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recs for dinner and/or drinks in scarborough or north york?

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i'm meeting a friend for dinner and/or drinks in a couple of weeks, likely on a weekend night. they prefer to go somewhere in scarborough or north york. aside from chain restaurants like moxie's and milestones, i'm hoping someone can recommend a place that is conducive to conversation and where you can stay and linger most of the night, and also not too much difficulty in finding parking. no japanese, indian or bubble tea places, and ideally for dinner, mains that are around $20 or less. (is this too much to ask for in the suburbs?!) a combination of a dinner place plus drinks somewhere else is welcome too.

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  1. Blue Danube at Ellesmere and McCowan. Good, hearty German fare.

    www.bluedanube.ca

    1. At Warden/Sheppard, there's Remezzo Bistro...not terribly exciting but not half-bad Italian, in a strip mall with loads of parking. I've only been on weeknights, when lingering was absolutely no problem. It may be slightly different on a weekend when it's more crowded, but it's a pretty large place, so I doubt you'd be rushed out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Wahooty

        this is a good possibility, location and hours fit with the criteria! any recommendations for items to order at Remezzo?

        1. re: auberginegal

          Well, it's been a while since I was last there, and the menu is pretty huge, so I don't know how helpful I can be, but I seem to remember liking the butternut squash ravioli pretty well. The last time I went, I got some sort of fish that was on special - the fish was pretty good, the veggies accompanying it were okay, but nothing exciting. If you stick to the menu, it's kind of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of place. No big surprises, stick to the simple stuff...think of a family/neighborhood kind of place, just with a lot more room. :) And I'm not sure if they still have it, but a while back they had some sort of dulce de leche mousse cake thing for dessert that was an extremely guilty pleasure - in a fluffy, sweet, whipped cream and caramel kind of way. The wine list is kind of the usual suspects, but pretty reasonably priced.

          Like I said, not thrilling food, but I live nearby and go there when I have visitors and don't feel like cooking or traveling far after coming home from work. So anytime I've been there, I've been catching up with friends over comfort food and a couple of glasses of wine, and it serves that purpose well.

      2. There's Mezza Notte on Yonge or Oliver & Bonacini in the Bayview Village Mall. They're both a bit loud, but not so much that you can't talk to one another. O&B is big enough and the servers are well trained enough that I don't they will bother you if you linger as long as you want. Not sure about MN -- it's a smaller place, so they may want to turn over the table.

        5 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          thanks for the suggestions. I totally never thought about O&B! i've passed Mezza Notte but never been. any suggestions on what to eat there?

          1. re: auberginegal

            I've only been to Mezza Notte once, a couple of years ago. I had a pasta dish of some sort and it was fine, but not memorable (obviously). I have a hard time finding non-Asian places I really like in the area, which is why I suggested O&B even though it's in a mall (good parking!).

            O&B has a nice atmosphere, though the soaring ceilings and lack of soft surfaces make the place a bit loud. The service is always decent (one thing I find the OB group does well is train its army of servers with the basics of good service, which is more than I can say for most restaurants). And the food is reliably good. I love the mac and cheese there, though don't order it if you like really heavy, gooey sauces because theirs is a fairly thin white sauce with cheddar and goat cheeses. The margarita pizza is a nice app to share, but you have to eat it fast or the super thin crust goes soft! I have a weakness for their gnocchi with bolognese sauce, though the quality of the gnocchi varies depending on who is making it and the sauce can sometimes lean towards salty. You can get it as an app or as an entree. There is a sour cream ice cream they serve with one of the desserts that I actually like to order on its own, along side a scoop of Soma's chocolate or lemon gelato. Nice combination.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Unfortunately Scarborough is pretty sad as far as decent restaurantsI have yet to find anything decent.. OB is decent but if you are on a date and want cosy romantic type atmosphere I wouldn't recommend it . For me it is a wonderful brunch and lunch spot it is quite large and lofty- spacious but contemporary and the service is always great at all OB stores
              What is decent - their goat cheese pizza. calf liver if you like liver, mac and cheese

              1. re: cynthias

                I've been pretty pleased with the level of service at O&B as well, and the food is good for the price, but it'd get fairly bustling on a weekend night. It could still be a good choice, esp. not on a Saturday. Mezze Notte though can get really loud.

                1. re: cynthias

                  I can't say I agree with you. I used to live in North York and it was pretty sad, Scarborough is a much better bet (I work up here now) some of my favourites include: NiJi Sushi, Green Bamboo, Fairview Seafood, Tandoori Pearl and The Blue Danube