The premise of the column is simple; work with restaurants of all kinds to explore what they have to offer and what makes them unique. In a city like Toronto, the choices are sometimes daunting and the food reviews and critics can be snotty and too complicated for their own good. So why not keep this easy? Drinks. Appetizer. Main Course. Dessert. All along with a bit of information about what makes them my choice for Daniel’s Dish and why you should try them right away!
Città – 92 Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, (416) 623-9662
Those of you who’ve followed the #DanielsDish adventures over the years, you’ll come to realize that I’ve enjoyed beautiful meals around the city I call home. Much to my amazement, I’ve never featured a brunch as a meal of choice –this is strange to me since it’s such an indoctrinated culture here in Toronto! Thankfully, the recently opened Città played host to an amazing group of my peers for a Blogger Brunch to showcase what they have to offer and how they’re already making a name for themselves.
Located just south of the Fashion District, amid condo buildings that seem to pop up overnight, Città is one of a few options in this corner of the city. Both a gamble and an advantage for the newest addition to the neighbourhood. A gamble, because healthy competition in my mind can help draw the foodie crowd south of their comfort zone while fewer options may make it less desirable. A benefit, because from what I had the pleasure of tasting today, the menu and atmosphere had the restaurant packed with a line-up waiting to be seated, regardless of few other options around. Time will tell what this bustling area has to offer, but for now it seems as though Città is reaping the benefits of it all.
With 20 foot ceilings and vintage style decor, the space offers a bit of everything when it comes to its aesthetics. The comforting smell of the wood burning stove alongside the open concept bar play into the rustic Southern Italian feeling the menu is based around. The vintage pieces of art on the wall and oversized dramatic light fixtures contrast beautifully with a modern sense of style.
With the bar area directly in front of you enhanced by a beautifully tiled floor, opposite dark hardwood floor to the right in the main dinning room, the one large space feels cohesive from left to right. Deep shaded green banquets help to host groups of 2 – 20 with tables that can be moved around to accommodate your needs. The one decor faux pas in my mind would be the draped entrance at the front door which feels like something out of a nightclub. The functionality to keep the winter winds at bay however makes it a necessity for now. The floor to ceiling windows not only make it an Instagram user’s best friend, but also helps to make you feel a part of the Toronto condo skyline that surrounds you in all directions.
Aside from a strong cup of coffee, there isn’t any other drink that encompasses brunch other than a Bloody Caesar. Città offers a classic interpretation that doesn’t disappoint, especially for those of us who might need to kiss the horse that kicked us the night before. Combining a healthy amount of spice and garnished playfully with an olive, cherry tomato and slice of salami, this cocktail was a perfectly juxtaposition to the decadent menu items we savoured from the Brunch Menu.
Of the ample selection, I’d suggest you try the Banana Olive Oil Muffin. Light and airy with just the right amount of sweet, this muffin reminds me of being at home. If you’re in the mood for something a little more savoury, the above Burrata Crostini makes for an appropriate choice! Atop a charred homemade crostini, acidic wood roasted tomato and onion agro dolce play beautifully against soft salty burrata.
I am, and always will be, a sucker for an egg benedict dish. There is just something so seductive about the dish and it reminds me of laughter with friends and happy memories. The Città interpretation takes the decadence that we have grown to love and molds it into something new. The Duck Eggs Benedict is plated on fresh made focaccia bread with tomato, peperonata sauce, a poached duck egg and thick creamy hollandaise sauce. Those of you who haven’t tried duck eggs, they are fattier than their chicken counterpart, and offer a heartier flavour in their mustard yellow yolks.
I’ve never had a benedict quite so savoury and I loved how intense the flavours were. With a bitter green served on the side tossed in acidic dressing, the dish is for sure the crowd pleaser of the day from my experience amid friends and colleagues. Combining decadent buttery flavours with acidic tomatoes and red peppers gives the dish depth and layers. The one component I wasn’t such a fan of was the addition of caramelized onions which sweetened the overall flavour, but I can understand the concept of combining it into the balance. Add a side of House Cured Thick Cut Pancetta Rashers and you’re in #FoodPorn territory.
Sweet, savoury, acidic and sweet.. it truly left me wanting more. And at the end of the day, that is a telltale sign of a great meal.
Yes. There is such thing as dessert after brunch and you should embrace it upon your next visit to Città. With an array of sweet options available to enjoy over a strong americano after your meal, it was difficult to choose just one to feature. Of the options shown on the platter above, my stand out dessert that best embodies Città and it’s atmosphere would have to be the Bomboloni. Essentially an Italian doughnut, the airy batter wraps itself around housemade curds to create just the right amount of sweetness. After a spicy caesar and savoury dishes, there simply is no other way to end your experience. For those of you who feel that you couldn’t eat another bite, I would recommend you take one home for later. You’ll thank me later.
Secret You Should Know:
The love child of Charles Khabouth & Hanif Harji, Città brings together two of the strongest power players in the Toronto food world. Their latest collaboration truly speaks to both of their strengths and helps to pave the way for a new style of restaurant in Toronto. I’d go as far to say that the age of collaborations is best represented in Città and will set the bar for restaurants to come. Amid independent restaurants struggling to stay alive, there is strength in numbers in this incredibly competitive industry, and collaborations will be the new trend. You can quote me on that.
To get inspired (and hungry) make sure to follow @CittaToronto on Twitter & Instagram. Use the #CittaToronto hashtag to join in on the social media conversation and to show us your favourite dish & drink upon your next visit.
For more behind the scenes of this and other Daniel’s Dish visits, follow my #DoTheDaniel Instagram account.
Please remember to enjoy responsibly and never drink and drive.