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Christmas dinner options!!

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Damiego Nov 16, 2013 05:51 AM

Good morning! I need some help gathering ideas for a family coming to spend Christmas with their son. He is attending U of Guelph for a year and they will be arriving in Toronto from the UK on the 20 of December and staying at a short-term rental apartment in the Yorkville area over Christmas. His mom has told him to get on it!
I'm sure most hotels would offer a Christmas dinner, but does anyone know of any other options??
Thanks!
Sue

  1. d
    Damiego Nov 18, 2013 08:10 AM

    Thank so much, everyone, for your input. You have all been very helpful and I have forwarded this discussion, along with some blog links, to the family in the UK. They have decided to head to the Windsor Arms for their family Christmas dinner! Thanks again. I know it's early, but in the theme of the thread, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Damiego
      m
      millygirl Nov 18, 2013 08:34 AM

      What's happening at the Windsor Arms? I don't see anything on their website.

      1. re: millygirl
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        Damiego Nov 18, 2013 10:22 AM

        Christmas day buffet brunch and Christmas day buffet dinner. $60 pp for the dinner. Not sure about price for the brunch.

        1. re: Damiego
          Nevy Nov 18, 2013 10:38 AM

          Damiego - Perhaps the Windor Arms has drastically improved but I would suggest perhaps having a back up plan. When I attended a lunch and a follow up afternoon tea, I was incredibly disappointed and uncomfortable. This was nearly 10 months ago but I do not believe they've improved since then.

          Our first seating was at a table that was unclean. I pulled out my chair and the previous patron had left a portion of their dinner on the floor from the previous night. It was a piece of chicken skin and bone. After we switched tables, the whole experience was not great. Service was quite poor throughout the lunch and we often had to actively find our server. Food quality was fine but for the price point, you'd expect much more. Portions were small and lukewarm. Nothing stood as being good but it wasn't bad either.

          Afternoon tea was where the service really took a tumble. Everyone else in the room was having much difficulty getting service and it was almost comical since the tables started to discuss the poor service amongst ourselves. Pastries were sloppy and damp (defrosted?). Sandwiches were smooshed as if using the wrong knife to cut items or the heaviest hand used to hold it down. Greens used in the sandwiches were clearly wilted and old. Fruits used in the sweets had no taste.

          Our Aunt who treated us was quite embarrassed as she heard nice things from her friends. The hotel and room itself can be grand but the experience itself was lacking.

          I'm hoping for your guests sake that it has greatly improved for Christmas dinner.

          1. re: Nevy
            1sweetpea Nov 18, 2013 10:48 AM

            Yup. I will never return to the Windsor Arms. We went for a Mother's Day buffet brunch. The food was sub-par, as was the service. Our table for six required four of us to literally climb and scramble along the banquette seat. In a buffet environment, this is most awkward when diners are getting up throughout the meal to line up for another trip to the buffet. We were very disappointed.

            Our first choice for holiday buffets is the King Edward Hotel. Service is good, the buffet is elaborate and replenished often, and the entire experience is more comfortable, except on your wallet.

          2. re: Damiego
            Ediblethoughts Nov 19, 2013 07:35 PM

            I've had several Groupons at the Windsor Arms. Brunch buffet was decent but dinner was not impressive at all. I enjoyed the Weston Harbor Castle last year---also a buffet. Good for kids also (gingerbread men decorating station). If you do try the Christmas Buffet at WA, please report back on how it goes.

      2. b
        barneyvernon Nov 17, 2013 07:54 PM

        This will get raked over the coals but....we're off to the Mandarin Buffet again this year. They do a full traditional turkey dinner for those that want it as well as their standard buffet items plus a few holiday special items. Everyone gets what they want and we're all happy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: barneyvernon
          mrsleny Nov 17, 2013 08:52 PM

          As long as everyone is happy, who cares what people say. The most important thing for the holidays is enjoying the company of family and friends.

          1. re: barneyvernon
            m
            magic Nov 19, 2013 07:44 PM

            I'm kinda curious about that. I'm a big Mandarin fan but wasn't aware they did a Christmas thing! Hmmmm......

          2. Ediblethoughts Nov 17, 2013 06:31 PM

            We usually go to Frans... it's fine. I prefer a traditional fair and the hotels often go fancy... last year we went to the Westin and it was dead on X-Mas day...

            1. m
              millygirl Nov 16, 2013 06:16 PM

              Summerhill Market is excellent. It's about $30 pp and includes the whole shebang - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and cranberry sauce. The food is wonderful.

              Everything is packed separately, includes warming instructions and honestly, is just like homemade without the fuss. I don't know how the manage to keep everything moist, but they do.

              We've ordered from them for a few years now, and each year it gets better. They sell something crazy like 2500 orders each season.

              Can't be beat!!

              1. m
                mskatsam Nov 16, 2013 03:14 PM

                I hired a young chef\butcher to make last year's dinner. He did the shopping, prep and got the meal into the oven. He left me with instructions. There was minimal clean up, not a lot of stress and it all went without a hitch. We planned the menu together. I am sure there would be a number of assistant chefs who would look to do a similar arrangement.

                1. Nevy Nov 16, 2013 08:17 AM

                  Cafe Buloud and Franks at AGO are doing Christmas Dinners. They both have a price fixe menu. Cafe Buloud is in Yorkville so it would be easy to go.

                  From my memory, George should also have a set Christmas dinner.

                  1. p
                    pourboi Nov 16, 2013 08:03 AM

                    Since they are staying in a short term rental apartment they may want to think of getting Christmas dinner to go and heating it up / eating at home (as I assume they will have a kitchen). Pretty sure Pusateries, All the Best, Thuet etc will be doing full take out dinners where you order based on the number of people you need to feed. They serve sliced turkey, stuffing, gravy, usually a choice of starch and veg. I think desserts are also an option with these meals.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: pourboi
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                      eppicurious Nov 16, 2013 11:07 AM

                      +1 for this idea. Summerhill Market is not too far and I know that they offer the full spread at Thanksgiving. We saw people picking up cooked turkey's, mash, stuffing, green beans.....all prepared and ready for you to finish at home.

                      1. re: eppicurious
                        CocoaChanel Nov 16, 2013 03:06 PM

                        +2 for Summer hill Market. The Royal York has a take out option (they did for Thanksgiving, I presume they will for Christmas)

                        1. re: CocoaChanel
                          l
                          LexiFirefly Nov 16, 2013 03:53 PM

                          They do for Christmas. I remember meeting my SO down by there on Christmas, before child! ;)

                          1. re: LexiFirefly
                            CocoaChanel Nov 16, 2013 04:46 PM

                            Excellent! Then that is where I will be getting the family Christmas dinner this year. :). (Too much happening at work around that time to do otherwise )

                    2. t
                      ThoughtForFood Nov 16, 2013 06:28 AM

                      I was looking for the same thing a couple of years ago and ended up at the Old Mill. I was completely underwhelmed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ThoughtForFood
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                        bluefirefly Nov 16, 2013 11:36 AM

                        That's good to know. I haven't been before (and i guess I should have said as much)... but I also know someone who goes every year with her family; mind you, I'm not sure how she rates her food.

                      2. b
                        bluefirefly Nov 16, 2013 06:12 AM

                        I don't know the The Old Mill Inn and Spa would fit your definition as it's not quite a hotel, but they have a Christmas Day Dinner Buffet for 51.95.

                        Chinatown's also an option as many places will be open, though obviously nothing fancy like a typical turkey dinner.

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