Chef Richard Singh brings a new vision to The Broadview Hotel
The 128-year-old historic, iconic, yet dilapidated building at the corner of Queen and Broadview had been through many incarnations: Dingman’s Hall, New Broadview Hotel, Lincoln Hotel, and lastly, Jilly’s, a derelict strip club. Its steady deterioration until eventual demise, seemed inevitable.
That is, until developers Streetcar Developments and Dreams Unlimited, along with ERA Architects and DesignAgency, took over. After three years of renos and a cool $24-million, The Broadview Hotel made its splashy debut July 2017.
The distinct destination quickly garnered praise from heavy-hitters (Goop, Forbes), made Travel + Leisure’s ‘Best New Hotels in the World – It List 2018,’ and was named one of ‘15 Best Hotels in Toronto’ by Condé Nast Traveler.
Completely restored and reimagined, the 58-guestroom boutique hotel has helped transform the area’s Riverside and Leslieville neighbourhoods, bringing a cool vibrancy to the east side, and demonstrating that the east end of the city holds just as much allure as the west.
Since doors opened, it’s gone through a few changes: Award-winning Crescent Hotels & Resorts recently added the destination to its Canadian portfolio and Latitudes Collection. And while the eateries still boast the same rich decor - pretty pastels and light wood in The Broadview Bistro + Bar; plush, tufted leather banquettes in deep merlot and dark panels line the walls of upscale The Civic Restaurant cross the hall: The Rooftop’s stunning 360-degree view of the city beats any setting or fixture – the food is markedly different.
New executive chef Richard Singh redesigned all the hotel’s menus, invigorating them with an air of sophistication without a lick of stodginess. Think: accessible dishes with fine dining execution.
You may be familiar with Singh’s elevated fare from his time at The Chase and Shangri-La Hotel, but did you know he worked at Michelin-starred restaurants including The Fat Duck (England), Per Se (New York) , and staged (unpaid internship) at renowned Noma (Copenhagen), and Alinea (Chicago)?
This exclusive training is evident in The Civic’s focused a la carte dinner menu. Shareable plates of local and seasonal fare paired with sommelier-selected wines includes starters of Sweet Corn Soup ($12) and Glazed Pork Belly ($17); sides (Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes $7, Glazed Vegetables $9), and entrees such as plump Spinach Cavatelli ($28), Roasted Wild Halibut ($38), and Grass Fed Dry Aged Ribeye ($42). Portions here are hearty, including desserts, with items served on striking earthenware.
Take a closer look:
Lightly Cooked Scallops ($20)
Plump, juicy bivalves from Nova Scotia are sliced in half, then seared on only one side until golden - the other half heats slowly through the process, a trick he picked up working at The Fat Duck. Strewn with fresh dill and chopped leeks cooked sous vide then torched on one side, and draped with thin strands of luscious lardo, they’re set in a deep pool of scallop velouté made from scallop abductor muscle (usually discarded), stippled with leek green puree. The result is a fascinating dish with a unique depth and complexity that will convert even ardent scallop dodgers.
Prawn and Tomato Tartine ($16)
Singh’s shrimp-cocktail-meets pane-con-tomate (Spanish grilled bread rubbed with tomato) extends summer feels with
slices of juicy red and yellow tomato, plump B.C. side stripe prawns sous vide with garlic butter, cucumber, pickled ramps, horseradish, and celery atop a thick slice of Petite Thuet sourdough massaged with tomato.
Duo of Ontario Lamb ($34)
While the saddle gets roasted and sous vide for an hour, the breast is slow-cooked (sous vide for 18 hours). Taking the top layer of fat (fat cap) and connective tissue (silver skin) off the loin (saddle), then replacing the fat cap back on, is key to this dish. Allowing the lamb to luxuriate underneath all that unctuousness results in tender, rich meat. And the juxtaposition of cuts and cooking methods keeps your palate engaged throughout.
Labneh-esque spread set underneath delivers a soft tang, while lamb jus offers depth, and mushy peas add a nostalgic British note.
Honey and Lavender Glazed Duck Breast ($30)
Magret , breast of a Moulard duck reared for foie gras from Rougie in Quebec, gets aged in-house for 7-9 days, then cooked sous vide. It arrives glistening with a thin layer of honey lavender glaze, coupled with crunchy, craggy fritters revealing tender confit, rounded out by black kale, grilled peach slices, and “1000 Island” jus.
Strawberries and Honey ($12)
Think you’re over panna cotta? Think again. This buttermilk design, quivering with an alluring mix of fresh and dried strawberries, honey and honeycomb, strikes a balance between tang and sweet.
Coconut and Chocolate ($12)
An oversized housemade Bounty bar – Singh’s favourite – arrives at the table, a beautifully decadent composition of chocolate ganache, coconut, condensed milk, and pina colada gel.
Go see for yourself.
The Civic accommodates 90 guests for dinner Wednesday to Saturday, and brunch on weekends.
106 Broadview Ave.
(416) 362- 8439
Sat + Sun 10am-3pm
For more photos, visit @torontorestaurants.co on Instagram.