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comfy *and* really good?

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My 83-year-old mother is very sophisticated about food, but she does like to be comfortable -- loud music, hard noisy surfaces, too-close tables, too-intense crowds, an un-relaxing trendiness wreck the experience for her. So Black Hoof/Libretto-type places aren't going to work. What new places can you recommend for us to try downtown -- Italian would be great, or any Asian... Thanks!

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  1. Mengrai Thai is a nice, quiet comfortable place and is arguably in the top two for Thai in the city.

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    Mengrai
    82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

    2 Replies
      1. re: hal2010

        PLEASE - no! That place is serving food court/tour bus level "Thai" food.

      2. Tutti Matti on Adelaide is quiet, comfy, friendly, respectful, and has great food. Perfect for what you're describing.

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        Tutti Matti
        364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

        1. Rawlicious in Yorkville. A different kind of cuisine and it was quiet and comfortable when I went. Delicious, to boot.

          1. Not new but what about Sidecar on College? Frank's Kitchen is another suggestion. My Mom loves Noce on Queen West.

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            Noce
            875 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1G5, CA

            Frank's Kitchen
            588 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

            1. Tutti Matti, Noce, and Malena all seem like good suggestions. I also think Le Select might suit if you're OK with French. Starfish is an old standby for me too.

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              Tutti Matti
              364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

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

              Noce
              875 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1G5, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rabbit

                You want a place for grown ups who want to "dine" rather than "eat", and be able to relax and speak at normal volume, right? I can't think of any NEW places that I'd take my 85 year old mother to. New places seem to target a young demographic, and hence tend to be crowded and loud, with hit and miss service and food. Frank's Kitchen (if you go a quiet time) would be the closest I'd recommend amongst the new. Good food and considerate service, but lots of hard surfaces and closely spaced tables.
                Chiado on College just west of Ossington is where I take my mother - it's very comfortable in an elegant Europen way, quiet yet bustling in a subdued way, and perfect for anyone who loves fresh fish. It's a "grown up" place. Expensive though.
                Scaramouch on Avenue Road just south of St. Clair is another "can't fail" place for comfort, quiet, service and great food. Also pricey.
                But hey, you only have one Mom :) And why risk spending just as much in some new place that may be gone tomorrow.

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                Chiado
                864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

                Frank's Kitchen
                588 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

              2. I felt like Globe Earth in Rosedale would be great, remembering it being very comfortable, good volume, great food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: miketoronto

                  Hopefully it's much better than it's remarkably-inconsistent sister restaurant, Globe-Bistro on the Danforth.

                2. Second Globe Bistro. It's usually quiet (esp this time of year and on weeknights or Sunday nights), and has the added plus of an easily accessible washroom on the main floor. I have dined there with a 70something, who liked it a lot. While it's not exactly new, it is comfortable. Wouldn't hesitate to bring an 83 yo there.

                  Globe Earth tends to be more bustling, and quite loud most nights, but it is generally more quiet on Sunday nights. I had another good meal at Globe Earth tonight (liked the daily soup which was sweet potato & the crispy ewenity curds).

                  Would think Cava would also be much quieter on a Sunday night (it is open Sundays, and tends to be loud Thu-Sat). Have dined with a 70something at Cava, and he enjoyed the food, even though it was somewhat loud the night we visited.

                  Also would consider Carisma, the new Italian resto on King E opened by the couple who previously owned Il Mulino on Eglinton W.

                  Lai Toh Heen is another restaurant I've enjoyed with another 70something. The chef's prix fixe lunch is a neat experience.

                  Yuzu was also fairly quiet when I dined there midweek, and I wouldn't hesitate to bring an 83 yo. If you're willing to splurge and head out to Etobicoke, Sushi Kaji is also usually on the quiet side.

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                  Carisma Restaurant
                  73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: phoenikia

                    I went on a Sunday night interestingly enough and it was nice and chill, perhaps louder on busier nights.

                    Cheers!

                  2. Hey, thanks for all the great suggestions! Tutti Matti, Frank's Kitchen, Cava, and Globe Earth are all definitely going on my list. I should maybe have mentioned that we eat out every week, so it's not about an elegant special occasion place... a good gastropub with banquettes would be great. For what it's worth, our current rotation includes Mengrai, Ichiriki, Bistro 990, Lai Wah Heen for dim sum, and we've also had a good time at Midi, Le Select, the Queen Mother, Weezie's, 93 Harbord, and Delux. (Some at off-hours -- as people have pointed out, timing can make a big difference.) Not necessarily the greatest restaurants in Toronto, but they've worked for us.... more ideas welcome!

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

                    Lai Wah Heen
                    108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

                    Tutti Matti
                    364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

                    93 Harbord
                    93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                    Queen Mother
                    206 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z2, CA

                    Bistro 990
                    990 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5S3A8, CA

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

                    Ichiriki
                    120 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON M4W1B7, CA

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

                    Mengrai
                    82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA

                    Delux
                    92 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J2Z4, CA

                    Frank's Kitchen
                    588 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: edina

                      The Queen and Beaver on Elm fits the bill of a good gastropub with banquettes. I've only been there at off-peak hours, but I presume it could get crowded and noisy in the evening.

                    2. I was recently at Messis - the food was great and the vibe was really nice. One of the things I commented on was that I could hear my dinner mates and it was a really comfortable place. I would recommend!

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                      Messis
                      97 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA