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Get more prix fixe deals at these recommended spots


Contemporary

Bistro Camino

2750 Danforth, at Dawes, 416-698-0283. After 25 years serving sushi to east-enders, former Osgoode Hall chef Hiro Hatori does it his way: old-school multi-course French prix fixes presented with Japanese attention to detail. Shame the care doesn’t extend to the decor, but service is family-friendly and the prices laughably low. Best: at dinner, $25 three-course set meals can begin with super-creamy asparagus soup hors d’oeuvres platters of citrusy sole escabeche, house-smoked salmon and fresh figs marinated in red wine generously portioned mains like ox tongue bourguignonne braised in red wine to finish, chestnut semifredo. Complete prix fixe dinners for $40 per person (lunches $30), including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $16/$9. Open for lunch Tuesday to Friday noon to 2:30 pm, Saturday 11:30 am to 3 pm, dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 10:30 pm, Sunday 5 to 9:30 pm. Closed Monday, holidays. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

Sidecar

577 College, at Clinton, 416-536-7000. Bill Sweete and Casey Bee’s always bustling bistro offers one of the tastiest meal deals in town. Sunday through Wednesday, their impressively plated three-course prix fixe goes for all of $24. Best: start with one of the better Caesar salads around, crisp leaves of Romaine finished with shaved parmigiano and streaky pancetta in anchovy-fied dressing, sided with house-made ricotta crostini soups like lobster bisque garnished with shrimp mains like crispy oven-roasted chicken, a deboned heavily peppered half-bird sauced with raw red onion purée over grilled asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes 8-ounce sirloin steak frites with skinny shoestrings to finish, chocolate mousse with fresh Ontario berries to imbibe, classic Mad Men-style Manhattans. Complete prix fixe dinners for $50 per person (à la carte $60), including all taxes, tip and a cocktail. Average main $20. Open for dinner nightly 5 to 10 pm. Bar till close. Licensed. Access: two steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNNN

French

Le Select

432 Wellington W, at Spadina, 416-596-6405. After three decades on Queen West, downtown’s favourite brasserie relocates four blocks south. Almost every detail, from the zinc bar and posters plastered to the walls, has been duplicated, but sadly the famous hanging bread baskets have gone MIA. Best: the nightly two-course $19.95 prix fixe, either 6-ounce top sirloin steak frites, Moroccan-spiced lamb burgers, crispy duck confit – all with requisite skinny fries – or cheesy zucchini risotto sided with either today’s soup or mesclun in balsamic vinaigrette, and B52-fuelled crème brûlée or dark chocolate mousse. Complete prix fixe dinners for $35 per person (à la carte $55/lunches or brunches $30), including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $21/$13. Open Monday to Wednesday 11:30 am to 11 pm, Thursday and Friday 11:30 am to 11:30 pm, Saturday 11 am to midnight, Sunday 10:30 am to 10:30 pm. Brunch Saturday and Sunday till 3:30 pm. Licensed. Access: one step at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

Leopold

672 St Clair W, at Christie, 416-652-0075. No froufrou boîte, Carlos de Loddere and chef Claude Boulliet’s (ex-Pastis and Le Bistingo) relaxed 44-seat “resto du peuple” delivers home-style French flavours at accessible prices in a modern, airy room free of country kitsch. Best: the $22 three-course prix fixe – cream of tomato soup followed by salmon croustillant and classic crème caramel, say starters like main-sized garlicky moules marinière in white wine sopped up with Ace baguette rustic mains like supreme of crisply roasted chicken breast in lemony mushroom tarragon non-confit duck leg stewed in red wine, pearl onion and smoky bacon, both sided, like most entrees, with seasonal veg and buttery rounds of creamy polenta thinly sliced bavette with chunky frites for dessert, lemon tart. Complete prix fixe dinners for $40 per person (à la carte $45), including all taxes, tip and a glass of wine. Average main $18. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday 5:30 to 10 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, some holidays. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN

Indian Vegetarian

Govinda’s

243 Avenue Rd, at Roxborough, 416-922-5415. In an Iskcon temple that used to be an Anglican church, this AYCE café makes a great introduction to the vegetarian cuisine of the Subcontinent. Even better, the spread’s available for a tax-free $8 donation, $5 for students, and free on Sundays at 7 pm as part of its evening festival. Zero decor and no proselytizing. Best: from a rotating lineup, cauliflower, tomato and zucchini sabzi in mild curry gravy plump raisin basmati rice à la biryani mixed greens tossed with sprouts, cucumber and shredded root veg in yogurt dressing to finish, house-made ginger cake slathered in maple syrup icing to drink, fresh apple and peach juice (50 cents extra). Complete meals for $8 per person, all taxes included. Open AYCE buffet Monday to Saturday noon to 3 pm and 6 to 8 pm. Closed Sunday. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: 10 steps at door, washrooms in basement. Rating: NNN

Pan-Asian

Supermarket

268 Augusta, at College, 416-840-0501. With culinary roots that link this Kensington resto-lounge to the Queen Mother, Rivoli, Lava and and Tom “Foxley” Thai’s Tempo, it’s no surprise that the East-meets-West fare its kitchen dishes up is so accomplished. And did we mention cheap? How’s a spectacular four-course prix fixe for sound $15? Note: not available Saturday. Best: chef Manh Nguyen’s substantial meal deals start with soup – a rustic lamb meatball soup sided with a wedge of house-baked focaccia, perhaps – then continue with ripe mango salad, skewers of turmeric-tinged chicken satay, and quite possibly the best vegetarian pad thai in the city, before finishing with banana spring rolls dipped in chocolate sauce. Complete prix fixe meals for $28 per person (à la carte $40), including all taxes, tip and a domestic lager. Average main $10. Open for dinner nightly 5 to 10:30 pm, bar till 2 am. Licensed. WiFi. Access: three steps at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNNN

Pub Grub

House on Parliament

456 Parliament, at Carlton, 416-925-4074. A laid-back Cabbagetown local, this UK-style pub – tin ceilings, damask banquettes, florid carpeting – becomes a madhouse every Sunday afternoon after 5 pm when its long-running roast beef dinner goes for a nickel short of 15 bucks. Be warned, though: because the small kitchen can only turn out three roasts, it sells out fast. Best: 8 ounces of spectacularly plated AAA prime rib in jus sided with a whack of horseradish, buttery roasted garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, brioche-like Yorkshire pudding and caramelized apple bread pudding from the regular menu, beefy grilled-to-order steak sandwiches dressed with caramelized red onion and blue cheese and sided with super skinny fries to quaff, inexpensive plonk by the glass. Complete Sunday dinners for $28 per person, including all taxes, tip and a pint. Open daily 11:30 am to 1 am, bar till 2 am. Licensed. Access: three steps at door, washrooms on same floor. Rating: NNNN

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