he Gist: Chase Hospitality Group (The Chase, The Chase Fish & Oyster, Little Fin, Colette Grand Café, and Kasa Moto) opened Planta to "create delicious food that promotes environmental sustainability." Created in partnership with Chef David Lee (of Nota Bene) the restaurant's aim is "to fill a void in the market of upscale, full service, plant-based dining options." Both Chef Lee and CHG President Steven Salm have adopted plant-based diets, with many of the kitchen staff following. (CHG group restaurants recently switched all of their restaurants to a 25% plant-based menu).
The jaw-dropping space is the ideal backdrop to a clean menu filled with grains, nuts and vegetables. And despite the high-end look, menu items are no more than $22 a plate.
Grub: The menu is globally-inspired and 100% plant based, with no animal products served. So while "cheese" and "bacon" are listed on the menu, they're actually made from ingredients including nuts and mushrooms. But your tastebuds will think otherwise.
While certainly not trying to convert carnivores, meat-lovers will be satisfied by hearty options such as the Planta Burger ($19), 18-Carrot Dogs ($17) that are aged like meat and then smoked, and No Noodle Lasagne ($20). Umami is created with items including miso and soya sauce.
Sourcing the "right ingredients" was important to Lee. Producers include local providers Cookstown Greens, Vickie’s Veggies and 100km Foods Inc.
Libations: Notable features include Cold-Pressed Cocktails made with fresh juices from Village Juicery. Choose from a Vegan Bourbon Sour ($13), Carrot Collins ($13), and Aloe Views ($14) made with gin, elderflower, aloe vera, ginger beer and lemon balm. Organic, sustainable, biodynamic and vegan swines are list by price. Bottles range from $45 to $165.
Fixtures & Fittings: Designed by East Studio and Steven Salm, the room is a show-stopper. The staggering high white ceilings and expansive floor space is a feast for the eyes. Decked out in a rich mixture of textures and patterns (no doubt you’ll want the wallpaper by Candice Kaye Design and light fixtures by Atelier Anaka) and swathes of palm and monstera fronds, it’s airy, bright and refreshing. Even the melamine plates are delightful. And that rose gold cutlery? Swoon.
Off the Menu:
Caesar ($16)What appears at first glance to be a regular Caesar is anything but. Thick slices of romaine leaves are tossed in a creamy cashew dressing dotted with pickled onions and smoked mushrooms that have been made into "bacon," then dusted with a non-cheesy "parmesan" of nuts and finished with sunflower sprouts. A complete delight.
Fried Kimchi Dumplings ($10) Crispy golden fried pockets are filled with soft kimchi, bolstered with a zesty hot chili oil on the side. Watch out, they’re as addictive as potato chips.
The Frenchie Pizza ($17) Mushrooms, roasted squash, eggplant, olives, mozzarella, basil, arugula, olive oil and truffles adorn a thick, chewy crust of dough made with organic K2 milling and 00 flour.
For dessert, Young Thai Coconut ($13) Set on a deep dish of crushed ice, a hollowed out coconut is filled with coconut meat, basil and chai seed pudding, and topped with passion fruit sorbet and dried coconut chips.
How Cool is This?! A takeaway counter is soon to come with customized juices from Vlillage Juicery, smoothie bowls and granola bowls, making healthy-eating-on-the-go a breeze.
Also, the Malin + Goetz Mojito candle burning near the door. The scent is intoxicating (All other CHG restaurants burn Dark Rum)
At the Stove: Chef David Lee and Executive Sous Chef Emma Herrera
FOH: General Manager Kris Wemyss
Head Honchos: Steven Salm, President, Chase Hospitality Group and David Lee
Deets: Planta is open for lunch, dinner and drinks with brunch launching October 2nd (Saturdays only to start). There’s room for 145 guests in the dining room, 25 in the bar/lounge area and 32 in the private dining room.
Visiting Hours: Monday-Saturday Lunch11:30am-3pm, Dinner 5:pm-close
Sunday Dinner 5pm -close
Brunch begins on October 2nd
Map It: 1221 Bay St. (near Bloor)
Phone It In: (647) 348-7000
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.