REVIEW | Canoe Restaurant
By The Girls on Bloor on August 23, 2014
Oliver & Bonacini’s critically acclaimed spaces in the heart of the financial district, Canoe Restaurant, is host to one of the best views of Toronto. We recently had the chance to check it out for Taylor’s birthday, and the experience certainly didn’t disappoint!
Located on the 54th floor at the TD Bank Tower at 66 Wellington Street West, this upscale Toronto restaurant has become a staple in the downtown core for refined flavours, seasonal ingredients, and exquisite presentations with a clear passion for wholesome Canadian cuisine.
Canoe’s main reputation is perhaps the huge window framed dining room with a break-taking view of the CN Tower and Lake Ontario. The space is very simply designed, is meant to be comfortable and it does not get too loud, allowing you to have an intimate conversation.
The Good: The food portions were just right, and everything had so much flavour. I had the Alberta Lamb with strawberry BBQ ribs, roasted loin and eggplant sumac sheep’s cream ($47), and Taylor had the Sustainable Blue Char with puffed rice, asparagus, fiddleheads, kabosu mayo and fingerling potatoes ($37).
Canoe has a variety of summer cocktails and canoe classics, but our favourite cocktail of the night was The Muskokan, made with Georgian Bay Gin, fresh blueberries, fused with lemonade and nutmeg ($12). It was quite literally, the perfect taste of summer, and left us feeling as if we should be sitting on a sunny lakeside dock soaking up the sun!
The service was top notch, and it helped that our server was very knowledgable about the menu. We are definitely newcomers to the fine dining scene, and our server took every effort to explain the complex and layered flavours of each dish on arrival.
Taylor even received a complimentary small plate of chocolate mousse for her birthday which was a nice end to our dinner, and definitely left us with a great impression of a restaurant we were nervous about trying.
The Bad: We had a really hard time finding the place, which made us 10 minutes late to our reservation. There are two TD Towers, and very little signage to point you in the right direction, which the hostess that greeted us admitted was a common occurrence.
Everything in the restaurant is also expensive, but considering the quality, freshness, and uniqueness of the ingredients, the pricing is fair. Canoe may be the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, but it is definitely not a restaurant you will be able to frequent often unless you’ve got some big bank.
Overall: The view, the atmosphere, the service and the food all contributed to a phenomenal experience. The food was extremely unique and equally as delicious, and though it was pricey, we will eventually go back for another special occasion. From start to finish, the staff took the utmost care to ensure that our experience was nothing but enjoyable, and we had a great dinner!
Be sure to book a table in advance to get a perfect view of the CN Tower and Lake Ontario, the staff is very accommodating!
Pricing: $5- $80
Location: 66 Wellington Street West, the main TD Tower on the north east side of the street
Lunch Monday to Friday: 11:45am- 2:30pm
Dinner Monday to Friday: 5:00pm-10:30pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday for private events
Will you be trying Canoe Restaurant?
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By Karen Ballum