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Quiet Pint in Downtown TO?

Finnegan Oct 29, 2008 01:36 PM

Any recommendations for a relaxed pub in the downtown area where you can get a good pint without being bombarded by sports on large screen TVs, lager louts and the like? Some place with a couch or two would be nice

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  1. Wahooty RE: Finnegan Oct 29, 2008 02:26 PM

    Volo has a couch and a long and interesting beer list - I've been there when it's pretty hectic, but the last few times I've been have actually been nice and mellow. They could stand to update their list more often - it seems like my first pick is always something they're out of, but when that happens, they're pretty good at making recommendations for substitutes. They have one small TV, but it's hardly intrusive, and generally only has a sporting event on if someone asks for it (i.e., they turned it on for me when I wanted to see Michael Phelps win his 8th gold medal this summer).

    Smokeless Joe has also had a nice, chill atmosphere whenever I've been in, but no couches. Also a really good selection of beers.

    C'est What would also suit your purposes - I believe you can even curl up on a couch by a fireplace with your beer.

    587 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

    C'est What
    67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

    Smokeless Joe
    Toronto, ON, Toronto, ON , CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: Wahooty
      foxymoron RE: Wahooty Oct 29, 2008 04:21 PM

      I wouldn't suggest C'est What. I've been there when they had the game on a few television screens. Their food and service have also gone downhill recently.

      1. re: foxymoron
        Wahooty RE: foxymoron Oct 29, 2008 07:14 PM

        Fair enough - I've only been there when it's been fairly quiet (and not hockey season), and the room I'm thinking of is, as far as I can remember, TV-free. It can also be relatively waitstaff-free, but again, I've been in a very low-maintenance mood when I've been there. I agree that the food is absolutely nothing to write home about, but they do have good beer. :)

        1. re: foxymoron
          Googs RE: foxymoron Nov 1, 2008 12:26 PM

          Gone downhill lately?!?!?!? That place has been stinking up Front St for years. And I LIKE pubs.

          1. re: foxymoron
            NovoCuisine RE: foxymoron Nov 1, 2008 09:24 PM

            C'est What used to be a place I'd go for a quiet pint after work, but the last couple times I sat at the bar I observed what seems to be a disgusting new practice in Toronto bars: the overflow from beers being poured on tap is put into a glass, and when there is a half pint of warm stale beer overflow collected, it gets dumped into subsequent drink orders.

            When I asked a bartender about it, all he could do was shrug, blame management's direction, and assure me that nobody sitting at the bar gets served the overflow.

            1. re: NovoCuisine
              foxymoron RE: NovoCuisine Nov 2, 2008 06:14 AM

              That's gross!

              I used to like C'est What when they had the little room for live performances. Last time I went, I ordered the lamb burger which arrived burnt. I sent it back and received an equally burnt burger. Even worse, the server avoided our table, never asked how it was and still charged me for the ridiculous patty of carcinogens. I won't be going back.

              1. re: NovoCuisine
                Marumari RE: NovoCuisine Nov 3, 2008 08:58 AM

                Argh! I have also witnessed this. Intersteer in Roncesvalles Village is a great, newly refurbished bar, but I was completely appalled when I saw the manager perpetrate this vile act unto another bar-sitter.
                So, it wasn't just my imagination:-(

          2. JamieK RE: Finnegan Oct 29, 2008 02:33 PM

            Volo has also extended its Cask Days, with Grand River's Pumpkin Ale on the menu this Friday, lol.

            6 Replies
            1. re: JamieK
              Finnegan RE: JamieK Oct 29, 2008 02:36 PM

              WooHoo! Fuller's London Pride from a cask is sublime...count me in

              1. re: Finnegan
                JamieK RE: Finnegan Oct 30, 2008 02:33 PM

                there was a story in the Star recently about what a coup it was for Ralph to get that cask along with the Extra Special Bitter -

              2. re: JamieK
                grandgourmand RE: JamieK Nov 2, 2008 03:24 PM

                How's the food at Volo? I just checked their website and it looks like a really good spot. But, no menu.

                1. re: grandgourmand
                  JamieK RE: grandgourmand Nov 2, 2008 03:29 PM

                  I've only ever had beer, wine and cheese there. If you click on the place link below (if the site is working properly), you'll see a list of threads where Volo is mentioned. The quality of food doesn't come off so well in some of those threads. But if you enjoy local beer, wine and cheese, Ralph is passionate and knowledgeable.

                  587 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                  1. re: JamieK
                    Wahooty RE: JamieK Nov 2, 2008 07:06 PM

                    I'm with JamieK - I can only vouch for the cheese. But they do a pretty mean cheese board. I do wish they would include some sort of bread that wasn't loaded up with rosemary - I'm a rosemary freak, but even I sometimes want something more neutral so I can taste my cheese.

                  2. re: grandgourmand
                    peasontoast RE: grandgourmand Nov 2, 2008 03:54 PM

                    I had a nice salad there, and my husband has had their burger a couple of times and said it was ok. I seem to recall we also shared a pizza that was on the small side. But we were enjoying the beer, so the memories of food are fuzzy. :-)

                2. l
                  LemonLauren RE: Finnegan Oct 30, 2008 07:07 PM

                  i second Volo, i know you were looking for beer, but they also have a great selection of Canadian ciders and wines...

                  1. j
                    jdgo75 RE: Finnegan Oct 31, 2008 09:30 AM

                    I would also suggest Cest What. Even if a game is on, there is another big room without any tvs. Good food, and great beer. Some couches as well if you are there early enough to grab one.

                    1. Googs RE: Finnegan Nov 1, 2008 04:39 PM

                      Not sure how well they pull a pint and I know the beer selection is small, but I've grown quite fond of The Cobourg on the east side of Parliament between Carlton & Winchester. Serene, friendly, and very cozy. Comfy chairs, loveseats, and sofas. A perfect place to begin or end an evening and make new friends while you're at it. A decent selection of wines, both bottle or by-the-glass; not bad martinis; and a reasonable selection premium liquors. No meals to be had, but they do have cheese and meat trays that I've yet to check out.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Googs
                        BloorWestie... RE: Googs Nov 3, 2008 12:42 PM

                        Yes I like The Cobourg as well...haven't been in awhile but the pate is very good...warning though the bartender prepares the pate plate and if it is busy then it will take awhile...but it is a nice place to chill and wait if you have the time...

                        1. re: BloorWestie...
                          Googs RE: BloorWestie... Nov 5, 2008 04:32 AM

                          Being in a hurry and being at The Cobourg seems incongruous to me.

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