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Recommended lunch restaurant near University and King?

pim69 Nov 30, 2011 11:50 AM

Looking for a restaurant to have a good lunch near university and King, preferably around $25 an entree. Should I just look at the chains? The boss wants to take us out but I've been given a limited budget to work with and I'm not sure there's anything decent to be had at that price.


  1. p
    pim69 Dec 7, 2011 11:23 AM

    I'd like to thank everyone for their replies. I was going to go with The Gabardine but my co-workers were'nt comfortable not having a reservation and having to be sure we went early. So instead we went to Modus which was incredibly convenient (a very short walk via underground) and extremely good. I had the tuna tartare app and tenderloin steak entree and both were fantastic. The server seemed inexperienced and service was a little slow, but the food was excellent, my co-workers all thanked me for selecting Modus. I'd go back for a special occasion, or anytime I wasnt paying. :) I'll have to check out The Gabardine sometime though, the menu sounds great.

    1. ingloriouseater Dec 2, 2011 03:22 PM

      the hilton has a xmas lunch buffet for $31-a bit over your budget but maybe scrooge will spring for more....

      1. prima Dec 1, 2011 01:00 PM

        I realize reviews of Luma haven't been as strong as the reviews of some of the other O + B restaurants. I've enjoyed the food I've ordered at Luma. My most recent visit was last night. Nice burrata.

        +1 on Jump. Also like lunch at Le Select, Rodney's by Bay, Mercatto on Bay, Epic and Khao San Road.

        18 Wellington St. West, Toronto, ON M5L 1G4, CA

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

        100 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J1E4, CA

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

        Mercatto On Bay
        330 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5H 2S8, CA

        330 King St W, Toronto, ON , CA

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: prima
          chowinDownTO Dec 2, 2011 06:29 AM

          Does Rodney's have whole fish?

          I went to Mercatto and the food quality was poor. Then my colleague told me their chef left so I'm not sure if that had something to do with it.

          Maybe we'll go back to Blowfish for lunch.

          We were really hoping for some grilled whole fish though.

          1. re: chowinDownTO
            prima Dec 2, 2011 06:41 AM

            I had a good supper at the Mercatto on Bay, about 6 weeks ago, some time after Doug Neigel arrived as the new Exec Chef. Maybe it depends on what you order?Or maybe I was lucky? I had ordered the fried calamari (generous portion for the price- as generous as a Danforth restaurant would be, if not more generous. I'd guess the order of calamari was 5 x the amount of fried seafood served in the fritto misto at Malena, for roughly the same price, a few weeks later) and the Bucatini all'Amatriciana. It's quite possible that I have relatively low expectations when it comes to Italian food at a relatively inexpensive price point in the Financial District.

            You might want to try Modus or Carisma if you're looking for better quality Italian downtown. I'd think they have some daily fish options, possibly whole, grilled fish options.

            I wasn't a huge fan of the food at Blowfish, so I haven't been there for years.

            I don't remember seeing whole grilled fish at Rodney's by Bay (on Temperence), and I haven't been to the original Rodney's (on King West of Spadina) in a few years. I do remember both offering market fish, but I don't know if they'd be offered grilled & whole. They would have some sort of grilled fish option on the menu.

            I have ordered whole grilled sea bream at Starfish, but most of their fish options wouldn't be served whole & grilled. Volos should have some whole, grillled options.

            Carisma Restaurant
            73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

            1. re: prima
              chowinDownTO Dec 2, 2011 07:05 AM

              We ordered a couple pizzas and fritto misto at Mercatto last week and everything was so salty that you couldn't even eat the food. The portions were big but the quality was poor.

              I've been to Modus. It's really good really expensive for pasta. I guess that's what you have to expect to pay downtown for italian food. I just have a fundamental problem paying mid to high $20s for dishes that don't cost more than $2-3 dollars to make.

              I stick with sashimi at Blowfish. My colleague and I are the only people in the place every time we go so who knows how much longer it'll be on bay. The sushi is way better at Nami but the environment is way too tired for us. Yuzu is a happy medium but a little farther than we like to go for lunch.

              I'm going to call Rodney's, Starfish and Volos and see what's up.

              1. re: chowinDownTO
                prima Dec 2, 2011 07:08 AM

                Good luck! Let us know where you end up!

                Sounds like it was an awful experience for you at Mercatto. Too bad.

                100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K9, CA

                1. re: chowinDownTO
                  pim69 Dec 2, 2011 07:36 AM

                  I don't mind paying higher prices for a pasta dish if the pasta is fresh made, not dry pasta. Yes the cost is still low to buy fresh pasta ingredients but it's very labor intensive and I could not easily do it at home. Not to mention I don't have time to make a good tomato sauce to go with it.

          2. miketoronto Dec 1, 2011 06:50 AM

            The Gabardine is close and is loved by many on and off this board.

            1. a
              AverageJo Nov 30, 2011 02:36 PM

              Modus, at King & York, has lunch entrees at that price point. It's a fairly new place but has received some glowing reviews.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AverageJo
                pim69 Dec 1, 2011 06:26 AM

                nice to see something new so closeby. I'm going to have to check that place out for sure.

              2. CocoaChanel Nov 30, 2011 01:27 PM

                Ditto all of the above

                Just be aware, Bymark would be tough to get $25 entrees. They are closer to $30

                1. j
                  JennaBean Nov 30, 2011 01:07 PM

                  Bymark and Vertical would both fit the bill for a $25 lunch entree!

                  1. p
                    pim69 Nov 30, 2011 01:02 PM

                    great suggestions, thank you.

                    1. TorontoJo Nov 30, 2011 12:32 PM

                      Are you willing to walk a little or take the TTC up a stop? If so, then Nota Bene would be a good upscale business lunch. My personal pick, though would be The Gabardine for a more casual atmosphere but yummy food.

                      And honestly, $25 an entree should get you in pretty much anywhere for lunch, even upscale like Canoe, Jump, etc.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TorontoJo
                        iMarilyn Dec 1, 2011 07:57 AM

                        iirc Gabardine doesn't take reservations.

                      2. iMarilyn Nov 30, 2011 12:24 PM

                        Volos at Richmond & York? Wherever you go, get a reservation quick. Everything's getting booked solid.

                        Estiatorio VOLOS
                        133 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2L3, CA

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