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celebration lunch downtown T.O.?

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My best friend's mom is coming into town from AB and wants to surprise her with a nice lunch to celebrate her finishing her grad degree. Any recs for a spot downtown for lunch that's not too expensive? I'd like to keep it to less than $60/pp with wine. They're meat and potatoes girls, and anything Asian is a no go.

Thanks.

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  1. Any specifics for "downtown"? Financial district? Queen St.? Near Eaton's Centre?

    2 Replies
    1. re: EarlyDrive

      As long as it's TTC accessible it doesn't really matter. They'll be coming from the Annex and I'm in Danforth Village, so something central (rather than west - Parkdale, West Queen West, etc.) would be preferable.

      1. re: Sweet Pea

        It kind of depends on what kind of food/atmosphere your friend's mom likes. But I've found the the Studio Cafe at the Four Seasons is a really good all-purpose mom/aunt/grandmother spot. Nice setting, excellent service, decent food (a bit pricey, but well within your lunch budget, which, to be honest would just about cover every place in town). It also has the benefit of being convenient to the Annex and the Bloor line.

    2. Some ideas...? I guess my list skews a bit Italian, but it should work for picky people.

      Terroni
      Mercatto
      Buca

      Nota Bene
      Biff's Bistro

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      Terroni
      57 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA

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

      Biff's Bistro
      4 Front St. E, Toronto, ON M5E 1B2, CA

      Mercatto- Mars location
      101 College Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, CA

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: morefoodplz

        I agree with the above list - great if you're not sure what their tastes are like since they have decent, simple variety.
        Four would be a nice option as well. Fish, steak salads, etc. in a nice restaurant in the financial district.
        If your friend did her grad studies at UofT, I think that Boulevard Cafe is a nice choice for a sunny lunch. It's less than $60pp, but the nice thing is that it's close to campus so you can walk around after around King's College Circle. That also reminds me that Hart House's Gallery Grill would be great. I've had dinner there, it's very nice and the building is quite lovely. Lunch menu: http://www.dine.to/profile_features.p...

        Even if she didn't go to UofT, it might interest you to know that they also do free historic tours of the campus during the summer so if you do choose one of the above, maybe that'd be a nice addition to your day pre or post lunch.

        Erin
        http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

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        Gallery Grill
        7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

        1. re: ekim256

          Just a note that Gallery Grill is closed until September.

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          Gallery Grill
          7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Boo! Thanks for the note TJ. Have you been there for lunch? I usually have dinner there once a year, but I've never tried their lunch

            Erin
            http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

            1. re: ekim256

              Yep, it's one of my favourite lunch spots in the city. I find the menu just right for lunch, with a nice selection of entree salads (I love the hangar steak salad) and a few bigger items. As you know, the setting is beautiful and in the daytime, you get all the light streaming in through the windows. Really, really lovely.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Sounds like the perfect place to lunch when I'm done school. Thanks!

                E

      2. Hm... Some interesting suggestions so far. Thanks! I'm wondering if Loire or Le Paradis might be good options? I've never been to Loire, and haven't been to Paradis for lunch, but I like the idea of bistro.

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        Le Paradis
        166 Bedford Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2K9, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sweet Pea

          I haven't been to Loire or Le Paradis at lunch but Le Select is a very nice upscale bistro that is perfect for lunch.

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          Le Paradis
          166 Bedford Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2K9, CA

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

          1. re: Sweet Pea

            Canoe comes to mind. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7275...

            1. re: T Long

              If any of you are into art you could go to Frank at the AGO and combine lunch with a wander through the gallery. You could also consider Lucien or George, which are both very centrally located downtown. Globe on the Danforth could work, as could Adega on Elm Street.

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              Adega
              33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

          2. You've got some good options going...
            - I second the suggestions for Mercatto (I like the College Street location)
            - I also like Nota Bene (although it has a slightly corporate feel)
            - And I like Frank (although I am not a fan of the all-Canadian wine list)
            - Le Select has a pretty patio this time of year, and it's a good place for lingering
            - I think Canoe or George would be budget busters and perhaps overly fussy if they are meat and potatoes people

            And a few more thoughts:
            - I have never been to Great Cooks on Eight, but it gets good reviews around here and it's a sort of "secret" place I'd like to try: www.greatcooks.ca
            - I'm a big fan of Tutti Matti
            - Starfish does a nice lunch (if they're into fish
            )- I'm also curious about the new O&B Cafe Grill on Front, but again cannot vouch firsthand. Reviews seem a bit mixed.
            - Jacques Bistro du Parc is a classic ladies who lunch spot

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            Tutti Matti
            364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

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

            Mercatto
            15 Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3, CA

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

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