Downtown Toronto on a Sunday evening can be tricky – the restaurants are geared and aimed at business so Sunday is often a day off. But we did come across The Chase and booked in for dinner. Located in a 19th century building on Temperance Street, The Chase is essentially 2 spaces, on the top floor is The Chase, a 5th floor rooftop fine dining restaurant, firm favourite with the Financial district crew and downstairs on the ground floor, a more casual (albeit still pricey) eatery, focused on seafood and with a raw bar and oyster menu.
The restaurant space on the ground floor is all exposed brick, woods and it a modern nautical theme with nods to blues, stripes and sea based artwork. The entrance is tucked up the little cobblestone lane to the side and as you come in the kitchen is to your right all encased in glass so you can have a look at what the chefs are up to.
We loved the ambiance and feel of the restaurant, the decor was perfect. We had a table at the window and were able to look out to the street but also feel part of the buzz and goings on in the restaurant.
With specials each day under their ‘daily catch’ menu – Monday is ‘whole fish’, Tuesday is ‘Ceviche’, Wednesday ‘lobster’ … Sunday is ‘Clambake’ and while very tempting we decided to stick with the a la carte menu. The Raw bar menu features oysters, clams, shrimp and lobster, available individually or part of a platter. There’s hot & cold starters … chowder, cod tacos, Ahi tuna salad, steak tartare among others. Mains are primarily fish – trout, sea bream, mussels, halibut but there’s also fried chicken, a burger and striploin steak. There’s a handful of sides available too.
As we were still getting on timezone and not especially hungry we decided to skip the starter and head straight for mains. Sea Bream, sweet corn & ancho chili broth, smoked tomatillo salsa & wilted kale ($28) and Striploin, roast beef butter, crispy buttermilk onions & eggplant relish ($33) with a side of barbeque broccoli, broccoli relish & crispy chicken skins ($9).
The Seabream was delicious, quite a small piece, but very tasty. I was expecting a lighter sauce given the description as ‘broth’ but it worked with the seabream in its more soupy variety and the smokiness and spiciness of the chilli and salsa worked perfectly.
His steak had a false start in that it was requested medium rare and arrived very much on the rare (cool / red) side… so it was sent back and without an issue replaced with a new one cooked as ordered. The broccoli was an excellent accompaniment, slightly unusual way to serve it but a dish I am hoping to replicate at home, it was good!
And for dessert, a shared slice of strawberry & rhubarb pie, strawberry rhubarb compote, butter crust, pecan cinnamon crumble, vanilla ice cream ($7). This was a comforting, yummy end to our meal.
We enjoyed 2 glasses of white wine – a Californian Chardonnay from Frank Family ($26 ea.) and a bottle of red wine, a local one this time, Tawse Growers Meritage ($80). All in our bill came to $228.26 (including the 13% tax but excluding service). So with approx. 15% service added we felt it a fair reflection of the quality of place, food and wine. The bill is delivered to your table in a cute ‘accounts payable’ envelope too, nice touch!
A place we will definitely return to, next time to try the raw bar offerings, as every platter we saw going to other tables looked delicious. If living in or visiting Toronto, I recommend you put The Chase on your list.
The Chase Fish & Oyster | 10 Temperance Street, Toronto, ON. M5H 1Y4 | 647-348-7000 | firstname.lastname@example.org