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This time it's my birthday

I just can't make up my mind on where to go. We're open to all cuisine at any price. The only must's are a comfortable environment, though it needn't be posh and a good selection of wine by the glass and bottle. Borders would be Eglinton-Queen's Quay, Bayview/Broadview-Ossington. Bonus points for places where they treat their patrons AND their staff well. Extra bonus points for great restaurants that may be hurting due to the economy and could use a few extra diners.

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  1. Have you been to the Black Hoof?

    1 Reply
    1. I hear Debu's needs a lift up and is pretty stellar!

      1. I nominate Niagara St Cafe, as long as it's not a Saturday night (can get loud in that small room). Great atmosphere, very knowledgable staff, great food (you must like meat though, not much point going otherwise). Wine list is not available online but I know from past visits that it's always been interesting. Never had anything but an exceptional meal there.

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

        1. Michael's on Yonge. Haven't been but it's on my list to try after hearing about from a few people I trust. Don't know how staff are treated but I have the impression they could use a few extra diners.

          Michael's on Yonge
          2411 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: JamieK

            Delicious bouillabaisse at Michael's! Extremely good service, owners are former staffers from Prego Della Piazza.

            I agree that Debu's pretty special. You might also think of Frida, on Eglinton west of Avenue.

          2. I know you have referred me to Zucca, so back at ya!

            1. I love the suggestions so far. It definitely shows me there's still plenty of ground to be covered.

              Alice's. I can't believe I haven't gotten around to it yet. The menu indicates a commitment to local. I love when a chef boxes themself in like that. To do it well requires a deeply creative chef. Does it show on the plate?

              Debu's. Yesssss I loved his place on Wellesley. Haven't been up to the new one. I have a question about the wine list on the website. Now I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but is that just a sample wine list and maybe, hopefully it's been revised? I recently dined Jaipur Grille where I was able to pair dinner with a glass of Narcissist Riesling. That's set the gold standard as far as wine in an Indian restaurant goes. I'm hoping with all of the interesting offerings at Debu that one can do better than Banrock Station or Hardys.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Googs

                i had the narcissist riesling at jaipur too, and was oh so pleased. sometimes though, one has to pick food over wine.

                1. re: LemonLauren

                  NOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo. Fabulous mouthfuls followed by hold your nose and swallow just ain't right.

              2. So Alice's, Debu, and Frida are the short list. Are there any other rec's that meet the "nice guy finishes first" criterion?