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pretty harborfront restaurant?

I am trying to find a nice place to eat dinner in harbourfront for my birthday.

I would like a place that is dark lit with candles, kind of like the nose in leslieville, or a queen street restaurant...aesthetically pleasing with good food.

I need it to be in harbourfront because after I am planning to go skating.

If you know of any nice restaurants that are also near open rinks, that would be great.


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  1. Sadly, the selection of restaurants along Harbourfront is pretty poor. Lots of chains (Swiss Chalet, Shoeless Joe's), mediocre Thai, mediocre sushi, etc.

    The only place that comes to mind that might fit your criteria somewhat is the Queen’s Quay Terminal location of Il Fornello. I've never been to that location, so I'm not sure what the atmosphere is like, but the food should be OK, and it's very close to Harbourfront Centre where the skating rink is located.

    info: http://www.ilfornello.com/location_qu...

    2 Replies
    1. re: gregclow

      The Il Fornello is not romantic or intimate at all. From what I remember it's just a big open space with tables that are quite close together.

      The Pearl Chinese restaurant does have some tables by the windows that have a good view of the lake. Check out http://www.pearlharbourfront.ca/ - click the Interior link and see photos 7 & 8.

      1. re: Teep

        Tried the Il Fornello last summer, and was left with the impression that they were charging tourist dollars for regular portions, with the food somewhat dumbed down in terms of flavours compared to other locations. More money, less flavour, service somewhat spotty, greedy untrained summer student types.

    2. the pearl restaurant is my go to whenever i have people in from out of town. it is great. they have awesome dim sum. it also has such a good view.

      1. When's your birthday? Most of the public outdoor rinks don't open until December -

        Niagara Street Cafe is romantic, and it's within a reasonable walk from the rink in Trinity Bellwoods -

        Niagara Street Cafe
        169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

        1. Best restaurant close to Harbourfront is Harbour 60. One of the best steakhouses in the city. Priced like one of the best steakhouses in the city too! Wines under $100 are somewhat rare.

          To get a good selection of restaurants, look outside of Harbourfont and consider financial district stuff. Or think of other rinks - City Hall, T-B, Ramsden Park...

          Have a great birthday!

          1. thanks guys.
            that Niagara street cafe is more along the lines of what I'm looking for.
            the harbourfront rink is supposed to have opened on nov.15th.

            1. For a city with so much waterfront this is a very notable deficit. Anyone in the RB out there listening? If someone actually put a romantic, non-chain place on the lakefront I'd be there for every special occasion. Maybe we need to bury the Gardiner first... it has seemed to work for Boston!

              2 Replies
              1. re: JToronto

                The problem is the lack of space. Buildings directly on the water aren't set up for waterfront restaurants. This will hopefully change with new buildings going up on the water.

                Too much of what's already there is either institutional or freight focused (sugar, barley, etc). There used to be a restaurant in the tennis club, but the whole place was closed down for the Donlands redevelopment.

                The best waterfront dining in Toronto is at the RCYC. Great view of the city and the inner harbour. Of course it's only an option for members and guests in the summer months.

                Everyone is aware of the problem, and as with everything else it's the fault of council for the horrific restrictions on development and their incessant meddling which creates unfathomable delays. It is being worked on but the credit crunch "may" have some impact on rectifying the situation.

                1. re: preppycuisine

                  I say the best waterfront dining is at the Toronto Hunt Club, also unfortunately a members-only thing. Great view of the city, sunsets and the Bluffs. With old growth forest behind.