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Dec 11, 2008 12:13 PM

First Date... Need help

Criteria: Intimate, cozy, romantic, exotic and date-ish. Looking for something downtown or west end. something different. The Sultan's Tent, looks like the right concept but terrible reviews

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  1. Trattoria Giancarlo at College & Clinton. Dark and intimate - make reservations!

    1. La Palette

      La Palette
      256 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: JamieK

        Second La Palette, nothing but good things to say about the service and the food. Sharing their flourless chocolate cake sealed the deal.

        1. re: cabernet05

          I used to really like La Palette, but the last time we were there (and it was quite a while ago because we forswore ever returning) the service was wreck-your-dinner bad. At the time, others were reporting similar trouble. Have they cleaned up their act?

          1. re: Rabbit

            I believe they have turned around the service. From taking our reservation to paying the bill, the service was outstanding. Our waiter (forget his name) was very knowledgeable about all of the dishes and my date loved his recommendations for wine. Refills of water only stalled once, but he held back on the dessert/random stuff when he saw we were having a bit of a moment... which for me (at least as a CH newbie) is a good sign for any restaurant's service.

            Food came and went without any lingering plates or long waiting times. There was no rush with the bill even though the place was bustling. I would recommend just one more shot at redemption.

      2. Amuse-Bouche or Rosebud would both be fine choices.

        3 Replies
        1. re: childofthestorm

          I agree that they're both great date spots, but they're definitely not exotic.

          1. re: torontofoodiegirl

            Yeah, I missed the "exotic" stipulation...although I think it disqualifies La Palette as well. Then again, they do serve horse.

            Can't go wrong with Ethiopian food for an exotic date night. Eating with your hands can be pretty sexy. Maybe Ethiopian House?

            1. re: childofthestorm

              Yeah, I decided to focus on romantic as I don't think there's much in the way of decent exotic+romantic in downtown TO. ;->

              Besides, French always works well with a first date.

        2. Tapas at Torito?? Still not super-exotique, but it's fun and the food is great. Plus, sharing small plates can make for endless ice-breaker talk if you're both into food.

          PS -please do let us know where you end up!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rabbit

            The basement of Torito is dark, romantic and much nicer than upstairs. Only Friday and Saturdays I'm told. Identical menu.

            1. re: Rabbit

              i've had a first date at Torito and ended up dating that man for almost 2 years! (sangrias did the trick for me)

            2. Trat Giancarlo is good, but I don't know if they're open yet, they were doing some heavy reno's. Gatto Nero for a bite and long lingering coffee. Silver Spoon or Boho on Roncie. Sidecar is very good - flawless service and great food with a killer cocktail list and a nice dark cozy atmosphere.

              For good and more exotic, Ethiopia House where you can share food or Mezzetta up at St.Clair and Christie. It's tapas style and made to share. Good first date food, nothing heavy or huge portions and best of all, something for everyone....

              Bonne Chance!

              3 Replies
              1. re: escoffier

                I agree with Escoffier and SylvrGrl above, Trattori Giancarlo is a good recommendation. It is open again - re-furbished. It is lovely and expensive.

                Two other suggestions that would meet the 'intimate' and 'first date' criteria but not the 'exotic' criteria would be Gamelle and Fat Cat Bistro. Both small with good food and service.

                There is a thread on almost the same subject with 93 responses posted just this summer.

                Have fun

                1. re: escoffier

                  I agree with Silver Spoon recommendation. Have not been myself, but I've heard very conflicting reports on service at Sidecar, ranging from good to horrid.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    I ate at Sidecar a few weeks ago and had great service but a terrible table (right at the front windows) - we were freezing. You must request the bill at Sidecar - they won't bring it until you ask for it, which we didn't realize. Food was fantastic - the duck confit with risotto was an absurd amount of food for the price. Highly recommended.