I am tasked with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of planning a ladies' networking dinner for my firm.
All of us are out-of-towners, and as such, the majority stay at -- and would prefer to dine near -- the Westin Pasadena on Los Robles.
I enjoy innovative cuisine from all cultures. My colleagues, however, are less adventurous and anywhere lacking at least several "safe" options will likely terrify them, cause them to eat only the bread basket, or both. To illustrate, our last dinner was at Twin Palms, which everyone absolutely raved about. I thought it was fine, no major issues, but tremendously boring in the food department.
Here are the restrictions. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not find anywhere that meets all criteria, but I would be happy to meet at least most.
-- In or near old town Pasadena
-- 2 courses and several shared bottles of wine at no more than $50/pp, before tax and tip
-- Pleasant ambience (most of the attendees will likely pay more attention to the surroundings than the food)
-- Able to accomodate a group of 15, relatively comfortably
-- Choice of several "safe" menu options (e.g. the menu from Bistro K would send people running for Olive Garden)
-- This one is purely selfish, and the one that is most likely to go unfulfilled: at least a few somewhat innovative options, or if not, then fantastic renditions of common dishes
I'd add to the list "not touristy" but my initial impression is that this is an anomaly in old town.
Is this an exercise in futility? Am I destined to eat at Buca di Beppo or similar?
Please help! And if you ever need any recommendations as to where to eat in Toronto, you know who to ask :)