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foodie honeymoon in toronto??

hi all.

we are getting married in april and decided to land in toronto for our honeymoon, as we have never been & have of course heard wonderful things about it being an international culinary destination. please help us with suggestions of where to eat & possibly even where to stay. (we are torn between the drake, the hazelton & Hôtel Le Germain) we are aiming for the opportunity to explore everything from eclectic neighbourhood spots that are all about the food, to upscale fine dining and everything in between. please help us filter through the trendy touristy spots and dine where you love. my fiance & i are totally wine geeks, so boutique wine lists are the way to our hearts.

also, we are flying in and first heading to jordan to stay @ the inn on the twenty for a couple of days. so we'd love ANY recommendations for food/to do's regarding niagara.

thanks so much!!

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  1. Since wine is the single-most important criterion, here are a couple of places to start you off that do pairings well and deliver great food and service in a pleasant atmosphere.
    http://www.georgeonqueen.com/
    http://www.scaramoucherestaurant.com/

    Well T.O. Hounds? How's about helping out with this most romantic mission?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      You may also want to add Splendido to that list: http://www.splendido.ca/. Barberian's has a great cellar: http://www.barberians.com/winelist.php, but I don't think steak will impress you. You may want to head out to Treadwell in Port Dalhousie (Niagara region) for food and wine: http://www.treadwellcuisine.com/menus....

      Assuming the location in your profile is current, definitely avoid Mexican in Toronto. You will probably find sushi to be of an inferior quality in Toronto as well. Instead, try Hashimoto for his take on kaiseki cuisine: http://www.kaiseki.ca/english/.

      Do a quick search and look for posts on Chinese by Charles_Yu, skylineR33, BokChoi, etc. The variety and range of Chinese food is pretty impressive in Toronto, especially if you're adventurous eaters. It might be the best chance you'll have to experience something genuinely new and interesting, though the wine element won't be there.

      1. re: tjr

        thank you so much for the suggestions. we will take up the advice on the mexican food! the sushi i am surprised about, only because other than a few humble exceptions, we've never found the sushi here (in phx) to be anything more than pretentious. we are really excited to look into all of these options! PLEASE keep them coming!!!

        1. re: jenneyb

          You could try Kaji then for a combination of interesting cooked dishes and sushi. Steer clear of most others though. Some of the better sushi restaurants in the city aren't bad, but they'll be similar to what you'd expect in Phoenix.

    2. Googs has given you some great high-end options. In a more mid-ish range, I like Crush Wine Bar (www.crushwinebar.com) and I think the wine list at Globe Bistro (www.globebistro.com) is nicely chosen. Globe is also a good dining option because they pay attention to local and seasonal ingredients.

      A few other favourites... Torito for great tapas (www.toritorestaurant.com), Caplansky's for fab smoked meat sandwiches (the meat is made in-house - www.caplanskys.com), Canoe for a high-end interpretation of Canadian cuisine and a gorgeous view of the city (www.oliverbonacini.com/canoemovie.html) and the St. Lawrence and Kensington markers are great spots for exploring.

      As for hotels... the rooms at the Drake are very small and it's a bit isolated with not-so-great transit links. Also, it's became a mob-y club scene on the weekends in a way that could make your stay unpleasant. Hazleton and LeGermain are more refined choices, although the Hazleton is more central. If you're into boutique hotels, you might also look at the Windsor Arms, although it has a more old-world feel.

      1. For a wine list in Toronto, it is hard to do better than Opus (http://www.opusrestaurant.com/opus.taf) , which apparently won the 2008 Grand Award from Wine Spectator. It is on the more expensive side, but I've never had a bad meal there, and is reasonably close to the Hazelton, if that's where you send up.

        For neighbourhood spots, I'm a big fan of the Rosebud (no website, but do a search on this board), which is in the same general neighbourhood as the Drake (Queen West, while the Drake is "West Queen West". Hotel Le Germain is very nice, but is in a bit of a wasteland in terms of where people actually live and dine. The Windsor Arms is a good suggestion from Rabbit, too.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. OMG, a stay at The Windsor Arms and dinner at Scaramouche. It could not get any better than that!!!

