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Best lunch/dinner place in Toronto

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Alkaar Apr 12, 2010 07:06 PM

I'll be staying at the Yorkland Hotel in North York, ON. Going with my parents to see family and will be able to dine out this coming Sunday and maybe Monday for lunch. Probably only have a chance for one place to dine at for either lunch or dinner. If I'm lucky maybe lunch and dinner.

From NYC so I've had my fair share of good food here. Looking for something that's unique to the area if possible aside from good food. No Japanese or anything raw since my parents aren't so crazy for that and nothing too pricy. I say max 50 per person but more reasonable would be better. 35 would be a lot more reasonable.

Any suggestions would be great.

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    Alkaar RE: Alkaar Apr 12, 2010 08:41 PM

    Actually just found a dish called Poutine which seems to be native to Quebec and Canada. This is something I would want to look for like a dish that represents the the locale. A place that serves the best poutine would be great!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Alkaar
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      Snarf RE: Alkaar Apr 12, 2010 09:28 PM

      What cuisines do you like? Are you flexible to travel? There's not that much in the immediate area that is memorable.

      Poutine is generally not considered high art, though there are a few places that tart it up a bit with French raw milk cheeses or game meats. The places that specialize in take out poutine cater to the late night club crowd.

      1. re: Snarf
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        Alkaar RE: Snarf Apr 13, 2010 06:47 AM

        Generally nothing raw or spicy would be best. Steak is probably the safest bet. I heard of a place called Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar which does sell Poutine among other things and looks to be a tapas place. Tapas would be a good since there's a good variety to choose from. I'll have a car so can travel as long as parking isn't too bad.

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        Jamie Kennedy
        9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

        1. re: Alkaar
          estufarian RE: Alkaar Apr 13, 2010 08:43 AM

          JK wine Bar has changed hands and is now 'The Wine Bar'. It's at 9 Church St (website www.9church.com). You could do a lot worse, and it's straight down the Don Valley Parkway from where you're staying. And they do have a Braised Lamb Poutine!

          1. re: Alkaar
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            peppermint pate RE: Alkaar Apr 13, 2010 09:08 AM

            I like Torito for tapas - very good food, fun restaurant, no attitude, friendly service - cozy inside and a lovely patio out back if the temperature is right. Plus it's in a great foodie neighbourhood, Kensington Market, so you could head down there a couple of hours earlier (or make an afternoon of it) and meander a bit.

            I haven't been to JKWB since it changed hands. But for a hearty plate of poutine, there's always Poutini's - not sure it's worth going out of your way for (though again, you could combine with a nice stroll through West Queen West) but it's certainly tasty and tummy-filling. If you were a bit drunk and the weather was cold - even better!! But the truth is, poutine is much more a Quebec thing than an Ontario thing so I wouldn't put it at the top of Toronto's chow list.

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            Torito
            276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

            Poutini
            1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

            1. re: peppermint pate
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              Alkaar RE: peppermint pate Apr 13, 2010 09:21 AM

              In that case maybe just a good tapas or a steak place would work and I could forgo the Poutine or just try out at since it seems like they sell it all over the place while I'm walking around town.

              Any other suggestions? How about pizza or pasta then or other Tapa suggestions or opinions? Torito sounds appealing especially the neighborhood.

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              Torito
              276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

              1. re: Alkaar
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                Snarf RE: Alkaar Apr 13, 2010 10:16 AM

                Torito is definitely good fun, but is not open for lunch. Kensington is much more fun in the daytime for wandering, but there is also College Street nearby. For nice tapas sized dishes, I'd also suggest Senhor Antonio's on College (might be found under Chiado, the name of the attached high end Portuguese restaurant), or Cava, which is at Yonge and St. Clair (not much else to recommend that part of town).

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                Chiado
                864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

                Torito
                276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                Cava
                1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

                1. re: Snarf
                  1sweetpea RE: Snarf Apr 13, 2010 11:09 AM

                  I think you'll have a tough time staying within your proposed limits at Cava or Senhor Antonio. It might be possible at Torito. Rather than tapas, perhaps it might be a better idea to find a nice neighborhood place that has a varied enough menu to appeal to all. Phebe's Zee Grill on Mt. Pleasant, south of Eglinton has a nice menu that is seafood heavy, but offers plenty of non-fish and seafood items to please land lubbers. There will definitely be beef and chicken options, plus more. Prices are reasonable.

                  I enjoyed a dinner with my parents and grandmother at Trio. Wood oven pizzas are very good, the salads are lovely and there are a number of meat entrees and pastas available.

                  Globe Earth might be a nice option. Aged beef choices can be ordered by the ounce. It is at Yonge and Roxborough.

                  I'd suggest saving the poutine sampling for a visit to Quebec or even Ottawa. Toronto's offerings are either sub-par or very frou-frou and overpriced.

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                  Torito
                  276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                  Cava
                  1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

                  Zee Grill
                  641 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                  1. re: Snarf
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                    peppermint pate RE: Snarf Apr 13, 2010 11:23 AM

                    Sorry - I meant Torito for dinner with afternoon wanderings beforehand. And I think you'd be fine in your price point, certainly the $50/pp, depending on what/how much you drink.

                    For your lunch - well, I'm trying to think of things that aren't as stellar in the great food mecca of NYC. Dim sum, maybe? Rol San in Chinatown, Lai Wah Heen for the upscale downtown experience or maybe hop in the car and head north to Richmond Hill or Markham since you're already in North York? You could also go with some place like Gilead Cafe - the one restaurant where Jamie Kennedy is still cooking. It's pretty much sandwiches, salad and charcuterie but a nice, airy room and good food. For pizza, Pizzeria Libretto is now open for lunch - you could go there or one of the Terroni locations (though again, hardly unique for a New Yorker).

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

                    Jamie Kennedy
                    9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

                    Rol San
                    323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

                    Torito
                    276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

                    Pizzeria Libretto
                    221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        2. p
          Pincus RE: Alkaar Apr 13, 2010 12:48 PM

          One possibility is Dumpling King which is near Yonge and Finch. Very clean but tiny, not very expensive, fantastic Chinese dumplings. If you don' t like small places, though, this one isn't for you.

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          Dumpling King
          15 Northtown Way, Toronto, ON , CA

          1. c
            currycue RE: Alkaar Apr 14, 2010 09:27 AM

            That area is really difficult to find something memorable for sure. You'll be smack dab in the middle of strip-mall territory. That said, if getting downtown (which is really difficult in rush hour traffic) is a problem, try heading east along Sheppard into Scarborough. Also not the prettiest part of town, but you'll have much more options for good dining than in the immediate area (and prices will be VERY cheap in comparison to what you'd pay in NYC)

            Two of my cheap and cheerful favourites in the area are:

            Tandoori Pearl (on McCowan Rd at Nugget, just north of Sheppard) - great non-veg Thali with Chicken Karahi and seekh kebabs with a mango lassi - and -

            Fairview Seafood Chinese restaurant (on Sheppard in a strip mall at Markham Rd.) - really good, spicy Chinese food, not your typical North American "chicken ball" type place. I went there for lunch with some co-workers last week and we ordered the Sweet and Sour chicken with chili, the Spicy pork with mushroom and chicken and broccoli chow mein with steamed rice, the bill was $35!

            Green Bamboo at Sheppard and Midland also makes a pretty mean Vietnamese soup:

            www.greenbamboo.ca

            There aren't many things I'd say are "typical" or "local", other than an amazing variety of authentic "ethnic" cuisines.

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            Tandoori Pearl Restaurant
            20 Nugget Ave, Toronto, ON M1S3A7, CA

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