HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food project?
TELL US

The Most Romantic French Restaurant in Toronto

m
molodk Mar 1, 2010 05:33 PM

Hello All,

I'm desperately looking for the most romantic french restaurant in Toronto for a special dinner. I found a lot of french restaurants in Toronto and now I'm so confused which one to choose. I'm looking for a quite place, not very expensive and with a great food. It's for a very special night. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

  1. m
    molodk Mar 7, 2010 05:43 AM

    so yeah, it was Le Select at the end and the diner went really great!!! I've got a booth; and the food, service, atmosphere were very nice! although i found the wine a bit pricey but we enjoyed very much! and the location was also perfect (downtown but still nice quite area close to CN tower, park, etc). It was all good! Thanks a lot everyone for the suggestions!

    2 Replies
    1. re: molodk
      Rabbit Mar 7, 2010 06:15 AM

      Oooh, I'm so glad it worked out. It's charming how some of these threads become stories of their own and it's great to hear that yours has a happy ending.

      Any more specs on the food... what did you eat?

      1. re: Rabbit
        m
        molodk Mar 7, 2010 06:35 AM

        we had salades as a start, wine, then atlantic mussels (she really liked them:) , then steamed roatsted salmon fillet (SAUMON RÔTI AUX LENTILLES), then i think RAGOÛT DE CÈPES ET DE SEITAN (just to try some vegetarian food), then something else (i dont really remember as food became not that important at that time:) and deserts, they suggested to us some really good french ice cream...to try everything they have, you should definately come more than once!

    2. m
      molodk Mar 4, 2010 05:13 PM

      thanks everyone for the suggestions! Rabbit, well said:) so Le Select it is!
      I will write back how it will go and if you have any other good recommendations, more than welcome to leave them here:)

      1 Reply
      1. re: molodk
        b
        balthazar Mar 5, 2010 02:57 PM

        Make sure you also check out Provences Delices in Cabbagetown before making a final decision. It is a quiet, intimate space, and they have a little fireplace/oven (you can ask to be seated near it) and the food is lovely with an excellent wine list. Prices are comparable to Le Select (you might want to double check), but the ambiance is much more romantic, and I like the food better at PD. I've had special birthday dinners and anniversary dinners here at Provences Delices and highly recommend it.

        http://www.provencerestaurant.com/

      2. b
        BequiaT Mar 4, 2010 07:11 AM

        I like Midi on McCaul street. Priced well, food is fabulous. very tiny though - only 10-15 tables, and placed close together, so it may not be the ambiance you are looking for.

        1. m
          molodk Mar 4, 2010 05:36 AM

          ok, i've made a reservation for Le Select but they said that the can't guarantee a booth. They will make a note but it will all depend on a turnover at that time...so why does it call a reservation if you can't reserve it...not sure if it goes well as there will be probably pretty busy at night on saturday...

          6 Replies
          1. re: molodk
            sloweater Mar 4, 2010 05:47 AM

            I think that's actually a pretty reasonable response from Le Select. If all of the booths are booked for an earlier seating, they have promised that they will do their best to get you a booth, depending on how quickly the first guests are done with their booth. In my experience, each table is given a certain amount of time, say 2 hours, to have a full dinner, pay their bill, and leave. If all the booths were booked between 6:30 and 7:30, that would have the first booth available at 8:30 if all goes according to plan. Perhaps a booth will be ready sooner, if a table is faster than the average. So, if you called for an 8:00 table, requesting a booth, the person that took your reservation is essentially saying that they can't guarantee that the booth will be available unless the previous table dines faster than the average table. I'm sure if you had been flexible with your time, they could have guaranteed a booth.

            1. re: sloweater
              m
              molodk Mar 4, 2010 05:59 AM

              i actually told them that i'm not particularly strict to a particular time but they were saying all the same-it will depend on a turnover

              1. re: molodk
                m
                millygirl Mar 4, 2010 06:03 AM

                If you're going in with a bad feeling you should go somewhere else.

