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Where would you go for your next great meal out?

Owe the GF a nice dinner due to a lost bet (don't ask) and she is partial to tasting menus. We both like new places over repeats if the reviews are positive and I need an idea for the next place to go.

Already been to

George
Scaramouche
Splendido
Colborne Lane
Kaji
Chiado
Eigensinn
Canoe
LWH
NB
Buca
Opus
Auberge
Hoof
Beast (unbelievable whole boar dinner!!)

Thinking Blacktree as we haven't been there yet, but it's a bit of hike from downtown. I'm dying to try Hashimoto but even though it's my treat, she would have a fit if she knew it was $300pp.

Haven't done omakase at Zen or eaten at Hiro yet so those are also options.

For those who have eaten at many of these places, is there anywhere that we have to hit that we haven't tried yet? We both love the variety of tasting menus but it is definitely not a requirement; if the food is good, we're interested :)

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  1. Have you given any consideration to Quatrefoil?

    1. Auberge does a tasting for $100 pp or $150 with wine pairings. It is a lovely venue and a small hike to the north part of the city from downtown.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JennaBean

        Thanks for the reco's

        I read a decent review of Quatrefoil but was trying to avoid driving from downtown unless there was something really interesting (Estufarian and other's praise of Blacktree has me tempted).

        I have eaten at Auberge (before the GF's time) and although I never had a bad meal there, I was never overly impressed.

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        Blacktree
        3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

        1. re: downtownfoodie

          You've already covered my go to resto's so I think you're looking at a trek of some sort.

      2. Lucien does tasting menu.
        I've only been once and it was descent. (but seeing you have been to most of the best your running a little lower on choices)

        Forte Bistro maybe.. They don't have a tasting menu but I hear they are good. (Going in a few weeks to try it out)

        Adega .. yeah.. I'm a fan just cause I love seafood and the service here is always top notch...nice and cozy.

        Ive heard some good things about Portico Restaurant and Bar, Corner House, Opus, Frank and the AGO... but have not been myself yet.

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        Corner House
        501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

        Adega
        33 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1H1, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kassi22

          Ici? Not a tasting menu, but very good reviews and downtown.

          1. re: EarlyDrive

            Oh very good suggestion and you can do a tasting type menu by choosing the smaller portion option and they will do pairing for each course.

        2. I'm not sure if it's open yet but I'm interested in trying Keriwa. The food and the chef's background sounds interesting.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dubchild

            it hasn't opened yet, very very soon, they put the address above the door yesterday and the actual sign is lit up....when i peeked in last night it looked like they needed to do some organizing and last minutes stuff, so maybe this weekend-at least for a soft launch...

          2. A little off topic, but downtownfoodie, with your extensive tasting menu experience, could you give me your top 3 picks from the places you have already listed? Im looking for an annual tasting menu excursion of my own.

            2 Replies
            1. re: non sequitur

              In addition to skylineR33 great picks, I'd like to add George and Auberge to the list. Scaramouche is also very good but a bit on the traditional / conservative side. Never had a disappointing tasting menu meal at George! ( at least half a dozen times )

              1. re: non sequitur

                So tough but definitely a fun trip down memory lane.

                If $ is no object, the private dining room downstairs at Colborne Lane was simply mind-blowing. I'm generally not a rabid follower of MG but I thought they did an incredible job of using the techniques well without being "gimmicky". The theatre of the setting, the professional service (esp the sommelier with interesting and well-matched pairings) added to the great food experience.

                George's tasting menu (sitting at the "kitchen table" overlooking the open cookery) was flawless.

                Eigensinn was for my 21st bday (back when the cost was "reasonable") but I can still tell you what we ate, course for course.

                Have to save a special note for Beast. We did the whole-animal dinner (wild boar) and I truly believe it's something anyone who loves food should do.

                The only reason I was able to keep this list to four was because Perigee closed. 2 of my top five meals ever! (Including a collection of Michelin stars in NY and London). Although, now that I think about it, Pat Riley's tasting menu at Amuse Bistro was pretty spectacular :)

              2. Have you tried Splendido's new tasting menu ? There are also C5's tasting menu and Yuzu's tasting menu that you can consider, I like both of them. Treadwell's tasting menu is also good.

                Oh one more, Simple Bistro's tasting menu, it is $50 for 4-5 course when I tried it 3 months ago. Very good value and good food !

                1. What about Niagara Street Cafe? The chef there is great and will do as many courses as you want.

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                  Niagara Street Cafe
                  169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

                  1. What about:

                    Susur: http://www.susur.com/sampleTastingMen...

                    C5: they have a tasting menu http://www.c5restaurant.ca/menu.php

                    ....and although they don't advertise a tasting menu, if you call ahead, I'd imagine one could be arranged at:

                    Frank: suggested up thread also : http://www.ago.net/frank-dinner-menu

                    Origin: http://origintoronto.com/#/menu/

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                    Susur
                    601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Susur closed several years ago.

