Afternoon Tea at Old Mill Toronto
Old Mill Toronto has been hosting the time-honored tradition of Afternoon Tea since 1914. Guests can indulge in a charming midday escape featuring a selection of delicious teas and sandwiches, and even a glass of bubbly .Tthe Afternoon Tea service now proudly offers Canada’s finest tea from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. CBar Isabel
Push through the heavy double doors on Queen West (just east of Bathurst), let your eyes adjust to the low light and pull up a stool in front of Frankie Solarik, executive barchef and owner. He’ll be decked out in Queen St. uniform of fedora, vest and skinny tie, chipping from a massive block of glowing ice that sits on the bar, whipping up any of the 30 artfully designed liquid concoctions on the menu.
When Sir Henry Pellatt built Casa Loma, chances are he never dreamed it would one day house a steak house. BlueBlood Steakhouse provides a sophisticated dining experience in an elegant setting. This unique space seamlessly blends modern and edgy elements with classic heritage architecture, featuring distinctive heirloom antiques and contemporary artworks by Warhol, Mr. Brainwash, and Salvador Dali. Putting a modern spin on the traditional steakhouse, the menu showcases an array of the world’s finest beef cuts, along with fresh seafood, and an extensive selection of international wines and spirits.
Canoe Restaurant and Bar
More than a quarter of a century in, Canoe remains a critical darling and a place where people still want to be seen. Located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, the restaurant serves up striking views of Lake Ontario and the cityscape, and has long been considered one of the city’s most romantic dining spots. Executive chef Ron McKinlay has put together a fine, yet unpretentious menu that celebrates refined and innovative Canadian cuisine, creating fresh dishes that are true to their own taste.
CLOCKWORK offers a chic setting for bubbly cocktails and metropolitan small plates. With a blend of big-city energy and intimate corners, it captures the essence of Union Station’s timeless grandeur. Inspired by a modern Pullman Car, it features imaginative details, including the celestial clock.
Don Alfonso 1890
This financial district restaurant is the first North American location of Michelin star chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Iaccarino’s Don Alfonso 1890. Brought to Toronto by Nick Di Donato of the Liberty Entertainment Group, the Don Alfonso brand is recognized worldwide with locations throughout Italy as well as New Zealand, China, and now Toronto. It showcases the fresh flavours of the Amalfi Coast amidst an art-filled decor. It’s housed in the historic Consumer’s Gas Building, with an interior designed to evoke a sense of elegance and sophistication.
Enigma, situated in Toronto’s historic Yorkville neighbourhood is an intimate fine-dining destination with a modern European flair. Surrounded by mid-century and contemporary architecture, the restaurant creates a unique atmosphere. Our culinary approach is straightforward yet elevated – highlighting the best of local and international ingredients, emphasizing respect and integrity.
Expect to eat from an inventive tasting menu that highlights locally sourced ingredients and other innovative dishes that celebrate flavours of the world, such as the lobster with artichokes and guanciale. The refined space includes a dreamy private patio, which is one of the reasons, other than the incredible food, why George makes a stunning wedding venue as well.
Toronto’s obsession with Italiana never seems to abate, and Giulietta is one of the reasons why. Chef Rob Rossi was at first pooh-poohed (the nerve to close Bestellen!) before being embraced twice over. Rossi partnered with David Minicucci (L’Unità), and they ran with their idea of serving Italian food that’s clean, simple and addictive. Pasta is a must. Tonnarelli, a long Roman pasta, is spiced with kampot black pepper and pecorino cheese. The real treat, though, is the $125 bistecca di manzo, a Haldimand county bone-in striploin seasoned with rosemary, garlic and sea salt. They’re a coveted find in T.O.
