The Gist: SOCO Kitchen + Bar is located at the corner of Bremner and Simcoe, at street level in the new Delta Hotel. This brand new property (with 567 rooms) markets the restaurant completely separately as many hotel restaurants are still seen as old, overpriced and dusty.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and after work drinks. There is also a SOCO TO GO section within the restaurant, where hotel guests can select from room service or these items. Condo dwellers and workers in nearby towers can get freshly made items 24/7, such as hot items, pizzas, sandwiches and salads as well as fresh pastriesand coffees, because who has time to pack a lunch or make dinner anymore?
Grub: Inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, the menu features sharing dishes that include appetizers, pizzas, meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Everything is made in house, including desserts.
Libations: Cocktails here are inventive. Martinis can be staid, but not when you’ve got an Absolut Elyx Blackberry Tea-ni ($16) at your side, with an enticing blend of vodka, Tazo Calm tea and blackberry-honey syrup. And the Outfield Margarita ($13) offers a refreshing island vacay by way of Olmeca Tequila mixed with lime, pomegranate, pineapple, passionfruit and ginger syrup.
Ten wines are available by the glass ($10 - $20 in 6oz and 9 oz. pours) and range from Italian to Argentinean to New Zealand. A large list offers impressive selections, both old world and new.
‘Hood: SouthCore, known as SOCO.
Deets: Located near the Metro Convention Centre, Rogers Centre, ACC, Ripley’s Aquarium and other city attractions, the restaurant can seat a crowd of up to 115 (plus 80 out on the patio). So whether you’re staying at the hotel or you’re a Torontonian out on the town, you’ve got a new spot in a new neighbourhood to hang out. It’s so convenient.
The vibe is comfortable with a casual edge – servers wear t-shirts and jeans – so don’t expect a stuffy air just because the restaurant's located in a newly designed hotel.
Fixtures & Fittings: Champalimaud Design, who have worked their magic on the iconic hotels of The Carlyle and Waldorf Astoria in NYC, The Dorchester in London, and The Hotel Bel-Air in LA, also redid the Delta and the restaurant. Delta is a Canadian company so the interior decor theme is decidedly Canadian.
CEO Alexandra Champalimaud who used to live in Montreal, kept things very true north strong and free, but not in your face with maple leafs and moose. Everything is in the artwork. You’ll see hockey sticks used as the hotel is close to the ACC, and a jellyfish light as a nod to the nearby aquarium. Copper, one of Canada’s top and most important exports, is used throughout the space.
Sleek blonde wood tables and chairs, with pottery plates and matte silverware lends an cool, effortless, Scandinavian feel to the room.
Colour is added through a sketch of the Toronto skyline that peers through the windows of the restaurant leading into the hotel lobby and seems to glow at night. ‘Brise-Soleil’ by artist Aleksandra Rdest, represents the diversity of the city of Toronto and its rich art scene.
Off the Menu: Dishes are hearty but not heavy.
Housemade Charcuterie ($16) is accompanied by pickles, olives, mustard and grilled bread. Freshly made in-house meats rotate frequently such as terrine, chorizo, sopressata, saucisson and prosciutto.
An inventive Warm Eggplant & Burrata Dip ($13) is further heightened with the addition of white anchovy and tomato sumac. Served with rustic housemade bread, it is an ideal pre-game, pre-show snack.
Duck Confit ($21) is available only on the lunch menu. Served with root veg, a duck sausage, fregola sarda and preserved plum, the elegant dish satisfies without weighing you down (say goodbye to the afternoon dozies).
Chocolate Pot de Creme ($8) a light yet decadent velvety treat, is elevated to an exotic adventure thanks to anise, vanilla cream, salted caramel and pistachio.
Usually found at SOCO TO GO, Paris-Brest ($4.25) can be requested in the restaurant. And request it you should. The authentic French sweet, made of choux pastry and praline-flavoured cream is truly joie de vivre!
At the Stove: Chef Daniel Craig and Pastry Chef Engin Tiryaki
FOH: General Manager Randy Burla
Head Honchos: Venci Nava, Steven Weinrauch, and Lindsay Barron
Visiting Hours: Mon - Fri: 6:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun: 7:00 am - 2:00 am
Map It: 75 Lower Simcoe St. (at Bremner Blvd.)
Phone It In: (416) 637-5465
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.