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                      Susur
                      601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                      1. re: Cat123

                        Too funny Cat, I always mess that up and need to delete the old bookmark! It's Lee:
                        http://www.susur.com/lee/menus.html

                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Thanks for all the suggestions. I missed a couple on my original list of places we've been (Yuzu, Niagara, Lee, Frank, Origin).

                          I haven't been to C5 yet but the GF wasn't a big fan so that's probably out.

                          Simple looks great, it's just that this is supposed to be something spectacular...we'll definitely hit that soon though, it looks like great value.

                          Unless something else pops up, I think we'll make the trek to burlington and check out Blacktree. We like anything adventurous and it sounds like that certainly fits the bill.

                          Cheers

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                          Blacktree
                          3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                          1. re: downtownfoodie

                            At Blacktree we always order separate dishes then switch plates half-way through to create a sort-of tasting menu. EVERY experience there has been outstanding (for me).

                            In Toronto, I DID like the tasting menu at C5 - not impressed with their regular menu (although haven't tried it recently). Also, with the strange layout, I prefer a table alongside the north 'window', which is far more welcoming than being seated in the cathedral part.

                            Hashimoto doesn't do it for me - admire the concept, but not the realization (wouldn't recommend even at half the current price). Although not 'authentic' (i.e. nothing like the versions I've had in Japan), I DO like the tasting menu at Kaiseki Sakura - but the room is more for a regular occasion, rather than a special experience. Blacktree will be memorable!

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                            Blacktree
                            3029 New St, Burlington, ON L7N, CA

                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Susur/Lee doesn't do a tasting menu anymore. Though he says he'll do it for big bucks in the private room for major cash and large groups.

                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                          Origin is not really even close in terms of the quality of the spots that OP flagged. If you want to go to a Claudio resto Colborne Lane is head and shoulders above.

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

                          1. re: JennaBean

                            I guess we've had different experiences at Origin then JB. I've been underwhelmed at CL on my last 2 visits where both service and consistency have slipped and prefer Origin.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Wow that's a shame. Origin to me is fast food made pretty. I like the patio for a drink but the lack of quality service and food mean that's all I will ever go for.

                              1. re: JennaBean

                                What a pity Jenna. I've rec'd exceptional, attentive service and have always been very pleased w the food in terms of quality and, originality. I never hesitate to take clients or out of town colleagues there.

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  Different strokes for different folks :-) Just not a place I reco or go to unless the group picks.

                        3. La Veranda ( Royal York & Bloor ) To die for - Spicy shrimp appetizer and amazing cheese platter!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: lilymex

                            Are you talking about the place across from the Royal York subway station that used to be Cru?

                            1. re: JennaBean

                              Yes, the food is delish!!! the service ok

                              1. re: lilymex

                                this is a place for casual dining. Not great, and kinda tacky. no where I'd go for a tasting menu or fine dining like the OP mentioned.

                                1. re: froglegs

                                  It is totally tacky and the food rather meh.

                          2. It's a more relaxed atmosphere than many on your list, but you won't get better fed (or 'wined') than at Enoteca Sociale. Service is top notch, too. Check www.sociale.ca for the latest menu. Sometimes they have a tasting menu and sometimes not, but you can easily order many items (they're bigger portions than small plates but smaller than full entrees) and have a 'custom' tasting menu. And the wines are available in whatever size you want, basically, including some wonderful options from Italy not usually available other than as a whole bottle (don't skip the nephele, but the Barolo and particularly the Brunello are stunning).

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

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pastabroccoli

                              I second Enoteca Sociale - I was there a couple of weeks ago with friends and everyone loved their tasting menu.

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

                            2. Colborne Lane to try their molecular gastronomy offerings.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Pincus

                                But the OP said they've already been to Colborne Lane. :)

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

                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                  Oh, the title misled me. Oops. Yeah, I have nothing to add. :)

                              2. Cava all the way. With small kids we don't get out much - this is our go-to place. Great service, great food, no attitude. It doesn't get much better in Toronto.

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

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                                  I love Cava too, their menu is really different and yummy!

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

                                  1. re: lilymex

                                    Cava always good and innovative.

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

                                    1. re: LillyWolf

                                      Cava for sure, great innovative dishes, great room, great crowd, great wine, great fun night out. If it's not on your already done list, you really need to go!

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

                                      1. re: omegasea

                                        Yes to Cava, though I'd save it for a non-Thurs, Fri or Sat meal out, as it can be really noisy. In fact, I'd go on a Sunday, when there's no corkage. They don't do tasting menus per se, but they know their menu well and can make suggestions for combining. I'd avoid the charcuterie, salads and bread-heavy nibbles and dive into the legumes, fish, meat and offal. That's what they do best, IMO.

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