It goes without saying that Jen Agg is a polarizing figure. Love her (she’s a badass woman in a tough industry) or love to hate her (she’s snark personified), it’s hard not to fall for her restaurants. At Grey Gardens, Agg has enlisted chef Mitchell Bates and partner in crime Peter Jensen to run the kitchen (both hopped over from Shōtō). The duo delivers a seasonal menu that can be dubbed new North American, yet refuses to settle on one culinary region. Fancy snacks (for fancy prices) are the name of the game here. Shrimp arrive with paper-thin slips of radish and carrot, set off by crisp curls of lardo for a dish that somehow transforms wintry flavours into summery bites.
A landmark in Toronto since the early 1960’s, Joso’s is owned and operated by Leo and Shirley Spralja and was founded by the famous Croatian painter, sculptor, and all around artist, Joso Spralja, whose works are immediately recognizable upon entering the restaurant. Over the years, Joso’s has been the go-to spot for many celebrities, including Toronto’s very own, Drake, who often frequents the spot when he’s in town. A multi-sensory overload, the interior of Joso’s is a reflection of Joso’s own art— every square inch of the intimate space features various voluptuous female sculptures, dazzling bejewelled trinkets, and beautiful art that pays tribute to the Adriatic Sea.
Infusing the epicurean traditions of China with the classical techniques of French cuisines, Chef Lee crafts a bold and distinctive culinary aesthetic. In his latest flagship venture, Lee, helmed by Susur Lee, presents a menu that draws inspiration from vibrant, refreshing flavors and the spices of South-East Asia, all within the convivial setting of family-style dining.
At the southern end of the Ossington strip, Mamakas serves elevated, rustic Greek fare, or “modernized trad Greek,” as food critic Joanne Kates has described it. The menu, according to owner Thanos Vrettakos Tripi (above), is meant to honour the “extremely authentic Greek” recipes he grew up with “because we had my grandmother living with us.” His background includes relatives from Mani at the very southern tip of mainland Greece, and his maternal grandmother who was from a Greek community on the Turkish side of the Aegean Sea.
At Osteria Giulia, a luxurious little dinner spot with a focus on northern Italian cuisine, chef Rob Rossi (L’Unità, Giulietta) puts forth a menu of dishes made from seasonal ingredients. The 66-seat interior yields a contemporarily rustic vibe with honeyed tones,limestone and wood-panelled walls and folded ceilings. Among the house specials is the focaccia di Recco, a cheese-stuffed flatbread from the Ligurian town of Recco that dates back to the 12th century. Pasta dishes include the ravioli Girasole, filled with crab and mascarpone and topped with Meyer lemon, butter and chives, and picagge “paglia e fieno,” which translates to “straw and hay,” with rabbit ragù and a leek soffritto.
Prime Seafood Palace
Inspired by Matty Matheson’s East Coast origins and passion for architecture, Prime Seafood Palace is a contemporary restaurant that marries these influences. Imagined as a luminous cathedral enveloped in white maple within an unassuming white brick building, the restaurant is a testament to careful design.
Much of the kitchen art Quetzal is devoted to the firepit, which runs down half the room and includes a traditional comal (the griddle used to cook tortillas). Diners seated in front of the nightly show are given wee water spritzers with which to cool down, should the need arise. But it’s not all flames. A raw bar centres the space, turning out ceviche like the verde mixto, with delicate scallop and whitefish dressed with green apple and sea asparagus. Much emphasis is placed on the house-made salsas, which showcase a variety of chilies in addition to walnut and ants (a traditional Mexican ingredient).
For its entire 30-year tenure, the restaurant has been loved by Torontonians and is considered by many to be the height of culinary sophistication and elegance. The modern French menu boasts thoughtful interpretations and creative spins on classics from land and sea from plump decadent scallops thoughtful paired with spicy cauliflower tempura to roasted duck breast and shredded duck confit leg drizzled with foie gras jus and rhubarb chutney and a pasta dish of peppercorn fettucine with beef tenderloin and oyster mushrooms swimming in Madeira cream as a nod to the glory of the former pasta bar.