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Wanted: Great lunch near City Hall

Three foodie friends meet up annually for a half day work stint downtown. Afterward we like to languish over a special lunch together. $$ not an object . We love to try new places and have also revisited old places that we have loved in the past. On our list right now is
Arcadian court, The Queen and Beaver Gastropub, Note Bene

Our previoius places tin past years included Frank, Hiro Sushi omikase, Rodneys for oysters and lobster, C5.

Ideally we would like a place with a warm atmosphere, excellent, but not too heavy food and no raw seafood for health reasons.

Do you have any suggestions?

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  1. Admittedly, I haven't been to the Arcadian Court or the Queen and Beaver, but I would highly recommend Nota Bene. My only hesitation is that I wouldn't necessarily describe the atmosphere as "warm" (it's pretty modern).

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    Arcadian Court
    401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H, CA

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

    1. I recommend you walk south and go to Canoe at the TD Centre.

      1. Nota Bene is a good pick... and the location is right!

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

        1. I go to all three of your choices pretty regularly. The Arcadian Court is an insanely dramatic Georgian-style ballroom with 40 foot ceilings and skylights, the type of room that makes no modern-day economic sense whatsoever...but the food is what it is. I eat the chicken pot pie, its recipe unchanged for several decades now, every time I'm there and it's delicious in that old-timey way. The Q&B is a really nice gastropub, and I would recommend checking it out for dinner/late drinks, but their lunch menu is not their great strength. Good burger though. Nota Bene is the best restaurant on this list, and one of the better restaurants in town, and while a lot of the menu is "heavy" you can navigate around that pretty easily.

          So in summary: yeahhhh Nota Bene all the way.

          1 Reply
          1. re: childofthestorm

            thanks for your help. We have a reservation for Nota Bene which seems to get a resounding vote!

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

          2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that Arcadian Court actually means Great Cooks on Eight. In a choice between Nota Bene and Great Cooks, I'd choose the latter. The view from the northwest table is spectacular, more so because of the architecture that surrounds you. The food is terrific, service is smooth and professional, and I love their wine list. Though NB is a lovely room, the GC on 8 view gives it the edge in a big way.

            http://www.greatcooks.ca/

            3 Replies
            1. re: Googs

              Hey Googs -- I'm a big fan of Great Cooks on Eight as well. One of my favourite lunch spots for meeting friends in the area (beats the hell out of Jack Astor's, Milestones, Baton Rouge, Spring Rolls, shall I go on?), and it always surprises people I take there. "Wow, I had no idea this was here!" But there is a restaurant called Arcadian Court on the same floor as Great Cooks. Big ass, fussy (or "grand", depending on how you want to interpret it) room with white table clothes, etc. I've never eaten there, so can't comment on the food.

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              Arcadian Court
              401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H, CA

              Jack Astor's
              1090 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C3R6, CA

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Oh I thought Arcadian Court was rental only. Huh. Dig the space, but I still think Great Cooks' view and food are a one-two punch knockout.

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                Arcadian Court
                401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H, CA

                1. re: Googs

                  I have a weak spot for Great Cooks' tea menu. :)

                  Here's Arcadian Court's site: http://www.arcadiancourt.ca/restauran...

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                  Arcadian Court
                  401 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H, CA

            2. I'm surprised that no one has recommended Lai Wah Heen for dim sum. It is on Chestnut Street, which is on the north side of city hall. Truly delicious!

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              Lai Wah Heen
              108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

              1. Thanks everyone,
                We went to nota bene and the lunch was delicious! All of our food and drink was amazing but I had for an exceptional dish of white asparagus with wild leeks in a lemony vinegrette. That was worth the trip alone.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jelly Belly

                  Thanks for reporting back, glad you enjoyed. Nota Bene is a terrific restaurant.