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Any Fancy Romantic Dinner in Toronto?

Hey all,
My girlfriend's birthday is coming up and I want to take her to a nice fancy romantic restaurant. I prefer to eat in a romantic atmosphere such as where the lighting is somewhat dim with candle lights etc. Of course the meal would be just as important as the atmosphere itself as I plan to have a nice steak dinner with some wine. My budget is probably around $200 or so. Any nice recommendations in downtown with great experiences? It doesn’t have to be in downtown, could be anywhere near Richmond hill/ Markham as I don’t mind driving.

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  1. Are you looking for a steakhouse then?

    1. I prefer steak but i'm open for suggestions. I got a friend who recommended me to this place.

      http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Auberge...

      Any good?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Kjaii89

        I think that would be a great option. If you looked at the menu and liked what you saw...

        1. re: Kjaii89

          it is indeed very good. increase your budget by around 50% and go for the tasting menu!

          1. re: Kjaii89

            Auberge would be a very nice pick. The entrance is cute for a couple-y picture as well to capture the moment =). It has the added bonus of not being in the downtown core, so less likely to hit traffic or something on the way up.

          2. La Palette in Kensington used to be my go-to place for a romantic meal.

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            La Palette
            492 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

            1. I would for sure check out The Corner House near Casa Loma. I think it fits your criteria exactly. It is made up of small rooms, intimate yet doesn't feel crowded. Romantic lighting. And best of all, delicious food. It is upscale but not crazy expensive. You will be well within the $200 budget, including dessert and good wine.

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

              1. Thanks guys for the suggesitons ! i was thinking of Auberge.. but i've also heard that the atmosphere is for older crowd as both us are in the mid 20's. Would ths place be a bit too "old" for 20-something?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kjaii89

                  Auberge will have a formal sort of atmosphere - very polished. I don't suspect you will see many 20-something couples, but that doesn't mean you have to feel out of place either. It really depends on your mood.

                  One of the prettiest rooms in Toronto, which also happens to be a steakhouse is the The Fifth. It skews a bit younger than Auberge, and you could even go downstairs to the club after if you want a nightcap. The food is fine, not fab, IMHO, but the room is great.

                2. Hey guys.. so i'm still debating but i'v came up with the following choices:

                  corner house
                  Le select
                  Auberge
                  L'Unita

                  I'm kind of leaning toward cornerhouse after reviewing Auberge... Auberge would be great but would the environment be abit "wierd" for a couple whos in their early/mid 20's? I want a comfy environment , at the same time romantic for young couples like us.

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                  L'Unita
                  134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kjaii89

                    if it helps at all Mrs Shekamoo and I are in our early 30's and find no weirdness at all in Auberge. but then of course with these kids today, maybe we too belong to the older crowd :)

                  2. morton's steakhouse at yorkville! they are offering a steak and seafood dinner for two for 125.

                    check this link for more details.
                    http://www.mortons.com/toronto/

                    29 Replies
                    1. re: kellylu

                      I think L'Unita or Le Select are great choices.

                      I don't think that Auberge or CH need to feel "weird" if you're in your twenties, but I personally find the more relaxed, convivial intimacy in the other rooms more romantic. Save time for a champers at the zinc bar if you choose Le Select. And if you choose L'Unita do specify that you do NOT want one of the "kid's tables" in the back hallway.

                      One more possible option (with steak frites) is Globe Bistro on the Danforth. Ask for a booth on the mezzanine level.

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

                      L'Unita
                      134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA

                      1. re: Rabbit

                        I don't find L'Unita romantic at all. It is great food but not a "special" restaurant. For romance, I would try Scaramouche pasta bar (or regular restaurant) now that it takes reservations. Beautiful room and it has a great view of the city.

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                        L'Unita
                        134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA

                        1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                          thanks all for the great suggestions once again.. i'll call Scaramouche for a reserve tmr for this friday .. hopefully they have space near the windows..

                          Globe Bistro seems like a great place for a backup plan just incase .. any recomendations on the menu though? I'm trying to find some that steak frites but seems like theres more of a seafood selection.

                          1. re: Kjaii89

                            Looks like they're doing a ribeye on the current menu... there is a local and seasonal focus at Globe so they switch things up fairly regularly. You're right, no steak frites right now.

                            And if you're worried about Auberge feeling to old or stuffy I would caution that Scaramouche does channel a similar vibe. Still, it's one of the most highly regarded rooms in Toronto and a favorite for romance, no doubt. I hope you have a great dinner and please do give us a follow up report!!

                            1. re: Kjaii89

                              I hope you enjoy your meal at Scaramouche, but I would echo Rabbit in reminding you that if you think Auberge MIGHT be weird, I guess Scaramouche WILL be...

