FOOD AND DRINK
Where to Go in Toronto to Impress a Client
While a meal won’t necessarily make or break your deal with a potential client, a great one will still make you memorable. These five spots get points not just for some of the best food in the city, but for being perpetually packed and having that wine-and-dine vibe without being too corporate. Hey, in the event you bungle everything, at least they’ll know you have great taste in restaurants.
The Yorkville spin-off of the original Buca on King West is largely the same but with a larger emphasis on seafood, as well as lunch service and pastries and espresso-based drinks available in the morning. The food is impeccable (try the tasting menu if you have four hours to spare), the crowd is a mix of business and scenesters, and it’s located at the Four Seasons Residences. Reservations fill up fast (it’s still one of the hardest places to snag a table since it opened last fall), so it’s pretty much mandatory to call the restaurant before you or your client land at Billy Bishop.
53 Scollard St., 416-962-2822
The Toronto outpost of this global private members’ club was supposed to woo the creative class with a more laid-back country-house vibe with a library bar on the ground floor and a beautiful rustic-looking French-style dining room upstairs (the sticky toffee pudding is something the public will sadly never get to try). Ultimately you’ll still find other suits there but nevertheless the Soho house is a refuge from the mega-stiff restaurants in the area. It’s not the most exclusive club to be a member of, but once you’re in people will nonetheless raise a curious eyebrow in your direction.
192 Adelaide St. W., 416-599-7646
Jacobs & Co. Steakhouse
If you want to go the old-steakhouse route to seal the deal, Jacobs is a sure bet. The steak offerings are regularly updated on its site to let customers know what’s in store, the Caesar salads are prepared tableside, and the wine list is more like a tomb. This is a place where you’ll probably want an expense account as steaks start at $40 (and you better be adding a side of lobster to that) and can go up to more than $350 for an ultra luxe 16oz black tajima striploin from Japan.
12 Brant St., 416-366-0200
Housed on the top floor of the historic Dineen Building, this fine-dining restaurant with an excellent view of Yonge Street is a hit with the after-work crowd and is located just south of the Eaton Centre for the convenience of out-of-towners. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu is simple and no-nonsense (beef tenderloin with potatoes and broccoli puree, pan-roasted arctic char with kale) but still elegant and wonderfully prepared. It’s not cheap – the apps alone are around $20 a plate – but an impressive place to bring someone for sure.
10 Temperance Street, 647-348-7000
A relatively more affordable and off-the-beaten path option is this adorable Catalan-style restaurant in a house just south of King Street. Owners Tobey Nemeth and Michael Caballo created a warm, homey vibe akin to eating in someone’s sun-drenched kitchen. The always-changing set menu is a great deal (five courses for $65, seven courses for $90) and leans towards seafood with bright, light flavours that highlight the freshness of their ingredients. Come here if your client isn’t the briefcase-carrying type and your intent is more of a friendly night out rather than going in for the kill.
169 Niagara St., 416-703-4222