                1. re: molodk
                  Rabbit Mar 4, 2010 06:17 AM

                  If you feel strongly about the booth and they don't have one when you get there then tell them you'll have a glass of champers at the bar and wait for the next booth to open up. The zinc bar is lovely and quite romantic in and of itself and there's nothing like a glass of bubbles (I like the rose) to set the stage.

                  Sounds to me like you're hyper worried about managing the evening and making things super-perfect (pre-ordering your wine, securing just the right table), but that anxiety is palpable and nothing is ever just perfect. Sounds like you're out with a really special person and if she feels the same about you she won't care if you have the table by the kitchen door - you'll still have fun.

                  1. re: Rabbit
                    j
                    JennaBean Mar 4, 2010 07:05 AM

                    Spot on Rabbit! :-)

                  2. re: molodk
                    sloweater Mar 4, 2010 07:19 AM

                    That does seem odd. If you were flexible on time, they should have had no problem guaranteeing a booth to you. All the same, I agree with Rabbit that a glass of bubbly at the bar might be a nice ice breaker if your table's not ready right away.

                    I hope the evening goes well!

              2. m
                molodk Mar 3, 2010 07:48 AM

                Thanks everyone for your input! I think that I'm gonna go with Corner House or Le Select. Any suggestions on the specific really goood meal selections and wine?

                3 Replies
                1. re: molodk
                  y
                  Yum2MyTum Mar 3, 2010 08:01 AM

                  The lamb at Le Select is top notch. Make sure you reserve a booth! Have a great time and report back!

                  1. re: molodk
                    m
                    millygirl Mar 3, 2010 08:15 AM

                    If you are not familiar with the wines I suggest you decide what you're going to eat and the ask the sommelier to chose an appropriate wine in your price range. If this is a very special evening, maybe even call ahead to discuss.

                    1. re: millygirl
                      m
                      molodk Mar 3, 2010 08:19 AM

                      yeah i can call ahead but i'm not sure what my "guest" will decide to order:) maybe any general suggestions on their wine ?

                  2. d
                    daftKow Mar 2, 2010 12:02 PM

                    I am surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet -

                    Le Paradis
                    166 Bedford Rd
                    416-921-0995
                    http://www.leparadis.com/

                    Very reasonable prices, mains under $25 (most under or at $20!); love the atmosphere - cozy bistro-like, very friendly service. It's definitely a place I'd take for a special night.

                    Has to be one of my favourite restaurants period. :)

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: daftKow
                      y
                      Yum2MyTum Mar 2, 2010 12:10 PM

                      I love Le Paradis. It's my go-to for affordable French. But IMHO it's just not romantic.

                      If you decide to go this route, make sure you ask for a table on the upper level. Much more pleasant than the lower level...

                      Le Paradis is in a nice neighbourhood though so a walk will be easy enough!

                      1. re: Yum2MyTum
                        c
                        ctrlU Mar 2, 2010 12:21 PM

                        I agree, Le Paradis is a wonderful place with a wonderful atmosphere. Every time I walk out of there I feel rejuvenated like I've just returned from a trip. My favorite French restaurant.

                        1. re: ctrlU
                          m
                          millygirl Mar 2, 2010 12:32 PM

                          I agree with Yum2MyTum in that LeParadis isn't romantic. In fact, far from it. Last time I was there the place was in desparate need of a fresh coat of paint. We were in the back room and sitting up against those walls gave me an ill feeling. One thing I hate in a restaurant is grimy, dirty walls!

                          Of all the suggestions I think your best bet would be either Corner House, Bistro Tournesol or Weezie's. I've not been to the new LeSelect or La Palette so can't comment on those 2.

                          Good luck with your evening. Sounds interesting.....

                          1. re: millygirl
                            t
                            torontofoodiegirl Mar 2, 2010 01:00 PM

                            I also agree that Le Paradis isn't particularly romantic.

