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Choosing b/w 4 restos for dinner with out of town friends - pls help pick


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Choosing b/w 4 restos for dinner with out of town friends - pls help pick

balthazar | Sep 1, 2009 11:18 AM

My SO has some friends visiting Toronto this weekend, 2 guys, hip mid-40's, from California. I've been told they like good food but are not "foodies." They are probably not extremely adventurous, but we're not sure what they like so we want to skew:

- French or Californian/Modern
- Asian influences are OK (but not too authentic per se - the menu needs to have variety in case it turns out they don't like Asian food)

We DON'T want:

- Italian food
- Canoe, Bymark, JK, Trevor, Biff's, Splendido, Nota Bene (nothing wrong with these places, they're just not of interest for this dinner)

The food must be good but does not have to be the most expensive, and they won't be impressed by decor that tries hard to impress (e.g. C4). The environment must be good for talking. Must be central downtown (anywhere between Spadina/Jarvis/College/Queen's Quay). Captain John's comes to mind (no, just kidding).

Based on location & food, so far I've narrowed it down to:

La Gamelle (College)
Colborne Lane

Of these, I've only been to Gamelle so far. I've read some of the CH reviews. I'm leaning towards Madeline's for a combo of not-too-uptight, cool environment and good food. If you had to choose between these 4, where would you go? (I've drawn a blank as to whether I've missed an obvious choice worth considering.) Thx in advance!

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