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Which of these three would be the best fit for a 10 Year Anniversary?

My fiancé is taking me out to dinner for our 10 year anniversary on Saturday night. He and I are having a hard time choosing where to go!
We live in the Bloor/Ossington area. We do not have a car so we would be taking transit. Something with a light romantic atmosphere. I would be nice to keep the bill under $150 (approx). We typically share an appetizer and dessert and will buy a bottle of wine.

We have been recommended the following 3 restaurants:
La Maquette
Nota Bene
Sidecar

Which would you recommended?

Other suggestions are also welcome!

Thanks!
-Michelle

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  1. I haven't been to sidecar, Nota Bene the room is a little cold and corporate feeling but the food is excellent. La Maquette is a very romantic space, the food gets mixed reviews but has always been good on the few occasions I have been there, it would be my choice of the three but I would probably go for somewhere else that's got both romantic atmosphere and sure thing food like Auberge du Pommier.

    1. I agree that Nota Bene has a slightly corporate feel, although it's dark enough that it's not entirely wanting for romantic vibe. Sidecar is more casual, not entirely unromantic either, but not super-romantic IMHO. I haven't been to La Maquette. Auberge is a real haul for someone taking transit and a 45 minutes TTC ride home would certainly short-circuit the romance factor for me.

      No offense, but your choices are kind of all over the map, so it's hard to get a feel for what you really like. Maybe you could give us a few of your old favourites so that we can get a better feel for what would best suit you?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rabbit

        Sure Rabbit!

        We haven’t been to a lot of fine dining places in Toronto. We usually enjoy our decent local restaurants but want to do something a little more special. I think our last big dinner was at 360 at the CN Tower for our 5 year anniversary (we had an amazing time and the entire place to ourselves!) We love fine food and wine - but to keep the price down I usually cook the meals myself (I’m no chef but I love to cook). We enjoy most types of food and are pretty easy going people. I would like somewhere with a decent wine list that isn't marked up outrageously as I love a good bottle!

        I would like to go somewhere that we will have a guaranteed good experience. Good service is a must. We are under 30 so something not too pretentious or stuffy. It doesn't have to be overly romantic but somewhere that you can have a nice quiet conversation with a little mood music.
        Being close to our home and transit is a big bonus!
        I know that is still vague but I hope it helps a bit!

        -Michelle

      2. Saturday night you may have to compromise.
        I go regularly to all 3 restaurants (so obviously I like them).
        If Nota Bene (which has the best food and superb service) you'll have to go 'late' - maybe 9:00. Before that it's a rush as they turn the tables - and it's just too busy to be romantic.
        Sidecar is very casual and the tables are close together - also very busy on a Saturday night.
        La Maquette is somewhat 'old-fashioned' and the food is fine if you're staring into each other's eyes. HOWEVER, they do a lot of functions and if they have one booked ANY night, it becomes raucous. If you can discreetly ask whether they have a 'big' function that night PLUS you can get a table upstairs overlooking the sculpture garden (and Waterfall) - that may be the best option.
        BUT - have you considered Globe Bistro?. Again fairly busy but if you can get a table upstairs it's a better mood. Also straight through to Broadview on the subway, so easiest access.

        1 Reply
        1. re: estufarian

          Nota Bene is very noisy.
          If you like that vibe.
          There is nothing romantic about it.
          The Globe upstairs suggestion is probably better.

        2. I think the suggestion of Globe is the best one so far.
          http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=globe...

          Nota Bene isn't very romantic IMO, though I do like their food.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...

          I really didn't like La Maquette when I went. This was a couple years ago now. though it is a nice setting.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...

          No shots for sidecar! haven't been. Aubèrege is the most romantic of all suggested so far, but it's a hike. Lovely service and atmosphere though.

          -----
          Globe
          124 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4K1N1, CA

          Auberge Du Pommier
          4150 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M2P 2C6, CA

          La Maquette
          111 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C1G6, CA

          Sidecar
          577 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

          Nota Bene
          180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

          1. Thanks for all the recs.

            When I looked at the Globe's profile on Chow it had a horrible review from last month. I just want to confirm that we will have a good night if we go there because I really like the look of the menu and wine list. Plus the location is great!

