HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Newbie to DiningDateNight ...

  • 58
  • Share

Looking to make a reservation at either Splendido or Chiado through DiningDateNight ... can anyone share their experience? Any negatives or problems with the approach?

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

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
  1. Made a 9:30 reservation on a Thursday at Splendido a few weeks ago for a party of six. The website was quick, easy, and no fuss.

    When we arrived at Splendido, I mentioned we booked through Dining Date Night and they indicated their acknowledgment. Dinner was quite nice but when the bill came, we realized the 30% was not removed. I politely and quietly mentioned it to our server who quickly returned with the revised bill. Aside from the slight awkwardness of the exchange, it was handled as professionally as possible and indeed we received a 30% discount. Just remember to tip based on the non-discounted total.

    1. I used it at Malena and it was a great experience. No muss, no fuss, just 30% off the whole bill.

      5 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Not quite such a saving. You have to pay $10 for each use. But still--if you are going anyway ....

        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

          ???? By my calculation and understanding, if I and 3 other friends go to Splendido for their fall truffle menu (as an example), we would save about $140 just on the food alone, and that doesn't count the 30% off the wine ... I think that's quite a saving for a $10 reservation ...

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

          1. re: CocoTO

            Yep, exactly. Not bad for a $10 fee.

            1. re: CocoTO

              It is indeed. But if I go alone, remebering that I am dieting, it isn't so great but the high prices make it still quite OK.

              1. re: CocoTO

                Are there any restrictions or can you use it for something like a tasting menu as well?

          2. I made reservations for 2 at 6pm on a Saturday (about a month ago) at Simple Bistro. I did call in advance to confirm this reservation (just in case the website was a scam!), but they did quickly confirmed my booking thru dining date night.

            No fuss at all, bill came with 30% discount (including the wine!). minus the $10 reservation fee, i think we saved about $20 that night. Not bad! I think the saving will definitely be more if we booked a more expensive restaurant, so I'll be sure to try that next time.

            Simple Bistro
            619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

            3 Replies
            1. re: urbanhaze

              So .. the $10 booking fee you pay with diningdatenight.com, right? Concurrently, you book through them for the restaurant reservation? ..

              I guess there's no fee to join with them either. Are there any blackout dates, like I guess holidays and especially Valentine's day...?

              Other than that, yeah -- the more you spend, the more you save!

              1. re: jennjen18

                So, looks like you figured it out based on your post below, but, I will respond anyway for those that are wondering the same thing when they read your questions.

                Basically you book through Diningdatenight's website, you don't reserve with the restaurant directly. This is how they ensure they get your $10 and how you get the 30% discount. Like you said, most places only have early or late meals, and often during the week, but, still some good discounts. I haven't used it myself yet.

              2. re: urbanhaze

                Ooh. Just signed up.

                So the biggest draw back is that some restaurants restrict days in when to book through diningdatenight.com. Usually weekdays. There's ones that are one-day-only deals too. All in all, I like the selection.

                Thanks for the headsup, Guys! :)

              3. I've used it three times and it's great! No complaints.

                1. i used it at Splendido.
                  its free money.
                  we ate a 5 course dinner and had a great time...all at 30% off.

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

                  1. Ended up using it at L'Unita ... fortunately, my husband's birthday fell on a Tuesday night so it worked like a charm ... for four of us we easily saved $100 on our bill. Yes, we had to book our table for 6:30 (early by our standards), but we enjoyed a lovely bottle of wine before dinner, so didn't end up eating too early.

                    1. I've so far used it at splendido, malena and simple bistro and not had nay problems. I'm going to boehmer tomorrow with a DDN reservation

                      1. Where would one find a complete list of participating restaurants?

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: Googs

                          I think they make you register before you can see the list. The restaurants change -- new ones added, some old ones dropped. Here's the current list:

                          5th grill
                          Table 17
                          Corner House
                          Il Mulino
                          Simple Bistro
                          Mildred's Temple Kitchen
                          7 Numbers Danforth

                          Not a bad list. It's grown a lot in the last few months. As far as I know, they are all 30% off your entire table's bill, including alcohol. I think it may be up to 4 people only, but not sure. Still the best "coupon" deal I've come across.

