Whether longing to celebrate a long-time relationship or impress a new flame, the restaurant you choose might make the difference between a memorable time or not. Of course, we don’t all share the same idea of romantic dining –some prefer luxury and serenity while others opt for spaces buzzing with energy. With that in mind, this article rounds up 6 of Toronto’s most romantic restaurants that can please even the most sophisticated tastes!
Perfect for toasting very special occasions, this long-standing hushed room on Avenue Road does not only provide an attentive, fast, and polished service, and delicious tastes from the hands of Keith Froggett, but also one of the city’s most breath-taking, romantic, dining views. The food is sublime and has been receiving raves for three decades now while the tables, masterly placed next to floor-to-ceiling windows, comprise an impressive commodity. As a first course, expect to surprise your palate with seasonal, yet extravagant, ingredients, such as Truffled Gnocchi Parisienne or nicely washing down oysters, followed by tempting subsequent courses. As for the wine list, it will certainly not disappoint you. You are also free to bring your own wine with a corkage of $35 per bottle!
If you want to spend a few hours getting spoiled and pampered, this stylish Harbord Street restaurant is the one for you. It is a place that fulfils every request and works perfectly with two starry eyes lovers that are celebrating a special moment, rekindling passion over splendid food. Although it is hard to tell what to expect to caress your taste buds with, given that the menu changes every day, one thing is for sure: you will experience heavenly indulgence! From butter poached lobster to magnificent pasta dishes with black truffles, you will fulfil your lust for Canada’s prime produce! Although it’s a dining facility that will shed a few pounds of weight from your wallet, the depth of flavour and the extravagant amuse-bouche served in shot glasses for an even more intense flavour experience, will make it worth your while.
This warm and cozy trattoria, spread out in 3 rooms on Amelia Street, steals impressions with its amiable entrance that reminds a lot of a Tuscan farmhouse, tucked on a corner of a busy neighbourhood, with a lovely Italian-style pizza oven. However, this is only the beginning. You instantly feel like home as waiters and owners learn your name within a glance and take you to your table to please your taste with hearty, blistered pizza crusts and Northern Italian dinner. One of the specialties is the rosemary braised rabbit with pappardelle that you can accompany with an affordable option from the wine list. Before lingering over wine, you may also want to savour their signature pies made with San Marzano tomatoes.
Nicely situated just above the TD bank, right in the heart of the entertainment district, Canoe is an impressive splurge of a restaurant. From the menu by chef John Horne, full of dishes made from local ingredients, to the artful handling of the food in the perfectly clean open kitchen, and the spectacular view, everything screams you are about to have a top dining experience. Each dish is a surprise; the garnished fois gras and short ribs are exquisite. Every detail is well attended and you can expect to be well taken care of, which makes Canoe a must see restaurant and an ideal spot to relish life, from 54 floors above ground!
In quiet Queen Street, George dining room offers divine, inventive tastes and excellent, fast service that won’t leave your wine glass empty for long. You can celebrate in absolute style with a beautifully presented five-to-ten-course menu (vegetarian option provided) for up to $140 that inspires awe.
George is the kind of restaurant that is becoming less and less scarce nowadays, with the food almost requiring formal attire as chef Lorenzo demonstrates his flair and passion for cooking through the full of local and seasonal produce menus. The wine list is excellent and although most menus are blind, you can expect George to cater to your preferences, in case you have extreme dislikes or allergies to specific ingredients. As for the made private romantic, garden patio, decorated with lovely lights, it is the perfect dining during the summer.
6. TRATTORIA SOTTO SOTTO
This Italian village-like, classy, private oasis in the elegant neighborhood of Yorkshire, is a pleasant, cozy restaurant located in the basement of a multi-storied building that attracts A-lists and celebs by tens and tens during the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). Year round, Sotto Sotto is fitted with business associates and romantic couples that want to get a taste of a perfectly made bolognese sauce and Osso Bucco with fresh ingredients that melts in the mouth sending gustatory shocks that amaze. Definitely a must-visit dining with superb dishes made with love that shows.
To complement your list, here are other great restaurants that you and your other half can enjoy a romantic dinner:
7. ICI BISTRO
The 24-seat dining room and the delicious food make Ici Bistro an appealing place for those longing for a refined and laid-back place to enjoy food and be a bit spoiled over dinner. Expect to be treated with modern French fare and a warm and fast service. However, it should be best to make sure you get a reservation as it is packed every day of the year!
8. PAPPAS GRILL
Located in the romantic central Greektown location on the Danforth, Pappas Grill comprises a superb dining facility that has stolen people’s hearts, not only because of the delicious, well-cooked and served dishes, but also for its enchanting, award-winning design. The lovely patio overlooking at the Danforth area, offers relaxing moments. You can have your drink there, when the weather permits, and let your mind go as the fresh breeze rejuvenates your senses and the beautiful flowers allow your eyes to wander in places of serenity and peace.
9. CORNER HOUSE
A rustic, quaint cottage on Davenport that serves Continental fare and makes you feel at home thanks to the remarkably friendly owners, chef-owner Herbert Barnsteiner and his wife, Michelle. Ideal if you are looking for a special and cozy place to treat your spouse!
10. GLAS WINE BAR
Beautifully placed in Leslieville, Glas Wine Bar offers a Michelin-starred experienced and steals your heart from the first moment you step foot in it. Its modern status and the open kitchen make it all the cozier and you can enjoy a lovely romantic dinner with your significant other in a completely casual and unrushed tenor. However, the only one relishing a laid-back, slow-paced dining experience will be you and not the service as the owner and chef, Danny Pantano won’t let your glass unfilled not even for a bit!