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Where would you want to celebrate your 40th birthday in TO? Or, where did you celebrate your 40th Birthday in TO?

prima Sep 4, 2012 08:52 PM

As a Chowhound who is pushing 40, I'm curious.

If I was splurging, I'd do a 40th birthday dinner at Scaramouche. If was going to do a big birthday party, I'd look into a buy-out on a Sunday night at Khao San Road.

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  1. y
    ylsf RE: prima Sep 4, 2012 09:55 PM

    Have you ever inquired at KSR if they would open on Sunday`s for private functions? I am curious if it has been done before or if they are open to it.

    I am not one to celebrate my birthday so I don't have any specific recommendations but I would probably do something more casual if I did decide to do a bigger celebration for a "milestone" year. Maybe get catered BBQ or something.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ylsf
      TorontoJo RE: ylsf Sep 5, 2012 04:59 AM

      Yep, KSR did a private function for me on a Sunday. It was a bit of an experiment for them (first time at something like that), but they pulled it off beautifully and it was a fantastic evening. Chef Nuit outdid herself.

      prima, my 40th was the private kitchen table at Colborne Lane. Definitely a splurge, as we picked up the cheque for the whole table. If I were to do it again, I'd go with KSR and have a bigger party and better food. :o)

    2. g
      gnr RE: prima Sep 5, 2012 05:13 AM

      For my 40th, we went to Scaramouche. Fabulous meal, excellent service and a wonderful surprise. Definitely an evening to remember.

      11 Replies
      1. re: gnr
        millygirl RE: gnr Sep 5, 2012 05:47 AM

        We celebrated mine at Scaramouche too! It was fabulous as always.

        For Mr MG we had a chef come to our house and held an amazing 6 course dinner for us and our closest (15) friends. It was a night to remember! Ezra Title from Chezvous. The egg and grilled cheese master at Saturday mornings Brickworks. Can't say enough about him. Our friends are still talking about it and I won't say how many years later. HA HAA.

        If I was going to rent out a room I think I would consider Mistura or LeSelect.

        And by the way, if anyone wants to add my name to the guest list - feel free :)

        1. re: millygirl
          juno RE: millygirl Sep 5, 2012 02:28 PM

          I'm way, way past my 40th, so far past it that I don't remember where I celebrated that year. But I recall my 45th - at Scaramouche, the first time I'd been there. And it was so good that it remains my go-to joint for celebrations. I get there at least once or twice a year. If that place has ever had an off-night, I certainly wasn't there for it. Besides the first-rate food and service, it sustains a relaxed, vivacious atmosphere, no matter what your age - 20, 40, 60, 80. In fact, the last time I was there with a group (of 10 or so, if I recall), dinner was hosted by a relative who lives in the building above the restaurant, celebrating her 90th. It was in the Pasta Bar - not the more expensive main dining room - where there's a space perfectly suited for about a dozen. Lotsa fun, and the same attention to detail as in the main room. (Happily, being more well-to-do than the rest of us, she paid the whole pop - while showing she could still down two glasses of wine without any after-effects.) There may be better fine dining spots around town, but i don't need to know about them - I've got Scaramouche. Why tinker with perfection?

          1. re: millygirl
            ComerDemonio RE: millygirl Sep 5, 2012 05:44 PM

            If you want to try a fantastic catered dinner look at The Stop Community Food Centre (http://www.thestop.org/catering). The Chefs are Chris Brown and Scott MacNeil (http://www.thestop.org/catering/our-c...) but we had Scott Vivian and it was well worth it. A great cause also.

          2. re: gnr
            JennaBean RE: gnr Sep 7, 2012 08:01 AM

            I know people love Scaramouche but I'm closer to 40 then I am 30 and I can't at all imagine my friends there where as we often eat at Splendido as a group and feel very comfortable. There is something about Scaramouche that makes me only want to be there with my grandparents!

            1. re: JennaBean
              justxpete RE: JennaBean Sep 7, 2012 08:21 AM

              +1 on all of the above points! I think it has something to do with the very dated decor!

              1. re: JennaBean
                prima RE: JennaBean Sep 7, 2012 10:19 AM

                To each their own, I guess :-) I found the space, vibe and service at Splendido to be somewhat cold, and it made my dining experience earlier this year somewhat uncomfortable. Based on that lone experience, it probably wouldn't be a place I'd choose to go for my birthday.
                I might return this fall, drink a little more and bring more friends next time I dine at Splendido, to see if it might have just been a slightly off day for the server and restaurant.

                I agree with JustPete that the decor is dated, and can see how that might detract for some Chowhounds. Dated decor and non-hip vibe doesn't bother me. I like places that look like they were lost in a time warp.

                1. re: prima
                  justxpete RE: prima Sep 7, 2012 11:28 AM

                  "I like places that look like they were lost in a time warp."

                  haha.. touché Prima! :)

                  1. re: prima
                    JennaBean RE: prima Sep 7, 2012 11:53 AM

                    I don't mind the time warp at a greasy spoon but not for fine dining and a $200 bottle of wine...

                    1. re: prima
                      magic RE: prima Jan 7, 2013 11:37 AM

                      I'm not sure I'd agree that Scaramouche's decor is dated. Personally, I rather like it!

                      While it hasn't been heavily updated, I still think it has a timeless, elegant, comforting feel. Frankly, I'll take its unhip warmth over the dime-a-dozen predicatable decor schemes of other places.

                      At Christmas it looks particularly beautiful.

                      Also, I see crowds of 10 there. Any more than that and you might wish to celebrate somewhere else.

                      But for special occasions Scaramouche is always my go-to.

                      Happy (upcoming) Birthday!

                      1. re: magic
                        prima RE: magic Jan 7, 2013 05:19 PM

                        Thanks, magic!

                        1. re: prima
                          magic RE: prima Jan 7, 2013 07:59 PM


                2. Baelsette RE: prima Sep 5, 2012 04:13 PM

                  great thread, turning 40 in October and have been noodling where to go for a special dinner. Haven't been to Scaramouche in years, sounds like it's a worth a revisit.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Baelsette
                    prima RE: Baelsette Jan 6, 2013 09:11 AM

                    Did you end up at Scaramouche in Oct, Baelsette?

                  2. redhead RE: prima Sep 5, 2012 04:19 PM

                    I went to George for my BFF's birthday and it was momentous! Now, she used to cook with the chef and her boyfriend picked up the tab for ALL of us, so perhaps one reason why it was so good. So, the next year, I went there for my 40 th and HATED it. Bad, indifferent service, goat cheese for every course..blah. If I had tomdomit again....maybe Canoe or Scaramouche...

                    1. CocoaChanel RE: prima Sep 5, 2012 08:20 PM

                      Technically speaking, I celebrated my 40th birthday in Paris at Le Crillon's Ambassadeur dining room. Sadly, it was a business meeting with people I barely knew.

                      When I returned, Mr. Vuitton and I had dinner at George. Loved it.

                      We have also celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes just a saturday night at Scaramouche.

                      I still love sitting by the window a cozy two person table in the main dining room at Scaramouche. The service and the food hav never disappointed.

                      Now I want to go again - it;s been a few months

                      1. c
                        caviartothegeneral RE: prima Sep 7, 2012 01:44 PM

                        Canoe -- had the tasting menu with local wine pairings. One of my all-time favourite Toronto restaurant experiences.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: caviartothegeneral
                          prima RE: caviartothegeneral Jan 6, 2013 09:23 AM

                          I still haven't dined at Canoe.
                          Planning to finally dine there this spring. Still undecided about where to have my 40th bday dinner, but now I'm thinking I'll probably book a newish place I haven't tried, rather than Scaramouche.

                        2. Charles Yu RE: prima Jan 6, 2013 12:09 PM

                          Hello Prima,
                          Every year, my brother-in-law and I had been having 'men only' birthday celebrations in Toronto ever since I moved here years ago. From the now defunct Truffles in the old Fourseasons, to Perigee, to Senses/Colborne Lane, Splendido, George, Scraramouche,.......etc, we have covered almost all the 'fine dining landscape'. IMHO, whether its Canoe or Auberge to Splendido. George or Scaramouche, the 'food experience' are pretty much the same across the board.
                          However, rather than single out a recommendation, I would instead like to single out a 'warning'! The experiences we had at the 'Langdon Hall' is NOT WORTH THE DRIVE OUT!!!!! A totally underwhelming dining experience, I would rather drive to Treadwell, Quatrefoil or Blacktree instead!
                          If you haven't been recently, for splurging, may be a tasting menu ( Omakase ) at Sushi Kaji?! How about the 'Carte Blanche' at Yours Truly or the tasting menu at Momofuku S??! But since you have not tried out Canoe, dinner at a window table there should provide you with a great 40th birthday memory!!
                          Have a great one!!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            prima RE: Charles Yu Jan 6, 2013 06:05 PM

                            Thanks for all your ideas, Charles!

                            I'll definitely keep the Carte Blanche at Yours Truly in mind. as well as Canoe, and maybe a return visit to Auberge or Scaramouche. I like George, but I've been there more frequently than the others, and I'll be visiting Splendido for another occasion at some point in the next month or 2. Not too keen on a Momofuku tasting menu right now, but I might change my mind again!

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              justxpete RE: Charles Yu Jan 7, 2013 11:07 AM

                              I disagree, Charles. Although the SO and were there for an extended stay. Everything was pretty damn good. Our tasting menu was exquisite, but the service could have used some improvement. I also had one of my favourite dishes of all time at Langdon Hall - one of the most perfectly balanced dishes I've ever had - and it was for brunch!

                              I was more disappointed with my meal at Stadtlander's farm, but that might be another idea, Prima. It's definitely a unique experience, if you've not been as yet.

                              1. re: justxpete
                                Charles Yu RE: justxpete Jan 7, 2013 11:52 AM

                                I too were not impressed by the meals I had at the 'Farm'.
                                Guess Langdon Hall, like Susur, is one of those establishment on Chowhound that has two separate divided camps!! If you think I am harsh, you should read Uhockey's posting!! Ha!!!

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  prima RE: Charles Yu Jan 7, 2013 05:23 PM

                                  I haven't eaten at Eigensinn Farm, but I was disappointed with a couple items at the Eigensinn Xmas market a couple years ago, so I wouldn't be likely to splurge on Eigensinn for my birthday.

                            2. jo_jo_ba RE: prima Jan 6, 2013 06:31 PM

                              when baseball's on, Windows or Sightlines in the Rogers Centre is fantastic

                              1. the_beezelet RE: prima Jan 6, 2013 06:48 PM

                                Giving away my advancing years here but we celebrated my 40th by an amazing meal at Susur just weeks after he opened on King St in 2000. Was an amazing meal, but I loved Lotus even more.

                                1. PoppiYYZ RE: prima Jan 6, 2013 07:13 PM

                                  Stay in, throw a party, and cater. Many places will bring food, all cutlery and glassware, cook, serve, and take everything away at great prices. Invite a fun crowd (large or small), and have a gas.

                                  PS Tell everyone not to bring presents, but they probably still will... ;-)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                    prima RE: PoppiYYZ Jan 7, 2013 05:24 PM

                                    thanks for the idea!

                                  2. h
                                    halfship1 RE: prima Jan 7, 2013 08:02 PM

                                    HARBOR SIXTY IS is one of my favorites.canoe or Jacobs also ranks

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: halfship1
                                      justsayn RE: halfship1 Jan 7, 2013 08:16 PM

                                      +++1 for Harbor.
                                      Barbarians is more affordable and great
                                      I would go to Kingyo over KSR

                                    2. n
                                      ntdavis1 RE: prima Jan 7, 2013 11:22 PM

                                      Scaramouche for sure - partner and I do all our b-day and anniversaries there. Fab food, excellent service. Ask for a table by the window for a beautiful view of the Toronto skyline at night if eating in the main dining room. Pasta bar is more casual without the view - but more affordable if that's a factor. Ian the sommelier is great - you can BYOW for a corakge of around $35 if I remember correctly (worthwhile if you collect), otherwise by the glass is reasonable - bottles are close around 150% markup.

                                      1. Food Tourist RE: prima Feb 2, 2013 03:08 PM

                                        Mine was at Scaramouche because we were looking for fine dining on a Saturday night with a view, within a few km of downtown Toronto. But if I had my way, I'd have gone a bit out of town like Hockley Valley Resort's Cabin, or had a more interactive chef's table entertaining experience like at Treadwell, or a private room like at Vertical where I've had a wonderful private party experience. Granted, I have never eaten the regular menu at Canoe or Auberge.

                                        1. m
                                          millygirl RE: prima Feb 2, 2013 04:04 PM

                                          Gettin' close Prima. Curious where you chose to celebrate?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: millygirl
                                            prima RE: millygirl Feb 3, 2013 08:20 PM

                                            Still haven't made a final decision, but leaning towards Actinolite. ;-)

                                          2. prima RE: prima Apr 29, 2013 05:39 AM

                                            About a month before my birthday, I realized what I've mostly been craving lately is fish tacos and dim sum. I haven't been in the mood for continental fine dining lately, and I decided I'd rather celebrate at a casual restaurant rather than splurge at a fancier one.

                                            I started celebrating the day before my birthday, at Toronto Temperance Society and La Carnita, and continued at Pizzeria Libretto Danforth the following day.

                                            La Carnita never bothered to return my call, asking for a reservation for 8, even though their website mentions they will *try* to take reservations for groups of 8+. Maybe the website should mention they wil *try* to return voicemail! Ha ha. After waiting for a return call for 4 days, I decided it was a better idea to wing it with a smaller group. LC uses strict Salad-King type seating rules, where the entire party needs to be present in order for anyone to be seated. It made me laugh. Type A seating rules at a place decorated with graffiti-eque, spray-painted 'murals', at a place where table conversation is challenging at best. You know the saying "you can't have your cake and eat it, too"? LC seems to want the street art vibe, while applying high strung, high art rules to what used to be street food (tacos,tostadas and paletas). On a Friday night, our table for 6 was seated around 7:20 pm, roughly an hour after our name was placed on the list.I loved the food (especially the pickerel taco which was a special,the corn/rice fritter,the fried chicken/peanut sauce taco, and the choco peanut paleta),and the company was amazing, so I'm very happy that we celebrated with tacos at LC, but I think they could work at returning voicemails and pumping down the volume until prime time tv is over (10pm). The service at our table was quite good, so my issue isn't with the servers, at all.

                                            I loved the cocktails and frites and aioli at TTS. Exceptional service from the bartender.

                                            Pizzeria Libretto Danforth was very helpful in organizing the menu for my birthday. Friendly staff, tasty food, not too loud for conversation in the private cellar dining room. It was a great place to celebrate a birthday. For groups, it's possible to have a table for 8-12 in the semi-private space downstairs, or host a cocktail-type reception in the bar space downstairs.

                                            Thanks for all the suggestions!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: prima
                                              CocoaChanel RE: prima Apr 29, 2013 03:53 PM

                                              Happy birthday! We still have yet to make it to Libretto Danforth.

                                              1. re: CocoaChanel
                                                prima RE: CocoaChanel Apr 29, 2013 05:05 PM

                                                Thanks, CocoaChanel! I was surprised that quite a few of my friends also hadn't been there before. I've always lucked out with friendly service and good pizzas. Nice salads, too. I usually order the arugula salad or Rocco's salad.

                                                1. re: prima
                                                  CocoaChanel RE: prima Apr 29, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                  Menu looks great! ForAfter Pascha :)

                                                  1. re: CocoaChanel
                                                    prima RE: CocoaChanel Apr 29, 2013 06:40 PM

                                                    :-) Hope your holy week goes well.
                                                    A couple friends were limited to calamari & cheese-free pizza margherita.

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