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Toronto solo dinner

barefootgirl Feb 6, 2014 09:28 AM

Tagging along on hubby's business trip to Toronto and I will be on my own for dinner one night. Any suggestions for an interesting spot near Fairmount Royal York where a single diner wouldn't feel too out of place? Bar seating is fine, maybe even preferred since you don't get glared at for taking up an entire table for two.

  1. r
    roostermom Feb 6, 2014 10:44 AM

    It's a been awhile since I was a solo diner but I'm going to go out on a dated limb and suggest Wine Bar on Church. Also maybe Beer Bistro? Trevor?

    1 Reply
    1. re: roostermom
      happycamper Feb 9, 2014 09:04 AM

      I was there in December. It's more shared plates - and I find the execution mediocre, menu predictable and over priced.

    2. MissBingBing Feb 6, 2014 11:03 AM

      Richmond Station, the Gabardine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MissBingBing
        ComerDemonio Feb 9, 2014 01:14 PM

        These are both perfect places to dine solo. The people are super friendly at both and the food choices are varied and delicious.

      2. c
        Cat123 Feb 6, 2014 11:26 AM

        The kitchen bar at Origin would be great for this.

        1. b
          barefootgirl Feb 6, 2014 11:36 AM

          These all sound tremendous already... thanks!

          1. j
            JennaBean Feb 6, 2014 11:44 AM

            Biff's is not a bad place for solo dining.

            1. p
              piccola Feb 6, 2014 07:33 PM

              I second Origin and Richmond Station. You could also go to any of the O&B restaurants.

              1. num nums Feb 6, 2014 07:39 PM

                Momofuku Noodle Bar has bar seating facing the kitchen. Eat there solo quite often.

                2 Replies
                1. re: num nums
                  childofthestorm Feb 9, 2014 07:11 AM

                  There are also bar seats upstairs at Momofuku Daisho that suit solo dining quite nicely.

                  1. re: num nums
                    canadianbeaver Feb 23, 2014 02:06 PM

                    You could eat at Shoto too! They take solo diners.

                  2. d
                    Dean Tudor Feb 9, 2014 12:37 PM

                    If you are staying at the Royal York, EPIC might be a good bet -- the higher end resto at the RY -- no need to go outside in the cold (lugging scarves hats boots gloves coats), and they will nicely attend to you if you tell them you reside at the hotel.

                    1. b
                      barefootgirl Feb 23, 2014 01:32 PM

                      Thanks again for all the recommendations. Both dinners and one lunch were chosen based on your replies, and nothing disappointed.

                      Thursday night dinner was at Origin. We did get seating at the kitchen bar and I really enjoyed it -- I'm a decent amateur cook and it's fun to watch pros at work. We had the mozzarella/pear/honey/crostini appetizer, a nice departure from the usual Caprese and something I'll try making myself one of these days. Husband had the calamari for a main dish and I had the butternut squash risotto. He was wowed by calamari that wasn't drowning in oil and breading, as it too often is. The crispy squash chips made a nice contrast to the smooth richness of the risotto for me. Good service and fun atmosphere.

                      Friday dinner was my solo night and I managed to get the last available seat at the bar at Richmond Station. The appetizers sounded appealing, but not knowing the portion sizes and not being a huge eater, I stuck with just a main dish. Apparently they debuted a new menu this weekend because it was all different from what I'd seen on the website.

                      I went with the sea bream, a fish I'd never had before but compares in taste and texture to mahi mahi -- pretty mild, firmer than a lot of white fish. It had a bread crumb crust and came on a bed of veggies -- spaghetti squash, roasted fingerlings and brussels sprouts, with a few tasty bits of bacon and a drizzle of pumpkin seed pesto. On top was a bit of jardiniere -- greens and enoki mushrooms with a vinegary dressing. There was a lot going on, but it didn't seem like overkill and the flavors played well together.

                      Again, good service and I didn't feel out of place or awkward eating alone. I laughed at the woman next to me who declared to the server, "This steak is so good, it's made me a better person." The steak was the evening special and a popular one, since everyone around me seemed to be eating it.

                      We hit O&E across from the Hockey Hall of Fame for lunch/brunch Saturday before we had to hit the road. I had the eggs benedict (perfectly poached eggs, one thing I just cannot get right when I try at home, and the cheddar scone instead of an English muffin was a nice change) and husband was pleased with his burger.

                      And I know this isn't a wine discussion board, but I have to note that I drank local wines exclusively while we were there, and they were all terrific. Great to see your restaurants supporting the locals. Husband enjoyed the local beers too.

                      I used to visit Toronto a lot as a child/teenager growing up in Erie, Pa., but hadn't been back as an adult other than on bus theater trips, which don't give you much time or leeway to explore. We really enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to coming back.

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