Hi a bit lazy today in looking through past posts but I wanted to ask the TWC for recommendations on a nice hotel in a good location and a nice restaurant to celebrate.

We are planning to go to Toronto for the first time with my wife for two nights on Nov 21 and Nov 22. Will likely rent a car to go to Niagara falls on the day of 22nd and would like a recommendation for dinner celebration (romantic) on Tuesday 22nd of November. We will be celebrating 10 years of marriage.

Thanks in advance.
Original Post
This is what iwould be looking for:

Monday night dinner - good food but more casual/relaxed

Tuesday - more romantic/formal

Ok i left my laziness aside, this is what i have kind of picked up from browsing the threads. I welcome your guidance

Monday candidates
Le Select
Paese
Brassaii

Tuesday candidates
Buca estate
richmond station
Bestellen meats

I think monday i can decide but appreciate more choices for Tuesday.

Thanks
Thompson hotel in King West is a hip place if that's what you're looking for. Air B&B in King West would be a good candidate as well. If you want to be more traditional downtown spot then of all the new "5 Star" hotels built in Toronto my favourite is the Shangri-La.
Shangri-La is a fantastic hotel and I would agree it's my favorite of the top end hotels in the city.

That one is downtown, if you want to move up 2 miles you can go to Yorkville (Like Wisconsin Ave. in Chevy Chase) which has a lot of great restaurants and shopping. The 4 seasons is new(ish) and a great hotel as is the more boutique'y Hazelton Hotel.

For your more romantic dinner I would through out (in order):

Scaramouche, make sure you ask for a window seat, you're on the top of the escarpment looking down on Downtown. Fantastic food done right.

Canoe, top floor of one of the tallest buildings in the city this is top flight food, white linen, amazing views, very romantic.

George, about a mile NE of Shangri-La and a mile South of 4 Seasons. A little off the foodie beaten path it's just a really nice romantic restaurant.

Sassafraz, right in Yorkville so if you're staying there it's an easy walk. Been around forever, a place to see and be seen (though not as much as before). Well done formal food.

All four of those places don't have the best food in town (though they are all good) but they are the very well executed, very good food in a formal, romantic setting.

For Monday, Le Select is great, there are a number of restaurants along Ossington. I would look at Buca on King (Or Bar Buca if in Yorkville), Richmond Station (which I don't find at all romantic but is fantastic non the less).
Thanks guys, great advice. Will look into Hazelton, 4 seasons and Shangri La to see if I can get an attractive corporate rate.

Now I am torn for Monday between Byblos, Richmond Station (since it is not as formal) and Buca. My wife loves Mediterranean and Italian.

I liked Canoe's current menu. Will check closer to winter to see how it has changed.

Thanks again.
Do Richmond Station on Monday for sure. I think it's the best restaurant in the city. I second Canoe or Scaramouche for a romantic spot, the latter being quite corkage friendly if you choose to take some some wine along with you (as is Richmond Station for that matter).
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
Reliable recommendations from a reliable bunch of foodies. Except the tip about the piano. Everything sounds romantic - and no advice is reliable - after 1500 ml of wine.

But VinT's piano really started to sing after 1500ml of wine.
Scaramouche and Canoe are classic Toronto establishment restaurants and you can't go wrong. Scaramouche is more on the romantic side better suited to your anniversary dinner. If you go, make sure you ask for a table by the window. Their coconut cream pie is a must order for dessert. Canoe also has a good view being on the 54th floor of TD Bank Tower but is more business-like, less romantic than Scaramouche.

Outside of the establishment restaurants, you should consider Alo which is considered by many locals as the best restaurant in Toronto today. As such, reservations are very hard to get, so call early if you want to go. Buca Yorkville at the Four Seasons Hotel is probably 2nd to Alo as the best today. Again, reserve early.

Richmond Station was mentioned and we dined there a couple of months ago with much anticipation. We ordered the Chef's tasting menu and it was meh at best and a couple of dishes were not good. Prices are cheaper than Canoe or Scaramouche but the food is not as good. No plans to return.

