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Jul 30, 2010 09:02 AM

help - from out of town and need to plan a large family dinner in downtown toronto

hello! i'm from nyc and am in charge of planning a family reunion for approx 25 people for a friday evening in three weeks. ideally we could get a private room, but a restaurant that is good for large groups is fine too.

some pertinent info:
- everyone is staying at the hyatt on king street; walking distance is ideal, but a short cab ride is fine (10-15 min max)
- the group will include 8 kids from ages 2-8; so, kids, their parents (30s/40s), and their parents
- asian is ideal, but anything is fine, particularly kid-friendly food
- ideally moderate to inexpensive; nothing too formal/fancy
- asian legend basement rooms are booked that night for a wedding

this is my first post, but nyc chowhound boards have always been there for me. i give a lot of weight to your chowhound opionions. i've searched the boards (which is how i found asian legend), but not much luck. i've never been to toronto, so i would so greatly appreciate any help!

thanks kindly

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  1. Hmn. Some suggestions to check out:

    - The Pearl on Harbourfont. It's a nice view, the food is decent, and if you can book the lower part in one of the corners, it's somewhat of a private room. My family has been to some parties here in those spaces.

    - Dynasty - there are rumours it's closing, but they're up on Bloor Street. I don't think they have private rooms, so this would be an open space. Maybe with dividers if you ask about it or if it's important.

    Price on both isn't cheap in terms of Chinese food, but isn't crazy. Quality should be better than Asian Legend.

    There are plenty of Chinese resto's up Spadina, but honestly I have no clue about most of them. They're probably okay - but I think they're pretty average.

    I was just at Buca last night and their pastas and pizzas are quite nice. They have a room to the side that maybe you could book out? Also, there are maybe 20 steps down to the restaurant, so that may or may not pose issues for your folks. Buca can be expensive (we spent $115 pp but that was with three wines, a cocktail, and a grappa, three apps, two mains and pizza... and a dessert). Portions are not large, the main space is loud (the room off to the side should be fine), and it has that "trendy" feel. But the food is good. And it's less than a km from your hotel.

    I feel you could get away with a reasonable bill if you pre-arranged a family-style meal with some pizzas and charcuterie for starters, some pasta for mains, and some shared desserts (the dulce de leche-filled donuts is a good sharing dessert). Not sure what's possible with the resto though.

    Also, right by your hotel is Grindhouse burger bar, which I like. Fancy burgers, but everything is made in-house. Decent for a group-visit and a beer. Here are some photos (one of the menu):

    --- -- food. is. love.

    Dynasty Chinese Cuisine
    69 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 1B8, CA

    207 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 1A7, CA

    Grindhouse Burger Bar
    365 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K1, CA

    604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: jlunar

      Dynasty and Pearl would be good fits for wha the OP is looking for but Buca can not handle a group of this size and I have feeling it would be out of the price range of the OP as well.

      604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

    2. Le Select is about three blocks away and has a private room. Mains about $20. FYI last Xmas I was considering booking the private room at Buca. $1500 for the room/$3000 food/drink minimum.

      Le Select
      432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

      604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: curnonsky

        Nice to know that about the room at Buca (ouch). Do you know the capacity for that room? I'd be guessing 30 sit-down at most...!

        604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

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          1. thanks everyone! i will check these out. does anyone have an opinion about Dazzling Restaurant?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kikidi

              Skip it. It is like Spring Rolls a.k.a fast food with a nicer surrounding.