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Funky/quirky resto for birthday?

merlot143 Mar 21, 2009 06:12 PM

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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    thebutcher RE: merlot143 Mar 21, 2009 07:51 PM

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

    1. c
      Cat123 RE: merlot143 Mar 22, 2009 07:56 AM

      How about Niagara Street Cafe, the Rosebud or Delux?

      1. Rabbit RE: merlot143 Mar 23, 2009 01:52 PM

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

        1. p
          peppermint pate RE: merlot143 Mar 23, 2009 02:04 PM

          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. JamieK RE: merlot143 Mar 23, 2009 02:35 PM

            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. l
              LemonLauren RE: merlot143 Mar 23, 2009 05:29 PM

              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: LemonLauren
                LemonLauren RE: LemonLauren May 10, 2009 10:45 AM

                changed my mind :http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618682

              2. Muffin__Top RE: merlot143 Mar 23, 2009 06:16 PM

                Oddfellows is mad quirky

                1 Reply
                1. re: Muffin__Top
                  piccola RE: Muffin__Top Mar 23, 2009 08:23 PM

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

                2. f
                  frelma RE: merlot143 Apr 28, 2009 07:52 PM

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

                  1. s
                    Snarf RE: merlot143 Apr 28, 2009 08:36 PM

                    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
                      sherry f RE: Snarf May 7, 2009 08:50 AM

                      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. c
                      currycue RE: merlot143 Apr 29, 2009 07:59 AM

                      La Palette on Augusta in Kensington Market:


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