[Toronto] heated patios

My last patio experience was an unheated patio at Rasa when it was around 5 degrees. I refused to eat inside, and was Googling for heated patios. My friend talked the manager into letting us eat outside, he didn’t want to keep looking for a heated patio. I was wearing a down coat so I was okay, but my friend became irritable as he became chilly, then he let me know he thought I wasn’t living my life, by refusing to go inside to dine.

Rasa has heaters but hadn’t set them up.

While we were there, a spot had opened up on the heated patio of another restaurant that’s quite popular, with a rather crowded heated patio. The following Monday, that popular restaurant announced that a server had come down with Covid (inevitable these days), and I was relieved we hadn’t gone there.

On the topic of heated patios closer to East York:
Have you tried La Paella? I can’t remember. Despite how it looks, this is the link to La Paella. :joy:

We haven’t tried La Paella - walked by it but something about our superficial appraisal didn’t put it high on our to-try list. Can’t remember why we thought that. Has anyone tried it?

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I think my friend tried it- let me find out what he thought , if he did.

I completely understand what you’re saying, about something about a place keeping you from trying it. Someone had recommended a place in the Annex, a place I hadn’t considered because of its name and dusty windows, and I finally tried it for take-out. It wasn’t my cup of tea.

A couple other places with heated or enclosed patios, I’m turned off by how air-tight their plastic-wrapped patios seem from the inside, or how close the tables are set together . Attitude from a host also has me turn around and walk away lately. Lol.

Far away from where you’re situated, I’m curious about the Greek food at Bar Neon, which has a small heated patio. Probably more of a neighbourhood place. It’s quite high on my heated patio wishlist.

Lapinou re-opened their patio this weekend, so we went on Saturday night. It is protected from the wind in an alley, with a canopy overhead so it is good for a rainy evening. They have lots of heaters, so we were fine without jackets at 5 degrees (and have been fine previously at zero).

The food remains very good, leaning mainly towards French. We mainly sampled new options, so we didn’t order the cassoulet, which was excellent previously:

Fried squash, with yogurt, honey, pumpkin seed, Espelette - espelette very subtle, sweet squash, could use thicker slices of squash to balance out the thick-ish coating.

Baby Gem with fennel, breadcrumb, shaved Gouda, bay leaf emulsion - delicious salad, like a riff on Caesar

Bread rolls - arrived hot and perfect to go with the house smoked ham, with truffle aïoli, celery, Comte. We put them together to make fine sandwiches that rival the mortadella sandwich at Bar Piquette.

Chitarra with hen of the woods, preserved lemon, Parmesan - great noodles, with a buttery sauce nicely balanced by the lemon.

Garganelli with ground lamb, preserved lemon, nicoise olive (chopped over top), ricotta salata, jalapeño - delicious combo with a non-creamy sauce (some tomato).

Chocolate tart with miso Chantilly, caramel sauce, sesame crumble - more like a thin souffle than a tart, a bit overly salty, but otherwise nice.

Crème brûlée with yogurt, blackberry, cassis, Anise - lovely sweet blackberries highlighted this one.

In terms of drinks, we shared our favourite cocktail: Liaison Dangereuse. We then shared some lovely glasses of wine:

  • Biutiful Cava Brut Bature NV - macabeu, chardonnay, Utiel-Requena, Spain - (repeat) did not disappoint. Peachy and light.
  • Domaine Barou, 2020, Rhone - marsanne - light, buttery, a little herbal and bitter as well, it thought quite nice if subtle.
  • Domaine des Homes, L’Amandier, 2020, Languedoc - cinsault - (also a repeat) delightfully violet, really enjoyed.

Went to F’Amelia’s patio last night. We’ve been a number of times before and it is a good neighbourhood restaurant, though uneven at times. We chose it because it because we are still not doing indoor dining and our friends are less adventurous eaters, so we figured this would be a safe bet.

The patio is semi-enclosed, with gaps near the tops of the walls for ventilation. We had been skeptical in the past about whether it was truly open air, but our friends had an expensive CO2 monitor that showed similar readings to outside. The heat lamps were very warm and the same CO2 monitor showed a temperature of about 30 (I delayered down to a T-shirt).

Disappointingly servers were unmasked. They also mixed up one of our orders, bringing a funghi pizza instead of a funghi salad. They didn’t apologize but did take it off our bill at least. This has been fairly typical of the service we have had there.

We started with cocktails, which are generally good, if unadventurous:

  • Italian sour: Absolut, Aperol, fresh citrus, orange simple syrup and finished with red wine.
  • F’Amelia Mule: Absolut, ginger beer and fresh lime juice.

We also had a glass of Baldovino, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC (no year) - it was fine but not particularly interesting.

We started with the Quattro Stagioni pizza with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, (1) artichokes, (2) mushrooms, (3) house smoked ham, (4) black olives, grana Padano and EVOO - nice crust, good flavours. In general, the pizzas here are safe bets. Our friends had the pear, honey, gorgonzola, proscuitto, an arugula, which also remains very good.

Our favourite pasta in the past has been the braised rabbit pappardelle with thyme and rosemary, oyster mushrooms, black kale and garlic confit. This time and the time previous, it has been undersalted - otherwise lovely supply rabbit, nice herb flavours.

We decided to try the saffron risotto de mariscos with lobster, scallions and topped with red pepper - definitely not risotto, and also undersalted. Definitely skip.

Fo dessert we had the lemon ricotta cheesecake - this remains excellent, not too sweet, a gentle amount of lemon.

