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La Maquette


therese
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Dinner this weekend in Toronto. We're booked at La Maquette, where the web site looks okay, not spectacular (though pretty spendy). I'm not sure how many we'll be, so if it's a large enough party we'll likely be choosing from a limited prix fixe.

Any info one way or the other?

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I worked there 15 or so years ago, it was good but has steadily declined over the years IMO. It has become a try to please all people type restaurant now, and the menu is a complete mismash. Other than the busy summer months when the beautiful patio is open I have no idea how the place stays in business.

www.azurerestaurant.ca

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The food is competent - as is the service. No, it's not the finest in T.O. but they know their limitations.

And they are best when handling large groups - that's how they stay in business - weddings, receptions, business dinners etc.

Indeed the patio is the star attraction in summer, but the upstairs room 'extension' overlooking the sculpture garden is also pretty good. And for small groups they have a separate 'cathedral room' (holds up to about 20) which is perfect for private dinners.

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I have never been. I looked at the menu and wine list though. Food looks OK but you are right the prices seem very high. I also looked at the prices on the list and they look to be consistently marked up close to 3 times. Funny but I walk by this place all the time since I live in the area and thought that it was just a place to have wedding receptions? 2.5 stars in Toronto life for what its worth http://www.torontolife.com/guide/restauran...an/la-maquette/

If its not too late, for the same area, I would suggest you walk up the street to Starfish http://www.starfishoysterbed.com/ (and they have a private room in the back and I have been there with 20 or so) or go to Romagna Mia http://www.romagna-mia.com/ (which although does not have a private room, I have had a group of 10 and we were allowed to order off the main list. If you are larger and are not fussed by the area then call Jamieson at Crush http://www.crushwinebar.com/index.htm and see if the private rooms are available. I have been there a few times with very large groups and it has been great.

officially left egullet....

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If its not too late...

It's my host (a Torontan) who has picked the restaurant, so it was too late at the outset. In any case it looks to be a pleasant venue, and sometimes dinner isn't about the food.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Okay, more info needed. My dinner date for Friday (an old ex-pat friend who lives in Toronto) is unexpectedly away for the weekend, so now I need something to eat/do that evening. I'm staying near the intersection of Queen and Jarvis. I'm assuming the neighborhood's okay for walking around in the evening (and apparently Gay Pride's on at the moment, so presumably plenty of people out and about).

So, single female of indeterminate age. Bar or communal dining setting fine.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I ate at La Maquette about 3.5 years ago, but at the time they were just right for the price/style. They left neither a reason to regret going nor a reason to go out of my way to go again.

mkjr's recommendation of Starfish applies even more now. For a Friday night you'll want to try to reserve, but if you're dining alone it shouldn't be a big deal, plus there's good seating at the bar from which you can watch the shucking action up close :). Hiro Sushi is in that neighbourhood too and also nice (get the $35 sushi/sashimi omakase, skip the stuff coming out of the hot kitchen), and so is Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, but I like Starfish best of all those.

and yes, the area should be plenty safe any time of day or night.

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I ate at La Maquette about 3.5 years ago, but at the time they were just right for the price/style.  They left neither a reason to regret going nor a reason to go out of my way to go again.

mkjr's recommendation of Starfish applies even more now.  For a Friday night you'll want to try to reserve, but if you're dining alone it shouldn't be a big deal, plus there's good seating at the bar from which you can watch the shucking action up close :)Hiro Sushi is in that neighbourhood too and also nice (get the $35 sushi/sashimi omakase, skip the stuff coming out of the hot kitchen), and so is Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, but I like Starfish best of all those.

and yes, the area should be plenty safe any time of day or night.

Thanks for the tips. I'll report back.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I think you would enjoy JK's or Starfish. I like them both very much and live in the area. Dying to get to Hiro and its only a block and a half away :wink: The area is fine although there are some odd cats out the later it gets (read towards 2 or 3 in the morning) but the same can be said for pretty much any city.

officially left egullet....

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I think you would enjoy JK's or Starfish.  I like them both very much and live in the area.  Dying to get to Hiro and its only a block and a half away :wink:  The area is fine although there are some odd cats out the later it gets (read towards 2 or 3 in the morning) but the same can be said for pretty much any city.

The largest concentration of "odd cats" was to be found on Dundas. I'm used to the homeless caging money, but nothing else: it's been a while since I've heard "hey, baby."

Anyway, the bad news is that I ended up working straight through dinner on Friday night. Worse news is that dinner Saturday was actually worse than expected (and my expectations were clearly not high): lobster bisque too salty and New York strip ordered rare but cooked well done. The waiter did inquire as to whether there was something wrong with the nearly untouched meat, but only after the others (who'd mostly ordered salmon from the limited menu) had finished, and in any case I wasn't excited enough at the prospect of eating any of the food to put him to the trouble of returning to the kitchen.

Sorbet for dessert was unexceptional.

I did have a great view, looking out from the second floor dining room at the water feature in the Toronto Sculpture Garden as well as St. James Cathedral. And the company was pleasant.

Bad weather in Atlanta cancelled my return flight homeSunday, so I dined (and slept) at the Sheraton that's attached to the airport: smoked meat reuben (very fatty, but then it's probably supposed to be) with green salad (greens a bit wilted, which they're definitely not supposed to be).

Oh well, next time.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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....New York strip ordered rare but cooked well done....

Gotta love how much effort it must take to screw that up. At least you had some warning not to expect greatness but well done...nice. Sorry to hear Friday got jammed for your other dinner. I am sure you think that dinning in this city is the best thing since sliced well done steak. :laugh:

I think that much north of King around (between Yonge and Parliament can have many interesting folks).

Like you said perhaps next time....and perhaps you will be able to suggest the place.

officially left egullet....

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