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Best bar/lounge areas in restaurants for drinks and a nibble -- midtown/uptown?

Sometimes DH and I don't want to have a full dinner, but enjoy just having a drink and an appetizer or two. We feel guilty doing that at a regular table in a restaurant, but are much more comfortable in a bar area or lounge of a restaurant. For example, we like the bar at Coquine when we're in the mood for a rather boisterous environment. Even the bar at Milestones (I know, I know) at Empress Walk is good for a drink right before catching a movie there.

Unfortunately, it seems like most of the restaurants we frequent don't have a bar area in which to do this. So I'm turning to the hounds -- what are your recs for good spots for this kind of experience? Anything from quiet and intimate to loud and buzzing are good. Midtown to uptown would be preferred. Any kind of cuisine is fine.

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  1. I highly suggest Rain for you and the hubby very beautiful yet hip and cool and vibrant where you can go for drinks and have appetizers and dinners, and its actually runned from one of the famous chefs from food network here is the website take a look and it is right in Toronto City hope I helped http://www.rainrestaurant.ca/rain.htm

    2 Replies
    1. re: _VIXEN

      FYI Rain has closed and is now Ame. Same peeps though.

    2. It's odd, but I can think of plenty of places downtown, but just nothing up North. I don't know if it's because I always do the sit-down eating when I'm there or I'm just not hitting the right spots. Maybe Smokeless Joe's? Any of the pubs would do, I'd think too. There's one just North of Yonge and Eg on the East side. Any of the hotels in Yorkville would do as well, I'd think. Sorry, not very helpful! I'll post again when my mental drive up Yonge yields any other possibilities.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jlunar

        Heh, thanks -- that's the exact position I find myself in as well. I can think of lots of places that would fit the bill downtown, but I can't think of anything North of St. Clair. And while I have no problem heading downtown for dinner, it's less practical when we're just looking to step out for an hour or so for a quick drink and app.

      2. Centro. Cava. Five Doors North? I'm wracking my brain for anything else.

        1. - This is complete speculation since I've never set foot in the place, but do they have a nice bar area at Globe Earth (although it might be too far south)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rabbit

            Globe Earth does have a nice bar and some good nibbly food. Le Petit Castor (during the week when it's quiet and not such a meet market) also has a nice bar for eating.

          2. I haven't been, but some good friends like Chase Wine Bar.

            Agree that Centro's Lounge might be another option- but I think the lounge is only open on certain nights?

            Have also enjoyed appetizers & drinks at the Abbot, Chimichanga and Milagro (might add I realize TorontoJo is familiar with Milagro ;-))

            Haven't dined at Wildfire, but afaik, they also have a bar area? Phoebe's, the bar part of Zee Grill, might also be an option (I've only dined at Zee).

            1 Reply
            1. re: phoenikia

              I totally forgot about Chase -- never been there, but always wondered. I think that may be the next stop.

              Have you been to Centro's lounge? The first and only time I went to Centro was about 10 years ago, and the service was so atrociously snobby that it turned me off of the restaurant completely. But if they've mellowed out, I'd be game to try again.