There is nothing quite like a brisk walk on a blue sky filled Saturday morning in the height of winter. I found myself smiling in the sun while strolling up Yonge Street at 10am bound for the Four Seasons. A bar review in the early morning seems rather decadent but I needed to arrive at 10:30am before dBar opened for service in order to shoot the interior.
Once I arrived I plopped my jacket and camera bag on a large leather swivel chair and spent the next twenty minutes finding inspiration in the design lines of the space via my lens. dBar occupies the main floor of Toronto’s new Four Seasons Hotel, the brands flagship property. Famed Chef Daniel Boulud has created a relaxed and refined hotel bar while showcasing a fine dining menu upstairs at Cafe Boulud. Daniel’s concept duo offer two distinct menus which are prepared by two dedicated kitchens.
I was joined by Melly who arrived like clockwork at 11am. We would both be sharing our first experience at the new Four Seasons together that afternoon and also enjoying our first encounter with Chef Boulud’s culinary inspirations. Service throughout the meal was impecable and offered an elevated attention to detail and professionalism that one rarely encounters in the city. I was pleased to reflect and reminisce on my Michelin adventures this past Spring in Europe.
Favourites from the bar included the brilliant bloom of the Flower Mojito (featuring havana club blanco, elderflower liqueur, lavender syrup, fresh mint) and the Neo-Negroni which is served in an exclusive cocktail glass designed to perfectly showcase an ice sphere which spins slowly to keep your gin and campari cool.
Visitors to dBar are offered two complimentary bowls at the table when they arrive: a selection of olives and an addictive roasted nut medley. Savoury snacking highlights included a perfectly crispy herbed falafel, beaujolaise sausage paired with warm lentils du puy and Daniel’s iconic Yankee Burger. We finished our feast with a pot of hot peppermint tea and the Chef’s signature icing sugar dusted warm madeleines.
Torontonians are proud that the Four Seasons brand is their own. How lucky are we that one of the worlds most iconic luxury hotel brands offers its flagship experience for us to play? This new addition to the heart of Yorkville will certainly offer an interesting space for Boulud’s European flare to inspire and redefine the definition of the fine dining experience in our fine city. I can’t wait to see how the menu evolves throughout 2013. I was so impressed with my lunch that you will now find dBar on my Toronto’s Top Restaurant List.
Special thanks to the team at Four Seasons for hosting me as their guest.
Flower Mojito *
havana club blanco, elderflower liqueur, lavender syrup, fresh mint
forty creek reserve rye, marsala fine, amaro, kirsch cherries, house star anise bitters
bombay sapphire gin, campari, green chartreuse, dry vermouth, lemon twist
havana club anejo, grapefruit juice, nepitella syrup, crispy basil leaf
olives, sweet and savoury nut mix
Herbed Falafel *
yoghurt and harissa sauce
Beet and Vodka-Cured Albacore Tuna
roasted baby beets, horseradish cream, mache
Beaujolais Sausage *
pork, mushroom, onion, bacon and red wine link, lentils du puy
The Yankee *
beef patty with iceberg, tomato, vidalia, cheddar, bacon, sesame bun, pickles, fries
lime zest, cranberry goat cheese and pecan sorbet
Warm Madeleines *
#428 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.