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Saturday night dinner with the girls (30's) any recommendations in King West area?

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oakvillefoodie69 Apr 11, 2012 12:38 PM

Hello looking for a fun nice restaurant for a Saturday night with the girls, somewhere hip and you can just hop over to some of the bars afterwards for a drink before going home. Any recommendations?

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    Cat123 Apr 11, 2012 12:57 PM

    Buca, Lee or Gusto would be my picks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cat123
      ComerDemonio Apr 11, 2012 02:11 PM

      second Buca!

      1. re: ComerDemonio
        justxpete Apr 11, 2012 08:24 PM

        Good advice. Buca is a winner for what you're describing.

        1. re: justxpete
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          JennaBean Apr 12, 2012 07:45 AM

          Call for a reso NOW. It will be a challenge on Sat night depending on how early or late you're willing to eat.

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      themiguel Apr 12, 2012 09:54 AM

      Not sure you're going to get into Buca, but it's my favourite restaurant in the city right now. The other two mentioned by Cat would fit the bill also.

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        ylsf Apr 12, 2012 12:16 PM

        If you are looking for a quieter place to go after dinner to chat and have a drink, I would recommend Alimento. It isn't open super late though but the transformation at night time is nice, and great service/nice wine selection.

        9 Replies
        1. re: ylsf
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          oakvillefoodie69 Apr 12, 2012 12:23 PM

          Thanks! how about Spice Route or Gusto? Gusto looks awesome but they dont' take reservations - we're going for 8 oclock...

          1. re: oakvillefoodie69
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            Cat123 Apr 12, 2012 01:24 PM

            Avoid Spice Route if you care about food. I had suggested Gusto above. Great atmosphere but very busy.

            1. re: oakvillefoodie69
              ComerDemonio Apr 12, 2012 01:26 PM

              You might also want to consider Marben (http://www.marbenrestaurant.com/) also. Great food, great by the glass wine options, great atmosphere, and i'm pretty sure they do decent cocktails.

              1. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                JennaBean Apr 13, 2012 06:57 AM

                Never eat at Spice Route. You'd be better off at McD's - that's how bad it is.

                1. re: JennaBean
                  justsayn Apr 13, 2012 07:15 AM

                  Havent been to eat in a year, but it was not near as lousy as McDonalds at the time IMO. The shrimp was a standout actually and there were some other decent items that I would rate as average to above average aps. But I agree not a great food place for sure.

                  1. re: justsayn
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                    JennaBean Apr 13, 2012 07:52 AM

                    I swear the dumplings I had there when they first open were some of the worst food I've ever eaten in my life. Tough dough, mushy pork, and zero flavour. It was so long ago yet I still remember how terrible they were. The rest of the meal was neutral at best IRRC.

                    1. re: JennaBean
                      justsayn Apr 13, 2012 08:27 AM

                      I have no doubt! I think this answers to why the greatly mixed reviews. Over all the food was certainly not stellar!

                      1. re: JennaBean
                        justxpete Apr 16, 2012 11:05 PM

                        I ate there once, then never again.

                  2. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                    ylsf Apr 13, 2012 11:07 AM

                    Gusto has a private room that they do take reservations for. Depending on how many people you are that might be an option.... But, if you prefer to be "seen" that might not be the best option as it is in the basement.

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                  oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 07:11 AM

                  Good to know on Spice (heard very mixed reviews). Marben looks cool ... Gusto doesn't take reservations and we're going around 8, Brasaii looks good and lastly Buca looks to be booked.. decision decisions!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: oakvillefoodie69
                    justsayn Apr 13, 2012 07:17 AM

                    No Lee? He has a new menu. Gusto is a fun place but yea - may or may not be lined up.

                    1. re: justsayn
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                      oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 07:24 AM

                      I am thinking of now trying to get into Buca - menu looks great... see what happens! Lee was also on my list... the menu seem limited?

                      1. re: oakvillefoodie69
                        justsayn Apr 13, 2012 08:20 AM

                        Lee, not Lee Lounge - could that be why? Buca is amazing for sure.

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                    chicapea Apr 13, 2012 09:23 AM

                    we do girls nights out in that area regularly. Lee continues to be the favourite. Marben was a close second until it re-invented itself - the menu last time I went had very little to offer for those like myself who don't eat meat. If those are booked up we go to crush or wabora (you can always get a table on short notice at either). Food and service at brassai are not good...avoid! And yes, spice route is awful. Not to mention you end up smelling like a mr. pong's truck when leaving. As for buca I have NEVER been able to score a reservation for 4 or more on a thurs, fri or sat night...even when I check open table well in advance! Is there a secret to doing this?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chicapea
                      ingloriouseater Apr 13, 2012 10:41 AM

                      call them...they appear to have removed 6pm and later timeslots from the online booking feature (very easy to do). this allows them to manage their table movement much better (in their eyes) for the peak demand periods...it is very common

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                      radiopolitic Apr 13, 2012 09:48 AM

                      I hate to be the dissenting voice but I found Gusto to be fairly sub-par. The vibe is what you're looking for but the service was extremely fake, I was checked up on so frequently that my DC and I couldn't have a proper conversation, the octopus and cuttlefish were overcooked beyond recognition and the pasta was pedestrian.

                      Not to mention that one can't really get up without having their ass hovering over another table.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: radiopolitic
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                        oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 10:20 AM

                        Thanks Chiapea - Wabora sounds neat - is it just off King west? I want to be able to walk afterwards to a few venues (all in walking distance).. good to know on Brassai, wasn't too impressed with their menu.

                        1. re: radiopolitic
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                          oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 10:22 AM

                          Thanks good to know on Gusto too!!

                          1. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                            oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 10:45 AM

                            Is Wabora close to King West - to walk around afterwards? how are the drinks priced there?

                            1. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                              oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 10:46 AM

                              I also called Buca earlier - they are just calling eveyrone back to see if anyone cancelled.

                              1. re: oakvillefoodie69
                                prima Apr 13, 2012 11:06 AM

                                I'd avoid Wabora. Mediocre, overpriced sushi. The wine by the glass was pricey considering the selection. I guess the people watching is amusing. All you're really paying for is the location in the Thomson Hotel. You can probably find similar mediocre sushi in Oakville.

                                I'd go with Buca, Marben, Lee, Rodney's or Le Select. Haven't been to Gusto yet.

                                1. re: prima
                                  justsayn Apr 13, 2012 01:44 PM

                                  Forgot about Rodneys....good choice too!

                                2. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                                  ylsf Apr 13, 2012 11:10 AM

                                  Wabora is on Bathurst in the Thompson hotel but very close to King Street (walking distance to all the other spots mentioned). I suggest it maybe be okay as a backup but I wouldn't make it your first choice. I have heard really mixed things about it although the time I went they were closed (despite website saying otherwise).

                                  1. re: ylsf
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                                    JennaBean Apr 13, 2012 11:22 AM

                                    I think Blowfish is a better option over Wabora IMO.

                                    1. re: ylsf
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                                      oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 12:12 PM

                                      wow scary on Wabora... hmmm I'm calling Marben see what happens .. Buca is still getting back to me... Le Select looks nice - not sure if its a small or big place.. i tried Lee's they are jam packed!

                                      1. re: oakvillefoodie69
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                                        oakvillefoodie69 Apr 13, 2012 12:44 PM

                                        Actually Wabora prices look good - good back up restaurant.

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