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Gardel at 1020 Gerrard E has brunch from 10 am to 3 pm on Sundays. They have a small enclosed patio with heaters. The server opened it up for my me and my friend.

It was chilly, since it was minus 5 outside, so We kept our parkas on, but there were heaters above the table.

Friendly service, generous portions, good food.

Burger with an egg on it

Monte Cristo Club


Had looked at this place but hadn’t yet tried it and didn’t know they had a brunch menu also. Good to know that the food is worthwhile and we will check it out at some point.

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La Pinou, 642 Queen W

The brunch food is on the basic side, but good. A neighbourhood spot. The server was very nice.

Mushroom and Gorgonzola white pizza at Victory Café Pub’s heated patio on Bloor in the Annex. It wasn’t a crowded patio when we got there at 7 pm, but it was full by 8:30 pm when we left. Wish it was more drafty for ventilation. This is pretty good for that stretch of Bloor, but wouldn’t encourage people to travel out of their way. A little unnerving for me that none of the staff was wearing masks, in the BOH or FOH.

Brunch on Emmer’s heated patio. The staff was all masked, both FOH and BOH. Excellent patty melt. They switch from Brunch to Lunch between 11:30 and 11:45 am, and are strict about that. We arrived at 11:35 am, and beat the lunch rush. This is the patty melt. Would share my sandwich next time, probably won’t get the fries, because I barely touched them. They are good hand cut freiss. $16.50 for the Patty Melt. $4 for the cortado.

No line at 11:35 am. Considerable line by 11:45 am. Long line (over 20 people, and only 2 customers inside the bakery at a time)

The hot cross buns look very good. I didn’t buy any- sort of avoiding sweet baked things right now.

Open Thu to Sun only.


Went back to the patio at Barrio, which has good heat from the lamps on the wall, but is exposed to the wind so it depends on the conditions.

The cocktails remain very good:

Mezcal margarita: Mezcal Verde, fresh lime juice and agave, and chili around the rim - smokey, not too sweet.

Show me the passion: Herradura Blanco, fresh passionfruit juice, agave and Wray nephew on fire - actually! A fire inside half a passion fruit on top and lots of passion fruit seeds - nice but a little too dilute.

The food remains good, although the mains we tried this time were less interesting that the tacos and the mole chicken we had last time. Next time we’ll stick to the tacos and apps.

Empanadas de queso: three fried corn empanadas stuffed with melted Oaxaca cheese, topped with crema, cotija cheese and cilantro, served with side salsa Taquera. Frying is light, not oily. Cheese is delicious, with tang from the salsa.

Coliflor Diablo: Beer battered cauliflower with spicy Mexican salsa, on cabbage bed, topped with cotija cheese and cilantro - pleasant, sweet, a little spicy, not too oily, not that interesting though.

Huarache Ranchero: thick house made corn tortilla topped with one fried egg, refried beans, lettuce, salsa Roja and salsa Verde, cotija cheese, cilantro and side house potatoes. Chorizo Verde. A dish from their brunch menu and very tasty, and a hefty portion.

Pescado Jarocho - grilled trout topped with a citrus reduction on sautéed potatoes, red pepper, onion, poblano pepper, mushrooms, spinach and blueberry - fine but not remarkable, wouldn’t have known it was Mexican.

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Any recommendations for heated patios in the east end? Seeing a friend out there next week-end, and she is very careful due to an elderly relative…

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Other than the places mentioned above (F’Amelia, Barrio) I’m not sure about many other places with heated patios. The ones that did in the fall are focusing mostly on indoor dining now that it is allowed. Chula Taberna might have opened their heated patio by now - it was pretty good. I haven’t yet seen patios open for Maple Leaf Tavern, Ascari - they had heat lamps in the fall. You have to call places and see.

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Thanks Dr. John. Will see if my friend is interested in Barrio. Another friend went to F’Amelia recently, and wasn’t impressed.

Barrio is my “go to” take out place. Haven’t been indoor dining yet!

The tacos, apps, and mole have been best at Barrio. Some of the other mains noted above were only OK. F’Amelia can be good for the pizzas, but isn’t anywhere near as good as Dova nearby, which hasn’t opened their patio yet AFAIK.

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I found the food at Barrio okay last fall.

Check also with Eastside Social, if the menu appeals to you and your friend.

While the patio wasn’t heated, the pastries and prepared foods at Le Conciliabule are amazing, @rstuart . It’s at the same level as Emmer. Not saying to go there for the patio, but stop by if you’re in the neighbour hood to try their pastries or a Croque Monsieur to go.

Gare de L’Est will have a heated patio at some point. I’m not sure if it’s open yet. The food is always good, but sometimes seems a little highly priced for how much you get. I had dinner on the heated patio once last year.

I’m hoping Maple Leaf Tavern will open the patio sooner than later.

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Eastside Social won’t be opening their heated patio until May.

Oh good to know. Thank you!

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Pub meal at Shenanigans, in the space that had been Scallywags, at Yonge and St Clair.

I had the steak and cheese melt, upgraded the side to a chopped salad. The kitchen forgot the stout beef dip. It was fine without it.

I liked it. Good Dark & Stormy cocktail.

Not a destination, but nice to have a heated rooftop patio at Yonge and St Clair. The patio was heated and there was a draft with some fresh air from outside.

The only issue for me was that the table behind my seat was too close for comfort. I had finished eating when the host seated 3 guests at that table behind me, so I put my mask back on until I left.

They have a brunch on Sundays from 12 pm-3 pm. 2 hour time limit for people on the heated patio.

Looks like it’s connected to O&B. I had no idea.