            7 Replies
            1. re: bacchus_is_watching

              Globe Bistro is really lovely and gets consistently good reviews on this board. Honestly, I would take any of the reviews on the Chow restaurants section with a huge grain of salt.

              Make sure you ask for a table on the mezzanine level -- it's a much more romantic atmosphere.

              1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                Whoever "hotpants" is, they've never posted anything here other than that review. They also seem to indicate the food was $100/person, that's higher than normal, unless they are including wine which I assume they would not. There are many good reviews of Globe, and very few bad ones. I'd recommend it also.

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  I have never been to Globe, but have heard very good things about it - beautiful, serving local ingredients. I also thought of Le Paradis on Beford, romantic, especially if you book in the smaller room, reasonable bistro food and an excellent wine list, or Midi Bistro on McCaul, which is very warm, not noisy - mussels are their specialty, excellent frites, very small room.

                2. re: bacchus_is_watching

                  I can tell you that I have been to Globe now 6 times. With the exception of a rather unfortunate night during summerlicious where the twice cooked steak I had was a huge disappointment, I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

                  Their wine list also includes some Niagara gems at a reasonable price that you won't find in many restaurants.

                  I echo the comments about taking reviews with a grain of salt. For one, people are more likely to post negative comments than positive (feeling wronged is a stronger motivator to actually log on and post/complain than being lulled into a coma by a night of enjoyed gluttony) Further, one review is nothing to base an educated guess on. I tend not to post an opinion about a place I have not been to at least a couple times as any place can have an off night, even the best of the best. Overall Globe Bistro gets really good reviews here, I think they are deserved.

                  If I could make another suggestion, I really like the Rosebud. It is intimate, though not overly romantic. The food is very, very good. Personally, to me the food flavour wise is a slight notch above Globe's, but I am biased, I live close and I go to it a lot. It is located on Queen West just west of Bathurst St.

                  http://www.therosebud.ca

                  1. re: JPJ

                    Thanks once again for all your thoughtful feedback. Usually I do not let 1 negative review phase my decisions but it was such a negative responce it worried me a little.
                    Thanks so much for the assurance.
                    I think we will try to get a resevation in the upper mezzanine of The Globe and if we can't then we will call the Rosebud. There are both excellent locations for us to get to.

                    Thanks again and I will post back after the dinner to add my own review!

                    1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                      Another late-coming endorsement for the Globe (or the Rosebud!). And the mezzanine suggestion is good. Please do report back and let us know how it goes... happy anniversary!

                      1. re: Rabbit

                        I recommend the Globe also. I have enjoyed all of my meals there. If you end up chosing another spot for Sat night, you might want consider brunch at the Globe on Sunday (as an extension to the romantic celebration!). The space is lovely and the service is very good.

                3. I'll echo the kudos for Globe and Rosebud.

                  I had a mixed experience at Sidecar and it's very noisy. La Maquette might be romantic, but i've always found the food on the blah side.

                  Le Paradis is a guaranteed good time at an amazing price.

                  I love Sotto Sotto - it's dark, it's fun and I've never had a bad meal there. It is on the pricey side though. But if you want dark and romantic, it might be a good option.

                  1. Much closer to home is Chiado on College near Ossington. Having a great & special neighbourhood restaurant is far more romantic than having to make a long trek to and fro. I love the part where you can walk home, holding hands after a satisfying dinner.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Googs

                      Great restaurant but not in the price range suggested here. At mains that average around $40+ and appetizers averaging $15-18 it would certainly blow the budget.

                      One thing for sure, I have never had a single bad dish at Chiado, the food is impeccable.

                      1. re: JPJ

                        I've walked by this place before and always wondered how it was. Do they do any kind of tapas or drink menu? Thanks for noticing hte budget issue JPJ! But maybe for our next special occasion we could go there for drinks and snacks???

                        1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                          Yes, they do. It's the 'bar menu' (although the website does call it 'tapas').
                          Used to go there on a Monday after a course in the area - and it was superb - sat at the bar and ordered small plates and wines by the glass.
                          However, the last couple of times, when business was slow, they 'closed' the bar area and served it 'tableside'. For some reason, that just didn't work for me - they sat us on the restaurant side, which is much more formal.
                          http://www.chiadorestaurant.ca/