293 Palmerston, 647-342-6307, woodlotrestaurant.com
Whenever anyone asks us to recommend a resto for a special occasion - birthday bash, anniversary, out-of-towners who need to be wowed - we always send them to David Haman's justly celebrated west-side beanery. Not only is the room unlike any you'll encounter elsewhere - a converted multi-level body shop - it's dominated by a massive wood-burning oven that cooks everything on his comfort food carte. And, no, he doesn't do pizza.
Instead, go for crostini piled with charred haloumi cheese and fresh figs, Red Fife whole wheat lasagna layered with old-school short rib ragu and whey-fed Perth County pork chops so substantial, leftovers are a dead cert. There's even a parallel vegetarian menu for your finicky friends. For the best view, book a table along the upper railing. Try not to swoon.
The Black Hoof
928 Dundas West, 416-551-8854, theblackhoof.com