Story by Vacay.ca Staff
TORONTO — If you’re looking to swank things up with your sweetheart, then Toronto is where you want to be on February 14. Canada’s largest city is feeling good about itself these days. It has a five-diamond hotel, finally, and other elite properties debuting this year, including the just opened Trump Hotel and the upcoming Shangri-La. A Momofuku franchise will boost the city’s culinary scene in spring and the tourism biz continues to boom, with foreign visitors coming in numbers like never before. Even the Americans are coming back.
Valentine’s Day is expected to be another hot occasion to be in the city. Here are some spots for conspicuous celebration on Tuesday in Toronto.
The Ritz-Carlton Toronto: That CAA/AAA five-diamond hotel in the city is the year-old Ritz-Carlton, which will be popping a salamanzar (a 9-litre bottle, equal to the size of a case) on Tuesday as part of its Valentine’s Day-inspired Champage Bar that features 30 varieties of bubbly. The bar will be in TOCA, the hotel’s main restaurant run by Tom Brodi. Its Valentine’s Day special includes a four-course prix-fixe dinner for around $150 per person. If you just want to keep things sweet, the beautiful DEQ Lounge on the hotel’s lobby level is serving up a Chocolate Dessert Bar for $32 per person.
The Ritz’s fabulous spa is also getting into the act, with a Love Potion massage for couples on the Saturday and Tuesday. The treatment, which runs $450 per couple, includes a consultation with the Ritz’s aromatherapist, who will create a custom oil blend that the couple can take home. (181 Wellington Street West; 416-585-2500)
Colborne Lane: The fifth-anniversary celebration of Claudio Aprile’s flagship restaurant coincides with Valentine’s Day. To mark the occasion, Colborne Lane is offering a 10-course menu with two dishes from each year of its existence. Dinner is $149 per person, with wine pairings available, and as of Thursday night there are a couple of reservation spots open. Some seats are available for walk-ins and in the lovely bar area. Colborne Lane, on a quiet, romantic side street east of the Yonge/King intersection, is one of the finest restaurants in Toronto, with inventive dishes and truly creative flavours. It is microgastronomy done right. If you want a meal to remember on Valentine’s, this spot will deliver. (45 Colborne Street; 416-368-9009)
Loire: Run by two friends originally from the Loire Valley (hence the name), this little gem of a place is in a charming pocket that’s west of the University of Toronto’s main campus, north of Chinatown, south of the hip Annex and east of Little Italy. A neighbourhood favourite, Loire offers sublime dishes in a casual gourment space. For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant features a reasonably priced four-course menu for $150 per couple. Reservations are still available. (119 Harbord Street; 416-850-8330)
Park Hyatt: Like the Ritz, the venerable Park Hyatt in Yorkville is enticing lovers with lots of special attention on Valentine’s Day. The hotel’s renowned Stillwater Spa is offering three luxurious packages for the ladies, including a Hungarian facial and Bora Bora body experience that runs $560 (416-926-2389).
The splendid Annona, headed by executive chef Joan Monfaredi, features set menus that range from $160 to $199 per couple. Or, you could opt for the Afternoon Tea service that includes Champagne, sandwiches, scones and sweet treats for a reasonable $35 per person. (4 Avenue Road; 416-324-1567)
Night at the Theatre: Toronto is by far the country’s most enthusiastic theatre city and there’s plenty of top-notch shows playing at the moment, including “War Horse”, which debuts this weekend at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Tickets for the theatre production that inspired the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg movie are still available for Tuesday’s 7:30 pm ET showing. Prices range from $45-$107. (300 King Street West; telephone number for tickets: 416-872-1212)
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