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Anniversary Dinner with Corkage?

c
commie Sep 29, 2010 01:49 PM

Whats a good restaurant to goto for a 5 year anniversary dinner with my wife in Toronto. Not too overly concerned with a budget, but within reason. $500 for 2 is fine...$1000 for 2 is not...
However, one of the requirements is that the restaurant needs to allow corkage or have a nice wine list. I am a wine collector/drinker, so that is important for us.
Ideally, I would like to be able to bring my own wine for the dinner. I have stockpiled multiple cases of 2005 Bordeaux's for our anniversary dinners. And would like to open them.
Although, 2005 Bordeaux's is still young and needs more aging, the sentimental values is worth it. We did our honeymoon in 2005 in Paris, where a week spend touring and tasting the vineyards in Bordeaux.

Thus far, I am thinking of the following:

- Colborne Lane
- George
- La Marquette (our first date was here)
- Mildred's Temple
- Corner House

any of them allow corkage? any other recommendations?

This is for Oct 8th,2010......am i still able to get reservations?

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Corner House
501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

Colborne Lane
45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

  1. ingloriouseater Sep 29, 2010 02:59 PM

    I would strike MTK off the list immediately as I don't think of it as a particularly romantic place-regardless of the valentine's hype about the bathrooms....

    1. Rabbit Sep 29, 2010 03:21 PM

      I would say CL or George, depending on your taste. These options seem a cut above MTK or Corner House.

      CL is the less traditional option. The room is buzzier and some find it downright loud (I never noticed). Tables are closer together and the vibe is overall more casual. The food is more experimental and the kitchen sometimes misses. The wine list is a low point, but since you're going to bring your own you can get around that difficulty. I really like CL and I find the food a shareable adventure, which (for me) is very romantic. When they do get it right the kitchen produces some very fun, delicious, and enjoyable stuff. And I have never had a dish that was genuinely bad. But others may be troubled by some consistency issues and the more casual environment.

      George will be the more traditional option (although their food by no means boring). Pretty room, a bit more space and privacy, if that is important to you. I had one meal at George that was total wow (quite shortly after they opened) and my other experiences have been good but never achieved that height. It's definitely a good contender for the occasion and lots of different tasting options depending on your appetite.

      La Maquette never would have made my list, but given that it's a sentimental site that changes everything... the nostalgia factor has is own pull.

      -----
      Corner House
      501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

      La Maquette
      111 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C1G6, CA

      6 Replies
      1. re: Rabbit
        TorontoJo Sep 29, 2010 03:23 PM

        Note that Colborne Lane doesn't have corkage. :(

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        Colborne Lane
        45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

        1. re: TorontoJo
          Rabbit Sep 29, 2010 06:51 PM

          Ack - I didn't know that... thanks, TJo!

          1. re: Rabbit
            estufarian Sep 30, 2010 06:12 AM

            There have been several posts that corkage of $50 has been allowed in Colborne Lane's private room - however, I was denied there a couple of years ago.

            I was recently at Splendido (last week) on a weeknight and they charged $30 corkage - which I thought was very reasonable. It was also a celebration (Birthday) and our comment afterwards was that it was a perfect evening - and Splendido would be our first choice for a celebration in future.

            But from your list, I think George would be a good choice (my most recent meal there was excellent, although I had a couple of lesser experiences before that). But I haven't done BYOW there (so far) and don't know if they accommodate it.

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            Splendido
            88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

            Colborne Lane
            45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

            1. re: estufarian
              TorontoJo Sep 30, 2010 06:15 AM

              They no longer allow corkage even in the private room. I did have corkage for my birthday dinner there in July, but they told me that they had discontinued it and were only allowing it for me because I had made the reservation when they still allowed it.

              1. re: TorontoJo
                estufarian Sep 30, 2010 06:30 AM

                Thanks for the update Jo.
                What a pity - I do like Colborne Lane but their wine list is just awful - last time I went the wine I tried to order was out-of-stock.

                Yet Origin has a 'not-bad' list - I still think their mark-ups (at both) are out-of-line, but I know I'd go more frequently if I could bring my own.

                I guess my Fall resolution will be to download copies of the Application Form from AGCO and drop it off at each place I dine - it doesn't cost the restaurant ANYTHING (other than the time to fill out the form).

                -----
                Colborne Lane
                45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

              2. re: estufarian
                jlunar Sep 30, 2010 10:45 AM

                Splendido might still have the no-corkage fee days from Monday to Wednesday going on. Not sure. Worth checking for some!

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                Splendido
                88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

        2. c
          commie Sep 30, 2010 08:34 AM

          Thanks for all the feedback...
          Any other suggestions besides the ones on my list? We did Splendido recently for my birthday dinner. So would rather not go back there.