                            Have only been to Corner House once and enjoyed it well enough but wasn't impressed enough by the food to go back. Having said that, it definitely has a good romantic vibe, and is quiet. Also, from a price standpoint (given that that's an issue) they've extended their Winterlicious prices and menu:

                            http://cornerhouse.sites.toronto.com/...

                            1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                              j
                              juno Mar 2, 2010 01:55 PM

                              Of the places mentioned above, Weezie's and Le Paradis seem to be your best bets - especially if you're price-sensitive, as you unquestionably are. The long, narrow main room at Le Paradis is not what I'd call romantic - the tables are close together, with one and all lustily engaged in the business of eating. Nor is the back room, a few steps above the main room, particularly romantic (though I've never noticed grimy walls in that room mentioned by millygirl). But there's also a side room, off to the right of the main room, that could pass for romantic, though I've never looked closely at its walls either. It's much quieter than the other rooms and the tables have more space between them. But if you want that room, you have to specifically reserve it, often several days in advance (just make sure that a group isn't booked into the room as well, as sometimes happens. It tends to ruin the romantic vibe, as I discovered once). Two can dine quite well at Le Paradis, no matter what room you're in, for $75-$100, all in, including a half-liter or bottle of wine - considerably less than Auberge du Pommier - which to me contributes mightily to the romantic mood. Weezie's might be slightly higher in price.

                            2. re: millygirl
                              m
                              molodk Mar 2, 2010 01:02 PM

                              thanks for your advice, it seems that Corner House is at the top of a list based on the people's responses (great place, food, casa loma) but as far as i understood it's not that french style restaurant, right? so i dont know...maybe there's something else...

                              1. re: molodk
                                j
                                JennaBean Mar 2, 2010 01:10 PM

                                If you stuck on French Le Select really is your best bet. Corner House is cozy and romantic but not really a French resto.

                      2. m
                        molodk Mar 2, 2010 11:43 AM

                        thanks everyone for the suggestions! My special diner is this upcoming week so i'm knind of tight on time...Does anyone also know if in any of these restaurants there're rooms like with dim light or candles and if they're quite enough to have a good conversation, just to make it really romantic? And if there're maybe some great parks nearby? Looking forward for your responses

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: molodk
                          m
                          millygirl Mar 2, 2010 11:49 AM

                          Perhaps The Corner House might suit your needs. It's in a large house which is separated in to rooms. I would call and see if they can accomodate your request to be situated in a quiet corner.

                          1. re: millygirl
                            m
                            MeMeMe Mar 2, 2010 11:54 AM

                            And if you want an after-dinner park, Casa Loma has a little parkette area beside the castle with benches, methinks. Sounds like a momentous evening....

                          2. re: molodk
                            y
                            Yum2MyTum Mar 2, 2010 11:52 AM

                            Weezies and La Palette are candle lit, and Le Select has nice lighting. The booths are definitely romantic.

                            Weezies is near the Distillery District which is perfect for a stroll. Cheers, molodk - good luck with your special evening!

                            1. re: Yum2MyTum
                              Googs Mar 6, 2010 06:15 AM

                              And there are two parkettes near Weezie's. One across the street and one just east of it. I like the one to the east because it has a playground.

                          3. m
                            MeMeMe Mar 2, 2010 10:03 AM

                            It depends on when your special night is. Tati Bistro has a most wonderful rooftop patio - on a hot summer night it is quite romantic!

                            Celestin is a beautiful room, with great food...not the most romantic, but it's been quiet when i've been there.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: MeMeMe
                              m
                              millygirl Mar 2, 2010 10:26 AM

                              With all due respect MeMeMe, when was your last visit to Celestine? The reason I ask is they've changed ownership and the last time we were there it was a train wreck. The food was really really bad. I posted a review at the time. It was such a shame because it was very good way back.

                              1. re: millygirl
                                m
                                MeMeMe Mar 2, 2010 10:29 AM

                                I was there last summer for a wonderful lunch. Perhaps the vibe and food are different at dinner.

