VL’s Top 11 Romantic Midtown Restaurant Getaway Pick’s for Valentine’s Day By Stacia Carlton
So what’s it going to be? Flowers? Chocolates? Lingerie? Jewelry? So many choices, so many different ways to thrill your sweetheart. Gifts and special treats aside, I think we can all agree that experiences can be so much more meaningful than any one item and so, with that thought in mind, here is a list of some of the amazing and romantic restaurants our neighbourhoods have to offer for this Valentine’s Day.
I’ll start in Leaside with one of my personal favourite spots for lunch or dinner and most especially weekend brunch. L’Avenue Bistro at 1568 Bayview Ave. is one of those places that moves with ease from “Special Occasion Dinners” to just your every Saturday lunch spot. Service is always excellent and food divine. This Valentine’s Day for only $69 they are hosting a 3 course meal with wine pairing, which is always exceptionally well done under the guidance of Sommelier/Owner Otta Zapotocky. It was also helpfully pointed out by Otta that if you might like a little more elbow room (or perhaps have need for a second Valentine’s outing?) then check them out on the 16th for a $99 “Bubblicious” wine dinner; 6 courses, 6 sparkling wines…OOH LA LA!
7Numbers in the north Forest Hill Village has been a staple in the neighbourhood for years, known for their authentic Southern Italian soul food served up by professional, knowledgable and downright charming staff. The 7Numbers Danforth location at 307 Danforth E. is a little quieter if that’s what you’re after, but it has to be said that although 7Numbers at 516 Eglinton Ave. W. might be a little loud, it most certainly creates an air of intimacy and an undeniably sexy atmosphere.
Zucca Trattoria at 2150 Yonge St (just south of Eglinton) is the epitome of elegance and romance. The interior with its warm palette and gorgeous artwork is nothing short of sigh inducing. Although I am not generally one to save a place for special occasions I have been known to choose Zucca when a memorable meal is required and nothing less will suffice. These people have scratch pasta down to a silken art form. As the menu is perfection simply as is with their holy trinity of pasta, fish and veg, for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day they only need add a few extra specials.
Quanto Basta at 1112 Yonge St, little sister to the equally lovely but decidedly more bright and brash Capocaccia has quickly taken up a big place in the culinary neighbourhood of my heart. Count on some specials from the very talented kitchen staff for this Feb 14th. And offering a little competition on the warm and inviting front, you don’t want to miss Caren’s just a few doors north at 1118 Yonge. Caren’s (formerly of Yorkville) has a gorgeous Parisian inspired interior and hosts live music most evenings.
Newer to the romantic dining scene you will find both Concession Road at 760 St. Clair W with their modern take on Global French fare and Rione XI, the latest shining gem of Hillcrest Village at 672 St. Clair W. which serves up the deliciously unusual Italian fare straight out of the Jewish ghetto in Rome.
So when considering whether it should be sweet confection, diamonds or racy boudoir apparel, remember that time spent together, particularly over a meal is the longest lasting gift we can give those we love.
Finally, as any great love letter would include a “P.S. I love you”, I include as my post script three more places to consider taking your beloved this Valentine’s Day.
Flor de Sal at 501 Davenport with it’s elegant white linen service and old-world soul-stirring recipes combine for a classically romantic setting.
Forest Hill – Il Mulino at 1060 Eglinton Ave W. known and loved by its long time patrons for its consistently delicious menu.
Bar Isabel at 797 College where you will feel you have stepped off the streets of Toronto and straight into the heart of Spain.
Stacia Carlton is a culinary school grad and food writer with a great love of experiencing the remarkable assortment of restaurants in the city. Find her at www.bestillandeat.com where she obsesses about all things food weekly.