                          1. re: TorontoJo

                            Just checked their FAQ, and it says,

                            "DiningDateNight allows for reservations up to six people and will vary depending on the individual restaurant or the number of seats available for each establishment on that given day."

                            Hopefully the restaurants I want will be available over the Christmas holidays.

                            1. re: LearningHow

                              most will be blacked out for xmas eve, xmas day (if they are open) and new years eve, valentine's day, liciouis dates etc, etc...

                            2. re: TorontoJo

                              If anything prevented me from registering, it would be that policy.

                              1. re: Googs

                                Which policy? Not showing the restaurants?

                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                  Yes'm. I don't sign for money I haven't counted, I don't surrender my information before I've seen the goods.

                                  1. re: Googs

                                    so you check the menu online....but other than that how do you check the resto out? the 30% off gives you incentive to try it...unless you always eat out with more than 4 people it seems like a pretty fair deal...no special menus...booze at 30% off...what's the hang up? i don't understand how people predetermine as they do...coupon or deal shoppers should always be wary of what they are purchasing but really...what do you expect?????

                                    1. re: ingloriouseater

                                      Googs was specifically referring to not publishing their list of restaurants who participate without having to register. I think that is what he "expects" ...

                                      It may be that part of their deal with the restaurants is that they will only disclose the list to members. It may "devalue" the brand for some restaurants that they are offering discounted meals. Or, they may think that in their head.

                                    2. re: Googs

                                      Now that you mention it, it is odd that the list of participating restaurants is not used to attract new members. Cuz it's true, this might discourage some from signing up. I'm sure there's a reason.

                                      But it's a good service Googs, you should give it a go! A new restaurant is added every few days or so, so the list is growing.

                                      1. re: Googs

                                        I wouldn't sign for money I haven't counted either ... in this case the only info given up front is email address and postal code ... pretty minimal information to join.

                                        1. re: Googs

                                          Go for it Googs before you give yourself a quick kick in the behind as I'm doing right now. If only I had come across this thread before dinner last night....had a fabulous dinner at Beast....total pre-tip for four was $389 - it was my treat and I could have saved $115...guess who's just signed up!

                                          1. re: TG101

                                            FWIW I don't belong to ANY discount sites. I'm extremely careful about giving out personal info or getting involved in some Pile-On style program. This is the closest I've ever come to considering one and only because DDN does, on the surface, appear to be worthwhile and well-structured.

                                            1. re: Googs

                                              if it's any help Googs and others, I joined about four months ago (I too am very cautious about what I sign up for) and they don't spam you every day or two like many sites do ... the only emails I've received so far from them are ones announcing new restaurants joining the DDN roster.

                                              1. re: Googs

                                                I agree with what you are saying regarding personal info/etc but that is why I have a "spam" address. Just for reasons like this. An account I check once every few days vs. daily and knowing that if it got into the wrong hands it wouldn't effect my day to day communication. I often use fake postal codes too . Obviously, that changes once you actually make a purchase since you need to provide credit card/billing address/etc. I haven't used this site yet but planning on sometime in the future.

                                  2. I just signed up. I sure am not wary about giving out my email since it's just a gmail address I use specifically for subscriptions (and gmail's spam filter works exceptionally well). You don't even have to use your last name or real postal code until maybe you actually book a restaurant either. Seems like a great concept IF you would be going to the restaurant anyway.

                                    The fact that many restaurants are not available during prime time is precisely the reason the restaurants are willing and able to offer a very good deal like this. Great if a birthday or other special dinner happens to fall on a weekday or even or a business dinner.

