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May 9, 2014 01:57 PM

Restaurant for family birthday dinner

I can't believe I'm asking this question, having lived my entire life in Toronto but ... where can I take my husband for his birthday dinner? It's not as simple as it sounds. My husband worked in sales, so was accustomed to eating at all sorts of high-end restaurants. And he doesn't want to be 'wowed', but just to go someplace where the food is good, and he can be with his family (and hear them! so I'm not looking for a place with bad accoustics). Our daughters are all in their 20s - one is a food fanatic and wants to go somewhere 'interesting' like 'Vertical' or 'Westlodge'. The youngest is a vegetarian, as am I, so we would like to have a little bit of choice, and not have to settle for ordering 'sides'. The oldest will probably be happy anywhere. Since I am paying the bill, I would prefer to go somewhere that's not 'over the top' in terms of price. Mains in the area of $18 to $20 would be fine.
Finally, since all 3 daughters work right downtown (all along King Street), it would be great if we could just meet them somewhere in the downtown core. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

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  1. Most Asian cuisines are easy for mixed vegetarian/carnivore tables and for larger groups (it is unclear in your post whether you are just the nuclear 5, or with parents and in-law children, as many as 12!) Also, for the mentioned price point, you can likely pre-order a wonderful feast.

    If your family has a preferred cuisine, I'm sure the 'hounds can suggest good choices downtown for any of them. I happen to skew Japanese, and everyone I've sent to Kingyo in Cabbagetown has come back with rapturous reports. Approx. $ 50/ head with tax, tip , and alcohol, which is in your posted zone, and do check out the on-line menu. There is also always a specials card, and I strongly encourage people to order the specials; they truly ARE special and seasonal. Plates there can be sharing style or specific to each diner, your choice. Just make it clear to the waitress (they are all female) which way or order you want the dishes served. In izakaya style, they are served to share and pretty much at random if you do not specify.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KAYLO

      Richmond Station has a private-ish area with a table for 8. We had a group dinner in there and it worked out great. Food is excellent.

    2. $18-$20 mains are difficult to find along King St. If you're willing to spend a little more, Le Select on Wellington south of King has a 3 course prix fixe for $35, which I consider a good deal for a nice restaurant t in the core.
      If you're willing to travel a bit further, you might also consider Enoteca Sociale on Dundas West or a Greek restaurant such as Mezes or Pan on the Danforth, where you might get more bang for your buck.

      1. I second Prima's suggestion for Le Select. Excellent service, consistent execution, gorgeous space and relatively quiet. Limited vegetarian dishes but they are very accommodating.

        I would also suggest Volos. Again, beautiful space, relatively quiet. Good selection of vegetarian dishes - their pastas are Far from pedestrian.

        Lamesa is just steps away from King W and serves innovative Filipino fusion cuisine. Vegetarian friendly, fits your bill and definitely would satisfy the "trendy" crow.d

        2 Replies
        1. re: happycamper

          Thank you so much for these great suggestions! I've noted them all down, and will take each into consideration for our Tuesday night dinner location. You have made my life so much easier!

          1. re: alhanson

            RIchmond Station might be very tough sledding for the two vegetarians in your party. I happen to love it, but it's a nose-to-tail cuisine. Check the on-line menu before you book.