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Birthday dinner for Toronto wine guy

Looking for some help for a birthday dinner for two (maybe three) for a Toronto friend who is a serious wine collector/consumer and foodie. The parameters are: not interested in paying silly prices, but willing to spend for a great experience; appreciates classic, but probably leans toward best new thing/young chef type place - great young chef and classic wine service would be ideal; pretty flexible on type of cuisine, although probably meat over a straight seafood place; atmosphere cannot be stuffy / artsy crowd is a better bet; staying downtown, so someplace reassonably easy to get to.

Hope that presents a enough - and a good challenge for you. Thanks!!

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  1. Really hoping for some help on this before it falls too far down the board. Thanks!

      1. Here are some suggestions:
        Atlas Room
        Boundary Road
        Oval Room
        Mintwood Place

        1. Exactly how young does this chef have to be?

          A lot of 'young chefs' serve exclusively tasting menus like at Rogue 24. As the name implies, don't expect stuffy or formal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Steve

            Thanks for the info. No age. Just trying to convey that my friend likes a chef-centric restaurant doing interesting things. Shoud CityZen be on my list to consider?

          2. i had the perfect suggestion, til you said "easy to get into". really, places that have all that going for them are usually not so easy to get into, but if you are dining during the week OR able to reserve in advance, i'd highly recommend Proof. It is a really great wine bar with an equally great restaurant, good service, Penn Qtr location w/ valet also across the street from metro. Prices not too bad for the quality.

            2 Replies
            1. re: DCDOLL

              Thanks for the suggestion. My query was for someplace "reasonably easy to get to" for someone staying downtown, not "easy to get into," so Penn Qtr is a good fit.

            2. I do think Proof is the place for all of the areas you want to cover.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mdavidf

                Thanks! Still intrigued by CityZen. No?

                1. re: drapes

                  i'm sorry i thought you said easy to get INTO. :) i am sure i'll get disagreements from some which is ok...but i wasn't that impressed w/ CityZen. The parker house rolls were to die for and the dessert was yummy but all 3 of us said our entrees and the sides were just so-so. It does have really over the top service...choreographed service down to a server setting all 3 plates down in unison, etc etc and the space is lovely but just didnt' love the food. And if i remember correctly, it was about $90 PP so i was expecting something out of this world...
                  if you REALLY wanted to splash out (i know you said not silly expensive but...) take them to the Inn at Little Washington...if it's during the week their prix fixe is a little less expensive and it really is an experience of a lifetime..

                  1. re: DCDOLL

                    Thanks - really useful information. The Inn at Little Washington does look amazing for the right occasion - not sure this is the one.

                    1. re: drapes

                      understand...it is definitely a Special Occasion experience. i stand by Proof though, really think you'd enjoy it.

              2. Proof is a good bet, good food, excellent wine list.

                Cedar is also very innovative, but the wine list is not great, but they do permit corkage($25 per bottle) and DC has some very good wine shops.

                Dino is fairly rustic Italian, not cutting edge, but has the best Italian wine list in the city, and maybe in the country. Very well priced list too.

                Logan Cox is doing nice things at Ripple, and decent wine selection too.

                Brasserie Beck is noisy, hip, and hopping. Great Belgian food and beer, and a very good wine list. Also allows corkage.

                1. I've had a good time at Dino too. Always enjoyed my meal.