                              1. re: Kjaii89

                                I've never felt out of place at Auberge - I've been going since I've been in my teens with friends. I also prefer Auberge to Scaramouche in terms of romance, but that's just me. Auberge is the more classical romance and Scaramouche has a slightly more modern twist to it.

                                ---
                                http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                                1. re: jlunar

                                  Bad news that 'I'v just called in for a reservation today at Scaramouche for 7:00 and theres no available seats at that time and i can't reserve later since i got my plans set later in the evening. And too bad they don't got steak at the moment at Globe Bristo or that be my 2nd choice.

                                  I'v just called Corner House for reserve, read some pretty good reviews on it. What do you guys think?

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

                                  Bristo-Cafe
                                  219 Silvercreek Pky N, Guelph, ON N1H7K4, CA

                                  1. re: Kjaii89

                                    Romantic spot with good food and service. It isn't as formal at the other options you've been looking at but maybe that's a better fit?

                                    1. re: JennaBean

                                      I guess it should be fine as it says smart casual . So i assume its still requried somre dressing up in terms of dress shirt no jeans for men and dress for lady?

                                      Review on food is great, and environment shouldn't be bad either? Hopefully its not too busy on that day.

                                      1. re: Kjaii89

                                        Isn't Corner House a little on the fuddy-duddy side for someone in their 20s? You were better off with Le Select and then hit one of the countless clubs nearby.

                                        What about Paramour? Even the name is romantic.

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

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

                                        1. re: Herb

                                          I love Le Select myself but as a woman in age category at the OP the last thing I want to do on a romantic night is 'hit one of countless clubs nearby'.

                                          Who needs bar tarts and their prey to wreck your evening? :-)

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

                              2. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                                I find L'Unita to be quite romantic, but not in a classic sense, and it's not as special occasion-worthy as some of the other places mentioned (eg. Auberge or Scaramouche). I wouldn't call it "fancy" as the OP requested.

                                Having said that, I think it might be more age-appropriate than Auberge, Scaramouche or Corner House (I find the crowd at Scaramouche to be the oldest of the lot, but have only been to CH once so may not remember it well enough). Not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with twenty-somethings going to those places...I think it's completely fine, but I'm just trying to be cognizant of the OP's reservations about feeling out of place. I should note that, on my last (pretty recent) visit to Auberge, there were definitely some twenty-somethings present....and it's definitely romantic.

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

                                L'Unita
                                134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA

                                1. re: torontofoodiegirl

                                  I think there are two common issues with being out at an upscale restaurant in your 20s (coming from someone in her early 20s who still encounters these problems):

                                  1) The comfort factor, i.e. feeling like a kid dressing up and playing restaurant - this is largely how you interact with the atmosphere and perceive the patrons, style of service, drink list/wine list, and more recently as our generation becomes interested in food, the sort of ingredients used and uniqueness of the menu. Anything too "classic" is better reserved for meals with older generations when it's okay to feel like kids because we're likely being taken out. Also appropriate for very special occasions a deux.

                                  2) The "real" service factor - because sometimes we 20-somethings are ignored more than anyone else in a restaurant. I won't waste time on conspiracy theories here.

                                  In Toronto, we've found most success in places that have a happy medium.

                                  Starfish is great because its servers are in our age range but it's also a great place for a special meal. You could enjoy their wonderful steak and even have a romantic night sitting at the bar if there are no tables available.

                                  Le Select also strikes a happy medium between appropriately "special," classical food, interesting options for food and drink (their beer list is great), and its a place where people of all ages can feel comfortable - when girlfriends and I had "Toronto adventures" from the 'burbs back in high school, we felt perfectly comfortable lunching at the old Queen St. location. Still comfortable as a 20-something.

                                  I still swear by Sidecar. It may not have as much atmosphere as you're looking for, but I think the boite feel is romantic, the food is great, and it's certainly age appropriate. The drinks have wow factor.

                                  And Biff's is a good alternative to Auberge if you're worried the latter O&B spot feels stuffy. We've felt a little young at Biff's from time to time, but the service is impeccable and the rest of the place sort of melts away. Great cocktails, wonderful food. The comfort factor builds, but isn't that true of any place that's not your local?

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

                                  1. re: c.cow

                                    While corner house may have an older crowd overall, of all of the one suggested, it is also the most initimate and where you are least likely to even notice the other patrons. This is verses something like Canoe where while it is romantic with great view, even greater service, and even greater food, I felt like a baby there (and it was for my 36th B-day) Also, every time I have gone to Scaramouche (the Pasta Bar), the clientele has mostly been people around my age.

