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Mar 30, 2011 06:33 AM


Help me please. My daughter is turning 19 next week (that's not why I need help) and she wants a "dress up" dinner for her birthday. She wants to put on a dress and heels and go out with the family for a nice dinner in a nice restaurant. We looked at Brasai (menu too esoteric for teenager), canoe, top of the CN tower etc as possibilities. She liked the look and feel of Note Bene however when I was there I was unimpressed and I see reviews that it may have even downgraded since then.
I'm after a cool environment with great and varied menu. Suggestions are really appreciated.

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  1. Oh gosh, I remember those "dress up" birthday dinners from my teen-age years - so fun!

    I like, but don't love, Nota Bene and I'm also not wowed by Brassaii or, no no no, the CN Tower.

    George is one of the best "dress up" dinners around, and also Splendido - stellar food and grown up elegant (but not stuffy atmospheres), though I'm not sure I'd call either of them "cool". These would probably be my top choices. Woodlot is great and cool but not really so "dress up". Origin or Buca might also strike a good balance of upscale, cool and good food.

    88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

    604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: peppermint pate

      Agree with what peppermint pate has written.

      While Scaramouche isn't cool, the food is very good, and it's a place where most people will be dressed up. It's a nice place for a birthday dinner with the family. The atmosphere is a little stuffy, but it is elegant, and there's a great view of the city. While the space doesn't have any cool factor, the plating is beautiful and contemporary, and maybe could even be considered "cool".

      If your family likes Portuguese food/seafood, Chiado is a good place for birthdays. While the atmosphere isn't what I'd consider cool, it has a nice ambiance.

      A steakhouse in a relatively "cool" part of town, such as Jacobs & Co, might be another option. Some people might consider Jacobs & Co cool.

      Le Select and Marben might be other worthwhile options to consider.

      111 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2, CA

      1 Benvenuto Place, Toronto, ON M4V 2L1, CA

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

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

      Jacobs & Co
      12 Brant Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2M1, CA

      488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

      109 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

      1. For an emphasis on the cool factor, The Fifth would probably impress the 19 year old and I had a very good dinner there recently. It isn't mind blowing but it is a really neat spot for someone that age the freight elevator entrance and the feel are pretty unique. The menu is fairly straight up.

        I also agree re: George. Jacob's would work if she likes steak although it is very pricey.

        1. Brassai since the change of ownership has basically become a supper club as has almost everything in that neighborhood with the possible exception of buca (the supper club format is a way weasel around zoning limits on nightclubs) and with the exception or Marben the supper part really suffers.

          Colborne Lane is a possible, don't be put off by the "molecular gastronomy", there's really nothing there a teenager won't eat and it is quite fun.

          Colborne Lane
          45 Colborne Street, Toronto, ON M5E 1P8, CA

          488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA