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interesting, mid-priced dining downtown?

I don't know Toronto at all but will be visiting for a conference for several nights at the beginning of September. I'm hoping fellow hounds can help me find several good dinner spots, particularly reasonably near the Metro Convention Center. I'm looking for whatever any serious food nuts think of as really worthwhile eating, in pretty much any cuisine--all varieties of Asian, European, anything distinctively Toronto, etc. I have no animus against elegant places but care far more about exciting food than service, decor, etc. My big constraint is that I'll be dining out with assorted friends from the conference, none of whom is nearly as obsessed with restaurants as I am. That means they probably will be grumpy about going far outside the zone of the Convention Center (a few minutes or miles, but not, more, I suspect), and they'd probably be more so if it were to be to spend an extravagent amoung of money . So mains under $30 is probably a must, $25 even better. Despite what I've just said, though, all do like food and are pretty adventurous in what they'll eat. I don't need save and boring, just reasonably near and not outrageous prices. I've searched the board a bit already, but Toronto's huge, I have no sense of its geography, and it's been a bit bewildering. I happily post to assist hounds in the cities I know and love, and am hoping some of you can do the same for me: tell me what's impressive and exciting! Thanks a ton.
P.S. If there is something in this area that you think might just blow me away but is more expensive, I guess you should let me know--maybe on one night I'll have a willing dining partner.

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  1. ONE MORE THING: I also need to pick a place within a short walk of the convention center for a midweek lunch. The group may be as big as 10 people (we could sit at 2 tables), and it includes grad students, so it needs to be moderately priced. Anything that fits that and also would be enjoyable? (Asian? Anything?)

    1. It's all chain restaurants around the convention centre, none are really that good. Walk a few extra mins and you can get to chinatown.....

      This post covered the same topic as you.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/635258

      1. A few ideas in the general vicinity... Nota Bene, Le Select and Tutti Matti are each about a km away from the Convention Centre (about a 10 minute walk). A wee bit farther (maybe a 15 minute walk) is the Beer Bistro. All would be at an appropriate price point for your group (though at Tutti Matti you might have to stick with pasta rather than meat entrees to keep it under $25).

        1. One of the top restaurants in Toronto, Canoe, is an 8 minute walk from the Convention Centre. It's pricey and I recommend it only to address your "P.S.". The view is gorgeous and the food delicious.

          Here's a map:
          http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=metro%20...

          and a link to the restaurant's website:
          http://www.oliverbonacini.com/canoemo...

          Enjoy Toronto!

          1. Agree with torontofoodiegirl's recs of Le Select (French Bistro- Wellington W), and Beerbistro (King, east of Yonge). Le Select has a $19.95 prix fixe steak frites: http://www.leselect.com/menus/steak-f...

            Brassaii (Contemporary/Continental -King W), Crush (gastro pub on King W), Nami (Japanese-Adelaide east of Yonge), Terroni (Italian-Adelaide location-east of Yonge), ), Forte (Contemporary Bistro, Bay and Adelaide) and Biff's (Bistro-Front east of Yonge) are within a 12-15 minute walk of the MTCC (or 5 minute taxi ride), and have at least the majority of their mains in the $25 range.

            They are all worth the walk or short taxi out of the MTCC area IMO.