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Mid-range dinner in Yorkville; No steak, no sushi

Hubby and I are having an overnight date in Toronto this weekend. We are staying in Yorkville. We are big walkers so we a) would prefer not to drive or cab it anywhere, and b) we don't mind walking a few kilometres.

We are pretty adventurous eaters with regard to exotic spices and such, but we are definitely not into eating brains or hooves or whatever. Hubby doesn't like sushi and I don't like big slabs of meat (although I'm not a vegetarian). Dessert isn't really important to us.

Dinner:
-Price range: $15-25 per entree
-Ambience: romantic, but we define that term pretty generously (i.e. no need for candlelight necessarily)

Late night:
-Live music
-Good quality beer
-to-die-for bar snacks

Breakfast:
REAL 100% maple syrup, smoked salmon, eggs benny...

Options I'm wondering about:

-93 Harbord
-Ciao Wine Bar
-Dynasty (but this would be our first dim sum experience so please provide suggestions!)
-Over Easy (breakfast, obviously)
-Panorama (late night)

Many thanks in advance!

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  1. Caren's Wine Bar - especially the back patio.
    Sopra for live music
    L'unita for dinner
    The Rebel House for beer
    +1 for 93 Harbord.
    I wouldn't bother with Panorama

    1. 93 Harbord is great, though not terribly romantic. Another option with Middle Eastern flavours and a bit more ambiance is Mideastro in Yorkville. It's rather underrated on this board, but it's not a bad option at all in Yorkville.

      But for the most romantic spot in Yorkville, I'd have to say go to the back patio at Caren's wine bar.

      5 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Mideastro would be a great option but just note that the entrees don't fit the OP's price range for dinner - entrees are $28-36, with only the vegetarian dish priced below $25.

        1. re: bluefirefly

          Oy, sorry, I guess I've misremembered the price point at Mideastro. Thanks for the correction!

          1. re: bluefirefly

            Thanks for catching that bluefirefly.

          2. re: TorontoJo

            Mideastro would be a great option but just note that the entrees don''t fit the OP's price range for dinner - entrees are $28-36, with only the vegetarian dish priced below $25.

          3. Anyone want to recommend Jacques on Cumberland, which is real close?

            2 Replies
              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                Allow me...OP, go to Jacques on Cumberland. It's really close and has a variety of options (all french)

              2. I'd skip Ciao, Panorama and Over Easy.

                Lola's Kitchen is around a 10 minute walk from Yorkville, and much better option for breakfast than Over Easy. Lola's Kitchen would be the place to find real maple syrup, and various bennys. Cafe Boulud also might be worth considering for brunch in Yorkville.

                Cantine on Avenue Rd south of Davenport is within a 10 minute walk of Yorkville, and serves brunch. I haven't been recently, but it used to be a decent brunch option. Maybe someone who had been to Cantine more recently can comment.

                Globe Earth in Rosedale is another brunch option, within a 20 minute walk of Yorkville, if you're up for a walk.

                I wasn't impressed by past Eggs Benny at Caren's or MoRoCo, which are located in Yorkville, and I would probably venture beyond Yorkville if I wanted a good Eggs Benny.

                I like Dynasty. I'd stick to around 6 dishes for 2 people. I give credit to jlunar for the quick calculation of 2 dishes/person + 2 for the table, which she mentioned to me back in 2007! Most beginners like har gow (crystal shrimp dumplings), siu mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumplings), char siu bao (steamed bbq pork buns), black bean spare ribs, egg tarts (egg custard filled tarts), various fried dumplings. If you're feeling more adventurous, try the cheung fun (rice flour roll with various fillings- slightly slippery texture which might be unusual to a dim sum newbie), nor mai gai (sticky rice in lotus leaf), ham su gok, jin deui (sweetfried sesame balls). The servers can help you choose some other dishes.

                Second CocoaChanel's recs of Caren's and L'Unita. 93 Harbord would be at least a 20 minute walk from Yorkville. If you're considering Harbord Street for 93 Harbord, also consider the Harbord Room, which has good food and interesting cocktails. Another place on Harbord, that's kind of romantic in good weather, is the patio at the Boulevard Cafe. It is a several blocks further west than 93 Harbord, so it might be closer to a 25-30 minute walk from Yorkville.

                Second TorontoJo's rec of Mideastro.

                For late night, the rooftop bar at the Park Hyatt has good late night snacks,and it's a romantic spot for drinks. It is expensive for Toronto, but it's much better than Panorama.

                1 Reply
                1. re: prima

                  if you do consider harbord room, the same people opened up a new place thr&co just a few doors down. the room is a beautiful blend of modern club house with refined industrial finishes. a wonderful environment stuffed with modern tufted banquettes and booths. the food is quite a bit lighter than hardbord room with some interesting twists like smoked grapes on a branzino. good use of local ingredients. the drinks list is highly focused but great variety. can't remember prices but had a meal with 5 and ordered as much as we wanted and ended up with a $30pp food bill.

                2. Focaccia on Heydon for dinner/lunch.