If I had to recommend, I'd say Alo for the food or Scaramouche for the ambiance.

Since you'll be in Niagara Falls same day, if you decide to stay in the area, head to Niagara-on-the-lake and go to Treadwell which is considered one of the best in the area. It's not in the same class as Alo or Scaramouche, but is pretty good if you want to stay in the Niagara area.
I've been to Alo once for dinner and once for bar snacks and would have to say you are better served in DC or in many major cities with this type of restaurant.
I'd go back to the bar but no need to return for dinner on my own dime imo.
VinTs piano though
If you're dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake, here's a tip.

One of my favourite restaurants happened to be in NOTL: Stone Road Grille. Very much in the tradition of Richmond Station with a talented young chef preparing an inventive, eclectic and always reliable tasting menu along with an a la carte menu. It was a bit of a well-kept secret, as it was located in a strip plaza, and the sign outside simply said "RESTO".

The couple that ran it left after a few years and the restaurant carried on without them, but it was never the same.

Last year they returned to NOTL and took over the space again, rechristening it as Backhouse.

They now run their own farm to supply the restaurant and they do "Cool Climate Cuisine" and "Integrated Sustainable Cuisine". I have not tried it yet, but if it's in the same league as Stone Road Grille, it's worth a reservation.

Some info about the new(ish) restaurant:
http://theniagaralocal.com/liv...ouse-the-back-story/

And the restaurant's website:
http://backhouse.xyz

Sample menu:
http://backhouse.xyz/wp-conten.../03/Dinner-Menu-.pdf
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Now I am torn for Monday between Byblos, Richmond Station (since it is not as formal) and Buca. My wife loves Mediterranean and Italian.


Then go to Buca. The original one on King is still my favorite. Get anything with pig blood in it. Like vinoevelo says, if they did corkage they couldn't keep me away. That said, they do have a great wine list it's just not cheap.
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
By the way if i want to buy anniversary year wines (2006) will i be limited to the LCBO? Will i find 06 Brunellos for example? 06 champagne?

Or should i put a couple in my checked bags?


Take wines with you. Lcbo's selection of older wines is virtually non-existent.
I don't know how I missed this thread before. You guys crack me up.

Merengue, I cannot add anything to the already excellent advice you've been given on dining. But I do have about 20 different 2006 wines in varying quantities that I'd be happy to part with at my cost if it saves you the hassle and risk of checking luggage. Email me at <email redacted> if you're interested in the list.
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
I don't know how I missed this thread before. You guys crack me up.

Merengue, I cannot add anything to the already excellent advice you've been given on dining. But I do have about 20 different 2006 wines in varying quantities that I'd be happy to part with at my cost if it saves you the hassle and risk of checking luggage. Email me at and without spaces) if you're interested in the list.


Thanks for your generosity; would love to look at the list. Will send you an email shortly.
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Rob; I had not checked back into this thread in a while.

Question, for a day tour to Niagara Falls, do you know of a good tour company? There are tons in the internet but would prefer to choose one you have heard good things about.

Thanks

Are you driving down to Niagara Falls? If so, I wouldn't bother with a tour. It's a 75-90 minute drive from Toronto.

Really, other than the falls, there's not a whole lot to see. Just the usual cheesy tourist trap places like Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Book the Maid of the Mist - the boat that takes you out under the falls.

If you don't have a car, then I'd recommend taking the VIA train from Toronto's Union Station (downtown). It goes straight to Niagara Falls and I believe it's about $18-20 CDN per person.

Now, if you are talking about a side trip to Niagara wine country, that's a whole other story.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Rob; I had not checked back into this thread in a while.

Question, for a day tour to Niagara Falls, do you know of a good tour company? There are tons in the internet but would prefer to choose one you have heard good things about.