                                    1. Used it for the first time last night (Friday evening) for a dinner at Simple Bistro.
                                      I forgot to remind the server, but it wasn't a problem at all.
                                      At the end of the night the server showed us both bills (the regular price without the discount and the discounted bill). Saved quite a bit, as we had a few drinks during dinner too.
                                      The service throughout dinner was impeccable, so I didn't feel like we were getting inferior service because of he discounted meal (which is why I stopped going to 'Licious events).
                                      Don't forget to tip based on the pre-discounted amount!

                                      1. Splendido seems be gone from the DiningDateNight roster. There are only a few upper-range restaurants on the list now and Splendido had been the best of those IMO. Damn, should have taken advantage earlier.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Wench Foraday

                                          I noticed that too. That's a shame.

                                          1. re: magic

                                            Tati Bistro just joined the DDN roster with Friday/Saturday availabilties.

                                            1. re: Googs

                                              Has DDN folded? I am trying to make a reservation for this w/e and keep getting the "can't display" message.

                                              1. re: MargieEv

                                                at what point are you getting that? Just tried it now and it works fine. Maybe site was down earlier (I mean, I logged in, can see offers, can see dates out until May for Beast for example).

                                                1. re: ylsf

                                                  OK...I'll try again.


                                        2. As this seems the most active thread on Dining Date Night, they sent out an e-mail today that Note Bene is participating. now Monday to Wednesday, 30% off. I forget if they were participating before or not.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ylsf

                                            And it looks like 8:30p and later time slots! I don't think they were before, but not positive either.

                                            1. re: ylsf

                                              they had but dropped out and now have gone back in....

                                              1. re: ingloriouseater

                                                Thanks for confirming. That is what I thought.

                                            2. I heard about the site in a review of Splendido from last year and promptly signed up.
                                              But as noted in subsequent posts, Splendido exited some time ago. The site seems to be much quieter too (no blog posts within the site since last year), so I'm not sure if its on the 'outs' but I want to get in while I still can.

                                              Current participants:
                                              Nota Bene
                                              Table 17
                                              Il Posto
                                              The Fifth
                                              180 Panorama
                                              Wine Bar
                                              Cream Lounge
                                              Le Rossinol
                                              Le Canard Mort
                                              La Marquette
                                              Blu Ristorante
                                              7 Numbers
                                              Marquis Lounge.

                                              Of those, is it generally agreed that Nota Bene is most notable?

                                              I'm trying to decide between Splendido, attempting Shoto, or eating like a king with that 30% off at NB.

                                              14 Replies
                                              1. re: non sequitur

                                                Yes, what is going on with Dining Date Night?? Good point. Been wondering myself.

                                                1. re: magic

                                                  From the list I posted, it does seem to still be operating sufficiently to be adding and subtracting participants, but I wonder if anyone has had a recent experience with it. 30% at Nota Bene could easily save me $60 if it's legit.

                                                  1. re: non sequitur

                                                    My experience at Splendido was good. The discount was not applied to the bill at first. I reminded them to apply it, they did, and I was happy. Nice savings.

                                                    Some new restos added to the roster would be welcome.

                                                    1. re: magic

                                                      I'm not sure the concept has been popular with the restaurants. Perhaps they should institute a "bringing a new audience" policy wherein the client could only use DDN once per establishment UNLESS the party size increased at the next reservation. That way everyone wins.

                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                        its not hugely popular with the restaurants but not for the reason you outlined. one of the problems with this (and other discount dining programs-travelzoo, groupon, wagjag etc) is that everyone still wants to eat during prime time but pay 30%-50% less. the point of these programs is not to introduce new diners to these restaurants but add patrons when the restaurant sits empty or emptier. certainly many of these restaurant and nota bene aren't fishing for more friday and saturday 7pm reservations...imagine the following hell for nota bene...its after 9pm, someone has made a dining date reservation...30% off food and then they show up for the free corkage bringing their own bottle of fuzion blush wine....then they go on yelp and complain about everything...

