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a "splurge" meal in TO


chengb02
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I have just found out that I need to be in Toronto this coming week and haven't had time to prepare much. I'm looking for suggestions for a "splurge" meal, which for me (young and in debt) would be in the $70-100 per person including a glass of wine or a beer. Would it be better to do this at lunch or do the nicer places open at lunch? If its a dinner, it would be midweek, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be too hard to get a reservation for that? Also, in my brief research, I've seen that Perigee has a pre-theater meal, any idea on the price of that and the difficulty (or need) for a reservation?

Also, any downtown recommendations in the $10-20 range or must dine/local places and especially places that are good for people dining alone would be greatly appreciated!

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Colborne Lane. Without a doubt.

(Recent meal blew every other Toronto fine dining experience out of the water. Including Susur, Eigensinn, Splendido, Perigee, and the rest of the pack).

Chef Aprile is firing on all cylanders and putting some of the highest quality plates you're going to find currently in the city. I realize these are huge claims, but I assure you that it's extremely rare that a restaurant impresses me to this extent.

In fact, I rate my meal here as being on the same level as Per Se in NYC, and Manresa in Los Gatos (my two best meals of all-time).

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Colborne Lane.  Without a doubt.

(Recent meal blew every other Toronto fine dining experience out of the water.  Including Susur, Eigensinn, Splendido, Perigee, and the rest of the pack).

Chef Aprile is firing on all cylanders and putting some of the highest quality plates you're going to find currently in the city.  I realize these are huge claims, but I assure you that it's extremely rare that a restaurant impresses me to this extent.

In fact, I rate my meal here as being on the same level as Per Se in NYC, and Manresa in Los Gatos (my two best meals of all-time).

After Ami Pataki's review of the same http://www.thestar.com/artsentertainment/article/197460 I think I may wait a while before trying.

officially left egullet....

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Now if only it had a menu and some additional information?

It's in there, it's just a bit of an Easter Egg hunt to get to it...

Looks interesting.

There it is, although with all due respect, this is not a bonus disc of a DVD...it's a restaurant. A simple PDF of a menu on page 1 (sans spash which is jus skipped) would suffice. I think this style of web page is a little dated. Music....yikes so 2004. :smile: I suggest you click on Bymark's site and compare the music.

officially left egullet....

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Let’s get realistic here.

Susur, Splendido, Canoe and Perigee are outside your price range.

With one glass of wine, Colborne Lane is doable and is a good option, but it won’t be a life-changing experience. It’s good, but still a work in progress. Another alternative is Kultura – very good food (appetizer size portions) and very good selection of wines by the glass.

JK (Jamie Kennedy) Winebar is a realistic alternative – similarly priced. But I think a notch below the others I’ve mentioned. Or for slightly less, Coca (on Queeen Street west), another tapas bar.

For $10-20 you probably need to get ‘just outside’ the downtown area. Rashnaa has excellent Sri Lankan food and New York Subway (also on Queen west) – which doesn’t sell subs is a great place for wraps.

For a ‘splurge lunch’ also consider Lai Wah Heen (in the Metropolitan hotel – Downtown, not SoHo). I’ve yet to have better dim sum anywhere in the world – but the price reflects the quality.

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Let’s get realistic here.

Susur, Splendido, Canoe and Perigee are outside your price range....

Good point. Perhaps the full tasting menu is out of your price range at Splendido. There is the three course option $98 each with desert is $110 each BUT you can order mains and other separately (at least you could the last time I was there).

Keep in mind, I assumed as this person from from the US, the price they noted was in US$. The mains outside the tasting menu are HUGE and there is often the "for 2 option", such as the pork at around $90 or so for two and is also HUGE also, and you can share a desert.

I have done this twice there (March and Dec. 06) with my wife and we both left stuffed (it was only when I had the full tasting menu that I was not loosening my belt). But for our wine costs we can get out for under $200 for the two of us and throw in a beer to put you around the $230CDN mark that I assumed.

Note, what will kill you is the 30% that you will need to add to the whole amount on every bill you get ( 14% tax and 16% tip and booze tax is a little higher).

officially left egullet....

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I have just found out that I need to be in Toronto this coming week and haven't had time to prepare much.  I'm looking for suggestions for a "splurge" meal, which for me (young and in debt) would be in the $70-100 per person including a glass of wine or a beer.  Would it be better to do this at lunch or do the nicer places open at lunch?  If its a dinner, it would be midweek, so I'm thinking it shouldn't be too hard to get a reservation for that?  Also, in my brief research, I've seen that Perigee has a pre-theater meal, any idea on the price of that and the difficulty (or need) for a reservation?

Also, any downtown recommendations in the $10-20 range or must dine/local places and especially places that are good for people dining alone would be greatly appreciated!

Define splurge - are we more centered on cuisine or the experience?

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After Ami Pataki's review of the same http://www.thestar.com/artsentertainment/article/197460 I think I may wait a while before trying.

I had my experience at Colborne Lane not long ago and I'd recommend people to wait too.

Images and impressions of the meal:

Colborne Lane

Did the Tasting Menu (with wine pairings) at Splendido (return visit) shortly after and it was lovely. But that would be outside of the workable budget here.

My meal at Via Allegro was a first visit (Monday evening) and a highlight. It's workable with the budget given however it's a little out of the way. That visit is documented here:

Via Allegro

Edited by Renka (log)
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If that is your budget, go to Colborne Lane. You won't do better at the price point. May I suggest multiple Lobster Seviches? That is certainly the best thing on the menu... The pork belly is also quite good.

If you are willing to pay a little more... Splendido. That is the only restaurant that could currently attain a coveted Michelin star if they were ever to come here.

Claudio might be the most talented young chef in the city. If he can simplify his dishes (ie: eliminate the unneeded, sometimes conflicting flavours), CL could become the best restaurant in Toronto. CL is better than Susur and at a lower price point, sans attitude. That said, Splendido is still the best of fine dining in Toronto and probably will be for some time to come.

Edited by Tom Gandey (log)
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I am also in Toronto for the next two weeks (flying back to Vancouver on weekends) - all these recommendations sound great.

What would work best for people who, though enjoy fine dining, may find multiple courses and tastings too much food (older people). In fact - what would probably work best are smaller plates (as is popular in Vancouver) - but not quite a tapas bar.

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I am also in Toronto for the next two weeks (flying back to Vancouver on weekends) - all these recommendations sound great. 

What would work best for people who, though enjoy fine dining, may find multiple courses and tastings too much food (older people).  In fact - what would probably work best are smaller plates (as is popular in Vancouver) - but not quite a tapas bar.

I wish I could help but I really have not been to too many of the NEW places in Vancouver to compare with TO....although that said, when I was eating at the bar at Lumiere about 5 years ago the portions were too small and we went across the street to grab some KFC after....it may have been the cocktails that Sterns was pouring us all night and the 55 Marguax that Niel brought out that a customer noted was corked - good for us it was soooo not corked. If you search around I think you will find what you are looking for. Flying back on weekends. Yikes.

Edited by mkjr (log)

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I am also in Toronto for the next two weeks (flying back to Vancouver on weekends) - all these recommendations sound great. 

What would work best for people who, though enjoy fine dining, may find multiple courses and tastings too much food (older people).  In fact - what would probably work best are smaller plates (as is popular in Vancouver) - but not quite a tapas bar.

All of Lee, JK Winebar, George, Coca, Kultura and Colborne Lane serve 'small dish' menus.

The challenge is that all randomly serve the dishes - you can't specify the order!

As a 'guide' (and I'll go alphabetically):

Coca: cheaper, funkier, starving artist crowd

Colborne Lane: reservations essential (go early) complex food, "in-crowd"

George: middle-of-road, great interior patio

JK Winebar: 'foodies choice' - but I'm not as impressed. No reservations taken. More casual.

Kultura: Reservations essential, trendy crowd, but tables well-spaced. IMO best combinations of wine/food.

Lee: Noisy. Reservations preferable. Best fries!

I think Coca and JK Winebar are both open Sundays and Mondays, and Kultura also Mondays. Not sure about the others.

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Just in case anyone is interested in the Splendido meal, the image set from that night can be found here.

canucklehead, have you thought of trying George?

Nice pics

GordonCooks,

Thanks :smile: But you know, seeing pictures is not the same as actually eating the food presented in the pictures. :wink:

(Unfortunately I don't have any images of my meal at Geroge to share with those who are also interested).

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All of Lee, JK Winebar, George, Coca, Kultura and Colborne Lane serve 'small dish' menus.

The challenge is that all randomly serve the dishes - you can't specify the order!

As a 'guide' (and I'll go alphabetically):

Coca: cheaper, funkier, starving artist crowd

Colborne Lane: reservations essential (go early) complex food, "in-crowd"

George: middle-of-road, great interior patio

JK Winebar: 'foodies choice' - but I'm not as impressed. No reservations taken. More casual.

Kultura: Reservations essential, trendy crowd, but tables well-spaced. IMO best combinations of wine/food.

Lee: Noisy. Reservations preferable. Best fries!

I think Coca and JK Winebar are both open Sundays and Mondays, and Kultura also Mondays. Not sure about the others.

Thanks for the pointers - very much appreciated. I think that we have already lined up Susur and Colborne Lane sounds particularly interesting. Toronto Life recommends Doku15 - but it may be a little too fusion. Once again thanks for the help!

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Flying back on weekends.  Yikes.

It's my client's choice to do so, unfortunately. The weather's been great and my client's offices are at King and Spadina - so I may sneak off for lunch to Thuet's. And I hope to hunt down the best pizza in TO - something that is non-existent in Vancouver.

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Flying back on weekends.  Yikes.

......And I hope to hunt down the best pizza in TO - something that is non-existent in Vancouver.....

If you find it let me know. I have been craving something like Me&Ed's here without much luck since I have moved out. Had a fix last weekend in NYC at John's on Bleeker. Should hold me over for a while.

officially left egullet....

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