Thanks

Are you driving down to Niagara Falls? If so, I wouldn't bother with a tour. It's a 75-90 minute drive from Toronto.

Really, other than the falls, there's not a whole lot to see. Just the usual cheesy tourist trap places like Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Book the Maid of the Mist - the boat that takes you out under the falls.

If you don't have a car, then I'd recommend taking the VIA train from Toronto's Union Station (downtown).

Now, if you are talking about a side trip to Niagara wine country, that's a whole other story.



Hmm interesting; was trying to avoid renting a car. So is it feasible to do the falls and then drive to a nice winery (or two) in Niagara wine country and then back to Toronto by 6PM?
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Rob; I had not checked back into this thread in a while.

Question, for a day tour to Niagara Falls, do you know of a good tour company? There are tons in the internet but would prefer to choose one you have heard good things about.

Thanks

Are you driving down to Niagara Falls? If so, I wouldn't bother with a tour. It's a 75-90 minute drive from Toronto.

Really, other than the falls, there's not a whole lot to see. Just the usual cheesy tourist trap places like Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Book the Maid of the Mist - the boat that takes you out under the falls.

If you don't have a car, then I'd recommend taking the VIA train from Toronto's Union Station (downtown).

Now, if you are talking about a side trip to Niagara wine country, that's a whole other story.

Hmm interesting; was trying to avoid renting a car. So is it feasible to do the falls and then drive to a nice winery (or two) in Niagara wine country and then back to Toronto by 6PM?

Absolutely.

As for the length of the drive, when I drive down to pick up wine across the border, I leave around 7:30 AM and I'm at the border in Niagara Falls at 8:30 AM. There's little traffic at that time of day so I can put it on cruise at a steady 120 km. That's why I figured it would take you closer to 90 minutes with traffic.

You could do the falls in the morning, then drive to a winery closer to Niagara on the Lake for a great lunch, then stop at a few more wineries as you head back towards Toronto. Most of them are within 10 minutes of the QEW highway that you'll be taking from Niagara to Toronto.

I think there are lots of threads here with Niagara winery recommendations - including notes about which ones have good restaurants on site.
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Sunnylea, so which ones (two) would you recommend visiting?

I'm not the best person to give you that advice, but I will strongly recommend Pearl Morissette.

https://pearlmorissette.com

More of a European winery type of tasting experience than, say, Napa. You'll be in the middle of the production area with the tanks and barrels, and likely tasting a wide range of their wines. Great people, great experience. It's usually Svetlana who does the tastings. She's incredibly knowledgable and personable.

Tawse is more of the corporate Napa-style commercial experience. They make some good wines, especially their whites.

I'm sure others will have more and better advice.

If you do go to Niagara On The Lake after Niagara Falls, here's a restaurant recommendation:

http://backhouse.xyz

If it's lunch you're after, they're only open on weekends. On weekdays they just do dinner.

Caveat: I haven't tried this restaurant, but the couple who own/run it used to run a place called Stone Road Grille (in the same location), which was brilliant. So I expect this to be in the same league.
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Sunnylea, so which ones (two) would you recommend visiting?

Not to hijack since you didn't ask me, but I strongly recommend stopping at Leaning Post. They are at the far western end of the Niagara region. A small, rustic tasting room.
Booking the Maid of the Mist is a great recommendation and must do activity if visiting Niagara.

I once took a helicopter ride around the falls, which seemed quite exciting. However, the next week it crashed, killing the 3 occupants so my recommendation is with Sunnylea: Take the boat ride, an amazing up close experience with the falls.
quote:
Originally posted by billhike:
quote:
Originally posted by Merengue:
Thanks Sunnylea, so which ones (two) would you recommend visiting?

Not to hijack since you didn't ask me, but I strongly recommend stopping at Leaning Post. They are at the far western end of the Niagara region. A small, rustic tasting room.


Thanks to both. Will look into these but looks like a no brainer to do on the way back to Toronto from the Niagara falls (Pearl Morrisette first and then Leaning post).

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