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2 nights in Toronto...restaurant & bar suggestions

Wife and I are are in town Mon and Tues (Staying downtown on King St West.)

Looking for some recommendations...we own a fine dining restaurant (tamaripgh.com) and are looking for the best Toronto has to offer.

Definite stops on the itinerary include...

Black Hoof & Barchef

Hoping for some suggestions for 1 lunch spot, 1 dinner & a cool bar for late nite

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  1. Enoteca Sociale on Dundas West and Scaramouche for dinner
    Terroni on back patio on Queen West and Origin for lunch
    Ossington pub crawl for late night - Sweaty Betty's, Reposada, Communist Daughter and The Dakota.
    Few choices for you - enjoy your visit!

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: thebutcher

      I'm a big fan of violet hour (chicago), drink (boston) & mike and honey (NYC) and from what i'm hearing, Goodnight is similiar...is it worth checking out?

      1. re: Allencvc

        Worth checking out but you have to call on the day you want to go to get a reservation. I have a friend who works there and sometimes I can't get a reservation so have a back-up plan for sure.

        1. re: Allencvc

          haven't been myself but its getting good buzz of late so definitely check it out - Drake patio and if you are staying at the Thompson - the rooftop patio there are two other options for you - but may be quiet on a Monday/Tuesday.

        2. re: thebutcher

          forget both scaramouche (too old school, dated) and also terroni-absolutely nothing special

        3. Black Hoof is only open for dinner and closed on Tuesdays. Barchef not that big a deal imo.

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: iMarilyn

            Also, Black Hoof is cash only, no reservations! But I do think this is the best food in the city. Monday dinner will be your only shot though. Either go early (they open at 6) or go later (around 9).

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

          2. You may have some trouble with dinner Monday night - many restaurants closed, so call ahead

            Lunch recommendations:
            1. George - high end; wonderful food; get a seat on the lovely back patio; to me one of the nicest restaurants in Toronto
            2. Origin - pretty casual, small plates style, great side patio, interesting food, fun restaurant

            1. George
            2. Origin
            3. Colborne Lane - same chef owner as Origin, but totally different experience, I think they do a tasting menu
            4. Enoteca Sociale - a bit more casual, great solid food

            Don't bother with Terroni - pizza with a side of server attitude

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

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

            1. here are some of the local watering holes (and some of them have some pretty decent eats as well) and which bands are playing.

              We have a decent live music scene here....

              Alex Rodriguez Trio Naco Gallery Cafe
              Bernie Senensky, Gene Perla, Ben Riley Orbit Room
              Boot Knives Drake Hotel
              Chris Staig & the Marquee Players Mitzi’s Sister
              Ciaran O'Shea Cloak & Dagger Pub
              Cover Me Canada Open Mic The Painted Lady
              Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra Rex
              DJs Jorge & Jared The Piston
              DJs Topher & Orang Insomnia
              Douglas Fairbanks Jr Bovine Sex Club
              Elvis Monday Drake Hotel
              The English Beat Mod Club
              The Hamstrung Stringband The Local
              Ice & Yolanda The Ossington
              Kevin Quain's Gutbucket Lounge Graffiti’s
              Rynecologist The Social
              The Sure Things Dakota Tavern
              This is Awesome Tranzac
              Toast, the Aviators, Jillian Bradley Horseshoe
              Tova Kardonne Emmet Ray Bar
              White Lung, Nu Sensae, Pregnancy Scares, Dentata, Total Trash Parts & Labour

              The Drake Hotel
              1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              Dakota Tavern
              249 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

              The Emmet Ray
              924 College St, Toronto, ON M6H, CA

              Parts & Labour
              1566 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R, CA

              1. Since your restaurant is latin/asian, here is another recommendation for Origin. Its a mix of mainly those plus some other influences. They have seats in front of the kitchen. The room is cool, the plating is nice, the food comes out quickly, and my experience is the execution is solid. For a quick and excellent lunch spot I recommend a thai place called Khao San Road. Get resos for both places. You'll enjoy the Black Hoof.

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

                Khao San Road
                326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: dubchild

                  thanks for all the recommendations...absolutely love Toronto!

                  Day 1: dinner at Black Hoof...exactly what I was looking for. One of the most enjoyable meals i had in a while. jen the owner took great care of us and then sent us to see Dave @ the harbord room for cocktails.

                  While we didn't dine at harbord room, Dave the bartender makes some fantastic cocktails including the best Last Word i've ever had. Dave just happens to be the president of the new toronto chapter of the Canada bartender Assoc and really took great pride in the crafting of classic long forgotten cocktails.

                  Dave then sent us to see Gord @ the drake who whipped up this tequila mezcal cocktail that knocked me on my ass. Really enjoyed the scene at the drake.

                  Day 2: checked out Origin...not overly impressed. food was beautifully plated but lacked flavor and depth.

                  Then checked out Lee...the crispy tofu was spectacular but the braised beef was nearly inedible. on a high note, I got a chance to chat and talk shop with chef susur.

                  Next was Goodnight Bar...we made reservations but on a tues night it was not necessary. While I liked the concept...the person behind the bar is the key component to the experience there. The mixologist was on his 3rd day there and left all alone. I asked for a few classic cocktails and his reply was "idk...man you know more drinks then i do!" which i not the answer i was hoping for. I'm sure with a more knowledgeable mixologist, it would have been better.

                  barchef was the next stop. nice laid back vibe and frankie the owner was mixing the drinks. its always a pleasure talking to someone with such a passion for their craft. I applaud his dedication to changing conventional wisdom and raising the bar in our industry. While a $45 manhattan and a $25 mojito may not be everyone's cup of tea, it was great to see the same innovation applied to cocktails as chefs have done with food.

                  Already looking forward to the next trip to check out the thompson, dolce social and the toronto temperance society

                  1. re: Allencvc

                    how did susur react when you told him about the nearly inedible braised beef?

                2. Yes Yes Yes...bar chef and Black Hoof.
                  Dont forget Poutinis.


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

                  1112 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA