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Aug 12, 2009 11:42 AM

George or Chiado

My bf and I are planning a special occasion dinner very soon. We are debating between George and Chiado. I've been to both but in each instance it was over two years ago. My bf hasn't been to either.

This is a very rare occasion for us as he's a chef and NEVER gets a night off on a weekend. That being said I want to treat his to the best dinning experience possible.

For him presentation is just as important as the quality of the food, for me it is service.

Thoughts chowhounds?

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  1. if you want mostly seafood, Chiado, especially whole fish.

    if you want a mixture, then Geroge.

    1. George has one of the nicest garden patios in town. Chiado you'll sit inside.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChalkBoy

        I forgot about the beautiful courtyard. I think that may be the place!

      2. Definitely George. If he's a chef, he'll appreciate the sophistication of George's dishes. Chiado is good but the dishes are more "simple" and straightforward in execution. Especially George has a tasting menu so you'll get to sample a variety of dishes.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sbug206

          Definitely Chiado. If he's a chef, he'll appreciate a decent meal. And he won't do an analysis of the plate.

          But why not try a different approach. The Ms. is a superb cook. Were she in Toronto, I would take her to Tagine ( Moroccan,Lawrence east, on which I posted yesterday) for an interesting, excellent and superbly cooked meal in a nice, comfy room. And cheap, $22 for soup to nuts, literally. Don't be put off by the low price. The family that owns and cooks is new to the busines and full of enthusiam, energy- and talent.

          Not to worry because it is Moroccan. No weird ingredients or tastes. Refined cooking- there isn't the slightest suggestion of a heat (chili) or grease problem in the cooking.
          He might really like Tagine. and it is special. George's sort of fooling around you can have anywhere. Tagine may be distinctively memorable.


          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

            not on Tagine because I've never been but on what was said about George.
            George is just fusion confusion

            1. re: j6p

              I have to disagree. I consider my first meal at George one of the best I've had in my limited life. I enjoyed the complexity and layering of flavours. George has nicer ambiance too.

              1. re: sbug206

                I have to disagree. I consider my first (and last) meal at George not one of the worst, but the worst meal that I've had in my limited life, considering its price and aspirations. I hated the lack of talent (no, bizarre or childish ideas) in creating and matching flavours and the overall bad aesthetic. Plus bad handling of some items. Then there was the offensive charade that this stuff was actually good, the proof of which was the very high prices. After paying so much , how many would admit that they had been had? Performance art, not good dining.
                But this was years ago, and the Ms. chose better than I did and had a better meal.

                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                  I disagree. You're far more likely to hear disappointed reviews of an expensive restaurant (like George), where expectations are easily upset. I've had some bad experiences at George, some good, some worth the money, some not.

            2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

              I fully understand and appreciate your suggestion but that is the kind of meal we seek out all the time when he has a night off during the week. It is what we do for fun! The more interesting, weird, ethnic the better! :-)

              However, this is a special occasion where I want him to have wine pairings, a stunning plate and top-notch service.

          2. I've also been to both. It sounds like this is about pleasing your boyfriend. At George the food will have challenging pairings, be complex, have interesting plating, and demonstrate various techniques. At Chiado the food will be simple, the mains come with the same vegetables, there is less emphasis on plating and it doesn't demonstrate much technique other than searing and grilling. Your boyfriend may walk away from Chiado feeling that he could have duplicated this at home, I wouldn't say the same thing about George.
            Let us know where you end up and what he thought.

            3 Replies
            1. re: dubchild

              Based on Toronto standard, the meals that I had at Chiado were very good. However, the few tasting menus that I had at George were truly amazing. Worthy of a Michelin star IMO. Again, I am talking about Toronto only!

              1. re: dubchild

                Yes, I agree with dubchild completely, whereas I found food at both places delicious (except maybe certain thing like the 'dry soup' at Chiado which is way too heavy for me), I found the food at George more interesting in all aspect such as plating and combination. If plate presentation is a important factor, definitely go for George. I also like the atmosphere at George more than Chiado.

                1. re: dubchild

                  Agree. Chiado has really delicious Portuguese fish dishes and a great Portuguese wine list, but George is more likely to impress on just about every other level, especially those important to a chef.

                2. JennaBean, I guess what everyone is saying is it depends on what style your bf enjoys the most, modern fusion or Mediterranean rustic? Since you know that answer you know where to take him now.

                  Both places can be very romantic. Although George does have a magnificent patio, Chiado has a better post-dinner stroll.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Googs

                    I think for this special occasion I'd like him to be wowed. I've really enjoyed both places in the past but what's been confirmed by the group is that the presentation will be much more impressive at George which is a big part of what he loves about his job and a high-end dinning experience.

                    1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                      Getting back on topic......

                      My vote would be for George. Marvellous patio, excellent food, (although it's been over a year since I've last been). I must confess I've not been to Chiado yet. It is on my list but for some reason keeps getting bumped. I dunno know, just doesn't seem to have the wow factor for me.

                      Curious though on how it became narrowed down to these 2?

                      1. re: JennaBean

                        If you're looking for the "wow" experience, I don't think either one will do that. They're both solid restaurants but not one which I would go to for special occasion potential wow experience. Notwithstanding, you ask only for which is better... especially with wine paring, I'll go with George.