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Help me decide.....someplace new and exciting

Mr MG's birthday coming up and looking for someplace special.

So many new places we've not been and don't know which to choose. Woodlot, Campagnolo, Acadia, Enotecoa Sociale...

Ideas?

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  1. Woodlot is lovely on a winter night. Very cozy with the wood-burning oven.

    1. I haven't been to Acadia yet.

      My dinners at Enoteca Sociale and Campagnolo were among the best dinners I had in Toronto in 2011. I'd probably choose Campagnolo for a special birthday because the tables are spaced a little further apart than they are at Enoteca Sociale, where the tables can seem crowded. Campagnolo has somewhat cold, modernist/minimalist atmosphere, whereas Enoteca has a warmer, Old World, with lots of wood atmosphere.

      I haven't been to Woodlot since last spring.

      I haven't been to L'Ouvrier http://louvrier.ca/ or Keriwa Cafe http://keriwacafe.ca/ yet. Might be worth considering as alternatives.

      2012 thread comparing Woodlot & Acadia:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/827958

      comprehensive thread on Woodlot:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/746327

      -----
      Enoteca Sociale
      1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

      Campagnolo
      832 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON , CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: prima

        I found L'Ouvrier to be... I guess maybe unexciting is the word I'm looking for... the food was solid but lacking that certain something to push it over the top. The room to me was really cold (i mean in vibe not in temperature) but part of the problem may have been that we were almost the only small party there a night that someone had bought out 1/2 the room for a company party.

      2. it's been a long time since i've been to woodlot (i like it, but it's fallen off the radar as a place i would bring up), acadia needs a retry (my first visit was not good, not terrible but not good) and i'm not sure how enoteca sociale has changed with grant now being there.... but i just went to campagnolo for the first time and was very very happy with the experience. apps reigned supreme - truffle paste laden beef carpaccio with dungeness crab and oxtail ragout over bone marrow. also really appreciated a well made sponge toffee in their budino... it crumbled into softness the way i like vs being too chewy and stuck into my teeth. it did feel more "private" than any of the other spots...

        10 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          pp your post has me leaning towards Campagnolo.

          Although Acadia and Woodlot sound interesting and they are on our list - for this particular evening I'm looking for something - I dunno - maybe more sophisticated??

          I wish we had a LeFilet here in Toronto cuz that is exactly what I'm looking for. Hmmm maybe a trip back to Mistura?

              1. re: iMarilyn

                Yes I realized that as soon as I checked out their menu....thanks iMarilyn.

                1. re: millygirl

                  Yours Truly?

                  Wish Mr. MG a happy birthday...

                  1. re: Cam D

                    Ahh thanks Cam D, I will.

                    I've read about it and it did sound interesting but....I dunno. Have you been? I guess we are so behind that I thought we should check out some of the older spots first.

                    Even Nota Bene and Splendido came to mind...it's been awhile.

                    Damn, I wish he'd just pick...this is getting complicated and I can't decide because my list is long but they all seem the same to me.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I've been to all of these places in the last few months, with my first trip to Yours Truly being last night. I just don't know that I would consider any of these options to be both exciting and special. Campagnolo may come the closest, yet, food-wise, I'd only put them into the middle of this pack.

                      I might best agree with your last post. Use dining date night and do Splendido right for a very special evening...some may even call their game and truffle tastings exciting!

                      1. re: millygirl

                        I haven't been but I've only heard good things. Same with Acadia.
                        Le Canard Mort was just ok.
                        Campagnolo was great.
                        Enoteca heard great things.
                        Woodlot was very good.

                        Don't think you are going to go wrong regardless.

              2. re: millygirl

                i'm going to agree with some of the other comments that i don't think any of the spots in your original list speak to me as a special night out. they hit the higher end casual really well, ie. the food is a little more than maybe a regular spot but the decor and atmosphere a bit laid back, spare, or service a little too casual or at times inconsistent.

                can't go wrong with a trip to splendido or mistura.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  I agree with pinstripeprincess that most of the restaurants are a little laid back, especially compared to Splendido or Mistura.

