Former T.O. resident seeks up to date foodie advice...
I'm looking for the new foodie secret spots that have first and foremost, great food, cool ambience and a great vibe. I've been to many of the name restaurants in the city (Bymark, North 44, Canoe, etc.) and am looking for something less business-oriented for a date. When I lived in Toronto, I used to love restaurants like Kalendar, 7 West, but was wondering what the best recommendations are for the "next step up". Price is not an issue unless it starts breaking the $150 barrier.
Well, if you've been away from TO for a while then it's likely you haven't been to Susur Lee's new place coincidentally called "Susur". Fantastic food, a bit pricey -- the 5 course tasting menu is $90 but well worth it. As with most fine restaurants your tasting menu courses will be complete different from your date's, which is nice since it promotes sharing. Susur is located near King and Bathurst, in a little unassuming old italian restaurant -- the only tip off that it's not what it seems is a little plaque near the door that says "Susur". The actual address is 601 King St. West.
My suggestion would be "Sotto Sotto." Its pretty well-known and a hot spot for celebrities but is very quaint and romantic. It can be pricey depending on how many courses you have but there should be a price list of their menu on their website. Their website also features a restaurant tour that you can pan through with your mouse. Amazing really! Good luck!
re: bottomless pit
If I'm goin to eat Italian, and at those prices, I'd rather eat at Mistura on Davenport - better authentic Italian food IMO, better service, and all around better ambiance. I think Sotto Sotto is pretty much all hype. Those dishes (grilled whole fish with lemon juice, olive oil, with TINY sides, pasta with olive oil/garlic...etc. etc.) is nothing revolutionary. It just has the name since celebrities go there (because it's so close to 4 Seasons and Park Hyatt).
7 West... grr.
I used to live across the street from that place and there wasn't a single evening when some drunken lout didn't come out just as I got to sleep with some proclamation that needed to be heard by the neighbourhood. And the one time my wife and I went, we found it boring, expensive for what we got, and uncomfortable. But I digress.