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Need a lunch suggestion near Queen and Bathurst

bluedog Aug 13, 2009 11:49 AM

Hoping you all can help: I need a lunch suggestion for tomorrow near Queen and Bathurst. Something slightly upscale, preferably with good lunch specials. I should know this, but I've been out of the loop for awhile, its not my normal stomping grounds, and I'm drawing a blank. I thought of Nota Bene (maybe too upscale) but also a little too far away.


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  1. ChalkBoy RE: bluedog Aug 13, 2009 11:57 AM


    11 Replies
    1. re: ChalkBoy
      bluedog RE: ChalkBoy Aug 13, 2009 12:23 PM

      Thanks. Perfect.

      1. re: ChalkBoy
        pinkprimp RE: ChalkBoy Aug 13, 2009 12:40 PM

        Laughably horrible when I went with two others last Friday night.

        A request for a gimlet gets us a neon-green concoction with pickled pearl onions (!!) and when we asked about it, the server then said it was a "giblin." (BTW, no one knew what a gimlet or Pimms Cup was).

        Despite the owner trying to patch things up with one of my DCs (he overheard our conversation about how crap it was) by offering a round of shots on the house, as my friend was getting them, one of the bartenders practically accused him of trying to get away without paying. So much for trying to make up for bad service.

        I doubt the food would be good enough for me to overlook the other stuff.

        1. re: pinkprimp
          bluedog RE: pinkprimp Aug 13, 2009 01:17 PM

          Just checked the reviews on Vdara, really diverse: love it or hate it. Guess we'll make up our own minds as its right around the corner from where we need to be. Le Select and Brassai are fine suggestions just a touch too far away. Thanks though.

          1. re: bluedog
            pinstripeprincess RE: bluedog Aug 13, 2009 01:50 PM

            service is laughable at vdara... if this is a business meal then i would definitely reconsider.

            it does seem though that the usual places i might suggest are only open for dinner. you also seem to be more west of bathurst so i might consider a place like banu.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              ChalkBoy RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 13, 2009 01:56 PM

              Have you been at lunch? Or eaten there? Much different atmosphere at noon than midnight. Nothing great, but OK, nice patio during the day. And I don't think Banu does lunch anymore.

              1. re: ChalkBoy
                pinstripeprincess RE: ChalkBoy Aug 13, 2009 01:59 PM

                Nope, almost never in the nabe during the day. I actually enjoyed some of the dishes that I had there for dinner... I think I went with the hearts and testes and their nan o paneer was great.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                  ChalkBoy RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 13, 2009 02:14 PM

                  I was talking about Vdara.

                  1. re: ChalkBoy
                    pinstripeprincess RE: ChalkBoy Aug 13, 2009 02:37 PM

                    the differentiation was more difficult when you didn't have the line about banu in there.

                    vdara, no lunch. couldn't eat there as they decided they didn't want the business.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                      bluedog RE: pinstripeprincess Aug 13, 2009 05:55 PM

                      pinstripe, good to hear from you! Not a business lunch, have a reservation and am willing to try it out. Menu looks good, so hoping for the best. Its a late lunch so if service is lousy there's no excuse (and that seems to be everyone's problem). Will try to report back.

                      1. re: bluedog
                        JaclynS RE: bluedog Aug 14, 2009 07:41 AM

                        Fairly desserted in there during the day. I've been to Vdara only for brunch and lunch as my office is right there. Great service from the keen Irish bartender. Burger is my favorite Have always wondered why no one is in there during the day, but above comments shed light!

                        1. re: JaclynS
                          JaclynS RE: JaclynS Aug 14, 2009 07:45 AM

                          Oh, I will also throw out Olde York at Niagra and Wellington as a suggestion. Bigger menu, great patio. I am heading there for lunch today!

      2. g
        gastronom RE: bluedog Aug 13, 2009 12:26 PM

        le select or brassaii. I'd pick le select.

        1. num nums RE: bluedog Aug 13, 2009 06:12 PM

          The "nice for business lunch" range of choices is very sparse in this whole area. Other than Le Select, the only other place I would suggest is Tutti Matti on Adelaide just east of Spadina. The atmosphere at Crush is great but unfortunately the food is a bit too hit or miss.

          1 Reply
          1. re: num nums
            Sueb24 RE: num nums Aug 15, 2009 03:40 PM

            I would definitely second Tutti Matti. Have been going there for years.

          2. b
            bluedog RE: bluedog Aug 16, 2009 06:37 AM

            Again, thanks all for the suggestions...
            We went to Vdara this past Friday for lunch; I had made a reservation but there was really no need because when we walked in the place was empty except for one table on the patio. Room is large, airy, the former Future Bakery site. And on a very hot day, not air conditioned, but with all the .doors to the patio open, pretty much little difference between indoors and out. We chose to sit on the patio after sitting for a few minutes indoors: too stifling, but a little breeze on the patio.

            Drinks were ordered: peach sangria and a champagne cocktail with prosecco and pomegranate liqueu called a "pom dom". Lots of interesting drinks on the menu but these weren't two of them: peach sangria tasted like watered down koolaid with wine, the "pom dom" was good, but nothing special.

            So-so, so far, but the food made up for it: house made breads included a nice white with a good firm bite too it, a little sweet, and really good soft pita, served with a slightly too runny balsamic aioli. We both had the salmon nicoise salad and absolutely no complaints: perfectly cooked salmon, slightly pink in the middle, with hard boiled eggs, beans, greens, capers (no olives) all tossed in a nice light dressing. Really good, very satisfying.

            Service was good and I tipped for it.

            So overall, I would return, if I was in the area, but wouldn't make a special trip. Not suitable for a business lunch, agreed, largely because the space is too club-like, and very casual, with the lack of air conditioning being a real problem. Nonetheless, pretty good food and a reasonable value at lunch. Too bad others have had such poor experiences.

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