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Lunch around Bloor St. & Royal York Road

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My friend and I want to get together for lunch around this area.
We don't mind driving but no more than 15-20 minutes from this area.
Also she does not eat meat and anything too spicy. Seafood, pasta, vegetarian works for her.

Where would you recommend where we can sit and have a relaxing conversation while enjoying good food and good service?

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  1. Check out La Veranda Osteria at Bloor & Royal York. http://www.laveranda.ca/index.html

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    La Veranda Osteria
    946 Royal York Road, Toronto, ON M8X 2E5, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: T Long

      Thanks T Long.
      We've been there a couple of times already. Once last summer and once about a month ago. We really liked it the first time - good food, pleasant service. When we were there again (our 2nd visit) for lunch, we weren't too impressed with the food and the servers looked like they didn't want to be there.
      Also, we want to get together regularly and check out different restaurants in the area. So, we are still looking.

      1. re: stargazercd

        Momiji is usually a pretty good bet for sushi around there. Merlot can be good too although I usually get the Hanger steak/frites there, I would assume there are some non meat options. 15 minute drive opens up lots of options - west, there is Chodang soon tofu and you can probably get some not too spicey stuff. If you ask, a few doors down is Anatolia which is usually good for mezes type meal although I haven't been in a while.

        1. re: stargazercd

          Please report back if you find a place(s). Our group of 10-12 has been getting together for lunch at La Veranda Osteria about twice a year since they opened. While we've had no reason not to continue meeting there, it would be useful to know about nearby options.

      2. Thanks DDD. I think we'll try Merlot next time.
        T Long, will do.

        1. ViBo is also open for lunch and has a consistently solid Italian kitchen

          1. We had lunch at Merlot today (thanks DDD). Food was good, service friendly, atmosphere comfortable. We had seafood quiche w/salad, salmon omelette w/salad, lemon tart, fruit flan and coffee. Other than the fruit flan (which wasn't too fresh), everything else was quite good and well presented.
            Now for our next lunch, I checked Anatolia and ViBo; they look promising but they are closed on Mondays and Monday is the only day that my friend can come out and play ;-Q
            So, I'm still in search for more options...

            1. A quick update.
              My friend and I had our monthly lunch at Villa Restaurant in the Bloor West Village after reading some good reviews on-line; what a disappointment!
              We liked the modern/clean look of the interior and the waiter was very friendly and personable. But it quickly went downhill. We ordered wild mushroom pizza and butternut squash ravioli from their lunch menu which includes bread and salad. And...
              - bread was stale
              - my friend's garden salad was a plateful of rotten lettuce. Not just old pieces here and there but plateful of visibly rotting greens.
              - my caesar salad was a bit better and still crunch but you could tell that it's been sitting in the kitchen for some time.
              - the wild mushroom pizza was edible but dry
              - the ravioli was decent but nothing special.

              I know that we should have complained about the rotten garden salad but my friend is not the type to complain about anything so we simply decided that we'll never go back there again.