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Mar 31, 2009 05:42 PM

Restaurants with bar area for dining

We are visiting Toronto next week and are looking for restaurants which have a nice selection of appetizers and a cozy bar area for dining. We are staying in the Yorkville area but are open for options within walking distance or by the metro. Food likes include seafood, Italian, Asian. Thanks in advance!

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  1. L'Unita on Avenue Road fits your description for Italian bar dining with apps.

    1. L'Unita is a good pick. Also in Yorkville, I like Caren's Wine and Cheese.

      If you want to venture further afield Jamie Kennedy's Wine Bar has a solid history (although recent reports, sadly including our last visit, suggest it might be slipping).

      - Tutti Matti is great Tuscan in the entertainment district, and we eat at the (small) bar.
      - Starfish is fab seafood with a nice bar for watching oyster shucking (a 10-15 minute hike from the King Station).
      - Bar Mecurio is not-so-far from Yorkville, not "special," but neighbourhood-y and good and comfy for bar-sitting

      1. L'Unita is perfect if you wanted to be treated like crap, especially if they don't recognize you.

        Bar Mercurio
        The Rushton
        South Side Grill
        Toni Bulloni
        Le Paradis
        To name a few...

        5 Replies
        1. re: GRobin

          I've never had a service problem at L'Unita and to the best of my knowledge they're not one of the spots that is regularly flagged as a treat-your-customers-like-crap spot??

          Another bar that I think is quite beautiful is Le Select. I like Crush too. Love the little bar at Torito and tapas is great for snacking.

          1. re: Rabbit

            Have been to L'Unita 5 times - 3 times too many. The first time was terrific on all accounts. The second time, service was painfully slow and server was surly. The third time we ate at the bar but when we arrived, we were told the bar seats were reserved for regulars (which obviously we were not...yet) but we could wait, which we did for 1/2 an hour before we were told, "OK, go ahead and sit there." The fourth time, the food was not up to par...they were out of several items, one dish was overcooked and another cold. Server didn't care. The final time (not my choice but the choice of people who had never been) was when we waited 40 mins for apps, 1 hour for mains which all arrived at different times. Sides arrived when we finished the mains. Waiter was argumentative and blamed the kitchen which he was told was inappropriate, as they work as a team. Spoke to the owners very politely - both young men who we'd been introduced to on our second visit...they couldn't have cared less. Others have had similar experiences.

              1. re: Rabbit

                That does sound bad, though it hasn't been my experience (admittedly, though, I haven't been often).

                I have yet to make it to one of this board's favourite resataurants, Nota Bene, but I seem to recall that it has a bar area. It's not in Yorkville, but would be a pretty short subway or taxi ride.

              2. re: GRobin

                Wow, that is unforgivable. I've only been to L'Unita once -- on a Saturday evening for my birthday recently. Servers were gracious and didn't rush us, food was good to excellent, and all this between two adjacent tables (13 of us total, spread over 2 tables). We had a reservation for 6 pm, the stragglers in our party arrived at 6:45, and they still offered dessert and coffee despite a second seating waiting for our tables. (I suppose that means those people with a late seating reservation received poor service as they waited for ages by the door.)

          2. Bif's I feel is pretty under-rated. Haven't been for awhile but they do have an oyster special in the bar area earlier in the evening. $1 an oyster!