EAST SIDE STYLES
The Broadview Hotel’s glassed-in eatery is all about grown-up bar eats for cool cats
THE BROADVIEW HOTEL
106 Broadview Ave. 416-362-8439 thebroadviewhotel.ca RESTAURATEURS: Erik Joyal and chef John Sinopoli
SCENE: A swirl of both locals and travellers alike with a fondness for shareable food and views
SOUND: Tunes get livelier as the weekend draws nigh. Think LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy and… RECOMMENDED DISHES: Folks are raving about the fried chicken, cacio e pepe arancini and salmon ceviche
DRINKS: Well-named tipples like Becky with the Good Hair (vodka with orange and carrot juice, coconut water and allspice syrup) PRICE: $60 for two OPEN: Daily 4 p.m. to close RESERVATIONS: Online 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.
Yazdi Pastry, located at 13130 Yonge St., was found to have one offence during a Nov. 16 routine inspection.
Golden Horse, located at 1480 Major Mackenzie Dr. E., was found to have one offence during a Nov. 15 routine inspection.
Xi’an Favourite Food, located at 4300 Steeles Ave. E., was found to have one offence during a Nov. 15 routine inspection.
Yummy Sushi, located at 1480 Major Mackenzie Dr. E., was found to have three offences during a Nov. 7 routine inspection.
Thai Basil, located at 1070 Major Mackenzie Dr., was found to have two offences during a Nov. 6 routine inspection.
Brother’s Bakery, located at 7077 Kennedy Rd., was found to have one offence during a Nov. 2 routine inspection.
Zen Q, located at 5437 Yonge St., received a conditional pass following a Nov. 1 inspection. Of three infractions observed, two were considered significant and one crucial in severity. It passed a Nov. 2 reinspection.
The Boil Bar, located at 664 Yonge St., received a conditional pass following a Nov. 7 inspection. Of six infractions observed, two were considered minor, three significant and one crucial in severity. It passed a Nov. 9 reinspection.
Sabai Sabai, located at 81 Bloor St. E., received a conditional pass following an Oct. 23 inspection. Of four infractions observed, one was considered minor and three significant in severity. It passed an Oct. 25 reinspection.
Joanne Kates visits the cool Broadview Hotel
Clockwise from left: the rooftop space, the new menu’s salmon ceviche, fried chicken with tamarind sauce
JOANNE KATES 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.