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Lunch Pick Downtown - help me

m
marcharry Sep 1, 2011 02:38 PM

This should be easy right? I have a kind of VIP guest coming in for TIFF. She comes every year and we have lunch. She stays at the four seasons and invariably has a film to get to at the Lightbox at 2PM - dont be late.

The restaurant should have an ambience and service for grown-ups. Funky and different does not cut it. I am not going to impress its just best not to "depress". Imagine that you are hosting Katherine Hepburn.

So, the location should ideally be downtown west of yonge to drop her off at Lightbox, it could also be near yorkville where she is staying. One kicker - its on the MONDAY.

The restaurant should have a bit of flair/interest, serve good food and have excellent service. For that I will pay whatever it takes but like I said it can be simple too. I confess things like Canoe and Bymark are a bit over the top for a friendly lunch (trying too hard?)

Last year we went to Nota Bene - I posted about it. Food was good, room and location were great - service deplorable.
For years prior we went to Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar - oh how I miss it. A little understated, more about the food, damn good cooking and proper service. She still talks about the fries (as we all do).

Enough crying over spilt local,organic milk. Splendido - you say...no lunch. Mistura! - no lunch. George - no monday. Buca? - no lunch. Biffs - yawn. Kit Kat - inconsistent? Jump - considering the old standby.

I know the answer is so obvious I cant see it - it is.....?

-----
Jamie Kennedy
9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA

Mistura
265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

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

Bymark
66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

Kit Kat
297 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

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

  1. TorontoJo Sep 1, 2011 02:55 PM

    How about One?

    1. iMarilyn Sep 1, 2011 02:56 PM

      The patio at Bymark is quite lovely this time of year. Very relaxed.

      -----
      Bymark
      66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

      1. Googs Sep 1, 2011 03:09 PM

        In the space between casual and elegant exists a place that only opens to the public for lunch, only on weekdays, and offers one of the best views of the city you can experience. They've never disappointed me both in their creative food and prompt service. Seafood is Ocean Wise and they have a lovely little wine list to boot.

        http://www.greatcooks.ca/gc-on-eight/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Googs
          Otonabee Sep 7, 2011 11:35 AM

          Googs is right. Great Cooks is a really lovely spot. The food is great and if you reserve you might be able to get a spot with a really nice view of City Hall. Right on Queen around Bay (upstairs at HBC) so easy to deal with for location.

        2. prima Sep 1, 2011 03:16 PM

          Osgoode Hall serves nice lunches, and the service is usually very good. The food is good, but it might be boring for you if you consider Biff's to be "yawn". Has an atmosphere that might have impressed Katherine Hepburn.

          The Gallery Grill at Hart House also serves a good lunch, in beautiful surroundings.

          I've also been happy with relatively recent lunches at Biff's (I realize you wrote "yawn"- my last 2 meals at Biff's over the past year have been better tasting and more interesting than previous meals at Biff's) and Jump.

          I also like Rodney's by Bay, although it might be casual compared to the places you've mentioned.

          If you like Greek food, Volos might be worth visiting. I've heard from friends that the service is good, although Pataki thought it was a little much.

          I believe Le Select also serves lunch. Nice patio.

          C5 or Frank might also be worth considering, although I like the food at the other places I've mentioned more than the food I've been served at C5 or Frank.

          -----
          C5
          100 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

          Gallery Grill
          7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

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

          Osgoode Hall
          130 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N6, CA

          Rodney's By Bay
          56 Temperance Street, Toronto, ON M5H 3V5, CA

          FRANK @ The Art Gallery of Ontario
          317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5T I4G, CA

          1. l
            lolo Sep 1, 2011 07:30 PM

            George is open for lunch on Monday.

            1. CocoaChanel Sep 2, 2011 04:11 AM

              The patio at Bymark is wonderful, the food is good and I always have good, attentive service. Buca is most definitely open for lunch - I have been many times for lunch, but I confess, not on a Monday.
              I second Prima's suggestion of Rodney's by Bay

              -----
              Bymark
              66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

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

              1. j
                JennaBean Sep 2, 2011 11:14 AM

                Toca @ the Ritz services lunch Mon to Friday.

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                Toca
                181 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, CA

                1. m
                  marcharry Sep 6, 2011 06:41 AM

                  Great suggestions all around - I think Le Select would be low risk, gallery grill would be interesting and different, Frank would be very nice

                  thx again

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

                  1. m
                    marcharry Sep 12, 2011 03:41 PM

                    Went to Le Select - it was perfect on the terrasse for a very warm fall day.

                    Food was good. Frisee Lardon salad was okay, missing a little acid, celeriac and pear soup was nicely done. Mushrooms on polenta - as advertised. Confit de Canard was a tad salty (hard not to be) but good and crispy, reduction sauce lacked flavour and the potato gallette was weak. Short rib looked good, bulgar risotto was creamy and flavourful.

                    Desserts were pricey (for lunch), quite large and excellent. Lemon tart crispy and nicely sour, chocolate cake and passion fruit sorbet great.

                    Service was good, not above average, a bit clunky. Reasonable attention by service team. Our main server was too streched on the patio. Missed water glasses, finding out that items were not available WHEN they were ordered, auctioning food, dropping new cutlery (literally), sat 3 at a table for two rather than 4 (a choice) Misdemeanors mostly - generally the server made a good effort though. Maybe 'bistro' covers for that stuff?

                    Nonetheless a good time was had by all

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

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: marcharry
                      iMarilyn Sep 13, 2011 04:12 AM

                      They "auction" the food? "Whadda i bid for these escargots?"

                      1. re: marcharry
                        Googs Sep 13, 2011 09:00 AM

                        Being one of a set of 3 BFF's, I can tell you being forced to be the 3rd at a table for two is never a misdemeanour. It's cheap. We refuse to do it.

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