Discovering Toronto’s culinary hotspots need not be reserved for dining alone. Of course, Toronto’s top restaurants rely on the food to attract its clientele, but their atmosphere, staff and entertainment keeps them hostage, often making repeat visits and securing a regular slot on locals’ and visitors’ social calendars.
Like a good book cover attracts readers to pick a book from a shelf, so too does décor play a role in enticing customers through an eatery’s door. The owners of Toronto’s finest restaurants know how a first impression can make or break a dining experience, thus the reason that so many devote the time and resources in setting the right mood. But, more than that, it’s the whole package, from the line of a dining chair and relaxing lighting, to the friendliness and knowledge of a restaurant’s frontline – its staff.
The atmosphere and great food might get customers through their doors, but the venue’s entertainment factor gets people to stay. Enter the birth of the lounge. Not only does it offer exquisite and well thought-out menus and wine lists, but Toronto’s lounges allow its patrons to do just that: lounge. It’s this social atmosphere that gets its clientele to make the transition from the dinner table to the lounge to expand on conversations, flirt and unwind after a long week. The city is fast-paced and it’s these establishments that allow people to take a breath, make friends and expand their social circles.
Sometimes the dining experience can be entertainment enough, with the chef on centre stage. Japanese restaurants often move toward the theatrical where the preparation of the food is the experience. Vegetables are chopped right in front of you. Chicken, beef and seafood are grilled and the visitor sees first-hand the techniques used to bring their entrees to life.
If musical entertainment is more up your alley, look to the restaurant’s theme nights – DJ’s spinning funky beats, retro tracks, or the allure of musicians bringing to life their own brand of sound just for your enjoyment. And, don’t forget the dancing, an ideal way to let loose after a stressful workday. It’s not just regulated to the weekend. Most Toronto restaurants and lounges have something happening almost every day of the week.
Make it a private affair
Have you got something to celebrate? Toronto’s top chefs will prepare their fare especially for you and your family and friends. Toronto’s top restaurants offer catering packages, creating a menu specifically for your event, albeit a wedding, birthday, anniversary or whatever special occasion you choose to celebrate. Their world is your oyster.
Is there a better accompaniment to a great lunch or dinner than a fine bottle of wine? Toronto’s top restaurateurs don’t think so. That’s why most will offer a wine list that expands past the house white or red. Why limit choices when there are so many great wines to choose, local or international. Some restaurants will invest even more in the great wine hunt by building their own wine cellars and opening them up to you, their dinner guest.
Spirits are not forgotten either. A look over a drinks menu might unveil a single malt scotch that you’ve wanted to try but not bought for your own private collection. Brandies, ports, sherries, they all have a place, over and above the standards.
Toronto is more than a great skyline, baseball and hockey games and museums and art galleries. Culture is alive and well in Toronto , and that extends to the culinary. Make it a goal to explore Toronto ’s great restaurant scene, and let TorontosRestaurants.ca be your guide.