Posts Tagged ‘Vertical Restaurant’

23rd January
written by spd

The dining room at Vertical.  (img: Vertical, via Open Table)

The dining room at Vertical. (img: Vertical, via Open Table)

I really slacked on dining out in Toronto.  With the St. Lawerence Market nearby, and a well-appointed kitchen, I found myself roasting chickens, shaving brussels, and browning butter to toss with orecchette most nights.  I did, however, treat myself to one very lavish dinner while David was in town.  Food and Wine made several suggestions, but 6 degree weather led me to the closest fine dining suggestion, Vertical.  Located on mezzanine level of Canada’s tallest building, First Canadian Place on King Street, the surroundings made me feel that I should have a corporate card on me.  However, we arrived late on a Monday and there were only two other dinners on a date, so it felt a bit like our own private dining room.

Our indecision is a reflection of how varied the menu is, and instead of making up our minds, we just ordered an insane amount of food. We started with Grilled Zucchini, cut into scallop-like discs, topped with speck, golden raisins, and mint. The seasoning was deeply eastern, and really surprising, with the mint making a definitive mark on the plate. It’s a not a dish I would think to make, though I’m glad they did! Our other starter didn’t move mountains but was flawless and simple, and because of that, my favorite of the night. Grilled Boneless Sardines with Grilled Crostini, pungent Morrocan Olive Tapenade, and Lemon. The skin was perfectly crisp, and the dish had just the right amount of acid. Sardines are a staple of Portuguese cuisine, and this dish made me so excited about our upcoming trip to Lisbon… I want to sip Vinho Verde in the Alfama over grilled sardines, but for now a New Zealand Sav Blanc will do.

Our pasta course arrives and they have made a mistake. The Papardelle has been confused with the Tagliatelle. I return mine, eager to try their twelve hour braised wild boar ragu, but David is content with his, and picks out pieces of Lobster and Scallop from his lightly dressed mound of house-made pasta. The correction is made, though I would think the boar would be more tender after 12 hours. Still, it’s a dish that warms me to the bone, as we gaze on the snow-dusted streets outside.

We finished with an Orata, presented whole at the table, then taken away and de-boned. Served atop a mixture of cauliflower, stewed tomatoes, olives, and caper berries, the fish wasn’t grilled, but braised, making it’s firm flesh so tender and moist. I missed the crispness that would have come from grilling but David was happy with the milky skin, which still had it’s thin under layer of fat. By now, I was bursting at the seams and had given up on my portion, when the waitress brought out some olive bread to sop up the incredibly flavorful tomato-based broth. I could have had had that broth for soup as a starter and been content. David was eying desserts, and we ordered something I can no longer remember, which is telling. He rolled me into a cab, and I stayed uncomfortably full for hours! Haha!

Vertical is certainly not a cheap destination, and the location might make some feel that they’ve just just exited their office and taken the elevator a few floors down, but the food stands on it’s own. It’s simple, straight-forward cuisine that’s not nearly as stuffy as it’s surroundings that makes Vertical worth a visit.

Vertical Restaurant and Bar.  100 King Street West. Toronto, ON M5X 1K7, Canada. ph (416) 214-2252

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