                                                        1. re: ingloriouseater

                                                          Add into the equation reservations showing up at 7 instead of 6:30 and expecting the 30% discount to be honoured.

                                                          1. re: sloweater

                                                            There are rules to protect restaurants against that.

                                                            If memory serves I believe you lose the 30% discount if you are more than 10 minutes late.

                                                            1. re: magic

                                                              that simply isn't the case. the only ability you have is to cancel a reservation with 2 hours notice. there is nothing either on the website nor in the vendors contract that i am looking at...and that certainly isn't the case for wagjag, travelzoo or groupon type of offers.

                                                              1. re: ingloriouseater

                                                                I am pretty certain that when I used this service, about a year ago, that rule was in effect.

                                                                And I had no problems with that rule. Made total sense to me. Seemed to be a reasonable measure to have customers honour the reservation time.

                                                          2. re: ingloriouseater

                                                            Forgive me for phrasing it this way, ingloriouseater, but that's just details. If restaurants don't want DDN clients on specific days and times, put it in the availability. This is a far better way to encourage potential clients to try new things than some Pile-On style discount where offerings can be oversold and vendors overwhelmed.

                                                            As for people showing early or late for a DDN reservation, I've always viewed my booking like any other. Either I'm reasonably on time or I'm beat. If vendors feel that should be written into the contract, they should say so.

                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                              the late concern isn't mine-although to me if you going to be late-call, if you are using opentable change your reservation time-don't leave a restaurant guessing if you're going to show or not. also there may be tables booked later that are then affected and pissed off about waiting-if they show up on time-why should they wait because of the thoughtlessness of the people who were late.

                                                              my issue is with people that want to use their zoo vouchers during peak pre-theatre when the stipulations on use clearly state an after time (as an example) or people who don't use their voucher offers during the life of the promotion and expect the same deal after expiration...

                                                              but really this thread has digressed and perhaps it should be moved to another board.

                                                              1. re: ingloriouseater

                                                                Digressed, perhaps, but constructively so. DDN should be made more attractive to both restaurants and clients. Our input may help that happen.

                                                                1. re: Googs


                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                    I think that that is the whole point. The more attractive DDN is to the restaurant the less attractive to the diner. The diner wants to eat at prime time, have the option of arriving late, yet still get a discount. The restaurant wants a diner on time, not in prime time and then is happy to give the discount. These are not necessarily compatible wants and needs. The restaurant has laid out its conditions and the diner has to fulfil them but I don't see that happening with DDN from what I read on this thread. The same thing is happening with Groupon with customers making very unreasonable demands (expecting to use the coupon months after it expired 'because they paid for it', expecting they can get a groupon discount without the groupon 'because they are regular customers', and so on).

                                                                    With the restaurant business being a really tough one by any measure, and with the typical restaurant needing a 32-35% food cost to make a profit, a 30% discount really hurts a restaurants viability and so unless the discount fills seats when those seats would not be filled (ie outside of prime time) then it's a losing proposition for the establishment. If coming early or late eats into the restaurants prime time market then the restaurant also gains little or nothing. And then there is also the threat of these discounts modifying customer behaviour such that diners that might have eaten in prime time might migrate towards the discount hours. That isn't good for the restaurants viability either.

                                                                    I think the whole DDN and Groupon allure for restaurants is based on a pretty shaky premise. Restaurants should merely try to provide great service, great food and a great atmosphere at a price that is appropriate and forgo these modern day discount 'gimmicks'. If you need that discount business in order to become viable then you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. If you want that business in order to boost an already viable business then maybe it makes some sense but one has to tread softly into that arena.

                                                  2. It is official. Just got an e-mail from them, they are closing down January 11th for good.

                                                    Unfortunately the e-mail is an "image" vs. txt so I can't copy and paste easily.