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          Splendido
          88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

          8 Replies
          1. re: commie
            m
            MeMeMe Sep 30, 2010 10:15 AM

            We did a special dinner at Scaramouche and brought our own wine. Not sure what the corkage fee was.

            1. re: commie
              Splendid Wine Snob Sep 30, 2010 10:49 AM

              What about Nota Bene? They offer a $25 per bottle corkage and I'm sure any of the dishes off David's Private Stock section would go wonderfully with 05 Bordeaux.

              SWS

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

              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                estufarian Sep 30, 2010 11:20 AM

                Wow - when did it drop to $25? A couple of months back it was at least $40 (don't have my bill in front of me).
                But I agree, a good choice (although it can get fairly noisy). And, I think commie was there two years back for the 3rd anniversary!

                And who's drinking their 05 Bordeaux already?!!

                Does C5 allow BYOB?

                1. re: estufarian
                  Splendid Wine Snob Sep 30, 2010 12:38 PM

                  Well, its listed on the website, and I would take advantage of their zero corkage policy (1 bottle for every 2 guests only I believe) after 9pm. The food is excellent, although not nearly as beautiful or refined as it was at the old Splendido... (sigh).

                  Commie's criteria didn't indicate noise levels or "atmosphere"-I am one person who actually prefers a livelier scene for anniversary celebrations.

                  1. re: estufarian
                    c
                    commie Sep 30, 2010 08:09 PM

                    Yeah...we did Nota Bene for the 3rd...what memory.. :)
                    And we've been back there quite frequently...so would prefer something different..

                    I know drinking the 05 Bordeaux's now would be infanticide, but one of the reasons i invested heavy in 05 futures was to have enough supplies to celebrate our anniversaries in the future..

                    I am considering one of the following wines:
                    Calon Segur, Leoville Poyfere, Leoville Barton, or Pavie Maquin

                    then follow up with 05 Sauternes to go with desert. Guiraud or Rieussec

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

                    1. re: commie
                      syoung Oct 3, 2010 01:26 PM

                      My vote is for Scaramouche if romantic ambiance is a factor. Re the wines, I am also a wine collector and think all of them you listed are in the shut down phase right now and would be muted tannic monsters to try now.

                      If Bordeaux is your thing, then I think you're better off buying an older bottle (at least 12 years old) from Summerhill, QQ or Bayview LCBO. If you absolutely must have one of the ones you listed, I'd probably say the Poyferré and I'd give it 24 hours of air and re-cork before bringing to restaurant.

                      Just my 2 cents.

                      1. re: syoung
                        c
                        commie Oct 3, 2010 06:20 PM

                        Has Scaramouche re-opened? I thought they closed down since their old building is turning into a condo?

                        I am into bordeaux's...don't need to goto the gov't monopoly(aka LCBO) to buy overpriced bordeaux. I have plenty of bordeuxs in my cellar starting from the late 80's to 2006's...
                        but there is a reason why I am opening a 2005 bordeaux...
                        thats our wedding year, and we honeymooned in bordeaux as well....So we kinda have a thing where we would be drinking 2005 bordeaux's for our anniversary dinner.

                        1. re: commie
                          TorontoJo Oct 3, 2010 06:47 PM

                          Scaramouche never closed.

              2. estufarian Sep 30, 2010 03:43 PM

                I just made a reservation at Pangaea.
                They have quoted me $30 corkage - so they have my business.

                4 Replies
                1. re: estufarian
                  s
                  Sadistick Sep 30, 2010 04:32 PM

                  I was not overly impressed with Pangaea when I was there, about 6 weeks ago.

                  Curious to hear what you think.

                  1. re: Sadistick
                    estufarian Oct 1, 2010 02:34 AM

                    I've had bad experiences there too - 3 visits total, but haven't been for maybe 3 years, so time to see what it's like now.
                    Maybe I've changed enough (mellowed?).

                    1. re: estufarian
                      estufarian Oct 2, 2010 09:09 AM

                      No I haven't changed!
                      Drop this from your potential list.
                      Food was 'just OK'. Service was barely passable.
                      Ambiance was frantic/noisy/verging on chaos.

                      Won't be back for another 3 yeras (at least) - and the place was packed.
                      But the food presentation did 'look good' - pity about the flavour (although one of our party did find some).

                      1. re: estufarian
                        s
                        Sadistick Oct 3, 2010 02:58 PM

                        I hadn't been in over 5 years in fact and was curious to see, as they once served up some good food.

                2. scarberian Oct 1, 2010 04:01 AM

                  NOT in Toronto, but worth every penny... What about Eigenssin Farm? It's strictly BYOB, within your price range and a great setting (also a nice drive during this time of year).

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