As I conducted my preliminary research of Toronto’s lively hotel bar scene I couldn’t help but realize that I had not yet stepped foot into either of the cities Le Germain properties. I was put in touch with their team in Montreal and offered a tour of their two downtown Toronto concepts on a Sunday afternoon with GM Paul de La Durantaye.
I first arrived at contemporary and relaxed Play Lounge located in their Maple Leaf Square property. I invited my good friend and beverage fanatic Daniella Gullo to join me along for the ride. Play offers a sophisticated space to enjoy a sip and snack a stones throw from the Air Canada Centre. The name “Play” I think refers to many aspects of the lounge: from the open concept space, shared plates centric menu and a tip of the hat to the cities largest sports arena which you can see clearly if you smush your face against the window.
Complimentary bar snacking includes a mix of sesame chips, nuts, rice cakes and spiced corn kernels. Cocktail highlights included the refreshing Power Play featuring belvedere, chambord, peach liqueur and lemon iced tea as well as The Dark Storm featuring gosling black rum, clove cinnamon and fresh ginger juice, ginger beer and candied ginger.
Savoury selection highlights included light and puffy shrimp beignet with chili remoulade and okra maquechoux as well as an entree of beef tenderloin with pommery chimichurri sauce, mashed yukons and sauteed baby vegetables.
Special thanks to the team at Le Germain for hosting me as their guest.
We sampled (* notes my favourites):
Power Play *
belvedere, chambord, peach liqueur, lemon iced tea
Dark Storm *
gosling black rum, clove cinnamon and fresh ginger juice, ginger beer, candied ginger
Germain Hat Trick
vodka, hot sauce, worcestershire, clamato, steam whistle pils, lemon and lime juice, horseradish
Shrimp Beignet *
chili remoulade, okra maquechoux
maple and citrus roasted beets, shaved fennel, mixed seedlings, walnut dressing
Beef Tenderloin *
pommery chimichurri sauce, mashed yukons, sauteed baby vegetables
Pan Seared Arctic Char
carrot saffron emulsion, brown butter roasted fingerlings, braised broccolini
#429 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.