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Toronto Fine Dining
Whether you would like to spend a romantic evening with your partner, or set up an important business date – choosing a great restaurant is a key to success. Toronto is a city that celebrates diversity introducing cuisine that would satisfy appetite of any gourmand. Local selection of Italian, French, Asian and Mediterranean establishments could render you speechless and it would probably take more than one lifetime to check them all out. If you have time by all means do so. However, consider visiting these top ten fine dining restaurants first.
With 42 locations in Canada and 10 in the United States, the Keg Steakhouse and Bar restaurant chain is rightfully recognized as one of the most successful franchises in North America. Keg's signature dish is of course a steak, which does not mean that vegans have to shun it completely. The Keggers always consider their customers' needs a priority and will accommodate any of your wishes creating a customized meal that will certainly blow your mind away. Pair your dish with a glass of wine or one of Keg's signature cocktails. My personal favorite is Sangria, but the selection varies depending on the location. Don't pass up the dessert at the end of your night: Billy Miner Pie is almost worth dying for!
If you ever wondered what happens when a celebrity chef decides to open his own restaurant, check out Lee's in downtown Toronto. A selection of Chef's specials infused with French and Asian flavors accompanied by mouth watering cocktails will create an unforgettable fine dining experience for you and your guests. Elegant decor, great ambiance and crafty dishes attract sophisticated crowd. At Lee's the staff is committed to accommodate a party of any size, but I would recommend to make a reservation in advance if you plan on inviting multiple guests as the place is usually packed. Try their famous slaw dish and follow it by tuna tacos. If you are feeling particularly bold you can let the chef surprise you. Susur Lee never disappoints!
It's 10:30 pm on New Year's Eve of 2013. After spending around an hour in line in front of Jack Astor's with no prospect of getting in in 2012 my friend suggests that maybe we should try our luck elsewhere. Half an hour of helpless and mindless wandering later we finally stumble upon the gem on Bay Street, in the heart of downtown: Marché restaurant. Miraculously there are not too many people for this time of the year, and ten minutes into our visit we are shown to a table by a friendly host. This is where the adventure begins. With eight stations ranging from Asian cuisine to Italian, Marché more closely resembles a marketplace than an actual restaurant. All food is freshly made and you can even watch it being prepared for you on the spot! Since that time in 2012, I'd been to Marché a few times, and I always left with the desire to come back. I would still highly recommend it in 2018.
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or just want some true Canadian experience, 360 on top of one of the world's wonders is a good place to go. Breathtaking views of Toronto skyline, excellent service and delicious freshly-made food would certainly spice up your evening. Make sure to order some wine from the world's highest wine cellar which can store up to 9000 bottles. Bonus feature: the dining room floor rotates every 72 minutes which only adds to overall experience. I would recommend reserving a table in advance as that will allow you to skip the line and grant you full access to the glass floor free of charge.
For those searching for a sublime fine dining experience George Restaurant is the right choice. Executive chef Lorenzo Loseto who was named Canadian Culinary champion in 2014 reigns over the kitchen enticing guests with luscious dishes. You can choose à la carte menu that offers three or four course lunch and up to ten course dinner. The menu will be customized in accordance with your tastes and food allergies. Depending on the selection you make your meal can include up to 20 different dishes. Trust a sommelier with your wine choice. The sommeliers at George are very knowledgeable and can pair up any dish with the most suitable wine.
Spanish food lovers should pay a visit to LaVinia. Led by a graduate from Lausanne Cooking Academy in Switzerland, LaVinia offers a selection of tapas, paellas and meat dishes. LaVinia is a cozy restaurant with wooden interiors and homey atmosphere. The kitchen is rather small, but do not be fooled by its size, as at LaVinia you and your guests are going to have hands down the best authentic Spanish food outside of Spain. Piquillo Peppers stuffed with a seafood mousse and anisette cream, paella Valenciana, grilled trout, and various tasty desserts will get you hooked up from the very first bite.
Accoglienza means a warm reception in Italian, and that's exactly what you are going to get at Carisma Restaurant in downtown Toronto. Impeccable service and food, great ambiance and cozy décor will give a special touch to your evening. Cuisine at Carisma is more traditional than modern, something that would remind you of a hot summer night in Florence. Try their palatable scallop appetizer and cheese gnocchi then follow them up by a sensational veal chop special with porcini mushrooms and truffles, and voila: your own taste of Tuscany is complete. Great food needs to be paired with great wine. Over 200 options, many of which are served by the glass might require professional help when making a choice. Luckily a well trained team of sommeliers is always at your service.
For a taste of Aburi cuisine stop by at Miku Restaurant in Toronto's Harbor Front. It's a 7000 square feet place which includes a raw bar, a sushi bar and a huge patio. A mixture of traditional Japanese flavors with a touch of local influence will give you unparalleled fine dining experience. Add to it Miku's famous Aburi hints and you will never want to leave. The drink menu is also rather extensive and contains tasty cocktails, rich flavored wines and sake. Don't forget to order a dessert to finish off your evening. My personal favorite is the green Tea opera cake which is big enough to share between two people and they have plenty of other equally delicious items on their dessert menu.
If you are interested in local food you should check out Epic at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Epic offers seasonal menu which changes every week. Each course is enhanced with local herbs raised at the Rooftop Garden. Tasty food, stellar service and great ambiance are some of the things you can expect from your visit. Seafood chowder, duck entree and steaks cooked to perfection are definitely worth trying. A decently sized wine list which includes top of the line local and international wines also meets high standards of upscale dining. Bonus feature: Epic serves some mouth watering desserts with a touch of honey from their own Rooftop Apiary.
It is hard to find a fine dining restaurant if you happen to be a vegetarian. Even though most establishments claim to be vegetarian and even vegan friendly more often than not you get stuck with a risotto as your starter and main and a glass of Prosecco as your dessert while your carnivorous friends get to enjoy a three course meal. There is of course Fresh, but at Fresh they don't serve alcohol and if I dine out I want to have a glass of Pinot Grigio with my meal. That's exactly what I thought until someone mentioned Planta to me. Planta's mission is to create a unique dining experience in a cozy atmosphere without using animal products. Make sure to try their coconut ceviche and famous carrot dogs. You will certainly want to come back!
Wherever you decide to go, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience. You can ask for recommendations at your hotel: the staff can point you in the direction of the places with the best service and cuisine. Don't forget to leave tip: 20% is customary.