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Drinks and dinner for out-of-town foodie

Hi CH-ers. A foodie friend is visiting from Vancouver. We're looking for really good, interesting food and a fun time to boot (ie, cocktails and funky vibe) My husband and I love Cava but the vibe is a tad sombre. Is there a really good place to eat with a great wine list and perhaps a good bar nearby for drinks beforehand? Suggestions? Black Hoof is out (just not in to eating brains and ears) and he doesn't want Chinese or sushi (there's no comparison to Vancouver he says).

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

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

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  1. I know this flies in the face of your not wanting to go to the Black Hoof, but you might consider The Hoof Café across the street. It's fun, funky, and, while there's lots of adventurous stuff available, you could quite happily and easily avoid brains and ears all together.

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

    1. You really can have a fine meal at the Hoof without getting into the "brains and ears".

      Might I suggest Salt Wine Bar on Ossington, like Cava it's jumping off point is Spanish tapas. It's a little pricey for what you get but if you stick to the tapas classics it's pretty good and the vibe is a little more lively than uptown Cava.

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

      1. I'll throw Origin into the mix -- the vibe is great and the cocktails and wine list are respectable. I love the menu, though I know a few folks I respect have had been not-so-great experiences there.

        The nice thing about Origin is that you can start or end your evening on the lounge side of the restaurant, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

        1. I think your friend is wrong when he remarked that 'there's no comparison to Vancouver when it comes to Chinese food' With afoodie uncle leading the way, I had over 10 Chinese meal in Vancouver and Richmond about five months ago. IMO, none of them was as good as what the best of Toronto has to offer!! Biggest diappointment was the way restaurants prepare Alaskan King Crab. O'Mei in Richmond Hill outshines them all!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            i found my alaskan king crab prep repetitive, especially since they used burnt garlic over and over.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Sometime wrong with your king crab dish at Omei, probably a off night. The lobster/akaskan crab dishes involves steamed, wok-fried and deep fried. The basic ingradient is repetitive, this always happened (another example is how dashi is used in Japanese dish) but other than that, it is not repetitive.

          2. I enjoyed my meal at Delux last night. While the food options on the menu are fairly limited and conservative, everything I tasted was quite good, and they have plenty of cocktails on their menu. The vibe was nice/fun. Plenty of bars nearby for drinks beforehand.

            Enoteca Sociale might be another good bet.

            Not sure why Boehmer hasn't received much attention lately. Has anyone had a good experience at Boehmer lately? I haven't been, but it's on my list. http://www.boehmer.ca/

            Woodlot is another place you might want to consider.

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            Delux
            92 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z4, CA

            Boehmer
            93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

            Enoteca Sociale
            1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: phoenikia

              The food at Boehmer is pretty good, though I'm personally not a fan of having to pay for bread (and then getting only one type of bread...)

            2. if you like Cava I'd try Torito. It is the same style dishes but much more fun in terms of environment and slightly less expensive.

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              Torito
              276 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2L9, CA

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