Solo dining - Bloor/Spadina to Queen/Shaw
after several bad food experiences in the last week, I'm in serious need of something to balance out the blah. I'll be in the Bloor/Spadina area to pick something up around 6pm tonight and will then make my way home on foot to the Queen W area.
I'm open to all types of food but would prefer a nicer environment - so nothing too too casual or very brightly lit. Mostly I'd like opinions on where I can get the tastiest food, a good glass of wine, and still be comfortable eating alone (which usually means at the bar, depending on the establishment).
Thoughts? Favorites? I know there's plenty going on in the area I mention, but wanted to solicit some specific recommendations - so if there are any standout dishes you can think of, please weigh in!
I have a soft spot for the beef anticuchos at Boulevard Cafe. I find them delicious, and have always had a nice time as a solo diner there. That said, I have only been on the patio, so I'm not sure how the indoor experience compares. I don't remember much about the wine list (other than that it leans heavily towards South America, which makes sense for a Peruvian restaurant), but their sangrias are very refreshing.
Torito would be a great option. They have a few seats at the bar or you could easily sit at one of the tables - very friendly place, nice wines, great food, dimly lit. My favourite dishes are the chorizo with potatoes (OMG drool...), the shrimp dish (you need extra bread to soak up the yummy sauce), the chickpeas with spinach and the flatiron steak with egg and chips. Any combination of those should put a big smile on your face.
Another great choice would be Harbord Room - the bar is fantastic and Dave, the owner/bartender, is a lovely guy to chat with. Small, cozy and inviting. You would be a very happy camper with their amazing burger. I also like their chorizo and clams (or maybe it's something else) - lots of good specials too.
As Wahooty says, I also really like the (chicken) anticuchos at Boulevard Cafe but I prefer the patio in the summertime to the inside of the restaurant.
You could also go to Black Hoof for some charcuterie and marrow.
It's a pretty amazing area, you've described - I'll think of a hundred more ideas as soon as I post this to the board. You really can't go too wrong.