HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Can't decide...rec's please

I'm taking my girl out for our anniversary but can't decide where. I've narrowed it down to these four, none of which I have ever been to, I'm just going by reviews and blogs and such:
Nota Bene
The Harbord Room
I would love to take her to Black Hoof, but she does not eat meat, only fish. I'm hoping she'll come back to the dark side some day. Also, I'm looking to spend about $200 (probably have a 1/2 bottle wine at most), so I'm not sure about Splendido...any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If your girl likes fish why not try Starfish?

    1 Reply
      1. re: miranda

        There are many small bistro's in the city, but in my opinion great if you love in the "hood."
        The only one we go out of our way to visit is Simple Bistro on Mt. Pleasant.
        Fits your budget.
        Not too noisy, and excellent food.

      2. Out of the places you've listed I don't think that either Nota Bene or Splendido would fit your budget - unless neither of your drink.

        I haven't been to Grace so I can't comment, but I have been to Harbord Room and had the trout which was meh overall. I know folks here rave but for DC and I it was anything but.

        Not to sound like a broken record but I would third Starfish as well.

        1. Grace is a 'cute' restaurant - it gets pretty loud and not all the tables for two are for a special evening. Splendio and Nota Bene are on the pricier side. I have yet to be to the Harbord Room but i've heard it's pretty casual. If you like Harbord, I've quite enjoyed Tati Bistro.

          1. agreed that nota bene and splendido would be tight w/ the $200 budget.

            i liked the harbord room, but i'm not sure i'd want to go there for an anniversary, to be honest. the restaurant is fairly small, so you'd be sitting quite near other tables.

            if you're open to other suggestions, how about the globe? i went recently w/ my bf, and we spent under $200 for oysters, 2 apps, 2 mains, 1 dessert and half a bottle of wine. they also usually have a few fish selections to please your gf that are quite good. my bf had the lake erie walleye currently on the menu, and we both agreed it was better than my pork main! also, if you reserve for the mezzanine level upstairs, you get a nice booth with more privacy and i considered it to be fairly romantic :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: tygrr_lily

              Seconded, Globe is a great suggestion.

              1. I agree with those who've suggested that Starfish is a good choice for a fish/seafood eater (especially if she's into oysters). It also depends a bit on what vibe you want... at Starfish, my favourite is to sit at the bar and swill champers. I think this is tres romantique, but others may like more privacy.

                I don't necessarily agree with those who think Nota Bene will blow your budget, especially since you won't be drinking much. It depends how your order. My only caveat is that it can feel a bit corporate. Again, we like to sit at the bar to counterbalance this, but I recognize that bar service is not everyone's idea of a good time.

                I like Grace, but I don't think it's all that special.

                I also agree with the Globe suggestion (although I think it would be comparable in price to Nota Bene). I'm like the tables on the mezzanine level for more privacy and voyeuri-friendly viewing of your fellow diners.

                PS - please let us know where you end up!

                7 Replies
                1. re: Rabbit

                  Thanks for all the suggestions...I think I'm going to go with Starfish since they seem to have a great seafood menu for my gf and pork belly for me! - though, I'm sure I'll end up ordering the lobster..I haven't had lobster in years, I'm due. Plus, she has apparently never had oysters...! I don't think she should miss out any longer. Everything on the menu sounds good, are there any "must haves"?

                  1. re: CHICKEN_SKIN_MASK

                    Aside from the oysters, I think they have one of the best Caesars around! There's a photo of it here (despite it being from Ceili Cottage - same deal):

                    1. re: CHICKEN_SKIN_MASK

                      The fish and chips starter!

                      And although it's been a while for me, I remember their molten chocolate cake as really wonderful.

                      1. re: Rabbit

                        They used to have a flourless chocolate cake that was wonderful. The lemon tart is also very nice.

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          maybe (probably) the flourless is what I remember...

                        1. re: CHICKEN_SKIN_MASK

                          Their frites are excellent, and I';ve had some wonderful soups too! In particular, which probably won't be on the menu now but a corn and bacon chowder that was deelish.