The view from the bar in Canoe is one of my favourites … looking out over the water across the Toronto islands, with the City Airport (Billy Bishop Airport), sailing boats and just a gorgeous perspective from the 54th floor. Such a lovely spot to sip a gin martini…
Canoe is part of the Oliver & Bonacini group. Created by Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini in 1993 with the opening of their restaurant Jump and since then they have opened a number of fine dining and casual restaurants and cafes across Toronto and Ontario. We enjoyed a pre dinner drink in the bar at Canoe, before going to our table in the restaurant, which also has lovely views and with the sun setting it’s a beautiful place to be. A martini with Tanqueray 10 gin ($19) was a perfect start to our evening and with sensational views like this as we sat at the bar at the window making it even better.
There’s an a la carte menu as well as the tasting menu. We normally really enjoy a tasting menu, and have had this before in Canoe. On this visit though, after a nice lunch at Toca in the Ritz Carlton (blog to come!) we decided to go a la carte.
To start, for me, ‘northern woods mushroom soup, balsam fir creme fraiche & toasted camelina seeds’ ($16) and for him ‘maple salmon candy, green strawberries, sturgeon caviar, smoked avocado, crispy nori & wild ginger rice’ ($20) – this starter intrigued me, ‘s’mores foie gras, graham cracker crumble, chocolate sauce and toasted marshmallow cream’ – sounds like a dessert! There’s also a raw bar with east and west coast selections. The soup was delicious, hard to take a good photo of brown soup (sorry) but it was a perfectly balanced soup, with different varieties of mushrooms and the swirl of creme fraiche made it perfect.
The salmon made for a beautiful looking plate of food, thats foodporn right there! And it tasted just as good as it looked. There’s a fantastic wine list here in Canoe, with great Canadian wines. However on this visit, we decided to go Californian starting with a glass of Chardonnay, DeLoach, Russian River Valley, 2013 ($19). We followed this with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Hess Collection Select, North Coast, 2012 ($92)
Onto the main course and for him ‘grass rubbed bison rib eye, green tomato, horseradish greens, pickled cauliflower, tonka bean & k2 Milling grain pakoras’ ($55). This was declared as very delicious – it looked super on the plate, the meat was tender and the flavours all just worked well together.
And I chose the main course from the tasting menu (I like that you can do that), ‘pasture raised pork, spiced peaches, swiss chard, verjus & bacon hominy croquette’ ($40). I love peaches and they are in season now, and work so well with pork. The pork itself was very good, a nice layer of fat but not too much. The swiss chard worked so well with the dish. I thought I’d love the bacon croquette but it was just a bit too salty (and I love salt) and strong tasting for me, I felt it overpowered the flavours and tastes of the dish and in fact took away rather than added anything.
Really full, we didn’t have room for dessert but as it was Simon’s birthday they brought a little sweet treat and candle to finish off our meal.
We enjoyed our 2nd time in Canoe, the martini at the bar especially. The food was excellent, it was a bit speedy, our starter plates had only just been cleared when mains arrived. I would have appreciated a little more time to digest before moving to the main course but do understand in a busy restaurant, it can happen that timing is a little off. As you can see from the pricing it’s higher end, but for a treat, and with those views, just gorgeous…
(Do remember that to the price on the menu you need to take account for the fact that there is 13% tax added to your bill, as well as that you will need to add service, which should be around 18%.)
Canoe | 54th Floor, T.D. Bank Tower, 66 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5K 1H6 | 416.364.0054 | firstname.lastname@example.org