Toronto Beach Club
Toronto, ON M4L 3W6
Toronto Beach Club is an alluring restaurant from Scale Hospitality, the group behind venues like Shook, Lapinou and Byblos. Set on Woodbine Beach with views of Lake Ontario, the restaurant aims to evoke the vibe of a European coastal getaway with its airy decor and Mediterranean-influenced menu.
“The inspiration was to take people and transport them somewhere else. Give them great food, exceptional service and entertain them for the evening,” says Scale Hospitality owner Hanif Harji. “And hope that they leave with this really strong emotional connection with the restaurant.”
Toronto Beach Club employs two full-time maitre D’s to provide next-level service and Hanif says every element of the restaurant, from the cutlery to the plates, was carefully selected to capture a sense of place.
With warm breezes drifting through the indoor-outdoor space, evocative oud music playing over the speakers and the glistening lake visible on the horizon, Toronto Beach Club truly does feel a world away from the city. “We wanted somebody to walk in here and say that they've never seen anything like this in Toronto,” says Harji.
Scale tapped the Drake’s former Corporate Executive chef Ted Corrado to create a menu that blends local, seasonal ingredients with coastal European culinary influences spanning from France to Turkey.
“We wanted to be true to that European simple food sensibility and honouring the beautiful ingredients we're bringing in,” says Corrado. “We're really priding ourselves in what we’re sourcing and paying homage to it and just keeping it really simple.”
The menu is fresh and citrus-forward, with many dishes cooked over a charcoal grill. Harji describes it as a “celebration-style menu” that’s designed to be shared. There’s an extensive selection of mezze and seafood, along with salads, a raw bar and grilled meats.
The tangy, barrel-aged Greek feta is complemented by an herby mix of caper leaf and mountain oregano, plus zesty lemon.
The elegant orange & chicory salad features radicchio, castelfranco, boston bibb, parmigiano, citrus, green olive, white balsamic and preserved lemon vinaigrette.
These beautiful mussels served on the half shell with lemon herb pangrattato are one of Harji's favourite dishes on the menu.
Corrado says this branzino crudo is an excellent example of the simple, fresh flavours that are at the heart of Toronto Beach Club's menu.
An understated finish of lemon and olive oil allows the natural flavour of these juicy, yogurt-marinated Ontario lamb chops to shine.
A wide range of champagne available by the glass and bottle is among the highlights of Toronto Beach Club’s drinks menu. “We really want people to come here and indulge a little bit and feel like they can escape,” says Harji. “Champagne tends to do that to people.”
The wider wine menu offers a mix of old and new world bottles, while the cocktail menu features refreshing spritzes, riffs on the classic martini and many vermouth-based drinks.
The spirit-forward Dean Martin(ez) features a blend of Tanqueray gin, cocchi chinato, dry vermouth, luxardo maraschino, orange bitters and house bitters.
The delightful Sienna Sour is a mix of Bulleit bourbon, honey agrodolce, lemon, sumac and thyme.
A multi-million dollar renovation has transformed the former Carter’s Landing space into a serene oasis. Natural textures, lounge-like seating and earthy tones create a calm, sophisticated atmosphere.
The wraparound patio offers lovely views of the lake, with floor-to-ceiling windows also giving those dining inside a glimpse of the water. “We wanted it to be soft and light and really vibrant,” says Harji, noting that all of the furniture and light fixtures were custom made for the restaurant, along with its handmade tile work. Perhaps the rarest feature of all for Toronto: the restaurant also features a large, free parking lot out front.
A regular entertainment line-up of musicians, such as opera singers and flamenco guitarists, live DJs, and other performers is in the works. “Whenever you're in Europe, whether it's the Greek islands, Spain or France, while you're having lunch or dinner, there's some sort of entertainment,” says Harji.
In the fall, Toronto Beach Club will also launch a takeout Marketplace Café, which will feature coffee, housemade bread, dips and pasta, plus a fresh fish counter, as well as a selection of European wine and beer. Harji says there are also plans in the works to extend patio season by creating a cozy, cool-weather set-up with firepits.
“I just want people to come here and let the space and the food and the service speak for itself,” says Harji.
By Jessica Huras; Posted on July 2, 2021