Best First Date Restaurants in Toronto

The Good Son | Queen West

What a gem The Good Son is! Cozy, inviting decor with a wall of grandfather clocks, varnished wood tables and a stunning vintage chandelier that gives a warm glow to the dining area (a good chandelier gets me every time.) The wood oven baked pizzas do not disappoint. I had heard lots of good things about the prosciutto one and it was perfect- crispy and flavourful topped with mascarpone, arugula and roasted tomato.

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Chef Vittorio Colacitti was at lots of top Toronto restaurants including Lucien and Pizzeria Via Mercanti before opening The Good Son. Top Chef superfans like me will remember him from season four of Top Chef Canada. What a lovely addition to Queen West in the location that Nyood used to occupy. Rosie :)

The Good Son Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Richmond Station | Downtown Toronto

Carl Heinrich, winner of Season 2 of Top Chef Canada, opened Richmond Station in 2012. It's downtown in Toronto's financial district at 1 Richmond Street West. He has turned his restaurant into a winner exactly like he won Top Chef- by focusing on the ingredients and keeping it simple and delicious. Every year during Nuit Blanche we make Richmond Station our stop for edible art. Some highlights from 2016 include the lamb crochette:

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Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie | Distillery District

Restaurants in the Distillery District really have a duty to live up to their picturesque surroundings. When you walk on lovely cobblestone past beautifully restored storefronts and popular public art like the love lock installation, when you finally sit down to dinner it really better be good. Cluny Bistro is lovely inside and out and the food is as good as it looks. Start with the salt cod doughnuts- they are light, tasty and delicious.

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The Ace | Roncesvalles

Really enjoyed The Ace on Roncesvalles. I've been told their kale salad with beets, goat's cheese and crispy chick peas is a must-order but I'm pretty bored by all things kale right now so I chose the deep-fried brussels sprouts tossed in vinaigrette to start. So good. Order these even if you think you loathe brussels sprouts!

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Merlot

This restaurant is an escape to southwestern France right in the Kingsway. The ambience feels like you've truly left the country. Merlot has been an Etobicoke dining destination for decades- the food is fantastic.

The fragrance of the white wine, garlic, shallots and butter in the escargots Bourguignonne was a perfect way to start the meal. The snails were so tasty:

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The Beech Tree

There is a real warmth to this Kingston Road restaurant in Toronto's Upper Beaches. The atmosphere makes you feel like you're inside a Manhattan bistro in Greenwich Village. It's one of those spots that feels so good to walk into.

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The menu features the best local ingredients with plates putting a modern spin on traditional English country cooking. This approach is expertly displayed by the whey-fed Ontario pork chop with rye dumplings, brussel spouts, celeriac, apple and sage:

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Chef Jamie Newman's dinner special of quail and sweetbreads prepared sous-vide was flavourful and perfectly cooked.

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The Ontario fruit crumble with buffalo milk semifreddo and apple fritter was the perfect combination of tart and sweet:

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The flourless Equadorian chocolate cake is sprinkled with Maldon salt and topped with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraiche. It was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. This cake, along with the burger, are the only two items that have been on the menu since day one.

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A bonus of visiting The Beech Tree during the holiday season is the homemade eggnog, which is prepared with twelve eggs yolks, Maker's Mark bourbon and Remy XO cognac. The cocktail menu features classics with a twist such as the White Old Fashioned and are prepared with bitters and grenadines that are made in house.

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Owner Robert Maxwell has created a wonderful dining experience at The Beech Tree. The ambience is a perfect combination of casual and elegant without a hint of pretension. The menu is complex but not overly complicated. Details like the glasses of water with fresh mint and sliced cucumber are simple, lovely and luxurious. An amazing experience. Rosie :)

The Beech Tree on Urbanspoon

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Amsterdam Brewhouse | Harbourfront

Amsterdam Brewhouse is the perfect place to go if you want to meet a bunch of friends on a Saturday night to watch the Leaf game, in a really nice bar with really good food. I love anyplace on the water that has a view like this:

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In addition to an excellent beer selection, the menu has some really well-above-average tasting pub food. Highlights for me were this poached pear salad with bruleed goat cheese, and brown butter lobster rolls with poutine:

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A casual, lively and lovely spot that overlooks the harbourfront. Rosie :)

Amsterdam BrewHouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Beaver | Queen West

Like everyone else in this city, my husband and I really wanted to try Grand Electric. But at the end of the day, we couldn't line up for half an hour for pork tacos, no matter how delicious I'm sure they are. So we went to The Beaver, which has been around for awhile. The Beaver offers one of my favourite kind of dining experiences- excellent food in completely unpretentious surroundings. We had lamb burgers and a starter with pear, cambazola and the most flavourful fig preserves that was as good as anything I've ever eaten at Canoe. Two people can easily dine here for under $50, which is another lovely bonus about this spot. Rosie :)

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The Beaver Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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