My review at Victor inside Le Germain on Mercer Street was the 2nd stop on my tour of the groups two hotel properties hosted by GM Paul de La Durantaye. My good friend Daniella Gullo joined us for this Sunday evening cocktail sipping and snacking extravaganza. The night started at Germain Maple Leaf Square nibbling on share plates and sipping on cocktails. The three of us then hopped in a cab and a few minutes later arrived at their sister property on Mercer Street.
Victor Restaurant and Bar offers a relaxed elegance with an entrance that spills out into the hotel’s lobby where a cozy wood burning fireplace welcomes guests. Mercer Street is the grown up and sophisticated brother to Germain’s more playful Maple Leaf Square concept. We sat just in front of the bar around a large rectangular coffee table and pursued the menu.
Victor has playfully showcased the unique multicultural pockets of the city by offering a “Toronto Tasting.” The menu offers guests a survey of some the cities most famous neighbourhoods which include curried golden beets from Little India, butter poached lobster from Yorkville and pasta e fagioli from Little Italy.
The Chef arrived with an unexpected treat as we sipped on our first beverage. A regal afternoon tea service was placed in the centre of our table featuring a wild and wonderful assortment of nibbles. Memorable moments included deep fried chicken skin, candied bacon, compressed cucumber and scallop ceviche and a foie gras ice cream sandwich. This particular presentation is not a regular offering on the menu but I encouraged Paul to launch a new program for friends where we can nix the tea and instead indulge in an aperitif while enjoying a nouveau take on Afternoon Tea service.
Cocktail highlights included the Le Germain, a drink infused with St. Germain elderflower liqueur (a happy harmony from a hotel and liqueur that share the same name) and the Copper Royale served in a champagne flute offering prosecco bubbles with a hint of bitters, lemon and absolut elyx.
Once finished our canapés we wound down the evening with a sampling of three entrees from the Toronto Tasting menu. Our forks whisked themselves across the table as we sampled the flavours of Polish Roncesvalles, British Corktown and the Mexican community at Dufferin and Bloor. Our Chili Rellenos was addictive and disappeared from the table in seconds. Corktown’s braised short rib pot roast and potato terrine were beautifully presented: two perfectly wrapped presents ready to be popped into our mouths.
Special thanks to the team at Le Germain for hosting me as their guest.
We sampled (* notes my favourites):
French Sancho Pancho
st. germain elderflower liquer, tromba blanco tequila, lemon, ginger beer
Le Germain *
st. germai elderflower liqueur, pearl cucumber vodka, citrus, cucumber
Copper Royale *
absolut elyx vodka, fresh lemon, sugar, butters, prosecco
short rib lollipop, chicken and chorizo crackling, candied bacon
compressed cucumber and scallop ceviche, lobster and cellery root puree
foie gras ice cream sandwich, foie gras and chocolate lollipop
Mexican, Dufferin and Bloor *
Chili Rellenos, stuffed poblano pepper, rice, tofu, beans, tomato and corn
Corktown, King and Parliament *
Braised Short Rib Pot Roast, potato terrine, glazed root vegetables, Guiness syrup
Little Poland, Roncesvalles (Top Chef episode 10)
Cabbage Roll, beef, tomato, beetroot horseradish and apple gel
#430 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.