A New Wave of Casual Fine Dining in Toronto

Factory Girl is a little Danforth gem of a spot typically reserved for those times when you want a neighbourhood-feel of a gastropub. However, from time to time it goes a little more class-focused and offers up a five-course wine dinner for those seeking out a comfortable gourmand experience.

We went last weekend, and drank some rare glasses you can’t find at the LCBO alongside some classic comfort food like oysters, homemade lasagna with beef brisket, and Toulouse sausage inspired by the South of France. From Prosecco to Gewurztraminer and several rich reds, the dinner was set along harvest-like tables in Factory Girl’s brick-heavy and intimate back room. 

Wine-pairing dinners are hardly a la mode, but the new crop of restaurants starting to offer this style of dining experience is. Factory Girl would hardly be conceived as a set-course feast spot, but it worked well and it pleases the casual regulars who like a bit of change. 

Chef dinners are also becoming more and more popular at Toronto restaurants, offering a re-envisioning of a resto’s dining experience and presenting something more customized and, for all intents and purposes, ‘special’ for an ever-growing foodie crowd.

This new wave of casual fine dining and curated dining experiences is a welcome addition to our scene. Sure, dressing up and going for a $400 dinner on occasion is great – and for you Bay Streeters who call that a Tuesday night we envy thee – but being able to hit up your favourite comforting spot and get the same level of attention to detail without the fuss of shining shoes and pressing shirts is most definitely notable. Bon appetit!

Photo courtesy Factory Girl