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Jun 3, 2009 03:49 PM

Wine comes first!

We will be traveling thru Toronto on a Friday/Saturday in late July. We tend to pick our restaurant based on wine list first, food a close second. Any comments about downtown restaurants vs. Yorkville? We will be staying downtown near the lake. Any suggestions for Saturday lunch in either place will be much appreciated!

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  1. First restaurant that comes into mind is Opus. A wine Spectator Grand award winner, the wine list is pretty stellar. Food is French bias using Canadian ingredients like Quebec foie gras amd Atlantic lobster.
    Both Splendido and Truffles have excellent wine list with strong showing of French Bordeaux first growth, Italian super Tuscans and Californian gems. Both have excellent sommelier. Carlos of Splendido is very knowledgeable and always do a great job with food and wine pairing. D'amato of Truffles is actually a contributor to a number of wine magazines. Very knowledgeable and friendly lady. Splendido's food is one of the best in town. However, there's rumour that it might be closed for renovation around the time of your visit. If Splendido is closed then I would pick Canoe instead. Its been a while since I pay it a visit so unsure about their current wine list? However, based on my last visit a while back, it was pretty impressive by Toronto standard.
    For something less opulent but still on the fun and interesting side. Crush wine bar offers good food and an interesting and diversify wine list with some Spanish gems...etc They frequently hold wine classes and tasting events, reflecting their forte towards wine and food pairing.
    Other CHers will no doubt mention Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. Interesting wine by the glass. However, lately, I found their food has gone down hill.
    I would suggest you Google search each restaurant separately and check on the wine list! Have fun!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Thanks so much for all the info. We had research Opus and found it very interesting. We got engaged at Canoe in 1998 so do remember it fondly. The others we will check into.

      1. re: winesnobs

        Bear in mind that Opus is not open for lunch.

      2. Opus on Prince Arthur springs to mind for winos...

        Le Select also has a nice list...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rabbit

          I second LE SELECT... and I also like JAMIE KENNEDY WINE BAR...

        2. For something different, I'll throw out Chiado and it's sister (just next door) Senhor Antonio Wine Bar. They have the most remarkable all-Portuguese wine list you could possibly imagine (though someone mentioned that they have added some Canadian wines to the cellar). The sommelier can guide you through the regions and varietals. It's a great introduction to a region that most people don't think about when they think of fine wine. The bonus is that the food is fantastic. Truly amazing fresh fish on the Chiado menu, and wonderful Portuguese small plates on the wine bar menu.

          1. Welcome to Toronto fellow oenophile! Here are some recent threads to get you started:


            Celestin, a French restaurant on Mount Pleasant also has a gorgeous list, with a focus on French wines. The food is also wonderful. My favorite hang out for vino in the city is Crush Wine Bar where Eric and Marlise will never let you down. I second Rabbit's suggestion for Le Select and I've heard great things about the list at Opus although I've never been. The wine list at Frank restaurant in the AGO is strictly Ontario. The cellar at Barberians Steakhouse is what legends are made of. Hmm? Where else? I'm sure other TO vino hounds out there have more suggestions...


            1. I believe Canoe is closed on weekends. It's possible for Friday and the view is great. Worth going for a drink, at the bar, just to see the island.
              Are you only looking for a Saturday lunch spot? Or will you have time for dinners? Le Select is open for lunch on Saturdays. I agree, they have a great wine list, and also a beer list. The room makes you feel like your in Paris.
              Are there specific wines you are looking for?

              1 Reply
              1. re: dubchild

                We'll do lunch and dinner on Saturday so will check out Le Select - Thanks! We like all wines American and French - some Australian, Italian, Spanish.