HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Happy Holidays!!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas (and every other holiday celebration) and a Happy New Year!

For myself, 2015 marked many special events. This was the first year The Hubby and I celebrated as a married couple and we loved spending time with both of our families, feasting and arguing over boardgames. 2015 has been full of celebrations and amazing memories including 5 weddings, 9 countries and 1 baby. So far we’ve already booked a two week vacation for April (Hint: It’s in Europe!) and I can’t wait to see what else 2016 has in store!

Happy Holidays!!

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

Happening right now on my Instagram account! Win a $25 Gift Card for Starbucks!

#GIVEAWAY | Thank you to everyone who follows me! I can’t believe I’ve hit 2500 followers and as a way of thanks, I’d like to run a contest just for you guys!

CONTEST DETAILS:
_____
One winner will receive a $25 gift card to Starbucks. This contest is in no way sponsored by Starbucks. I’m simply thanking my followers with a gift I’d love to receive for Christmas.
_____
To Enter:
1. Follow @xiaoeats on Instagram
2. Like the Instagram post
3. Optional #1: For 1 Bonus Entry, Tag 2 Friends. (2 Tags = 1 Entry)
4. Optional #2: For 2 Bonus Entries, Repost this image and use hashtag: #xiaoeatsgiveaway
_____
Contest ends on December 16, 2015 at 11:59PM.
🌟Winner will be contacted the following day.
_____
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE and Thank you for following!
____
Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

Contest is open to Canadian residents only.

BEST DATE NIGHT

For me, the equation for a perfect date includes good food, good drinks and good conversation. A date is about spending time with another person, be it getting to know each other for the first time, getting a break from the kids or re-connecting after a busy week at work. To facilitate this, my pick for the Best Date Night restaurants in Toronto offer great food, an air of privacy and no ear-drum breaking music. I’m old, I don’t love yelling across the table all night.

1. Kwan Dim Sum


Rating/Price: 5.0 $$
Why? Elevated dim sum, lovely service, elegant interior, dishes perfect for sharing
Must Order: Shrimp Dumplings, Rice Roll
Good For? First dates, midtown location, refined Chinese food
 

2. La Carnita


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Well priced, delicious tacos, cozy seating
Must Order: In Cod We Trust, Dessert
Good For? Casual date, dinner before another activity
 

3. The Good Son


Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$
Why? Intimate dining area, great tasting menu, good cocktails
Must Order: Charcuterie and Cheese Board, Seasonal Cocktails
Good For? Special occasions, trying to impress, foodies
 

4. Koyoi


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Good food, located downtown, hidden gem
Must Order: Sashimi Salad, Beef Tataki
Good For? Casual date, pitchers of beer
 

5. Oyster Boy


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Fresh oysters, intimate seating, amazing pasta
Must Order: Oysters, Papperdelle Pasta
Good For? Seafood lovers, special occasions
 

6. Pizzeria Libretto


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Delicious pizzas, also available for take away
Must Order: Duck Confit Pizza, Calamari
Good For? Casual date, pizza lovers
 

7. Sake Bar Kushi


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Intimate booths, traditional izakaya decor, many menu choices, perfect for sharing
Must Order: Ebi Mayo, Yakitori
Good For? Izakaya experience without the yelling, midtown location
 

8. Pai Northern Kitchen


Rating/Price: 4.0 $$
Why? Takes reservations, best Thai food in the city
Must Order: Squash Fritters, Papaya Salad
Good For? Casual date, dinner before going out
 

9. Bestellen


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Intimate seating, good wine list, wonderful service, great steak without breaking the bank
Must Order: Dry Aged Steak
Good For? Foodies, special occasions
 

Honourable Mentions:

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments. Last Updated: 10/02/2015  

BEST FOR LARGE GROUPS

Somehow, whenever I plan a meal out with friends, our head count always spirals up and up until we’re in the double digits. I always find it challenging to find a restaurant in Toronto that can seat more than 8 people, takes reservations and doesn’t force a set menu on us. With a large group, in addition to being comfortably seated, budget and service is key. Sometimes bills need to be split, food is shared, there’s couples, everyone arrives at a different time and everyone has a different budget. The restaurants listed below have all been great at handling a large table of hungry, fussy diners at a reasonable price point.

1. Zakkushi


Rating/Price: 5.0 / $$$
Why? Tapas style menu, great for sharing, loud, boisterous atmosphere
Must Order: P-toro & kawa skewers
Good For? Beer drinkers, carnivores, large, loud groups
 

2. Patria


Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$
Why? Downtown location, beautiful sophisticated space, authentic Spanish cuisine
Must Order: Jambon Serrano, Paella
Good For? Special events, celebrations, excuse to dress up
 

3. DaiLo


Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$
Why? Sick Asian food, great decor, upstairs bar LoPan
Must Order: Big Mac Bao, Fried Giggi Trout
Good For? Celebrations, late night cocktails, foodies
 

4. Song Cook's Authentic Korean Restaurant


Rating/Price: 5.0 / $
Why? Authentic Korean cuisine, low price, plenty of seating
Must Order: JaJangMyun, Jokbal, TangSuYuk
Good For? Casual gathering, 905'ers, groups of >8, budget friendly
 

5. Thoroughbred


Rating/Price: 4.0 / $$$
Why? Menu that's great for sharing, downtown location, great wine selection
Must Order: Kung Pao Cauliflower, Chicken Liver Mousse
Good For? Foodies, celebrations, group of 8-10, cocktails
 

6. Han Ba Tang


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Infused soju, great menu for sharing, attentive service
Must Order: Soju flight, Kimchi Fries, Spicy Seafood Stew
Good For? Soju, avoiding downtown, fusion cuisine
 

7. Bent Restaurant


Rating/Price: 4.5 / $$$
Why? Large space, great outdoor patio, upbeat atmosphere
Must Order: Singaporean Style Slaw, Tong Yuen
Good For? Groups of 8-12, cocktails, boisturous crowd, birthdays
 

8. El Catrin Destileria


Rating/Price: 4.0 $$$
Why? Giant outdoor patio, multiple private dining areas, plenty of tequila
Must Order: Tuna Ceviche, Bucket of Shrimp
Good For? Large groups, private events, celebrations, special occasion
 

Honourable Mentions:

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

  • Kingyo Izakaya
  • Carbon Bar
  • Copacabana
  • Colette Grand Cafe

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments.

Last Updated: 04/28/2015