Toronto institution Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar has been in the heart of the Financial District for the last 48 years, and in Canada for over 60 years with four locations across the West Coast and Prairies (Whistler, Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg).
A restaurant lasting ten years is practically an anomaly these days, so surviving this many decades is cause for serious celebration.
Hy’s hallmarks - Prime Grade steaks, seasonal caviar, Caesar salad done tableside, cold martinis, and proficient, hospitable servers in smart grey jackets – may sound old school, but they’re what set the steakhouse apart.
On the move
Though Hy’s embodies classic and traditional ways, the family-owned company embraces change too. Recognizing it was time for an update, the Toronto location has closed, and will re-open not far away at Bay & Richmond (365 Bay St.) in a swanky 10,000 sq. ft. space this summer.
Same, but different
While the new location is sure to be magnificent, don’t expect too many alterations on the menu.
After all, their steaks - never frozen, Prime grade ( the top 1% of all graded beef in Canada), - with only salt and pepper for seasoning, served classically with a side (double stuffed potato, creamed spinach, garlic mash), and professional, yet never stuffy service (Jimmy celebrating 45 years, Gabriel for almost 25) are just a few reasons why people (Justin Bieber included) return time and again.
That, and the unbelievable Cheese Toast and Caesar Salad.
Hy’s shares their legendary recipes
Missing their renowned 32 oz. Rib Steak, Seafood Tower, deep cellar list, Chateaubriand, and Bananas Foster done tableside? You’re in luck. You can recreate Hy’s famous Cheese Toast, a recipe that’s remained unchanged since 1955, and Caesar Salad at home with the recipes below.
Not only will these dishes help tide you over until the new spot opens, they’ll become your go-to recipes. Classics that stand the test of time.
Pro tip: Do as Hy’s would and make a quintessential cocktail - Old Fashioned or Martini – to go with it. And whatever you do, use a wooden bowl for the salad.
Hy’s Famous Cheese Toast (6 slices)
6 slices white bread
¾ cup soft butter
¼ cup Grana Padano cheese
¼ cup Swiss cheese
1/3 cup Yellow Cheddar cheese
¼ tsp fine ground white pepper
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
Mixer - with paddle and mixing bowl
Broiler - on high
1. Whip butter in mixer.
2. Add Padano, Swiss, Cheddar, white pepper, and Worcestershire sauce into butter mix.
3. Mix until all well blended and a spreadable texture.
4. Put broiler on high and lightly toast one side of bread.
5. Remove bread and allow to cool to room temp.
6. Evenly spread the cheese mix on the four slices of bread on untoasted side.
7. Place under broiler until golden brown.
8. Remove, slice and eat immediately.
Hy’s Caesar Salad (Serves 2)
1 tsp chopped garlic
2/3 tsp anchovy paste
½ tsp seasoning salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Combine in bowl forming a paste.
Add 1½ tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 tsp Tabasco sauce, 1/3 tsp Dijon mustard.
Add 2 tsp fresh lemon juice.
Add 1 egg yolk, 1½ tsp red wine vinegar, 6 tsp canola oil.
Mix together well. Dressing will emulsify (thicken).
In large salad bowl, add two big handfuls of Romaine lettuce.
Add add two-thirds of dressing. Mix gently until leaves are all coated with dressing. Add more dressing if necessary.
Next, add 4 tsp Parma Cheese. Mix lightly.
Add croutons. Mix.
Ready to serve – Put salad on plate. Finish with sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and add black pepper to taste.