Celebrate with the squad at these top Toronto restaurants for shared meals.
Did you know socializing is the perfect antidote to the winter blues? Facts. Break your hibernation by breaking bread with your inner circle at these top Toronto restaurants for groups, serving shareable platters, plates and family-style feasts.
J's Steak Frites
The couple behind J's Steak Frites has taken the mantra, "Do one thing well" and run with it. Your one decision at this Queen Street West restaurant is the doneness of your 10oz Certified Angus Beef NY striploin.
The rest of the meal—green salad (or soup), house-made bread and butter and all-you-can-eat fries—is standard on the $49 prix fixe menu. If you've got room, add a sweet treat like baba au rum from the dessert trolley.
While there's plenty of food in Barque’s Meet Meat Platter (it's enough to feed four to six people), the half-pound of smoked brisket is worth fighting over to get your share. And the chopped BBQ pork? Habit-forming.
With a full rack of baby back ribs, four chicken thighs, two smoked farmer's sausages and buffalo BBQ pork rinds rounding out the feast, the inevitable meat sweats are 100 percent worth it.
Owner/pitmaster David Neinstein travelled all over the U.S. south and worked at a smokehouse in Oklahoma before opening up shop with this Roncesvalles favourite.
Tinuno serves up kamayan, the communal-style Filipino buffet of grilled shrimp, squid, mussels, milkfish, tilapia, pork skewers, pork belly, and veggies like okra and eggplant piled atop layers of garlic rice served atop a bed of banana leaves.
To feast, you use your hands, picking up rice into your palm, adding some of the other ingredients and popping each bite into your mouth. Dig into this budget-friendly banquet in downtown St. Jamestown or North Toronto's Little Manila.
The spotlight here is on their whole roast chicken done to perfection, served with russet potato fries, coleslaw, bread buns, pickles and a delectable gravy.
Round it out by sharing inventive plates that celebrate local vegetables, such as shaved fennel with mint and pistachio, and cauliflower florets garnished with fried herbs, curry mayonnaise and mint chutney.
Fishman Lobster Clubhouse
Seafood lovers unite at Fishman Lobster Clubhouse in Eastside's Scarborough community. Choose from the set menus and (if you're so inclined) snap pics of your live shellfish when your server brings it to your table for approval.
From the Jenga-like tower of crab legs to the lobster mountains prepared Hong Kong style, plates of abalone, lobster roe fried rice, and poached snow pea tips combine for a David Chang Ugly Delicious-approved shellfish feast.
Skip poring over the menu and keep it simple by ordering the Whole Shebang at Chinese-Jamaican Dundas Street West hot spot Patois Toronto.
All of the restaurant's favourites from chef Craig Wong are included in this feast for four: Jamaican patties, Trini macaroni pie, jerk chicken, fried chicken and pineapple bun burgers, along with a slew of sides (rice and peas with oxtail gravy, coleslaw, kale salad and crispy Brussels sprouts).
It'll feel like island time from your first bite, especially if you share a boozy Party Pineapple or teapot of rum punch.
Think antipasti selection to start, followed by calamari fritti and chopped salad, followed by a pasta and pizza course (such as their Fun Guy pie—featuring mushrooms, caramelized onions and three kinds of cheese), a main course (the grilled octopus with romesco, for example) and dessert.
Pro tip: plan ahead by wearing something with an elastic waistband.