Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 155 Wellington Street West
Time of visit: Dinner on a Saturday in January
The Shore Club, situated beside the Ritz Carlton, is surprisingly spacious. The enormous restaurant is split into smaller areas using wooden walls adorned with artwork and backlit decorations, which makes each section cozy despite its size.
As we settled into the plush velvet booths, the hostess whisked away the white napkin in front of me and handed me a black one instead. It's only later my friends and I start noticing some have white napkins while others have black... what is causing this? Not being able to decipher a pattern we finally ask our waiter. It's simple, it depends on your clothing - people wearing dark clothes are given the black napkin - so that any lint that may be left on your clothing will not be noticeable. Genius! And it's this attention to detail that sets the Shore Club's service above the many other restaurants across Toronto.
The service that night was exemplary. Despite being a table of nine, five staff members served each course to ensure we could all start eating at the same time. Moreover, I cannot remember once in the night when my wine or water glass was ever empty. After the disappointing service at my last two meals, refer to Lucien and Urraca Resto Lounge blogs, it was refreshing to go to a place that does it right! We were even served warm, freshly baked bread for free (once again refer to Lucien).
I chose the arugula, pear and brie salad to start. The poached pear was beautifully presented and was a great texture (not too soft) and flavour (not too sweet). It would have been nice if the pear was warmed up to compliment the cold brie and arugula. But, overall was a good salad and tossed in the perfect amount of dressing.
My first bite into the New York striploin presented mixed emotions; I was happy with all the flavours of the grainy mustard rub and wonderful steak jus, but disappointed that my steak was overdone. After giving away slices to my husband and continuing to eat, I realized that the remaining two thirds of the steak were cooked well. After trying some of my husband's halibut, which I thought was nicely cooked albeit a tad under seasoned, he commented on how his fish was also overcooked on one side only. So, it appears, the Shore Club may have some issues with its cooking surface or warming areas that is causing one side to cook faster than the other.
Nonetheless, the meal was good. The beluga lentils at the bottom of the halibut were great and soaked up the romesco sauce. You can imagine them to taste like a cheesy barley risotto, except a bit firmer. The sides that accompany our mains were served table style so we were able to mix and share:
- The green beans were great - thin and crispy;
- The steamed broccoli is exactly as it sounds, a bit bland and boring; and
- The steak house fries were disappointing and tasted like the frozen McCain variety.
Is Winterlicious worth it?
As a special feature to the Winterlicious blogs, I will attempt to calculate the savings being offered (based on my meal selection).
Winterlicious - $45
Regular menu - $68 - salad* ($10), striploin steak ($40), side of green beans ($8) and toffee pudding* ($10)
Savings - $23 or 34%
* The salad and toffee pudding aren't on their regular menu; prices based on similar dish
Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10
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Gastro World's Grading System
- Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
- 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
- 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
- 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
- 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
- 10 - absolute perfection!