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College Street restos

It's been a few years since we've hit College Street for a dinner. Any recommendations on new spot for a fun dinner with my wife? In the past we frequented College Street Bar, Midtown West, Diplomatico.

Or should we be looking to another hood?

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College Street Bar
574 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

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  1. Sidecar. Hands down. Solid, well prepared food, impeccable service, a deadly cocktail list and if it's open, a sublime back patio. Go Sunday to Wednesday and there's a ridiculously reasonable prix fixe.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ibraineater

      Sidecar's a good pick. I also like Negroni Panini (not-so-coincidentally owned by the Sidecar guys) and Grace. In the same-ish neighbourhood is Torito in Kensington.

      If you want to try a new neighbourhood the Ossington strip and the adjunct bits of Queen West have become very lively. And there's lots happening on Harbord too.

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      Torito
      276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

      Harbord
      147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

      1. re: ibraineater

        I second Sidecar. And if you're looking for even cheaper and cheerful, then absolutely visit Sidecar's sister restaurant, Negroni. The best panini in the city, and $5 glasses of Sangiovese.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I third Sidecar - but after twice trying Negroni I'm not a fan. Better Panini (by far) at Boccone (who are only open until 6:00) - although the side salad at Negroni was good.

          1. re: estufarian

            ibraineater, Rabbit, TorontoJo, estuafarian: thanks for the Sidecar recommendation, we went on Sat eve and had an awesome dinner. We didn't make reservations, but they still made room for us at the bar which suited us just fine. Started with romaine hearts, my wife had the fettucine w/ shrimp, and I had the open face raviolli, add a nice bottle of wine and it was perfect. Actually it was more than perfect when our host brought out a free (& tres tasty) desert... what a rare, great act. Thanks Sidecar (and chowhounders) - we'll be back for sure.

            1. re: estufarian

              hmm. i've been to Sidecar only once for the prix fixe and I only thought it to be OK. I mean it was good value but not particularly interesting or exciting. Our server wasn't great and I found the food oversalted. They do cook the steaks perfectly as requested.

              I've been to Negroni three times and loved it every time. Like Sidecar, I think it's great value and the management is generous with freebies but I really like the proportions of ingredients and toastiness of the panini as well as the housemade ice cream.

              Hopefully I get to try Boccone. Where is it?

              1. re: chocabot

                1378 Yonge St ( Open Mon-Sat but closes at 6:00pm - also closed Sat in Summer).

              2. re: estufarian

                The buffalo mozzarella, oven dried tomato & basil pesto panini at Negroni is satisfying. I haven't seen this classic panini done well anywhere else. Can you recommend a panini you've tried from Boccone?

                1. re: shelleypascual

                  Sorry for late response - have been travelling and just now catching up.
                  My favourite is the Prosciutto with Goat Cheese, Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Onions. (Always heated, although available unheated).
                  My alternate is the Turkey with Eggplant and roasted peppers (and occasionally the ham & cheese).
                  Note that, unlike Negroni, you buy the side salad separately, so have a choice.
                  And their cappuccino is 'OK' and is the cheapest I buy in Toronto.

          2. Olivias at College on Clinton is very nice - especially in the summer. I also quite like Sidecar - not consistent but definitely interesting dishes with a lively atmosphere. Grace (where Xacuitti used to be) is also consistently interesting with a lively crowd.

            1. Hands down I would recommend Grace. I have eaten there several times and have always been satisfied! Might I recommend the upstairs BBQ parties they have in the summer? They are always the best crowd attached to them!

              1. Two restaurants that I've noticed frequently aren't brought up in College St. threads.

                -Pomegranate
                -Sheherzade Grill

                Both Persian restaurants, right beside each other, sister restaurants, right by College and Bathurst.

                The former generally does more stews while the latter concentrates on kabobs (and dizi which they do a really well).

                3 Replies
                1. re: radiopolitic

                  I second both of these places. Really tasty food, nice places and a break from the dominant Italian in the area (not that there's anything wrong with Italian of course!)

                  1. re: radiopolitic

                    Sheherzade's Spinach Borani appetizer (sautéed spinach, garlic and fresh creamy yogurt) is BOMB. So simple an appetizer, yet so addicting. Bold garlic flavour... tart, sour yogurt... served with warm pita bread. Dip with caution.

                    1. re: radiopolitic

                      I third Pomegranate.