                                    1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                                      Well so far i got Corner house on the reserve but i'm still open to suggestions until tomorrow ! Sorry guys for constant changes, when it comes to eating and dining out, usually my girlfriend decides for us. I also hear alot of comments from "Weezies" .. really romantic for our younger crowd but i cant seem to find their website so do not know their menu. Do they have good food ( steak ), if they do.. i'm down for it .

                                      So here is what i am down to based on "romantic" atmosphere that i think will fit our age crowd:

                                      Le Select
                                      Weezies

                                      I plan to bring her to Panorama for a drink after our dinner but we are still going to have abit of wine.

                                      What do you guys think? Thanks for all the wonderful help so far!

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

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

                                      1. re: Kjaii89

                                        I am now in my late 20s; when I really started dining out a few years ago, I definitely felt like I was playing "restaurant" as another poster said.

                                        Scaramouche, Auberge, Corner House, etc will all have an older crowd. However, I think Scaramouche is worth the risk. You said you tried for Friday but they're booked....is this for both the dining room and the pasta bar?

                                        I'll second Le Select as others have...it's very nice, and age friendly. I take dates there, but also my family. Can't go wrong with the price or service really.

                                        Weezie's is also a good choice. Two others I want to suggest that I haven't seen come up are: Niagara Street Cafe and Amuse Bistro. Niagara Street Cafe it's uber romantic, and you'll feel quite comfortable there. Amuse Bistro has become my favorite "new" restaurant (it's new to me, lol) They have two dining rooms, see if you can reserve a table for the smaller dining room, food is amazing, and if you have time before or after your dinner, you can take a walk on the beach.

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

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

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

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

                                        1. re: stonedtoronto

                                          I don't know how far $200 will get you for a date at Scaramouche - cocktail to start, wine with dinner, mains, apps and desserts - you might be sweating when you get the bill....

                                        2. re: Kjaii89

                                          Weezie's does indeed have steak frites on the menu. They do not have a web site. It is romantic, but in an eclectic, charming, scruffy sort of way. Great food.

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

                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                            I second Weezie's, and Globe Bistro is one of the nicest rooms in towns with good food and a young vibe. Also want to throw Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Bistro out there, it's really romantic in the evening, lit with Edison bulbs, super-local great food, plus you've got JK shaking hands, delivering amuse bouches, and just generally making the girls swoon. He's a handsome dude.

                                            Le Select, for me, is too big a space to qualify as romantic. I have business dinners there and it's great, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't scream romance to me.

                                            1. re: childofthestorm

                                              lol, probably not so good if you're wining and dining your girl and she's swooning over the chef... *g*

                                              1. re: jlunar

                                                Hey, my wife can swoon all she wants, she's going home with me! Nothing wrong with putting her in the mood first, I suppose...

                                                1. re: childofthestorm

                                                  Hey guys,

                                                  i have made my final decision and i'm going to go to niagera street cafe.. when i sawtheir gallery .. it completely blew me away!!! seems like its really romantic with all the dim lightings and interrior. The menu seems good.. I'll let you guys know how it went !

                                                  Funny how i'v listed so many new decisions everytime i reply. Sorry guys for the hassle!

                                                  1. re: Kjaii89

                                                    Good choice! Have fun and report back for sure.

                                                    1. re: Kjaii89

                                                      I think it's nice that you did so much research to make the perfect choice for your girlfriend. Very thoughtful, Enjoy your evening.

                                                    2. re: childofthestorm

                                                      lol, you can always don a chef's jacket instead when you're going out!

                                                      1. re: jlunar

                                                        would we need to dress up smart casual for niagara cafe? My gf told me she will be in a dress with heels. Probably just dress shirt for me.

                                                        1. re: Kjaii89

                                                          Great choice in restaurant! Niagara Street Cafe is one of those places where you'll be comfortable wearing almost anything, your gf will feel fine with her dress and heels there.

                                                          Hope you have a good dinner, and report back! Lol

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

                                                          1. re: Kjaii89

                                                            btw you're super awesome for doing all of this research for dinner!!!

                                            2. re: c.cow

                                              Actually, I second Starfish - it's very romantic. Good wines and oysters.

                                    2. I really like Cava - I actually find it very romantic and low-key - granted, St. Clair and Yonge isn't exactly the most romantic place in the city but for your money, it's great food, wine and service in a lovely candlelit atmosphere. Another place is La Palette in Kensington which is extremely romantic but the food is so-so and the service can be sketchy.

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

                                      La Palette
                                      492 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                                        I actually hate Cava and don't get why so many people like it. And besides the dim lighting and small space, don't actually find it romantic. The chairs are so uncomfortable; very diner-like...and not in a cool, retro way.

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