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1 night in TO

2 ladies in town for one Saturday night, looking for the one place not to miss. We are Montrealers so no French restos please, want relaxed but not too casual, great cocktails, fun atmosphere and great food. Any recs for Italian, Asian, sushi (Montreal has mediocre sushi), or Canadian? Will be staying downtown but can travel for something special.

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  1. Buca for good Italian.
    Patria for good Spanish Tapas.
    Chiado for great Portuguese.
    Crown Princess for good Cantonese food.
    Kingyo or JaBistro for Japanese Izakaya style food ( former ) or sushi ( latter )
    The first three should also have decent cocktail choices as well.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      I like all of Charles' recommendations and I would add the following options:

      Enoteca Sociale for Italian. Buca is a definite winner for cocktails and food and it is in a great area. Enoteca has some excellent food, a very nice wine pairing list by the glass, and it ups the fun factor a little bit. I like the fact that they have 2 oz tasting pours so you can try lots of different wines.

      Carmen for Spanish Tapas. Carmen is a little smaller and has a different kind of atmosphere than Patria.

      Campagnolo is another Italian that has great atmosphere and fun food.

      I'm a little surprised CY didn't have The Grove on his list. I'm not sure how to classify the food but it might be considered Canadian ?!? for whatever that means.

      1. re: ComerDemonio

        Excellent recs, thanks much. Buca or Enoteca Sociale sound like great options, Montreal is not known for really good Italian. Besides the 2 Japanese options that Charles suggested, any really great Asian (with atmosphere and drinks) that we should consider?

        1. re: mikjomom44

          Great food cool drinks and hip atmospehere
          Call for reservations

          https://www.facebook.com/KanjiToronto

          .

        2. re: ComerDemonio

          I was actually thinking about Grove since its one of my current favourite. Didn't know why I left it out?!
          Asian with atmosphere and drinks?! Tough one! How about Momofuku?

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Guu Izakaya on church street is a super fun atmosphere with awesome food.

          2. re: ComerDemonio

            I have Montrealers in quite often and they always choose to go back to Buca.

        3. Not sure if Marben is a not too miss place, but it definitely is relaxed and fun. I've always enjoyed their burgers and meat dishes. Place turns into a club scene as the night goes along.

            1. I would say the Grove would be a good choice if you can get a Sat reso. I also really like Bar Isabel right now. Both are in fun areas so you'll be able to walk to after dinner drinks if you fancy. I prefer to avoid King Street West on a Sat night and that includes places like Buca. It tends to be a mid-week visit location for me when I don't feel like it is so much see and been seen.