                                1. re: MeMeMe
                                  m
                                  millygirl Mar 2, 2010 11:11 AM

                                  I believe that was before Pascale sold the restaurant and moved away. This happened around September or October which could explain things. The food is nowhere what it once was.

                            2. m
                              millygirl Mar 2, 2010 09:49 AM

                              Another nice place that doesn't get a lot of attention on this board is Bistro Tournesol on Dupont. The food is good, very reasonable prices and service is attentive. I love the feel of the room. Very warm with the exposed brick and candles. Might want to check out their website for further details.

                              1. b
                                breezey Mar 2, 2010 03:21 AM

                                While I agree that the Auberge is wonderful and service fantastic, it is pricey.
                                If you are willing to head north to Sheppard near the Allen, there is Le Montmartre.
                                Its in an old house, place is romantic and very good, yet not fantastic food at very reasonable prices.

                                1. Rabbit Mar 2, 2010 03:19 AM

                                  I'd probably vote for Le Select too. One of my grievances with some of the other pretty bistros (Tati, Loire, Midi) is that tables can be very close together and for me this would kinda compromise a romantic night.

                                  If you like a sort of boho-y, shabby-chic feel then La Palette is quite romantic, but there are some pick ticket menu items. It really depends what you order. (and it's a bit squishy)

                                  Augberge, George, etc. are, IMHO, not at all suitable recommendations for someone who has expressly requested someplace "not very expensive." Jules is a pretty good bet. Brehandaise is very bright and we had terrible service, both of which are anti-romance factors for me.

                                  1. s
                                    stonedtoronto Mar 1, 2010 10:37 PM

                                    I agree with Auberge. For the most "wow" experience, that would probably be it. I don't see a night there costing less than $300 though. If you're going the upscale route, Scaramouche and George are very nice...although they're not strictly French.

                                    Le Select Bistro on Wellington is probably your best bet. Pretty easy to get away with dinner without breaking the bank there.

                                    1. y
                                      Yum2MyTum Mar 1, 2010 07:22 PM

                                      Auberge du Pommier! Wonderful classic French cuisine, perfectly polished service, a beautiful updated room and of course, a very romantic vibe. Enjoy your dinner!

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                        c
                                        Cat123 Mar 1, 2010 09:01 PM

                                        Auberge is lovely but very expensive - pretty much the opposite of "not very expensive".

                                        Less expensive options would be Bodega on Baldwin Street (probably the most traditional romantic spot) or Jules Bistro on Spadina (in the evenings). If you want something a bit different there is Crêperie La Bréhandaise on Queen West. If you would like a traditional french bistro there is Le Select and they have some quite intimate 2 person tables in a quiet part of the restaurant on the left side towards the back. None of these have the wow factor of a place like Auberge but they all have personality.

                                        1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                          y
                                          Yum2MyTum Mar 2, 2010 05:14 AM

                                          Oops. For some reason I misread OP's request as looking for a very expensive restaurant. Definitely Auberge is expensive.

                                          On the less pricey side, I'd definitely recommend Weezie's. Pretty little boite, with French inspired cuisine - very good food, and good value. Two other options that others have mentioned: Le Select has nice booths that are quite romantic. La Palette is also romantic. Food is serviceable at both but I wouldn't say 'great'.

                                          1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                            shekamoo Mar 2, 2010 07:10 PM

                                            Weezie's has great food, but I think you could find more romantic spots in this thread

                                            1. re: shekamoo
                                              y
                                              Yum2MyTum Mar 4, 2010 05:39 AM

                                              I think Weezie's is quite romantic, actually - dim lighting, candle light, discrete and professional service, delicious food and a great corner table for canoodling... was there last night and there was a couple there doing just that!

                                              1. re: Yum2MyTum
                                                Googs Mar 6, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                Weezie's is extremely romantic. While candlelight can be done by anyone, nothing makes for a relaxed evening out like perfect service and wonderful food. You'll have nothing to concern yourselves over so you can just focus on each other. Deep sigh.

                                        Show Hidden Posts