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George or Acadia

I want to take my husband out on Saturday night for his birthday, ideally I wnated to go to Ici but they haven't returned my call. Would you reccomend I take him to Acadia or George, we haven't been to either and they both sound good.
Any other suggestions would also be welcome.

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  1. It depends on the type of experience you want, as they are two very different restaurants. George is classic fine dining -- beautiful room, white tablecloths, sommelier, formal service and a price tag to match (very, very easy to go over $100/person). Acadia is much more casual -- bare bones room (and LOUD!), no tablecloths, no sommelier, friendly and professional service and a lower price tag (you'd be hard pressed to spend $100/person). However, the food is excellent at both. I'd say Acadia is a bit more interesting/experimental than George. The plating at Acadia ranges from beautiful to interesting to maybe a bit messy (in a fun sort of way?). George's plating is generally lovely and more formal.

    Oh, good cocktails at Acadia, too.

    So it's whatever sounds better to you. :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      I agree they're different!
      But we managed a bill of over $250 for two people at Acadia - and we didn't order anything spectacular - our wine was between $50 and $60.

      For a birthday I'd choose George (actually Splendido - but George has impressed for me recently after a couple of disappointing visits).

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

      1. re: estufarian

        Wow, that's impressive! I've been twice and haven't racked up more than $70/person at Acadia. Mind you, I also skip dessert there, because they're not worth it.

        I still think it depends on what the OP's husband would like. Not everyone wants formal fine dining for a celebration. While I enjoy fine dining, sometimes I would prefer a casual environment and food that I know I'll like (hey, my birthday dinner this year was from Khao San Road :).

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

        1. re: TorontoJo

          I would suggest George,
          I really like Acadia, but you will be in and out in a shorter period of time.
          George will be the entire evening, and much more relaxing..

          1. re: TorontoJo

            We found Acadia very expensive for what we got - no complaints on quality of food and service was excellent - BUT at that price we have multiple choices.

            1. re: estufarian

              I'm with you, Est. Spent just like you, left content, but am in no rush to return. The shrimp and grits is the only dish I recall ordering and the place is just too bare bones for a special night out.

            2. re: TorontoJo

              My birthday dinner this year was at KSR as well :)

              I had a great meal at Acadia last night. Every bite I had really left a strong impression (shrimp and grits, halibut cheeks snapper, albacore...). Definitely a memorable meal. But as others have mentioned it's not "fancy". Very casual and fun vibe.


        2. I really enjoy both places but I'm with the folks below and would go with George for special night. :-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: JennaBean

            Ditto. But two of the best restaurants in the city, you'll have great food no matter what you choose.

          2. I can't comment on Acadia, as I haven't tried it yet, but my last experience at George was negative. The food, in both taste and colour, was monochromatic; the wine pairings were consistently late to the table (forgotten on one course), and the service was middling. Given the price point, you would do better at Splendido.

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

            1. I'd rather DH took me to George than Acadia.

              1. We haven't been to Acadia yet, but were at George very recently and were totally underwhelmed. We had the 7-course tasting menu; with each of us getting a different dish for each course, we had 14 dishes between the two of us. Only a couple were memorable -- one of the two foie gras appetizers and a water buffalo main. There was a distinct shortage of flavour in the sauces, little or no textural interest, a fish course was fishy-tasting and overcooked, and there was a general lack of cohesiveness in the choice of components for many of the dishes.

                We adored our previous visit to George about three years ago, so this was quite the letdown.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tatai

                  I also haven't been to Acadia. Generally I like George and look forward to going. But I do find it can be inconsistent, not so much in execution but more so in the flavour combinations or ideas. When things work it can be a revelation such as combining fresh figs with tomatoes. Other times you can have a sauce which has a blue purple colour but tastes only of sesame oil. Makes me wonder why they would use blueberries, or whatever it was, if the sesame oil will kill the flavour. The chef at George, I imagine, still considers himself a fusion chef. I sometimes feel like he is actively trying to move away from tradition and occasionally it feels pretentious. Not that traditional food, like Acadia, is a guarantee of quality.

                2. Thank you for your help. I've made a resrvation at George...I'm excited to try it out tomorrow....Cheers!

                  1. I just had dinner at Acadia last night. The wife and I had couple of drinks each, appetizer, entree, shared 1 dessert, plus coffee/tea, the bill came to roughly $160.

                    The place is nothing fancy, but thought the food and service was really good.
                    I had the Halibut Cheeks and Short Ribs, and the wife had the salad wedge and snapper. The food was excellent, but the portions were tiny....I was still hungry after eating my entree....was thinking about ordering another entree, but decided to go with the desert instead.
                    Had the sweet potato custard...which I found it only meh......not impressed with their desert..I would totally skip that, and hit to another place nearby for desert instead.

                    couple of comments:
                    - the wine list is lacking, and they don't offer corkage....hopefully, as they grow and expand their business, they can invest in a larger wine cellar/selections, or otherwise offer corkage
                    - the cocktails offered were interesting
                    - the dining room is very loud....I was there around 8pm, and the room was full....and loud...l literally had to shout to my wife across the table to be heard.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: commie

                      Light portions are the opposite of what a place named Acadia should be serving. Totally goes against everything Acadian and Cajun.

                      This past weekend, I learned that Ionian Farmhouse cuisine is also geared towards people on a restrictive diet. Thought I'd mention this, just in case anyone chooses their restaurants after asking themselves "What Would Dr. Bernstein Do?".

                      1. re: commie

                        another thing I forgot to mention...Not sure if they are still doing the Amuse offering....but we were never offered any....

                        1. re: commie

                          Just recalled one of the things that increased my bill. Their bottled water (in-house filter and sparkle) was $12 (plus tax and gratuity) - that's because we had more than one bottle - $12 for 'in-house' water is a great profit generator for them - but a detriment to repeat visits from me.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            Do they offer regular free tap water?

                            1. re: radiopolitic

                              LOL... Isn't the bottled water simply filtered tap water?

                        2. I think that Acadia is nice, but a little overrated.
                          My wife thinks that if you are getting non-seafood items, it won't be as enjoyable.

                          I went there hungry, I left still hungry.