The Broad­view Ho­tel’s glassed-in eatery is all about grown-up bar eats for cool cats

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Joanne Kates vis­its the cool Broad­view Ho­tel

Tak­ing an el­e­va­tor to the 7th floor to get to a restau­rant some­how feels glam­orous. The big red Ro­manesque Re­vival brick pile at the cor­ner of Queen and Broad­view is the su­per cool new/old Broad­view Ho­tel, and its rooftop resto/bar might have the best view in town.

The room is dark and noisy. Old­sters be­ware. Do all the women here ex­cept us have long straight blonde hair? If I go east of the Don River more of­ten, will I look like that af­ter a while? Will I be cool?

Be­cause I sure feel cool here. The rooftop is a glass cube with a glo­ri­ous view of down­town to the west. The ta­bles are dark marble, the ban­quettes lush dark fab­ric di­vided by marble ledges, the bar long and curvy.

Erik Joyal and John Si­nop­oli, who’ve opened sev­eral restos to­gether, are in charge of the food at the Broad­view, a project of Street­car Crowsnest, which put $26 mil­lion into a three-year reno of the old pile built in 1891 — now a bou­tique ho­tel with three restau­rant/bar spaces. Bye bye Jilly’s strip club, hello hip­sters. They’re call­ing it the Drake of the east end.

Joyal and Si­nop­oli re­cently opened the Gare de L’Est bistro inside Crow’s Theatre; they did Izakaya and Ta­ble 17; they have HiLo bar and As­cari Enoteca. And now they also have the Mi­das touch. Funny how years of ex­pe­ri­ence and hard work bring luck. The Rooftop is jam-packed. The duo have sprin­kled star­dust east of the Don. I con­fess to lov­ing it. The food isn’t the least bit fancy. It’s grown-up bar food very well ex­e­cuted. Not too much of the deep-fried dreck that bars tend to fea­ture; best are sweet skinny frites that I could eat ev­ery day. And won’t. Self-con­trol has to count for some­thing.

Ev­ery­body in town is do­ing scallop ce­viche these days, to which I say: Bring it on! What could be sex­ier than a su­per-fresh raw scallop sliced and dressed in lime and chili with pick­led cu­cum­ber, crisped gar­lic, co­rian­der and white sweet potato? We’re also pretty ex­cited by the clove-scented jerk pork ribs served with un­usu­ally creamy corn bread. And wrap­ping up the minced lamb and beef ke­bab in a soft house-made pita with yo­gurt, pick­led car­rot spears and za’atar yo­gurt is a Mid­dle Eastern dream come true.

For dessert they do a kick-ass ice cream sand­wich — golden brown­i­estyle cook­ies sand­wich­ing house­made ice cream in straw­berry cheese­cake flavour.

Is this junk food? Bar food? A restau­rant? A bar? Or maybe a de­light­ful crossover. And way more de­lec­ta­ble than the SUV van kind. Were this a decade ago, any­body old enough to vote would not seek out such a venue for dinner. Dinner — at least a qual­ity one — meant white table­cloths and tak­ing your coat and wait­ers in­tent on charm­ing us slowly … and quiet. Big ta­bles, small cool quo­tient. But since that sort of resto pretty much went out with French food, my de­vice is to find ways to re­joice in the down­scale new model of se­ri­ous cook­ing. Take Hil­lary’s ad­vice: Chardon­nay helps.

Clock­wise from left: the rooftop space, the new menu’s sal­mon ce­viche, fried chicken with tamarind sauce


Joanne Kates trained at the Ecole Cor­don Bleu de Cuisine in Paris. She has writ­ten ar­ti­cles for nu­mer­ous pub­li­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the New York Times, Maclean’s and Chate­laine.

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