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Dinner with bf and my parents

Hi everyone, I need your advise.. I am trying to pick a spot to take my parents and my bf's parents to dinner. The problem is my mother is a very picky eater.. but is fine as long as there is a plain salad, pizza or steak on the menu. Am trying to decide between F'amelia or le select or maybe sidecar. Which would have the best atmosphere, good service and not too noisy (so that we can chat).
Thanks in advance!!

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    1. Re: Sidecar - I love it. However the tables were very close in my opinion and you will find you are listening to conversations at the nearby tables and they yours. Not intimate, still has it's own charm and the close proximity to your neighbour makes for a different "local" type of experience with really good food.

      1. so F'amelia is not an appropriate atmosphere? is it noisy?

        3 Replies
        1. re: hungryabbey

          Would not recommend F'Amelia. Noisy, tight, awkward and cold. I would definitely go for Le Select.

          1. re: The Macallan 18

            good advise. I do NOT like cold so I will avoid this place all together ha.

          2. re: hungryabbey

            I recently went to F'amelia and was really disappointed. The pizza was delicious but somewhat lacking in toppings. Whatever you do, don't order the lasagne. My aunt had it and it was a giant pile of beef in a casserole basically. The service was lacking and the atmosphere was cold. Half of the table froze because we were by the windows and the other half baked because of an overly aggressive heater.

            I would much rather go to Libretto on the Danforth.

          3. Le Select or Sidecar either would be lovely and fitting for such a dinner.

            1. Agree with the Sidecar recc, and Le Select if you can request a quieter table on the edges and not in the middle of the resto. I find it can get kind of loud there and if people who don't know each other are seated in the tables in the middle of the room it can be very hard to talk.

              Other options to consider would be Trattoria Giancarlo in Little Italy (my parents love it there), Terroni or Pizza Libretto on Danforth. Perhaps also Harbord Room.

              1. Thank you all. F'Amelia is off the radar for me right now. I made a reservation at Le Select, it has been so long since I have been that I cant even remember anything about it. Will report back.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hungryabbey

                  Just a quick report back.
                  In summary, food was good, service was o-k.
                  We thought we were going to be late so I called ahead and told them we might be 20 minutes or so. The hostess gave me a really hard time since they were apparently jam packed and would not hold our table. So, knowing that we rushed to our reservation and got their on time. We were seated at 735, and no one even came to check on us to take a drink order until after 800. You would think if they were so busy, they would want to move tables. Anyways, when our server did come to see if anyone wanted a cocktail, I said "Actually, I think we're ready to order". And she said "Oh! wow, quick! Okay!" with a frazzled rushed attitude. I mean, shouldn't this be a good thing for her?
                  We tried a variety of items, the best of the apps we tried was probably the tarte nicoise (very light puff pastry crust with sweet caramelized onions and tomatoes that were balanced perfectly by the salty cheese, olives and anchovies.) The least exciting was the Meslun Maison salad. Yes it is just a plain salad, but it was underdressed and bland in my opinion.
                  Of the mains, the Cassoulet was divine, every piece of meat was perfectly tender and nicely rendered. The duck could have been a touch crispier, but it was much better than my last encounter with duck confit a week or so ago at Messis review. Two of my companions had steak frites, and while the frites were nicely seasoned, they weren't as crispy as I remember them being in the past.
                  For dessert, we sampled the creme brulee and the lemon tarte. The creme brulee was pretty standard, nicely cooked smooth custard, but I prefer my creme brulee done in a shallower dish so that I can get more of that bruleed topping. I think the stand out dessert was the tarte which had an incredible bright citrus flavour that was balanced nicely by a caramelized (bruleed) top. I normally do not like pie crust or the shortbread variety often accompanying lemon desserts. So I was very happy with this pie crust which was a light thin variety somewhere between a puff and phyllo dough.
                  I didnt see the bill, but I would bet it was fair just based on menu prices. I think this was a perfect choice given my specifications, and we all really enjoyed our meal. In general, I definitely would recommend Le Select for a date, or group because its a relatively comprehensive menu with lots of "safe" options (i.e. green salad, french onion soup, steak frites) and more interesting offerings as well (ie. lamb neck, foie gras). Looking forward to another return visit to try the saturday short ribs special that was tempting me.

                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    On a side note, if you liked that lemon dessert there's a phyllo wrapped lemon cheesecake at Diana's Oyster Bar & Grill that you simply must try. Worth every high-fat bite.

                    1. re: hungryabbey

                      I also had a good food experience (duck confit, followed by iles flottantes), but found the service to be so-so. Our server was friendly enough, but she seemed lapsadaisical , pokey and relatively green. We let her know we had to leave in time for a concert when we were seated, but had to flag her down to get our bill.

                      The hostess was friendly, and offered to take my coat as I was being seated. After dinner, I asked her where she might have hung it, and she wasn't quite sure. We went back and forth between the coat hooks located on either side of the restaurant, looking through the now-loaded hooks for my coat. Luckily, she was determined, and she did find my coat!