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Aug 8, 2012 09:09 AM

Restaurant Reservation for a Very Particular Mother

I'd like to think I'm really good at finding pleasing restaurants. But I'm stuck, guys. I need help. Where can I take my mother out this Saturday in Toronto?

Here's the thing. She's very health conscious and particular - almost alarmingly so. And although she likes the "idea" of trying new things, when the puck drops, she always asks the waiters and waitresses to take off all the unknown sauces, etc.

Where would I find a restaurant that would have these qualities?

Atmosphere: Elegant, or at least not overly loud or "hipster/trendy". Traditional, I guess.

Food: This sounds terrible, but... A place that might care about the image of their food more than the food itself. A place where you can still order simple salads and meat, but it seems a bit more impressive on the menu.

I think I'm looking for a food experience that is more about a place to sit and drink wine in a nice environment, and have some simple, yet elegant-seeming food available.

I'd really appreciate some help on this one. I'm stumped. Thanks!

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  1. "Atmosphere: Elegant, or at least not overly loud or "hipster/trendy".Traditional" - Scaramouche

    "A place that might care about the image of their food more than the food itself. " - Canoe or George


    2 Replies
    1. re: justxpete

      Canoe is closed on Saturday.
      George is excellent IF you can get into the patio.
      Scaramouche is perfect!

      1. re: estufarian

        Scaramouche was my first thought as well. Maybe also Pastis?

    2. Le Select - my 79 yr old particular Mom loves it - and they are very accomodating re sauces and modifications to the menu.

      3 Replies
      1. re: thebutcher

        Scaramouche Pasta Bar - simple yet elegant.

        1. re: millygirl

          Hey millygirl, I get to 2nd your Scaramouche Pasta Bar recommendation without fear of getting my remark removed.

          I'm sorry if there was any misunderstanding last time Ms Girl. It seems I used an old-fashioned expression of support that now has a new and rude meaning. Colour me embarrassed and unrepentantly old-fashioned.

        2. re: thebutcher

          Second le select. Your mom sounds like mine with food and le select is my go to with her.

          1. re: akhorasanee

            Hm.. I dont know. I enjoyed my meal at Ici, but I worry there will be too many "mystery items" in the meals.. the OP says her mother likes the idea of new foods, but isn't very adventurous...She wants a salad and plain meat- Ici doesn't really do that from when I remember.
            It would be disappointing if the OP's mom couldn't find much on the menu that was safe enough, and you will end up spending a lot on a meal she wasn't thrilled by.


          2. Le Select would probably be a safe option although I am not at all like you describe your mother and I really like it there. If you want french bistro then my number one pick for your description is La Societe. I would run, not walk, there!

            Other options might be Nota Bene (usually has lots of safe options but check the menu), Browne's Bistro, Pangea, Pastis or Sotto Sotto. Agree that Ici would be a bit too extreme based on your description although it is lovely.