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Jan 24, 2010 12:10 PM

Fine dining in Toronto?

I travel to the area for work around twice a year, but usually we stay in Markham/Richmond Hill and eat at the local restaurants. Our budget is limited for business travel and we're usually too busy to go anywhere farther so mostly we go to chain (I'm sick and tired of Jack Astor's) or ethnic restaurants (gotta admit, Markham has some really great Chinese restaurants). The only "fancy" restaurant I've been to was the one in the CN tower, but that place is really more about the view and the touristy aspect than the food.

This March, we are going to be back and my traveling companions and I are willing to fork up some $$$$ out of our own pocket for a really nice dinner. I would prefer French or similar, but we are open to other types of cuisine, and are willing to spend up to ~$100 per person (before wine). Tasting menus with wine pairings would be a plus. Any recommendations for a fine-dining restaurant for foodies in Toronto?

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  1. Welcome!cI just love it when visitors to the city take an extra step to enjoy chow in this city whether it be fine dining or hole-in-the-wall good grub.

    A go-to for fine dining for a lot of people on the board is Spendido -

    Nota Bene is another -

    Buca is getting a lot of buzz, the website is not helpful, you'll have to do a search on the board for more details -

    I'm sure others will chime in. Please do tell us where you end up and how it went.

    1. Splendido (italian/french/continental) still tops my list. I'll be writing that up for a Tuesday post. It was $100pp w/drinks no dessert for us to give you an idea.
      Most people will say Scaramouche (french), but I don't love it.
      Nota Bene (italian/french/continental) is good as well.
      Aubèrge du Pommier (french) is further north if that makes any difference.
      Harbour 60 is good for steak.
      Globe Bistro is less fancy-pants and not-so-french, but has locally source food in a really lovely atmosphere.
      There are probably more, but these are always of-mind to me!

      Harbour Sixty
      60 Harbour Street, Toronto, ON M5J 1B7, CA

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

      88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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

      1. Hi arlenemae,

        Welcome back to Toronto. I read some of your posts to get an idea of your tastes and noticed that you enjoyed the Fig Cafe (same owners as the Girl and the Fig). Although I haven't been to the Fig Cafe, I loved the Girl and the Fig, and I ate there twice last summer. I also noticed you enjoyed the Merry Edwards Pinots-I thought they were lovely for that style too.

        For French, I would recommend Le Select Bistro. While its more pricey than the Fig Cafe, it fits into your budget easily and has a fantastic wine list. Not fine dining, but a solid upscale French Bistro in Toronto. You may prefer to sit at the bar.

        For fine dining recommendations, I can't really give any-other hounds will chime in here. The usual suspects will be George, Canoe, Splendido, Scaramouche, Auberge de Pommier and North 44. Do searches, read comments, and visit the websites to get a feel for them. Another spot that's a favorite of board members is Globe Bistro on the Danforth (although I wouldn't describe it as fine dining). There's also C5 restaurant in the Royal Ontario Museum and Frank in the Art Gallery of Ontario.

        I also read your comments about Bottega's rabbit pasta. You may also want to check out David Lee's version at Nota Bene, or Victor Barry's at Splendido.

        Hot and trendy places are Guu (Japanese izakaya-a chain that started in Vancouver), Buca (Italian), Local Kitchen and Wine Bar (Italian), and the Black Hoof (offal and charcuterie)-the Toronto/Canadian version of Incanto in San Francisco minus the Italian influence. A bunch of recent reports can be found on the board for each.

        Enjoy your stay and please report back!


        1. For french fine dining, in Toronto, I personally don't think you can do better than Opus. Especially if you're big on wine.

          If you want something really traditional there's Didier