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Aug 13, 2009 11:49 AM

Need a lunch suggestion near Queen and Bathurst

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. re: ChalkBoy

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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: ChalkBoy

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

        1. 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

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

          2. 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.