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Restaurant for a date with a "foodie"?

It's our first real date, and normally I would suggest coffee or at most a lunch; but she's a bit of a foodie, so I thought I could be more creative than simply coffee. Her favorite restaurants are Canoe and Pizzaria Libretto; but I can't imagine taking someone, even if she loves food to a place like Canoe on a first date. I was hoping for safe but good suggestions. I was thinking Globe Bistro for lunch, or Niagara Street Cafe for a light dinner...

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Niagara Street Cafe
169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

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  1. Hoof Cafe for brunch?

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        1. I think both of your picks are really good... established (vs. trendy) and casually/comfortably elegant without trying too hard.

          If you want to stick with coffee there are some really great coffee shops that are not run of the mill like Manic, Dark Horse, Sam James, etc. which are also in good neighbourhoods for walking. Or you could take in a market like Dufferin Grove, Trinity Bellwood, or Wychwood etc.

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          Bellwood Restaurant
          756 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E9, CA

          Dark Horse
          2401 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rabbit

            On a first date, I suggested sushi, mostly because I was the picky one. I knew I felt comfortable ordering what I wanted a la carte. He obliged and was game to anything that landed on his plate. I was very impressed. Some time later he confessed that he'd only eaten sushi one time before that and it had been very tame items. I was only partly surprised, since he had watched me handle the ginger and wasabi and followed my lead, even though my techniques are by no means traditional. He could have told me that sushi wasn't his preference, but he chose instead to roll with it (so to speak).

            What is the impression you want to make? Choose adventurous places only if you think she's into it and you feel that you are too. It would be a disaster to choose a roll-your-own rice paper platter at a Vietnamese place if she's wearing a really nice white blouse. Ditto for Ethiopian.

            I think Niagara Street Cafe is a good choice. Torito might be a fun way to share a handful of dishes. Each of you can choose a couple of dishes then let the person serving suggest something. The wines are reasonably priced and the sangria is tasty. I like one of the others' suggestions of Starfish, as long as you both like fish and seafood. Even if you don't, they always have a couple of non-fish options. Origin might be a noisy option, but a fun way to eat tapas style while blending dishes from different cultures.

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            Niagara Street Cafe
            169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

            Torito
            276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

          2. No need to set the bar too high by going to Canoe for a first date! :)
            Globe Bistro sounds great.

            Some other suggestions:

            Pomegranate (closed right now but their sister resto Sheherzade is good too)
            93 Harbord
            Kultura - pricey but good food, small portions
            Guu - but you have to get there early
            Amaya for Indian in midtown

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            93 Harbord
            93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

            Kultura
            169 King St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1J4, CA

            Amaya
            1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

            Guu
            398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA