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Relatively quiet with good food in the East end of Toronto?

Going out for dinner with friends on Sat nt, and want to be not too far from home. Not sure if it is advancing age (late 40's) but lately so many of the places we have been to seem so loud and buzzy that we find it hard to have a conversation among the four of us. Any suggestions for not too loud, with good food in the East end? We go to Zen all of the time and it is certainly a contender, but was looking for some new ideas.

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  1. Know exactly what you mean. I'd love to hear any suggestions as well.


    1. When the SO and I want a quiet evening near by we usually go to Melanie's. Super nice staff good food and pretty quiet. I haven't been on a Saturday night (we usually go mid week as we're shift workers) but I can't see it being too lout. west of Woodbine on Danforth. Not very close to Zen though.

      1. How about Mandalay at Lawrence and Markham Rd? It will be busy, and the tables are fairly close together, but we never have any trouble hearing one another. They have a website with menu.

        1. i went to the playpen (gerrard & carlaw) last friday night. it was definitely condusive to conversation. the food was tasty...not necessarily mind blowing but some of it was creative and interesting. the service was attentive & friendly and the decor funky but not over the top. i also thought the prices were really reasonable.
          would definitely recommend.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions. Have been to Melanie's a number of times, but the past couple the food was not as good. Has anyone been to Canard Mort or Mangia & Bevi? Both look sort of interesting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Phoenix

              Went to Mangia e Bevi last week. Very good homemade pastas and thin crust pizzas.

            2. I'm going to assume that Zen is close to home. If you want something that far east, you might wanna give Crazy Tomato (I hate that name) Trattoria on St Clair at O'Connor a whirl. If you go later, say 8:30pm, you won't experience 'family hour' when it's loaded with kids. It becomes much quieter and relaxed. Now if only they'd add candles to their tables at that same hour. It isn't of Zen quality (what is), but so far I've enjoyed the dinners I've had there. You can also get a reasonable bottle of red. No reservations unless there are 6 of you. Service is good, but somewhat lacking in in-depth knowledge of the specific compositions of dishes.

              1. Soooo did you end up back at Zen again?

                4 Replies
                1. re: Googs

                  Sorry this took me a while to respond to - decided to try La Canard Mort on Queen. Food was okay, as was service, but would not rush back. Went back to Zen this past weekend as a wonderful antidote - never disappointed there. Might check out Googs rec of Crazy Tomato next.

                  1. re: Phoenix

                    Let me know how it is, the SO and I have been meaning to try it out!

                    1. re: Phoenix

                      I too am not rushing back to Canard Mort - the interior is drab and dingy - they just walked into the old Barrio space and changed nothing, the chairsare HIDEOUSLY uncomfortable, the service was very accomodating when we asked for the music to be turned down, and also the heat, and most of our party liked their food. I had chicken schnitzel, huge and greasy with spatzel, also huge and greasy.

                      1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                        Wait! You had what at Le Canard Mort? I thought it was a French restaurant.