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Jan 17, 2012 02:21 AM

I need suggestions please for a nice romantic restaurant.

Valentine's Day is coming up soon, and I'm looking for a nice romantic restaurant to go to with my new boyfriend. The problem is that both of us are in a financial crunch at the moment. I would love to go to Scaramouche, or North 44, but, we can't afford it.
So, I'm looking for somewhere halfway decent that we can have a nice meal for around $100-200 for both of us. It can be in Toronto, or farther in the west end. I would like a place with some ambience, and romance. As far as menu, we're open to anything, except not too keen on Indian. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. Thank you in advance.

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  1. How about Niagara Street Cafe? It's a nice cozy and romantic spot. Food is always solid and well within your budget,

    10 Replies
    1. re: Wil

      The food looks good, is it really cozy? Some of the pictures on their website make it look a little cold.

      1. re: bonbon663

        You might want to call. They're usually closed Tuesdays according to the website.

          1. re: jlunar

            I've done a lot of research on this site, and others, and I've got two other choices.....Adega, or Woodlot, or Niagara Street Cafe. Which is the best in your opinion?

            1. re: bonbon663

              My pick would be Niagara Streeet Cafe. I like Adega but it is not at all what I would call romantic. Woodlot is good but just not really my cup of tea.

              1. re: bonbon663

                I've been only to Woodlot and NSC. NSC is more traditional romantic, imo. Woodlot is trendier. I also liked the food at NSC better.

                I have one interior shot of NSC (it's darker/cozier than that):

                Nick Liu is also leaving at the end of January, so that might affect the meal, but not the room.

                1. re: jlunar

                  I think Niagara looks good, thanks for your input.

                  1. re: bonbon663

                    You'll love it, and definately cozy!

                      1. re: iMarilyn

                        I don't know, I can't go on the actual day anyhow, it will have to wait till the weekend.

          2. We went to Niagara Street Cafe for V-day last year. One note of caution, although the food was good, the portions were miniscule. They had a Valentine's day 5-course menu and everything was just tiny. The pasta course had 2 noodles, they were really good, but only 2(!!!) noodles. We were actually laughing because it was so ridiculous. We kept waiting for the rest of the course to arrive, but it didn't. I do not eat much, but even I was hungry after that dinner.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Julia_K

              Oh dear, I don't like the sounds of that.

              1. re: bonbon663

                If you're not going on v-day it will be a moot point, I think. Regular dinner portions were fine. Nothing huuuuge, but about what you'd expect.

                1. re: jlunar

                  Here are some pics of the dinner I had at Niagara Street Cafe in November. It'll give you a sense of the portions.

            2. If you're open to going out on the 13th for your dinner, this Group of 7 Chefs Valentine's dinner at Beast looks great. If you go without the wine pairings, add in a few glasses of wine, tax and tip, you'll be pushing the upper end of your price but not too far out. They're planning to prepare the meal with aphrodisiac ingredients. Sounds fun. I haven't been to any of the other Group of 7 events but I've heard good things from others and I like the chefs.


              2 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate

                A word of caution/advice Niagara Street Cafe. There is a new chef and the menu is totally revamped. In fact it is a Latin American restaurant now. We went last night and it was pretty empty, Maybe 4 tables in the whole place were occupied by small groups or pairs. This is odd because when I called earlier in the week for reservations I was told 7 or 8:30 were the only times available. Wasnt an issue since the time worked for us. The menu was a surprise given we were expecting bistro with a bit of a twist. A pleasant surprise though since both my gf and I love the flavours. We started with a small plate of empanadas -- short rib, pork and mushroom with aji. They were cooked well with a little chew to the pastry and very tasty if not a little small. The aji was siced well and balanced. For the main my gf had Grilled Smoked Cornish Hen with potatoes, Escabeche and Huancaina Sauce. She enjoyed it and it looked pretty good. I tried a small bite of the hen and couldn't taste much of smoke but it was still good. The Huancaina sauce was made with hazelnuts and delicious. I had Confit of pork shoulder, kidney beans, poached egg, cilantro mojo and Arepa. The pork was fantastic and the mojo added some brightness and freshness to the very rich dish. Also on the menu were items like Sancocho with oxtail, beef neck, yuca and tamarind, whole steamed fish, several ceviches and 3 dessert options that we were too full to try. The chef -- Steve Gonzalez formerly of Origin -- came out at the end of the night and at this point there were about 5 people total in the place. I talked to him for a bit and he's really enthusiastic about his ancestry's food. We ended up doing a shot of some peruvian liquor with him and he told us about his plans to make a ceaser type drink with it. We also had a bottle of Cote Du Rhone and I'd like to see a rioja or some Spanish wines on the menu and even some beer would be nice. All in it was 160 bucks (130 bill 30 dollar tip) The service was friendly and professional although he did go missing for some extended periods. We'll definitely be back and I cant wait until the patio is open for business.

                1. re: jamesm

                  Thank you for all the information, very helpful, I appreciate it.