            1. re: millygirl

              Doesn't the Windsor Arms have a steak joint in there now? I was lucky enough to stay in the Windsor Suite overnight for free a few years ago. The experience is up there with one of my favourite Toronto experiences. I love that part of town too.

              1. re: air621

                The place in the Windsor Arms is called Prime.

                -----
                Prime
                18 St Thomas St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

          2. I agree with scratching Drake off your list of places to stay. Here are some place links for the above suggestions -

            -----
            George
            111 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2, CA

            Scaramouche
            1 Benvenuto Place, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, CA

            Splendido
            88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

            11 Replies
            1. re: JamieK

              here's the website for Rosebud -
              http://www.therosebud.ca/

              -----
              Canoe
              54th Floor TD Bank Tower, 66 Wellington, Toronto, ON M5K 1H6, CA

              Crush
              455 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V1K4, CA

              St. Lawrence Market
              92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

              Barberian's
              7 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G1H1, CA

              Treadwell
              61 Lakeport Road, St. Catharines, ON L2N 4P6, CA

              Opus
              37 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto, ON M5R1B2, CA

              Torito
              276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

              Rosebud
              669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E6, CA

              1. re: JamieK

                thank you again for all the great feedback. my fiance was curious about Grano? any opinions?

                1. re: jenneyb

                  I can't comment on Grano, but my favourite Italian in Toronto is Tutti Matti (www.tuttimatti.com) - authentic Tuscan in a pretty bistro atmosphere.

                  1. re: Rabbit

                    In addition to Tutti Matti, I would consider Mistura and Via Allegro as well for Italian. Via Allegro is in Etobicoke, not downtown, but the food is great, atypical, and their wine list is extraordinary. Like Opus, a winner of one of Wine Spectator Grand Award things for this year (I thought these were more of a paid award, but their list is quite amazing regardless of the award's significance), and they also have an enormous whiskey selection as well.

                    1. re: tjr

                      Second the Via Allegro suggestion. Their wine list is as thick as a telephone book.

                  2. re: jenneyb

                    grano is o.k....definitely not a honeymoon destination place.

                    1. re: todc1996

                      Agreed. I live in the 'hood and enjoy Grano, but wouldn't ever recommend that a visitor to Toronto make the trip uptown for it. Perhaps consider Mistura, a great option for high-end Italian (and it will be close by if you end up at the Hazelton). Have also had great experiences at Tutti Matti.

                      Agree with previous posters that Canoe and Scaramouche are excellent choices. Also, I think if you'd posted a year ago, you would have had a multitude of recommendations for Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, but a lot of posters on this board, of late, have complained that the quality of the food has deteriorated. Personally, when I most recently dined there (a couple of months ago) I found that it was still terrific, but maybe I just got lucky... I think it might still be worth a visit, given your interest in wine and its emphasis on local food.

                      I agree with other posters that the Drake is way too out of the way. Haven't ever been to the Hotel Le Germain, but my husband and I loved their sister hotel in Quebec City. Great rooms, and amazing service.

                      Have a great honeymoon!

                    2. re: jenneyb

                      What about Zucca? This is excellent and authentic Italian.

                      http://www.zuccatrattoria.com/

                      1. re: Full tummy

                        Zucca doesn't have that deep of a wine list. As well, once you're up at Y&E dining what do you do afterwards? Terrific food and certainly one of my two fave Italian restos in Toronto. However, I'm not sure it would make the best night out.

                        1. re: Googs

                          Depending on which evening you choose, the jazz lounge at Centro can be a great romantic follow-up to something in the Y&E area, or Alleycatz, for a dance or two. Worth finding out who's playing the nights you're considering.

                      2. re: jenneyb

                        Grano is one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. The anitipasti is terrific, wines list is great and they make the best latte in the city. Menu changes frequently, but the ambiance is very European.