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Options for Dinner + Dancing

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salman Mar 18, 2010 11:02 AM

Hi Chowhounds - I'm planning on taking the wife out this saturday for her birthday for an evening of dinner and dancing. I want to try a 'resto-lounge' type of place so we'd be in one place for the evening, and friends could join for the dancing part after dinner. After researching these boards, it appears that food quality and service aren't necessarily priorities at these types of places - which I'm fine with for this one night. That being said, I've narrowed it down to a few options and I would appreciate your opinions/experiences (both dinner and dancing parts):

Drake Hotel

Spice Route

Ultra

Bryant House

Thanks in advance!

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The Drake Hotel
1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Spice Route
499 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, CA

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    phoenikia RE: salman Mar 18, 2010 11:24 AM

    Not much dancing at the Drake- mostly drinking and mingling post dinner, but the service is good, and the food always decent if not good. I like that the dining room is separate from the lounge, so they don't tell you eat up and leave when they want to move your table off the floor to create a bigger dancefloor (which is what happens at the Brant House).

    The food at Brant House was pricey but tasty when it opened almost 6 years ago, but it was cheap and marginal when I last ate there in Oct 2008. Despite the relatively cheap prices (apps under $10, mains under $20), the server told us we had to order the equivalent of $30 of food each, even though we just wanted to share a few appetizers, and despite the fact we already had ordered a $60 bottle of wine. The server did not feel rude asking us to hurry up and eat, so they could move the table, even though the food had only arrived 20 minutes before. Not a place I would want to go for a birthday dinner.

    Not much dancing at Spice Route any time I've been there for drinks. Not a place I would choose to visit, even for drinks. Bartenders who refuse to make mojitos, saying they don't have the ingredients, and you should order another drink, when their co-bartender is making mojitos 5 feet away from them.

    I haven't been to Ultra for about 3 years, and have never eaten there.

    If you actually want to dance, Sopra, Lula Lounge and Reservoir Lounge have live music (jazz at Sopra, salsa at Lula, sometimes jazz/sometimes classic rock/sometimes blues at Reservoir), dancing (depends on the music) and serve dinner. But they lack the scene that you'll find at the Drake, Spice Route, Ultra or Brant.

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    Reservoir Lounge
    52 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

    Brant House
    522 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1L7, CA

    Spice Route
    499 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, CA

    1. Rabbit RE: salman Mar 18, 2010 11:28 AM

      I'm not sure if they have dancing (since this kind of scene is not my scene), but the relatively new Roosevelt Room might be another good contender for you. Some of the food reviews have been scathing, but it did end up on Toronto Life's list of best new restaurants (the unpublished, internet list from 11-15)

      1. jlunar RE: salman Mar 18, 2010 11:36 AM

        There's also The Fifth for dinner upstairs and then dancing. What's nice is that they're two separate spaces entirely so you don't get rushed off the floor like at Brant.

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        The Fifth
        221 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V1W2, CA

        1. TOchowgal RE: salman Mar 18, 2010 12:26 PM

          I wouldn't recommend Spice Route. I have not been there personally but have had 2 good friends go there on seperate occasions with reservations and they've either been told that there were no reservations in their name or told to wait for about 45 mins. In both instances, my friends confirmed the reservations a few days in advance.

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          Spice Route
          499 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K4, CA

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          1. re: TOchowgal
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            salman RE: TOchowgal Mar 22, 2010 06:14 AM

            Thanks everyone for your opinions - based on the less than favorable experiences of the other places mentioned, I decided to go for the Drake, however I could not get reservations. So finally ended up going for dinner at Cinq 01 (an excellent experience) and i will write my review under a separate post.

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