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Jun 11, 2010 06:35 PM

Where on Ossington should I take my hip 30-something Manhattan pals?

Any suggestions on where to go with my NYC pals on Sunday night? They took us to the Spotted Pig in NY last Feb. (where I had sublime gnudi with sage butter). Check it!

Is there anything gastropub-ish on Ossington? I've only been to Libretto.

Also, it would be fun to have a pre-dinner cocktail at one place and then dins somewhere else. Cocktails don't have to be on Ossington. We'll be making our way from the Hyatt at King and Peter so anything on the way would be great.


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  1. Best bet on a Sunday night for a pre dinner cocktail in the vicinity of Ossington is the Drake Hotel. They've ramped up their cocktail menu, and the upstairs patio always seems to have some action. I think your NYC guests would like the vibe.

    There's nothing gastropub-ish on Ossington (not like the Spotted Pig, anyway) but pretty decent food and nice atmosphere at Union. Also, it might be worth checking out Bohmer. Again, not a gastropub, but interesting decor with a casual vibe and veal cheeks as good as anything I've ever eaten in the West Village.

    After dinner take them to the Dakota Tavern to see live local hipsters. Lots of beards and plaid, but there's a good chance you'll bump into someone, or someone who knows someone from Broken Social Scene or Metric. Hipster heaven.

    Have fun.

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

    Dakota Tavern
    249 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

    1. Drinks at Hoof Cafe, dinner on the patio at Black Hoof across the street (three blocks east of Ossington on Dundas W).

      The Black Hoof
      928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dimbulb

        Hoof <3

        but make sure they are okay with eating offal. Sweetbreads, brains, and tongue get used a lot. In very yummy ways, but... it's not for everyone.

        --- -- food. is. love.

        1. re: jlunar

          They could also swap the order - drinks at the BH patio then dinner at HC ;)

          1. re: ggom1

            I've only been to the Cafe for brunch, but was under the impression that at dinner it was more of a drinks and light snack place (and a holding room for those waiting for a table at the Hoof). Would it be an option for a full dinner?

            Agree that the Hoof is a good idea, as long as these guests are adventurous eaters. The Spotted Pig does have some tongue/liver options, but I would say is overall a "safer" menu than the Hoof...

            Generally I think of Ossington as a collection of fairly solid restaurants, but perhaps nothing as exciting, food wise, as you seem to be looking for (unless I am forgetting or have missed something). I haven't made it down to Bohmer yet, so can't comment on that suggestion.

            93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

            Spotted Pig
            23 Augusta St, Hamilton, ON L8N1P6, CA

            1. re: echoamphitheatre

              Oh yes, the Cafe is definitely an option for a full dinner. I especially like it because if I'm by myself, the Black Hoof menu options are generally too much for me (too rich) but I'm fine with the Cafe menu because it's a slightly lighter.

      2. As far as cocktails go, why not try BarChef? Expensive, but certainly some very very cool stuff going on there that reminds me of NY boundary-pushing cocktail culture. Also you could hit the Double Deuce, nice food and a good vibe.

        And then definitely do the Hoof, both sides of the street...that's where I take NY pals. The cocktails at Hoof Cafe are terrific. My biggest food friend in NY calls Toronto a "charcuterie town," an inaccurate description based solely on his meal at Black Hoof. It made an impression.

        Ossington is kind of over and 905 these days. Some good meals to be had there for sure, don't get me wrong.

        The Black Hoof
        928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: childofthestorm

          Are you kidding me? Ossington is over?
          My recs are The Hoof, Bohmer's for food. The Drake is solid too. I am not a big cocktail person so can't comment on anywhere.
          Are you looking for strictly 'hip"? If not, College Street is pretty lively now that World cup is on. Might be fun for out of towners!
          Try Frank's Kitchen on College.

          93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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

          1. re: froglegs

            For the "hip" part, yes, absolutely. Better to take them to Parts & Labour in Parkdale, or go to Dundas West, have drinks at Red Light, Black Dice, and then hit the Hoofs for food and more cocktails. This is if you care about the downtown hipness thing. Ossington Thursday-Saturday is swarming with suburban types.

            Parts & Labour
            1566 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R, CA

        2. So where did you end up, cherry... your pals were visiting yesterday, non?