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Business dinner - financial core, relatively quiet, expense account

grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 06:22 AM

Any suggestions? A list is all I need to pick from. Things that pop into my head right off the bat:
Far Niente (sucks)

That list is boring. Although if I had to pick, it'd be Bymark.

Cost not really an issue, but not going to Harbour 60 or Splendido either.

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  1. Muffin__Top RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 06:37 AM

    Far Niente has gone down the gutter!

    Vertical? Nami?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Muffin__Top
      1sweetpea RE: Muffin__Top Apr 14, 2009 06:49 AM

      I second Vertical. Location is perfect, food is very good, service is friendly and professional, and it's possible to discuss business in this attractive and comfortable restaurant. The night I was there it was extremely early, so the restaurant was nearly empty. I'm not sure how noisy it might get when full, but no more so than anywhere else. Other suggestions might be Colborne Lane or Nota Bene, or, a little beyond the financial district is Starfish.

    2. ChalkBoy RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 06:42 AM

      Nota Bene

      1. t
        Tatai RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 06:44 AM

        Vertical is fabulous. And it tends to be quiet at night.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Tatai
          torontofoodiegirl RE: Tatai Apr 14, 2009 06:50 AM

          I fourth Vertical.

          1. re: Tatai
            grandgourmand RE: Tatai Apr 14, 2009 06:54 AM

            I was thinking vertical, but I've got negative association from a few thursday night patio outings. The menu looks good.

          2. f
            FoodyGirly RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 06:52 AM

            I know, it's hard to keep recycling through the same ones. But for your description of financial district, quiet, etc. I'd say Canoe as a first choice. No matter how many times I go for business (or for pleasure), I can at least be assured that there will be something interesting on the menu. And the service is usually tops. Close second would be Bymark, although I find it noisier than Canoe, but food & most times service is also very good. Hy's, eh, it's OK, more of an old-boys school still for me, so I rarely go unless I'm taken.
            Far Niente? Don't get me started. Glorified Jack Astors. And not even a good one. Far Niente was good when it first did their reno a couple years back. Seemed like they were pulling themselves out of a years-long slumber. The place looked great, the servers were on their toes, and even the food was exciting again as it was when it first opened! And then.....they slid back down to the bottom. Yuck.
            Although again Note Bene is a bit livlier than the rest, excellent food and service.

            3 Replies
            1. re: FoodyGirly
              grandgourmand RE: FoodyGirly Apr 14, 2009 06:56 AM

              Far Niente, I put my thoughts on that in brackets. Definitely a no-go. I was fishing to see if anyone had anything good to say. Surprising that place stays in business.

              1. re: grandgourmand
                foodyDudey RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 07:01 AM

                I guess someone will have somthing good to say when they can say it just closed!

                1. re: foodyDudey
                  FoodyGirly RE: foodyDudey Apr 14, 2009 07:07 AM

                  Wow, I read your sentence so fast, I thought you just said 'it just closed'.

                  I gotta admit...I got a little excited for a second.

            2. Rabbit RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 07:56 AM

              Another vote for Vertical. I also like Red's for financial district dining.

              1. t
                tjr RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 07:56 AM

                I don't think the list is that boring; I like Canoe and Bymark. Bymark tends to get noisy on the busier nights of the week, so it depends when you're planning on going. Canoe is more quiet. I've had good and bad experiences at Vertical, but ymmv.

                1. p
                  phoenikia RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 07:59 AM

                  Forte might be another place to consider. Quiet, and the tables are well spaced.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: phoenikia
                    JJLOVESFOOD RE: phoenikia Apr 14, 2009 08:12 AM

                    no no no. no Red's. no Vertical. no Bymark. All crap. Canoe, Hy's, or Nota Bene are great picks.

                    1. re: phoenikia
                      JennaBean RE: phoenikia Apr 14, 2009 11:36 AM

                      I second this. The spacing of the tables allows for semi-private conversation and I've been three times and enjoyed my meal in each instance.

                      If you go, please try the soup dumplings! So yummy. :-)

                    2. j
                      JaclynS RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 08:49 AM

                      Vertical - many lack luster experiences there, same with Far Niente - I would stay away from both. I would go with Bymark, Bardi's, Starfish or Colborne Lane.

                      1. s
                        Snarf RE: grandgourmand Apr 14, 2009 01:30 PM

                        If you want unctuous old-world service with very decent food and a great wine list, I would suggest Biagio. Not as current in terms of menu, but always well-executed in a room that's well set up for business dinners.

                        1. grandgourmand RE: grandgourmand Apr 15, 2009 05:12 AM

                          So I ended up going to Vertical. I'll do a quick review because I'm busy.

                          First of all, the dining room was empty. I wanted quiet, but this was a bit depressing.

                          I had the grilled sardine app, which was good. I don't normally order sardines, so not a huge frame of reference. But these weren't very plump. Tasty, just a bit scrawny. I have to say that the green grape, pine nut and mint salad that came with the fish was really good.

                          For main, I had the duck breast and duck leg. good dish, meat was tender and flavourful. but I really shouldn't have ordered it. Not a very good choice, considering my table mates all ordered grilled whole fish, which looked very good. Anyhow, my duck dish was good, nothing mind blowing. However, the potatoes served alongside the duck were blackened and way too overcooked.

                          For dessert, a caramel flan.

                          Service was good. Prices are reasonable, considering the location. It was stupid of me not to order a whole fish, because its seems to be a specialty of the restaurant. My dining companions enjoyed their meals.

                          Would I pick it over Canoe or Bymark? Probably not.

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