These swank new hotel restaurants are hoping to win over the city’s deep-pocketed diners.
Stock at the Trump International Hotel
325 Bay St., 416-637-5550.
Since opening on the 31st floor of the Trump Tower in February 2012, Stock has become the place for a new generation of Bay Streeters (there’s a dollar sign in the logo) to dine on $80 steaks in opulent surroundings (the ceilings are 24-feet high).
Service: Mostly young women in short black dresses.
Most expensive item on menu: The 50-oz bone-in tomahawk steak is $145. Pittance, you say? Top it with fois gras for $20 or get a side of caviar ($250 for 125g).
Chef pedigree: Executive chef Todd Clarmo worked at the Michelin-starred Hotel Troisgros in Roanne, France, as well as Langdon Hall, Biff’s, and Canoe.
Bragging rights: Pastry chef David Chow works in a private kitchen, called the Chocolate Lab, with state-of-the-art equipment for creating hand-made chocolates, truffles, and bars, all of which are wheeled out on a dessert trolley. The restaurant also has a floor-to-ceiling wine wall with over 1,000 bottles, and the city’s highest outdoor patio.
The bar: Attached to the dining room, the bar is decked out with plush, dark leather couches and pristine granite tables. Martini glasses filled with popcorn accompany the $18 cocktails, and the view of the city’s shiny office towers might one of the best downtown.
Bosk at the Shangri-La
188 University Ave., 647-788-8858.
The hotel’s signature restaurant convincingly mashes retro 1950s design (like the colourful blown-glass light fixtures above the bar) with refined Asian elements. The menu, which contains some of the most exotic ingredients in town, is summed up with this tagline: “Perfume of the Earth: Dishes Created with the Scent of Nature.” Dishes include “filaments” of Dungeness crab with pork crackling and fujika apple and one called The Journey of Single Langoustine.
Service: Professional waitstaff wear white blazers and will fastidiously explain the intricacies of the complex menu.
Most expensive item on menu: Two courses at dinner (and you must order at least two) will run you $76, but the tasting menu is $185.
Chef pedigree: Chef Jean-Paul Lourdes has held a variety of positions at Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Japan.
Bragging rights: The restaurant is influenced by kaiseki-style dining, a traditional and expensive multi-course Japanese meal, which puts high value on aesthetics and uses only the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Lourdes regularly imports fish straight from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.
The bar: Patrons can chose between the horseshoe-shaped bar at Bosk or the hotel’s elegant lobby, with entertainment by a three-piece jazz band.
Café Boulud at the Four Seasons
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-0411.
The just opened outpost of Daniel Boulud’s ever expanding empire exhibits the famed chef’s flair for contemporary and classic French cuisine, and is quickly establishing itself as an accessible, everyday haunt for the mature, moneyed Yorkville crowd. The surprisingly affordable menu at the chic mezzanine level restaurant resembles that of New York’s Café Boulud, in that it’s designed around the chef’s four culinary “muses” (la tradition, la saison, le portager, la voyage), while the more casual bar and lounge below bustles with chatter, as guests enjoy burgers and charcuterie to a soothing, bass heavy soundtrack.
Service: Professional and attentive, with a patron friendly ratio of, what seems like, a server for every two diners.
Most expensive item on menu: The beautifully presented entrees start at $21 and cap out at $39 for the steak au poivre, a dry-aged Cumbrae strip loin, with bone marrow, shallots, thick cut fries, and parsley salad.
Chef pedigree: Tyler Shedden has worked with Boulud at the Michelin-starred Daniel in New York, and also trained under chefs Gordon Ramsay, Jean Francois Bruel, and Robert Clark.
Bragging rights: The walls of the upstairs dining room are adorned with pop art made by none other than Banksy’s dubious chronicler Mr. Brainwash.
The bar: The main floor dbar is exclusive in its own right, with a wait list to prevent overcrowding. Drinks come with freebie mixed olives and honey-roasted nuts.