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Oct 28, 2010 02:51 PM

Fancy restaurant that opens late?

My girlfriend's birthday is coming up, but she has class that night until around 9:30pm. I was wondering if anyone have any suggestions where I can take her that would still be opened that late? Doesn't have to be too fancy, but don't want it to be like a random 24 hour breakfast diner or anything too cheap. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

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  1. I fed in 10:30pm on a random Thursday into Open Table (and ignored places that don't take reservations after 10:00 so you won't be rushed out) and found Beer Bistro, George, Earth (by Globe), LAB, Nota Bene, Origin, Segar, and Studio Cafe, ALL of which I've been to and can recommend. Choose among these depending on your location and budget.

    4 Replies
    1. re: estufarian

      When was the last time you went to L.A.B.? I went about three weeks ago, on a Friday, and my party was the only set of patrons there. The food was okay, but not extraordinary, and my dining companion complained that the the main (steak) disappointed him after an outstanding app (spaetzle). I felt similarly; I was pleased with the zucchini fritter app but slightly less impressed with the sous vide rabbit, which was fine in texture but lacking flavour. I didn't regret going, but I wouldn't go out of my way considering that similar/better can be had in more convenient locations - like Nota Bene.

      1. re: morefoodplz

        Last there in September. 5 of 6 courses were excellent - the other wasn't bad - just ho-hum.
        Best dishes were soup, spaetzle and 'not apple pie'. Very good was salad and the dessert plate of 'childhood favourites' - particularly recall the twizzler sauce.
        And I can't recall the final dish - which is why It has to have been 'ho-hum'! - but by elimination was probably a meat course (maybe the rabbit as that's an ingredient I often order at other places).
        Historically I've found I prefer the dishes that don't jump out at me on first read of the menu. Maybe it's because I have lower expectations.

        But to tier the names I put above, I've been to each of Earth, LAB, Origin and Segar at least 3 times this year (listed alphabetically). I didn't rate them as I don't know the OP's tastes or budget.

        EDIT} A friend just called who was there this week, so we discussed. I now recall I had the Bimbimbap (so-so) but also the Pear risotto (and NOT the salad on this occasion). I'd happily re-order the risotto. And technically it's 'Mock Apple Pie' and 'Movie Snacks' (not childhood favourites). The soup contained ginger 'noodles' that exploded on the tongue every taste - but you'd have to like ginger!

        1. re: estufarian

          Hmm, sounds like I missed out by skipping dessert. Oh well. Was it just as empty when you went in September?

          1. re: morefoodplz

            We were there at 6:00 on a Sunday - about 5 other customers when we left. We were the only ones at the start.

    2. Hotel restaurants/bars are always good for a late-night drink and snack.

      The Roof at the Hyatt and Avenue at the Four Seasons are my favorites. The Drake, perhaps the Counter at the new Thompson Hotel, or One at the Hazleton Hotel might be alternate choices.

      1. Bah screw "fancy" at that time of the night you could probably get into Guu pretty quickly. Same with Black Hoof. Either of those would be memorable for sure.

        1. Black Hoof is open till 2 am Thursday to Monday and not terribly expensive for what you're getting. $30/$40 pp depending on how much you drink. No reservations, but later in the evening usually isn't a problem if its not Friday or Saturday night.

          The Black Hoof
          928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

          6 Replies
          1. re: Herb

            Love the Hoof - but is this really a Birthday place? I guess you could stick a candle in the horse tartare!
            The OP preferred a "fancy restaurant".

            Also, for a birthday celebration, I'm not sure that starting it by standing outside in unpredictable weather really 'sets the mood' - which is why I'd also hesitate on the Guu suggestion further up in this thread.

            1. re: estufarian

              If you're 25, it's a birthday place and "fancy." If you're over 50, prolly not.

              1. re: Herb

                Yeah I got the sense that the OP was on the younger side, hence my suggestions.

                1. re: Herb

                  I'm around that age, and the Hoof would totally be a birthday restaurant.

                  1. re: Herb

                    estufarian, he's calling you old! :-)

                    1. re: syoung

                      I guess I shouldn't take my grandfather there for his birthday then!
                      What if I'm exactly 50? Where do I go then?

              2. Le Select has a late-night menu. I think it is occasion-worthy, although whether or not one considers it "fancy" is probably based on the criteria being debated above.

                I think it's fancy whenever there is champagne involved.

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rabbit

                  Champers makes EVERYTHING fancy!