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What's good on College?

h
Hondapendragon Mar 22, 2011 05:57 AM

Hello,

I was wondering if you TO Chowhounders had any suggestions for my upcoming "Girl's Night Out"?

We're a small group of 30-somethings who are looking to get all dolled up and enjoy a night of good food and dancing, this weekend!

We were hoping to start off on College St. Are there any recs?

Our criteria:
1) On College.
2) Good food
3) Budget: $50 pp (not included drinks)

Bonus points if we can bring our own wine.

Thanks in advance!
HPD

  1. j
    JennaBean Mar 22, 2011 08:25 AM

    Sidecar would fit the bill but I don't know if they are BYOW.

    1. prima Mar 22, 2011 02:32 PM

      Frank's Kitchen and Trattoria Giancarlo serve some of the better food on College. Both restaurants easily could end costing $50+ pp, since most starters cost $12+, pastas cost $18+, and meats cost $25+, but if you order carefully, or share some of the courses, it's possible to keep the cost closer to $50 pp.

      http://dine.to/profile_features.php?feature=menu&id=18515

      http://giancarlotrattoria.com/TrattoriaGiancarlo-Menu.pdf

      Negroni (owned by the people who own Sidecar) is often recommended on this Board. Negroni allows BYOW according to this website: http://www.byow.com/byow_torontoN.htm

      Grappa allows BYOW according to this website: http://www.menupalace.com/menupalace/...

      I'd call Negroni and Grappa to confirm whether the online information about BYOW is accurate, before showing up with any vino.

      -----
      Grappa
      797 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1C7, CA

      Giancarlo Trattoria
      41 Clinton St, Toronto, ON M6J2N9, CA

      Negroni
      492 College Street, Toronto, ON M6G 1A4, CA

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: prima
        jlunar Mar 29, 2011 12:35 PM

        If you do call, please post here and let us know! I'm always looking for more (confirmed) corkage fees!

        ---
        http://www.corkagetoronto.com -- for free or for a fee, bring your wine!

        1. re: jlunar
          a
          abigllama Mar 30, 2011 04:07 PM

          Called Negroni as we're planning on going this weekend. The person on phone had to double check with someone but told me that it's $25.

          1. re: abigllama
            jlunar Mar 30, 2011 07:11 PM

            Thanks abigllama! Updated that one.

      2. Bobby Wham Mar 22, 2011 05:17 PM

        Actually, I went to Sidecar the other week and it was great, they have a $25 prefix which was really tasty

        1. prima Mar 29, 2011 10:41 AM

          If you had to pick between Negroni & Sidecar for dinner on a weeknight, which would you pick? I haven't been to either, and some people joining me might be plain eaters.

          Thanks for any comments.

          -----
          Sidecar
          577 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: prima
            TorontoJo Mar 29, 2011 10:46 AM

            Sidecar has a larger and more diverse menu. It's a more traditional restaurant. Negroni is primarily panini, plus a couple of pastas and a risotto. Some nice, simple apps, though and damn fine ice cream for dessert. Negroni is also cheaper than Sidecar. Both are actually good options for plain eaters.

            1. re: TorontoJo
              prima Mar 29, 2011 11:04 AM

              Thanks, TorontoJo. Glad they are both good options for plain eaters.

              Also noticed the Auld Spot on College had some positive comments recently. Might keep that one in the back of my mind. Noticed that they have a mac & cheese on the menu. http://www.auldspot.ca/auldspot/index...
              Has anyone tried it?

              -----
              The Auld Spot
              633 College St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

              1. re: prima
                e
                earlq Apr 1, 2011 09:57 AM

                I've been there a couple of times, and it was quite good. Sort of similar to the Harbord House, pub food for grown ups.

                -----
                Harbord House
                150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

          2. miketoronto Mar 29, 2011 10:57 AM

            Sidecar, Frank's (although more expensive), Grace.

            1. prima Mar 29, 2011 11:06 AM

              Hondapendragon, where did your Girls' Night out end up taking place?

              1 Reply
              1. re: prima
                h
                Hondapendragon Mar 29, 2011 05:04 PM

                LOL!
                We couldn't decide. So I made some homemade pizza before we went out and we capped the night off at Rol San.
                Great night!

                -----
                Rol San
                323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T2E9, CA

              2. ekim256 Mar 29, 2011 10:43 PM

                I like the ambiance of Woodlot. The food wasn't spectacular, but it was good and is close to some good places for post-dinner hopping! Negroni is good too :)

                Erin

                1 Reply
                1. re: ekim256
                  prima Apr 7, 2011 10:28 PM

                  We tried Woodlot tonight. Food was ok, but the service was not very good, despite good intentions.

                  We arrived at 9:28 pm for a 9:30 pm reservation. I had requested a 9:00 pm reservation on the restaurant's voicemail the week before, and they returned my message offering a 9:30 pm slot. When we arrived, the hostess mentioned that she was going to check on our table. My friend asked the hostess how much longer we could expect to be waiting, and the hostess repeated in a monotone "I'm going to check on the table", instead of answering the question. I mentioned that I had asked for a 9 pm reservation, and accepted the 9:30 pm reservation, but didn't expect that we would still have to wait. We ended up waiting around 15 minutes to be seated, and the hostess was very pleasant when she seated us. The manager or bartender brought us complimentary glasses of champagne since we had this unanticipated wait, which was a nice gesture that we appreciated.

                  Our server took a while to come to our table, and took our food and drink orders as soon as she greeted our table, about 15 minutes after we sat down, just before 10 pm. We ordered the hokkaido scallops, hen of the woods mushroom and wild rice salad, pappardelle with lamb and dandelion, and potato gnocchi. Salt seemed to be the main flavour I was picking up. I liked the fresh bread, but the butter was saltier than usual. The hen of the woods mushrooms on the rice salad were salty, but the wild rice salad below was sweet. The gnocchi were rich and salty. The lamb was tender, but salty. Could not detect any dandelion flavour, although I could see them. Now, as I write this post, I am very thirsty, even though I drank at least 3 glasses of water over the course of dinner.

                  We shared the meringue-topped lemon tart, the Soma Chocolate pot de creme and the apple tarte tatin. Thought the lemon tart and pot de creme were the tastiest dishes we ordered.

                  When paying the bill, I asked the server if we could have 3 $10 bills back, since we were paying with $20 bills, and needed change. The server told me that she didn't know if she could find us 3 $10s. So I said 6 $5s would suffice. The server said she still wasn't sure that she could find that type of change in the restaurant. So we said we'd pay by credit card if she couldn't find change. I looked to the lower level, and noticed at least half a dozen employees were still in the restaurant- surely collectively, they should have enough of a cash float to give us $30 cash back, in smaller bills than $20s? Every table had been filled when we arrived at 9:28 pm, and the hostess had told us they had a seating around 5/5:30/6, another around 7/7:30/8, and a third seating around 9:30/10. After all this business, there wouldn't be $30 floating around at 12:30 am, after all those tables had been served? First time I've had a server in an upscale restaurant seem to try to suggest getting change would be an ordeal.

                  The ambiance is nice, and the restaurant was lively when we got there, but by the time we left, the staff were friendly, but they also looked like they were waiting for the guests to leave (we weren't the last). There were plastic bins crowding the doorway as we left.

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