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Restaurant for a date with a "foodie"?

s
stonedtoronto Sep 2, 2010 09:16 PM

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

  1. Herb Sep 4, 2010 11:13 AM

    The coach house at the Red Tea Box is romantic, like being in the country. Have afternoon tea or the bento boxes with fancy desserts then hit the food shops west along Queen to Ossington. No booze or reservations and it seats four.

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    Red Tea Box
    696 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E7, CA

    1. z
      Zengarden Sep 4, 2010 11:03 AM

      Nothing over the top if it is a first date. Canoe is splendid but wouldn't it be nicer to keep it real. You mentioned beginning at St. Lawrence Market which I think would reflect a very down to earth side. From there, go to Soma and then dinner at Weezie's!

      BTW, good luck. It's so thoughtful to think out a plan that your date will like and appreciate.

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      Weezie's
      354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

      St. Lawrence Market
      92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

      1. s
        stonedtoronto Sep 3, 2010 10:21 PM

        Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. She's the type that doesn't care about atmosphere as long as the food is amazing. I had a thought of going to the St. Lawrence Market as a date...

        She mentioned that she has never gone to a sushi place with a conveyor belt...I never either because...really...what's the point of a conveyor belt? Maybe I don't see the point in it...but regardless, Fune is the only resto that I am aware of that has a sushi conveyor belt...other than Fune are there any sushi conveyor belt restaurants...

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        St. Lawrence Market
        92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

        Fune
        100 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5H3G2, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: stonedtoronto
          curnonsky Sep 4, 2010 06:53 AM

          There's one at Yonge and Iabella. Toko or Toro? Cheaper than Fune, more casual.

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          Fune
          100 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON M5H3G2, CA

          1. re: stonedtoronto
            Googs Sep 4, 2010 06:54 AM

            No, there are no good conveyor belt sushi restaurants. None. Don't do it. Unless you can train your dog to drag a towel loaded with sushi dishes across your table at home. Then the entertainment is worth it.

            My favourite one-two punch is a romantic stroll through the Distillery District followed by dinner at Weezie's. Who says you can't have dessert at Soma first?

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            Weezie's
            354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

            Soma
            55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

          2. s
            szw Sep 3, 2010 10:12 PM

            I think guu is a good place for a first date. Interesting food and fun atmosphere. Yeah, not a quiet place to sit and talk, but I would prefer a fun and unique atmosphere instead for a first date.

            1. s
              Snarf Sep 3, 2010 03:32 PM

              Foodies are a mixed species. Is she the sort of person who doggedly follows Joanne Kates around; the sort of person who loves nothing but fine dining; or the sort of person who doesn't care if the linoleum is cracked if the grub is truly spectacular? For person number one, I'd suggest Earth; person number two Cava, and person number three Senior's Steakhouse. Senior's is a time capsule of perfect beef with almost a Mad Men feel.

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

              1. l
                lightlybattered Sep 3, 2010 02:45 PM

                If you want to keep it light, why not try Crepes A GoGo in Yorkville? They have a lovely petit creme and there's something beautiful about eating with your hands!

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                Crepes A GoGo
                18 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M4W1L4, CA

                1. ekim256 Sep 3, 2010 10:40 AM

                  It depends on what you guys are like...how about a"blitz"? For example, going to Greektown and sharing Spanakopita and loukamedes from Athens Pastries, Messini's for a Gyros, Mezes for saganaki. Or go to Kensington for empanadas (Jumbo and El Gordo are my favs), taquitos at Salsas, dessert crepe at Krepesz, and fruit drinks at The Bellevue. Or go to Little Italy for a fish sandwich from The Fish Store, share a panzerroti from Bitondo, and either ice cream at The Big Chill or gelato at Dolce Gelato. Mind you, these are budget-friendly compared to Globe & Niagara Street Cafe...so it may or may not suit. But they all make for a fun day of walking around and chatting :-)

                  I like Globe Bistro, it was my favourite summerlicious experience this year.
                  I second Hoof Cafe for brunch: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727281?tag=main_body;topic-727281t
                  I heard the Dark Horse has gone downhill - not sure if that's true? Anyone?
                  Torito and Guu are great ideas, since you can get a variety of things - Koyoi and Cava fall in that category, although Cava is a little pricey.

                  Whatever you choose, have fun! It's super nice that you're taking the time to post here to get some ideas =
                  )Erin
                  http://cookiesandtomatoes.blogspot.com/

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                  Dolce Gelato
                  679A College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B9, CA

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

                  Messini
                  445 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

                  Torito
                  276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

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

                  Athens Pastries
                  509 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                  Mezes
                  456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                  Bitondo
                  11 Clinton St, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                  The Fish Store
                  657 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B7, CA

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

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

                  Koyoi
                  2 Irwin Ave, Toronto, ON M4Y 1K9, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ekim256
                    m
                    maritimah Sep 3, 2010 12:04 PM

                    Dark Horse can be great depending on who pulls your shot. In addition, I'm not as happy with the baked goods as I used to be - it seems as though there are some freshness issues on the weekend. That said, it's one of my favourite places in town to get espresso-based drinks.

                  2. r
                    ragged25 Sep 3, 2010 06:51 AM

                    I would suggest the Harbord Room if you want a cozier atmosphere and the menus is not too big, but it usually has decent variety. I've always enjoyed the burger there and they have some pretty good cocktails as well. It's pretty fun sitting at the bar as well as the bartender is very friendly. They also have a nice little patio if the weather is good.

                    After you guys are done, you can head across the street to grab some desserts at Dessert Trends to share a dessert/coffee. I always like to switch venues as now you two have gone to two dates rather than just one. Perhaps afterwards, if things go well, take her to another place to have a drink and all of a sudden, you are on your way straight to her heart.

                    Good luck!

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                    Dessert Trends
                    154 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                    Harbord Room
                    89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                    1. b
                      blinknoodle Sep 3, 2010 06:33 AM

                      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

                      1. Rabbit Sep 3, 2010 04:59 AM

                        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
                          1sweetpea Sep 3, 2010 05:53 AM

                          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. curnonsky Sep 3, 2010 04:32 AM

                          Paramour!

                          1. s
                            sbug206 Sep 2, 2010 09:20 PM

                            Hoof Cafe for brunch?

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