Canopy Toronto Yorkville has opened on Bloor Street East and media were invited to sample the menu at Dia, the hotel’s flagship restaurant. Dia offers seasonal fare in a contemporary and spacious setting.
Executive Chef and Lead Culinary Enthusiast Justin Raponi has created a menu that has something for all tastes! You won’t find their original cocktails around town because they are created on site; in fact, their drink menu changes weekly. Read my preview of Canopy Toronto Yorkville.
I brought my friend and A Cuppa Grace and Lori podcasting partner Grace with me to the tasting and we seated ourselves at a table with two other media representatives.
Alex, our warm and enthusiastic server, greeted us quickly and took our drinks order. He recommended trying the restaurant’s specialty cocktail, the Dawa, $17, which includes Tito’s Vodka, Lime, Honey, and Demerara. Grace ordered the drink and, while she enjoyed it, she said she would have preferred it if it were a bit sweeter.
Alex, who was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, recommended ordering several shareable plates to start to enjoy among the four of us. Our table ordered one serving of Cauliflower Chipotle Hummus, one Fried Calamari, two orders of Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, one order of Pesto Ricotta Crostini and one Wild Mushroom Pizza.
Grace and one of our dining partners each ordered the Mezcal-Colada, $26, Dia’s version of a Pina Colada that features 1800 Coconut Tequila, “El Silencio” Mezcal, Pineapple and Coconut Milk. They both loved this drink! Grace loved how sweet and creamy it was. Two of our dining partners ordered the Lan, Rioja Tempranillo to accompany the meal and enjoyed its dry, full-bodied flavour with oaky notes. Our server Alex was very attentive to our needs.
While waiting for our shared plates, we admired the room, which is breezy, and elegant with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Bloor Street East and the Rosedale Valley. I can imagine it will be a gorgeous view of burnt orange, maroon and copper in the fall. There was a distinct Art Deco feel to the space, probably due to the elongated back bar chairs and swirling ceiling patterns. To contrast the restaurant’s modernity, a fireplace warms patrons at the far section of the room.
The first plate to arrive was the Cauliflower Chipotle Hummus, $17, which provided a lovely spin on the classic Middle Eastern appetizer. The texture was smooth and creamy and the heat from the chipotle was just enough. The hummus is served with pickled vegetables and an herbed cauliflower pizza crust for dipping.
Fried Calamari, $22, was a revelation for its unusually non-fried taste – could it have been air-fried to escape the typical greasiness of this dish? The calamari was accompanied by charred fennel, blistered tomatoes, capers, parsley and lemon oil. The result was a compatible marriage of firm and soft textures resulting in mouthfuls of deliciousness!
Pesto Ricotta Crostini, $17, featured a melt-in-your-mouth whipped Ricotta cheese topped with Arugula Pesto sauce and sun-dried tomato tapenade on a crispy bread base. Ricotta, which is mild verging on bland, benefited from the addition of the zesty sauces. A drizzle of orange honey provided a touch of sweetness.
For those who enjoy a thin-crust pizza, consider ordering the Wild Mushroom Pizza, $24. This upscale ‘za featured meaty wild mushrooms, Balsamic braised onions, shaved Black Kale, and Feta cheese on a base of white sauce. The crust was deliciously chewy, not crispy.
But the Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, $18, was the dark horse that accelerated to the finish line. This was voted a winner by all four diners! The dish was a pleasing medley of crunchy and chewy textures and featured a tangy flavour profile from the Gochujang paste (red chili, fermented soybeans and rice). Presented artistically on the plate topped with fresh Spring onion, toasted white sesame and pickled Daikon.
Although we enjoyed having our appetizers on the comfy couches by the window, we found the table too low to properly eat our appetizers. We decided to move to a higher table before our entrées arrived.
I and another of our dining partners ordered the Alberta Steak Frites, $44, with Merlot demi and sea salt fries. My steak was delicious and done per my request (Medium Rare). The fries were thicker than I liked and could have been hotter.
Grace ordered the Pan Roasted Salmon, $35, which was served with charred Sicilian pesto, corn & barley succotash and basil. I had a taste of her salmon and it was very moist even before dipping it in the delicious pesto.
Grace and one of our dining partners ordered the Tiramisu to split for dessert. Both of them really enjoyed this coffee-infused classic Italian dessert.
View this post on Instagram
We had a wonderful evening tasting the menu at Dia. Although we enjoyed everything on the menu, the shareable plates were exceptionally well prepared.
Dia Restaurant, Canopy Toronto Yorkville, 387 Bloor Street East (just west of Sherbourne Street), 416-921-3333.
You may be interested in reading “Canadian Stage’s Fairview at Berkeley Street Theatre: REVIEW“.