                  Not sure if the food at Modus would be at a similar level to Mistura. It's fairly new. I'm guessing it might not be exciting or innovative as some of the more casual restaurants already mentioned, but it might be a good place for a special dinner. http://modusristorante.com/
                  menu: http://modusristorante.com/dinner/

                  I'm including the link to the Kates review, since I couldn't find much written about the food on this Board.

                  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                  -----
                  Mistura
                  265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

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

            1. Mrs MG, I don't think Woodlot would be right for you and Mr MG. I think it a little too rustic and loud for a special occasion night out. Save it for a night out, night out.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Googs

                Adding to my confusion -

                Ici
                Loire
                Boehmer - but again all three seem the same - I mean sausage and mashed potato, okay I;m sure it's very tasty but I could easily do at home. We want something a little more exciting.

                thought of George - although we were there very recently so would like something else.

                Too bad Canoe isn't open on weekends - we've never been but it strikes me as a 'special' spot.

                Help. If I don't make a decision tonight we may end up at the golden arches. I'm looking at this Saturday!!!

                1. re: millygirl

                  Hey MG,
                  Was at Enoteca recently - absolutely loved it. Although agree with other posts, may be a bit too casual for a special occaission.... Same with Woodlot.

                  Loire and Boehmer are both just okay -- food is just alright, and atomosphere is pretty standard. I wouldn't say they're 'special-occaision-worthy.

                  Went to Ici Bistro just before Christmas.. it was fabulous. And the mood / ambience is bit more refined and more romantic. I would say definitely go to Ici (if you can snag a rez!)

                  Have heard great great things about Campagnolo, but haven't been yet.
                  How about Auberge de Pomier?
                  or Bymark? -- I know, usually thought of as a Bay St type of place, but the subterrainian room, and warm interior are really nice. And their Lobster Poutine is to die for.

                  Happy Anniversary!

                  www.justgoodstuff.ca

                  Or

                  1. re: millygirl

                    How about Chiado? It's a good choice if you like fish. I've never had a bad meal there and the service is fine also. Or are only the new places in town on your list?

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      Hi foodyDudey, yes, correct. We are looking for someplace new.

                      I have a nice list of special 'old' places i.e. Mistura, Scaramouche, and as I noted above Nota Bene, George, and Pastis.

                      However that's just it - this time around we would like to try a 'new' place - which again, is something we don't do often as you can see from the list of places we've not been.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        I found the online reservation process for Ici Bistro to be spectacularly easy. Do it now though. As others have mentioned, with a couple of dozen seats, it fills quickly.

                2. I don't usually disagree with CamD but a big NO to Yours Truly.
                  Really like Enoteca but don't think it's what you are looking for this time around. Don't know what to suggest but I suspect Ici would fit the bill best in your case, however, I'm skeptical you will be able to secure a reservation this late in the game. Good luck MG.

                  SWS

                  1. Hi millygirl - you and I often like the same spots so for what it's worth, I didn't love Campagnolo. The food was quite good but I really didn't find the space warm or romantic at all. i much prefer Woodlot or Enoteca over it - and I have Ici, Acadia and Keriwa on top of my list. Have you been to Beast? It tends to fly under the radar (meaning you will be able to get a reservation for Saturday). I think there's real talent in that kitchen and they couldn't be nicer. Other options, if you haven't been...Harbord Room? Delux? Opus?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: peppermint pate

                      Hi peppermint pate, I've not been to Beast. Looks good but again, a little more casual than I was hoping.

                      Seems that Mr. MG is leaning towards Modus. I'm just hoping it's not disappointing.

                      Thanks everyone for all the input. Really appreciate it. I do intend to get to some of these spots - esp. Ici, Enotoca and Woodlot but another time.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        I haven't been to Modus either, but if you can judge a chef by his menu alone, I'd say I like the way he blends his sweets and savouries in many of the dishes. It, I'll admit, provoked a little mouthwatering. Good luck. I hope you and Mr MG have a great night.