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never been to toronto, rec for bday dinner

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My husband and I will be in Toronto at the beginning of the year. For my birthday dinner, I'd like to have a fabulously chowish experience. My criteria:

Great service and interesting, delicious food are of similar, primary importance. Style or ethnic origin of the food isn't that important.

Price isn't important. We can pay.

not far from downtown. we have a car, but I prefer not to drive more than 15 minutes if possible.

Is it possible to ask for all of this, yet not have to dress up? Not that we're going to wear jeans, but I don't want to go to a place wear all the women are in the glittery gowns.

Thanks for any recommendations you can provide.

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    Guy Middleton

    I had a great dinner at Via Allegro last week.

    This is an Italian restaurant in a strip mall, about 15 minutes drive west from downtown. No problem with casual dress (they are in a strip mall, after all).

    They have an amazing wine list -- it's a book 3cm think. We built our dinner around our wine choices.

    They age their own beef, the steaks are excellent. The Italian white truffles are in season, so we also had a truffle pasta dish, which was amazing.

    Not only that, but the place stays busy late, which would be unusual for a downtown place. We started our dinner at 8:30 and left after 1:00, and we were not the last ones to leave.

    1. You'll get differing opinions on this board, but I think Susur is the best and most different dining experience in town. A unique menu and a very gifted chef. It's practically in downtown. You shouldn't wear jeans, but gowns aren't necessary.
      http://www.susur.com/

      If that doesn't appeal, other classy big splurge places in town include

      Truffles (at the Four Seasons
      )North 44
      The Fifth
      Avalon
      Bymark

      Detailed info about all these restuarants is available at the restuarant section of
      www.torontolife.com

      1. This reference is the most detailed thread about finer
        dining places. Start there.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...