasonably close) then by all means throw 'em down! I'd love to hear any and all suggestions you guys may have. As long as there's a meal to start with, then after supper dancing, the brief is met.

              1. re: marc_x

                imho, you'd really need to go to a restaurant then to a club afterwards, and the difference in experience is probably worth whatever you're paying in cover.

                Or you can do what a typical 23 year old/university student would do and have a few drinks, eat dinner, get hammered after dinner and then go out to the club.

            2. What about Supermarket in Kensington? Food is quite good, will be within your price range and it's a awesome place to party once it switches over from restaurant.

              1. I'm making the calls as we speak!
                By the way, these are all amazing suggestions.
                You guys are unbelievable :)

                Keep 'em coming folks!

                1. How about Midtown (on College). They have a great tapas menu, cheap drinks and the place turns into a party (university crowd) later on in the evening. Prices are great and food is really good. It was my hidden gem secret when I was your age.

                  1. Midtown is definitely on the list, thanks!

                    Anyone care to suggest a restaurant based on just having a great (well priced) menu?
                    We'll make it a bit easier and take away the club element.
                    In terms of food, anything goes. The birthday boy likes Japanese, so when someone suggested Maro, it was an instant contender, but I'm not sure how others will feel about it. So anything else to add to the growing list of restaurants? Keep in mind the budget being $25-$35 per person, with the alcohol/gratuity not yet included. Again, a slightly more upscale setting would be nice. It's a welcome change from the burgers and fries we live on. :)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: marc_x

                      Maro is Japanese?

                      1. re: marc_x

                        Have you considered Summerlicious? http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaur...

                        It's on between July 6 - 20, the pre-fixe is set at $30/ 35 for dinner and works well with your budget. Maro and Ultra are both on the list, plus a few other supper clubs. Otherwise, alot of the resto lounge will call for alot more than $35.

                        Ultra is very nice, however, their food is pricy. I went there for dinner and we ordered app, main and dessert plus a bottle of wine to share amongst 3, it came out to $100 pp. But this won't apply to you since their summerlicious menu is on.

                        Make a later dinner reservation for 9 pm, by the time you are done with dinner the place will be full of music and people.

                        If you do plan to have dinner at one place and go to a lounge afterwards, do remember to check the age restrictions as many lounge call for 23 or 25 and above.

                        Hope this helps.

                        1. re: voila530

                          Actually I ate at Maro during the past Winterlicious, made a reservation at 8:30pm (but the later the better), ordered a bottle of wine for two, finished food, grabbed more drinks at the bar as the tables got moved away and the place turned into a club. It worked out well. I had steak at the time and I thought it was fine. I didn't like their wine selection, but if your boy is into Japanese, I am sure he'd be up for some sake.