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Funky/quirky resto for birthday?

My boyfriend's birthday is coming up, and I'd like to find a suitable restaurant to celebrate. He doesn't like pretentious places or very traditional ones. For example, Le Select would be too traditional a setting. (I'm more of a foodie, so it wouldn't matter to me so long as the food is good). So far, he really digs the vibe at Ten Feet Tall and Tinto. He also liked the friendly, intimate atmosphere of Pop Bistro, as well as their food.
Any recommendations, preferably downtown, would be appreciated.

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  1. How about Tomi Kro on Queen East, Torito for Spanish Tapas in Kensington or Black Hoof on Dundas?

    1. How about Niagara Street Cafe, the Rosebud or Delux?

      1. - Maybe L'Unita?
        - Universal Grill is an old favourite.
        - Second Rosebud or Torito

        1. Hi merlot - to me, funky and quirky are 2 different things so I'm not entirely sure what you're after. Tinto is laid-back and unpretentious so if that's your criteria, along with great food, I'd second the votes for Torito and Black Hoof. I'd add Harbord Room to the list. And though I haven't been yet, maybe Weezie's too?

          1. I'm thinking Weezie's might fit as well. The main server at Weezie's (if he's still there) is the friendly type who will joke around with you, like that server guy at Ten Feet Tall, I forget his name. The food, atmosphere and service at Weezie's are more up-market than TFT but still friendly and comfortable.

            It was always a good idea to get a reservation there but now, after Saturday's review in the Star, you'll need to call sooner rather than later. I find it gets much louder later in the evening, so if you want to be able to have a decent conversation, go a little earlier. Also, as Googs once suggested, ask for the table in the front window for more of a private romantic feel.

            354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

            1. If non-pretentious is your goal, Five Doors North might do well, or Coquine, both have happening vibes and good food, but a bit loud, by my estimation. A bit quieter is Quince. All are around Eglinton station - I guess not downtown?

              I love Harbord Room but I guess it's not intimate either - maybe 93 Harbord?

              1 Reply
                1. re: Muffin__Top

                  ...but not super intimate, for a couple's birthday dinner.

                2. Gia Rana's on Queen E/Leslie (a.k.a. "the nose"). Good food, funky vibe, casual, quirky

                  1. I would think about Milagro. Great ceviche, nice spices, though the margaritas can get to be a bit too expensive when you factor in the premium tequilas.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Snarf

                      I was taken to Milagro by a dear friend last evening for a birthday. We had a great dinner and the service was very attentive.

                      We started with Margaretas. My friend had a classic margareta and I had a Dr. Pepino margareta (with cucumber and lime. Very refreshing! The tortilla chips and salsa were complimentary and very fresh.

                      We shared four dishes. A salad- Ensalada de Casa . It was a nice sized portion and had red-coloured jicama and pepitas. We also split a tuna tortilla (tune diabilita), a Chicken Tinga (a tortilla with chicken and avocado) and chile relenos- chilis stuffed with goat cheese. These dishes were all perfect for sharing as there were two items on each plate.

                      Overall- highly flavoured, reasonable and funky. Milagro is opening a branch on Yonge north of Lawrence in the former Herbs spot. Will definitely go back.

                    2. La Palette on Augusta in Kensington Market: