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A post shared by (@ardorestaurant) on Sep 18, 2018 at 1:55pm PDT Ardo 243 King St. E., 647-347-8930, Some of the city’s best-known Italian restaurants have a cultivated ambiance one step below a private club on nonmembers’ night, which makes Ardo notable for its unfussy sophistication. It’s more for the not-for-tourists set than the social-media influencers. And chef Roberto Marotta wears his southern-Italian stripes proudly: “Sicilian” appears on the menu 27 times, in pastas like the Anatra, with its long strands of fettuccine, rich duck ragoût and Sicilian herbs; and pizzas like the Etna, a fiery number with house-made Sicilian sausage.
One of the few dishes that doesn’t reference the island is the standout mushroom gnocchi, dime-sized dough pockets swimming in an addictive stracchino cheese sauce slicked with black truffle oil, kernels of corn and tiny cubes of carrot.
Your urge will be to cram six to a fork, but it’s better to savour them and use the house-made sourdough to soak up any leftover sauce.
A post shared by (@thechaseto) on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:30am PDT The Chase 10 Temperance St., Flr. 5, 647-348-7000, When it opened in 2013, the Chase immediately became the city’s most cherished spot for Bay Street schmoozing, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering incredible views of the Financial District. Dishes are a tight mix of pastas, meaty plates and steakhouse classics, like the wedge salad or the tableside-prepared beef tartare.
Delicate gnocchi dumplings come in a Dungeness crab broth with carrot-infused butter and piquillo peppers; perfectly seared scallops are paired with salty ham hock, pea purée and crispy quinoa; and thin fillets of rich arctic char are wisely accompanied by pickled carrots, creamy confit sunchokes, root vegetable chips and earthy braised kale.
Well-executed desserts, like the chocolate cake with creamy ganache, peanut-butter anglaise and vanilla ice cream, put a refined spin on the classics. A post shared by (@mikutoronto) on Nov 27, 2018 at 12:00pm PST Miku 105-10 Bay St., 647-347-7347, From the moment it debuted, Miku’s 180-seat dining room has been overrun—an advantage of being in the heart of the new office district south of the Gardiner.
The kaiseki menu consists of cleverly combined exotica. One night, the kaiseki’s star course is a tiered plate of sushi: ocean trout with jalapeño and pink grapefruit, toro with funky black truffle, golden-eye snapper with kumquat compote, and shima-aji (mackerel) with okra and a dashi jelly—it was one of the most exciting things to happen to fish since Nemo reunited with his dad.
A post shared by (@canoerestaurant) on Nov 15, 2018 at 11:21am PST Canoe 66 Wellington St. W., 416-364-0054, Locals point out landmarks to tourists, patient servers snap pics of celebrating couples and everyone oohs and aahs over the view.
Honouring Canadian cuisine and ingredients for 23 years has taught the kitchen something about presentation, and the elaborately plated dishes compete with the vistas for sheer beauty. A plump slab of seared Quebec foie gras rests on a sliced cattail-pollen waffle; shards of pink peppercorn and sumac meringue add a colourful, savoury, architectural component.
A tangle of tender spring pea shoots, dressed with verjus and minted buttermilk curd, act as a healthy foil for meaty peameal bacon lardons and shaved ricotta salata. Exceptionally tender and flavourful tea-smoked duck breast mingles happily amid a jumble of radicchio, roasted parsnip, poached Niagara pear and a swizzle of parsnip purée. And a tube of rhubarb cheesecake is a creamy pink, red and yellow confection that oozes strawberry compote. Canadian winemakers are given pride of place on the extensive wine list, naturally, but care and attention are apparent with all the selections.
A post shared by (@momofukutoronto) on Aug 24, 2018 at 2:24pm PDT Momofuku Kojin 190 University Ave., 3rd Flr., 647-253-8000, While there are traces of restaurateur David Chang’s influence across the menu, the focus is squarely on South America, specifically Colombia, where head chef Paula Navarrete was born. Hominy and cornmeal flatbread—equal parts arepa and Chinese bing—are fully addictive, and even better wrapped around Niagara prosciutto and pickled cherries.
She’s a master of the wood-fired grill, which touches everything from zucchini and potato to avocado and steak. One standout is the rib-eye, mildly funky from 32 days of dry-aging, grilled to a magnificent, well-seasoned crust,a scoop of bone marrow butter the final note of excess. Navarrete serves it with a whole green chili, a forearm’s length and blackened from the grill, a dare on a plate. A post shared by (@themcewangroup) on Aug 7, 2018 at 6:53am PDT Bymark 66 Wellington St. W., 416-777-1144, Sixteen years in, Mark McEwan’s subterranean clubhouse still draws a steady stream of Bay Streeters.
Chef Brooke McDougall’s deconstructed grilled-peach-and-tomato salad makes the most convincing case yet that summer should never end, and dry-aged strip loins and rib-eyes never go out of style. À la carte sides, especially the roasted cauliflower with lemon mascarpone and the jalapeño corn risotto, are worth the upsell.
And every dish, even the stack of fries that accompanies the $40 cheeseburger, is dramatically plated. About that burger: topped with rich brie de Meaux, shaved truffles and grilled porcinis, its hefty price tag is justified.
A post shared by (@biffsbistro) on Nov 25, 2018 at 1:23pm PST Biff’s Bistro 4 Front St. E., 416-860-0086, At O&B’s iconic bistro, British touches blend with Parisian traditions: burgundy leather banquettes, black-and-white photos and London-born bar snacks alongside duck confit and steak frites.
Each dish is turned into an assemblage of bright veggies, Canadian-raised proteins and surprising hits of flavour. A tiny pitcher of green gazpacho arrives with a plate of delicate smoked sturgeon, asparagus, cucumber ribbons and lemony buttermilk curd for a fresh-as-hell appetizer.
Mains, like cumin-dusted lamb with fluffy gnocchi and al dente green beans, dazzle for their drop-dead perfect cooking. A post shared by (@rachelking25) on Oct 26, 2018 at 10:45am PDT Bosk 188 University Ave., 647-788-8888, The Shangri-La’s house restaurant opened in 2012 during a particularly exciting time in the city’s fancy-food scene: Momofuku had launched to great fanfare, as did Café Boulud. Bosk needed an ambitious mandate, and six years and a few chefs later, it’s settled firmly on seasonally driven fine-dining fare.
The menu, filled with luxurious items like oysters, caviar and foie gras, reflects the tastes of Bosk’s clientele, but service is accommodating and unpretentious. Butter-poached lobster, coarsely chopped on a bed of bisque-infused orzo, is rich, warming and elegant, while the beautifully presented 40-day dry-aged rib-eye comes cooked to order and perfectly pink with dense, moist pain perdu, sweet sautéed onions and bitter greens.
The drinks list is as extensive as you’d expect from a high-end hotel restaurant. A post shared by (@loitakeover) on Oct 30, 2018 at 8:07am PDT George 111C Queen St. E., 647-496-8275, If it weren’t a destination restaurant, George could be a museum dedicated to a style of dining that has largely been pushed aside in the small-plates era. Choose from five-, seven- or 10-course tasting menus or chef Lorenzo Loseto’s focused three-course à la carte menu, where the simplicity of the descriptions (“pheasant, cheddar grits, cherry”) does nothing to herald the polychromatic layers that arrive with every dish.
A post shared by (@richmondstation) on Nov 17, 2018 at 12:24pm PST Richmond Station 180 Queen St. W., 647-748-1444, In the six years since chef Carl Heinrich used his Top Chef Canada winnings to open Richmond Station, a remarkable thing has happened: the downtown brasserie—a solid place since launch— has somehow become even better.
Vegetarian-friendly fare and meatier dishes share equal space on the menu, which boasts long-time favourites, like house-cured charcuterie and duck two ways. Flavour-packed mainstays—like the cucumber salad, with queso fresco, tzatziki, lavash chips and taggiasca olives; and the juicy, decadent Station Burger, a chuck, brisket and sirloin patty enveloping shredded braised short ribs and crowned with beet chutney and aged cheddar on a soft milk bun—more than compensate for any seasonal menu fluctuations.
A post shared by (@thedrake) on Nov 19, 2018 at 5:40pm PST Drake One Fifty 150 York St., 416-363-6150, Considered a gamble when it opened, based on the sheer scale of the massive, intricately designed space, Drake One Fifty has been embraced by the Bay Street suits who pack the dining room and bar areas from lunch to late night for client meetings, after-work drinks and dinner with colleagues.
As it’s been since day one, the menu is a hodgepodge of salads, pastas, pizzas, snacks and mains. Some of the dishes can be overcomplicated, and the cooking less consistent than the west end’s Drake Hotel.
But everything is beautifully plated, and the room is still a great place to enjoy a good boozy cocktail. A post shared by (@lenarestaurante) on Sep 14, 2018 at 12:59pm PDT Leña 176 Yonge St., 416-507-3378, When you’re not in the mood for a 14-hour flight to Buenos Aires, you’d do well at this handsome series of art deco rooms in the Saks-Bay complex.
Anthony Walsh, O&B’s top chef, got his inspiration (and his empanada recipe) from his Argentinian mother-in-law. Must-haves are a dish of salt cod, pickled red onion, deep-fried cumin-dusted chickpeas, fava beans and cilantro scooped up on toasts (they call it a salad), and the roasted rabbit on flavourful rice cooked with tomatoes and snails.
The empanadas, sweet pastry encasing peppery ground beef, egg slices and black olives, live up to the hype. A post shared by (@the_gabardine) on Jul 24, 2018 at 2:36pm PDT The Gabardine 372 Bay St., 647-352-3211, Bay Streeters flock here after work for at least two good reasons: homespun classic cocktails is the first, and a decent selection of by-the-glass trendy wine varietals is the second.
And just as it’s easy for one drink to become two or three, it’s even easier to underestimate the gussied-up pub grub: a mountain of brick-red cauliflower nuggets, bathed in Korean gochujang, are as addictively snackable as popcorn chicken; and expert seasoning is evident in both a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich and a delicately breaded piece of rockfish, served over creamy polenta.
An airy Italian zeppole, laced with citrus cream and topped with candied orange, makes for a sweet nightcap. A post shared by (@momofukutoronto) on Nov 6, 2018 at 6:45am PST Momofuku Noodle Bar 190 University Ave., 647-253-8000, Noodle Bar might be famous for its steamed buns and bowls of excellent ramen, but the classic ginger scallion noodles deserve a shout-out, too, with a hunk of katsu pork over pickled mushroom, cucumber and cabbage. Pork buns remain the go-to starter, but the shrimp ones are joyful pockets slathered in spicy mayo, topped with pickled onion and crunchy iceberg.
Dessert is still a mostly DIY affair: there’s Cereal Milk soft-serve, and the Milk Bar kiosk is stocked with Christina Tosi’s signature truffles and slices of hilariously sweet Crack Pie.
best date night restaurants downtown toronto - East Thirty
Recently moved to NYC and having a pretty good (yet sometimes frustrating) time finding interesting "date night" restaurants. We go out once a week, and tend to lean more towards Farm-to-table, New American, French, rustic Italian, and seafood spots. Clearly all the top-tier places are obvious (EMP, Per Se), but what are some other key spots. Really enjoyed Gramercy Tavern, L'Artusi, and Prima, Saxon+Parole was okay.
Totally underwhelmed by Locanda Verde and Balthazar. Bonus points for places will exceptionally executed cocktail menus.
Shares 360 Whether you’re trying to impress a new flame, keep the fire burning, or escaping the kids for a few hours, we have a date night restaurant for you.
This list compiles both exceptional and unique restaurants to consider for your next date night. From fine dining, to casual neighbourhood bistros, to one of a kind experiences - our list of The Best Date Night Restaurants in Toronto has it all. La Palette Address: 492 Queen St West Website: La Palette's Romantic Interior If you’re going for old fashioned romance, La Palette is a great option for date night.
There’s a lot to love here - a warm ambiance, classic and well executed French bistro fare, and reasonable prices. Chat with your partner over a glass of wine or beer, nibbling on appetizers like foie gras in endive cups ($25) or oysters on the half shell ($20). Or indulge in classic mains like steak frites ($26 for 6oz., $32 for 8oz) and duck confit ($26).
End the night on a sweet note with a creme brulee ($4) or chocolate fondant ($9), or go savoury with a decadent cheese tray ($15). La Palette Octopus La Palette - Lemon Tart with Fresh Figs Harvest Kitchen Address: 124 Harbord St Website: Harvest Kitchen Keep it casual and conscious at Harvest Kitchen. This Harbord Street restaurant is all about farm to table and ethically sourced cuisine. If you, or someone you’re into, is into that, they even source some of their food from their own farm and the rest from like-minded farmers!
Harvest Kitchen Lots of ingredients are organic and the meat and seafood are ethically sourced. Prices are reasonable and portions are large. If you’re trying to snag a spot on the patio, don’t worry - there are two patios and two floors!
The menu is fairly broad and includes options that are vegetarian friendly, gluten intolerant friendly and low carb friendly. The food is as casual as the vibe - stop in for something hearty like a grass fed burger ($16.95) or a meatless meatball melt (15.95), or go light with a green juice ($3.95 for 7oz, $7.25 for 14oz) and a kale salad (starter $8.95, main $13.95).
Harvest Kitchen Meatballs 416 Snack Bar Address: 181 Bathurst Street Website: Italo Board Grab your date and celebrate all things Toronto at 416 Snack Bar. This little restaurant is known for its Toronto inspired, street-food-style small plates, no cutlery and a cool atmosphere. Pinot 416 A great stop for the adventurous anytime after 5pm before 2am. Take a culinary tour of the city’s food with your date by ordering an assortment of plates to share.
Portions are small so be sure to order a few each. Indulge in decadent options like their Korean Fried Chicken ($5), empanadas ($5) and spicy tuna handrolls ($6). Lasagna Toast Buca Yorkville Address: 53 Scollard Street Website: Buca Yorkville Interior If you are trying to impress someone who loves Italian food, take them to Buca Yorkville. This seafood focused restaurant is the standout of three Buca sister restaurants.
With a constantly changing menu, Buca is a fantastic place to come back to for a whole new experience every time. Buca Squid Ink Dumplings Enjoy inventive seafood dishes like oysters with pickled ramps and olive oil ($24) or raw Branzino with prosecco and lemon ($42).
You can even opt to reserve the chef’s counter where you can watch the chefs hard at work in the kitchen while you dine. If you’re willing to splurge and you want to get the true Buca experience, try a tasting menu -- with 7 to 16 courses available. Scaliatelli alle vongole DaiLo Address: 503 College Street Website: DaiLo Interior If you or your date is an adventurous eater, DaiLo is a delicious option.
Serving up Hakka cuisine at a reasonable price in an elegant space with gorgeous banquettes, DaiLo’s menu features food with Chinese and French influences. DaiLo Big Mac Bao Enjoy Hakka twists on classics like DaiLo’s truffle fried rice ($19) or their Hakka Brown Wontons (pork & shrimp) served in toasted sesame oil, house XO sauce, with an almond crumble topping ($9).
With low prices order a few plates to share. After dinner, head upstairs to Lopan for dim sum and a cocktail with an Eastern twist like the Lemongrass Gimlet (Bombay Saphire East Gin and Lemongrass Cordial) ($14).
DaiLo Fried Watermelon Byblos Address: 11 Duncan Street Website: Byblos Middle Eastern food is a great choice for a date, especially when you’re still getting to know someone.
Sharing small plates can be fun, intimate, and serve as a great ice breaker. If you want to enjoy elegant, delicate and authentic Lebanese food in a clean and sleek setting, Byblos is a must. Labneh Byblos goes to great lengths to provide an authentic Middle Eastern taste experience to diners -- importing many of their high quality ingredients straight from the region. They also make some of their own staple ingredients like their labneh (yogurt cheese).
This restaurant is also very vegetarian friendly. Yogurt Mousse on Pistacchio Cake Topped with Persian Cotton Candy Rasa Address: 196 Robert Street Website: Rasa Interior The Food Dudes have made an impressive mark on the catering scene in Toronto with their creative fare and flair for presentation, and now they’re tackling the restaurant scene with Rasa.
Buttermilk Waffles with Earl Gray Ice Cream and Rhubarb Jam This relaxed bar serves well executed comfort food in a casual setting -- think Wagyu Beef Ribs ($29), Truffle Gnudi ($19) and the Chopped Salad (vegetables, quinoa, jalapeño feta, harissa chickpeas) ($14). Prices are affordable and portions are satisfying. Burger Melt Fat Pasha Address: 414 Dupont Street Website: Fat Pasha Terrace Fat Pasha describes their menu simply as "Tasty Jew Food". Menu items are a delicious blend of Israeli and Sephardic cuisine.
You’ll find everything from latkes topped with salmon caviar, sieved egg and sour cream ($16) to whole roasted cauliflower with tahini, skhug, pomegranate and halloumi ($18). Salad and Dip Platter Much like the menu, the space is bright, fun and eclectic. A cool little hideaway with creative food, moderate prices and large portions.
Wash it all down with a creative cocktail like the Za'atar Sour (bourbon, montenegro, za'atar syrup, and lemon) ($14). Fat Pasha Buttery Rice These are our top picks for The Best Date Night Restaurants in Toronto.
Try one of these fantastic restaurants for your next date night. If you think we forgot a spot, let us know in the comments! DD00NB Save Save Post navigation
BEST RESTAURANT IN TORONTO!