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Dinner recs near the Madison

Webdude Nov 21, 2008 11:09 AM

Looking for something cheap and cheerful for a small staff gathering (5-6 people) before a larger social function at the Madison this coming Tuesday, November 25. Only parameters:

1) Decent food
2) At least some veggie options
3) Not hideously priced - $20-25 pp, w/o alcohol
4) Walking distance (in November, mind) to the Maddie.


  1. Webdude Nov 25, 2008 07:50 AM

    Thanks, everyone. I did call Serra, and the answer was - as expected - no reservations. We couldn't really afford to leave it to chance. So I went with the By the Way - a little less exotic than Nepalese, which I plan to try some time (yum), and perhaps more to the liking of the less-than-adventurous in our crowd.

    1. thought_for_food Nov 22, 2008 12:30 PM

      There is also Mount Everest on Bloor a little west of Spadina for Nepalese and northern Indian. It's within your price range, and I can report that the vegetarian food is delicious.


      1. d
        downtown Nov 22, 2008 11:38 AM

        I second PearlD's suggestion of Serra. The don't normally take reservations but call them, they might make an exception on a Tuesday depending on size of party. Very good italian and not too pricey.

        1. t
          tomato01 Nov 22, 2008 10:08 AM

          If you are into Thai/Asian fusion, there are Thai Basil or Crystal Rolls 1 block west of Bloor/Spadina that offers a nice atmosphere and great food at a reasonable price.

          I have eaten in both eatery many times and have enjoyed it a lot. Crystal Rolls has a quieter atmosphere/nicer decor, but I think their food is slightly better than Crystal.

          A few dishes I recommend at Thai Basil is the basil salmon, pad thai, eggplant w/ minced pork and thai seafood fried rice. They also have great apps like thai bbq pork & spring rolls


          1. Webdude Nov 21, 2008 11:51 AM

            One more consideration: I'd prefer, though might not insist on, a place that takes reservations. Our group is coming from all over the city, and I want to make sure we've got a place that can take us.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Webdude
              camp1980 Nov 21, 2008 11:58 AM

              What about just eating at the Madison. If you are ok with pub food I found it to be pretty good when we ate there one time before we partied there.

              1. re: camp1980
                Webdude Nov 21, 2008 12:57 PM

                I did think about that. But we're having apps and munchies there afterwards, and I can't believe the kitchen is going to have that many options.

              2. re: Webdude
                JamieK Nov 21, 2008 12:36 PM

                I second By The Way, the food is good and they have veg options. Reservations accepted. I've been there with a group of six total and we were well treated.

                By The Way
                400 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X5, CA

              3. Splendid Wine Snob Nov 21, 2008 11:24 AM

                By The Way Cafe on Bloor at Brunswick

                1. p
                  pearlD Nov 21, 2008 11:17 AM

                  Try "SERRA" on Bloor Street West...it's good ...it's close...not cheap, cheap but I think quite affordable...it's very lively (sometimes too much so) and earlier rather than later is the best time to be seated. Close to the Madison as well...

                  SERRA 378 Bloor Street West ....just west of Spadina

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