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3 Courses - up to $100/head - Toronto

o
Onara Jul 4, 2009 01:58 PM

Based on the following criteria, where would you recommend?

*3 courses for no more than $100 (including tip, but not including wine)
*no dietary restrictions, but prefer lighter food, as it will be summer
*prefer the idea of nouveau cuisine/fusion/chef's own creations/whatever you wanna call it
*would also consider Japanese, or any cuisine specific to Toronto/Ontario//Canada
*it's all about the food - not the location or atmosphere
*proximity to The Drake an advantage, but not a necessity...
http://www.thedrakehotel.ca

  1. o
    Onara Sep 18, 2009 02:15 PM

    OK - had 4 nights in Toronto - and ate at the following...

    Sat on the tarmac for 3 hours the evening I arrived from Calgary (there was a hurricane), meaning I got to the Drake after 10pm and will be eternally grateful for the recommendation of Oddfellows. I just had the fish (with lentils) and sat outside, but it was the perfect antidote to the day I'd had. It was a Thursday, so there was art open-house a few doors up Ossington, too

    Canoe - great experience! I arrived a little tipsy, and ended up roaming the restaurant between courses checking out the view & taking photos. Staff were incredibly accommodating & professional, and it was a delight to eat an entire meal sourced from Canada (much of it from Ontario). Highlights were the Yukon Caribou with chocolate, walnuts & berries - this dish is amazing, I want to try it with kangaroo. And also the ice wine served with dessert (Daniel Lenko Select Late Harvest Vidal 2004) was to die for. Again, it's always a nice touch when a sommelier sees you're enjoying a wine & keeps topping up your glass accordingly

    Madeleines - not especially great, I'm afraid. Most dishes were miss rather than hit ( I shared about a dozen courses with 2 others), and the wine list is absurdly unreasonably expensive. No particular course stands out in my memory

    Colborne Lane - exactly as Rabbit said. Really daring, fun approach to molecular gastronomy. Some dishes didnt work, but enough were good to make the evening wonderful. Great staff - interested in food & wine, and happy to talk about it

    1. o
      Onara Jul 6, 2009 10:48 PM

      OK - potential dining companion has suggested Colborne Lane, as well as Scaramouch

      And I have a table booked for Canoe

      Interesting that I'm getting better responses here than from the same request on the Montreal branch

      2 Replies
      1. re: Onara
        Rabbit Jul 7, 2009 03:29 AM

        Looks like you're coming from Sydney. In that case, I'd go with Colborne Lane or Canoe. Here's why:

        CL is playing with molecular gastronomy and that may be something that Sydney isn't really doing yet (I may be completely wrong... I'm just guessing). If you're an adventurous eater and you like to play with your food, then I'd choose Colborne. I really like the place, but given that they are taking risks, occasionally a dish doesn't "work." But the food generally very well executed. And it's not boring.

        Canoe is "Canadian" and that's a bit special. Also, if you're a visitor, the view is really spectacular. Book a table by the window for sunset. Restaurant has a more corporate feel than Colborne,but it still manages to be romantic. One caveat - I think it will push against the upper limit of your budget and probably spill a bit over. If you're interested in Canadian without risking your finances I'd take a look at Globe Bistro (although it's not as luxe as your other picks).

        Scaramouche will be more classically (French) paced than the others and while it also has a nice view (and an excellent reputation) I don't think it has anything really special for the one-time Toronto visitor (unless I'm being presumptuous about that).

        PS - responded to your Montreal thread as well.

        1. re: Rabbit
          o
          Onara Jul 7, 2009 03:25 PM

          Yeah - Sydney's doing molecular gastronomy, alright

          Globe looks particularly appealing, as does Canoe, because they use local produce, including things I never see on menus in Sydney (bison, elk, Saskatoon berries)

      2. s
        SMOG Jul 6, 2009 06:42 PM

        If you prefer he idea of "nouveau cuisine" and want something totally original, then I'd suggest Colborne Lane. Although, you'd probably need 4 courses (if you include desert) to be full, but you could fit that within the $100.

        1. o
          Onara Jul 5, 2009 03:39 PM

          Thank you!

          Lee looks ideal, as do Oddfellows and Temple Kitchen

          How far in advance would I need to book to get a table at Canoe?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Onara
            aser Jul 5, 2009 09:51 PM

            Canoe is only open M-F, keep that in mind, with Friday night being the busiest.

            1. re: aser
              o
              Onara Jul 5, 2009 11:35 PM

              Would I get a table for one on short notice, do you think (like - that day)?

              Or should I book ahead?

              1. re: Onara
                t
                tochowchick Jul 6, 2009 06:50 AM

                For sure you should book ahead...you might get lucky waiting but I wouldn't chance it...enjoy...

          2. Squeakycheese Jul 4, 2009 05:09 PM

            Mildred Pierce Temple Kitchen is a good choice, very close.

            http://www.templekitchen.com/

            1. c
              couscous13 Jul 4, 2009 04:24 PM

              Lee Restaurant 603 king st west at portland. Tapas style asian fusion (cliche much?) but delicious, and you can dine for under 100$ with multiple courses, deserts and wine. always a staple place for me especially with a large group.

              Odd fellows - 936 queen street west (www.oddfellows.ca) a little more avant (i believe the space is also used as a design gallery) but the food is legit and you could eat for under 100 in 3 courses.

              Pizza Libretto- foxley and ossington a little trendy and they don't take reso's but there's lot's of places in the area to get a drink while you wait and the pizza's are unreal. tiramisu dessert is awesome as is there fried calamari. kind of a modern spin on the classic red sauce italian pizzeria. also could squeeze in under 100 per person with wine.

              also the drake hotel has a restaurant that isn't ridiculously expensive and the food is great although the service is hit and miss.

              hope that serves you well and enjoy your stay in the big smoke.

              1. Charles Yu Jul 4, 2009 03:32 PM

                Canoe!
                2nd choice, Truffles

                5 Replies
                1. re: Charles Yu
                  o
                  Onara Jul 4, 2009 03:52 PM

                  OK - should I worried that...

                  *Canoe is in a tower ("if the restaurant's revolving, the food is revolting")
                  *Truffles is in a hotel

                  1. re: Onara
                    t
                    tochowchick Jul 4, 2009 04:27 PM

                    Canoe is NOT one of those revolving/revolting places...just a very high calibre fine dining restaurant that happens to be located on top of one of the downtown bank towers...lovely space, lovely food and super view.

                    Truffles is also not your typical hotel restaurant but for my money I'd go with Canoe...have had a number of super lunches and dinners there in the past year.

                    1. re: Onara
                      Charles Yu Jul 4, 2009 05:40 PM

                      Canoe was rated top Restaurant in 2009 by Toronto Life! Now that Splendido is closed, Canoe should remain in top spot for a while! Foodwise, IMHO, its better than any recommendations made on this board , so far!

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        t
                        tjr Jul 4, 2009 10:26 PM

                        I agree with Charles re: Canoe... but Truffles is not good at all; I'd rather eat somewhere else.

                        1. re: tjr
                          Charles Yu Jul 5, 2009 07:52 AM

                          Yes! Truffles, depending on the current chef, can be quite inconsistent at times. When they are good, they can be very good! but when they are off?! ...... No comment! Ha! Kind of a shame for a Fourseasons flagship restaurant. Too many chef changing hands IMO. Its not like that elsewhere?! Hong Kong, Tokyo, NYC etc

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