Perched on the 38th floor of the Westin Harbour Castle hotel, on Toronto’s waterfront, white-tablecloth restaurant Toula boasts breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and islands.
But Toula is no one-trick pony, since it delivers plates that are as delicious as the view. A nightly soup, minestrone, is loaded with perfectly textured diced veg in an intensely flavoured tomato broth.
Shrimp cocktail delivers gigantic, firm shellfish, which, dipped into tomato-spiked mayo, are heaven on a plate. Sparklingly fresh Belgian endive, avocado, charred corn, hearts of palm, freshened with a brightly flavoured lemon vinaigrette, make the brasiliana salad a delight.
Robiola cheese is stuffed into huge ravioli garnished with pancetta, smoked ricotta, fresh basil leaves and robust tomato sauce.
Mains bring a hunk of moist Atlantic salmon accessorized with citrus salsa and champagne butter overtop of creamy risotto, and two double-thick slabs of lamb rack, cooked perfectly pink and moist and garnished with grilled fennel and mashed potatoes.
For dessert, the kitchen sends out smooth, vanilla-scented panna cotta and dense, rich ricotta cheesecake drizzled with blackberry puree.
Decked out in acres of blonde wood, curving, cushioned banquettes and handsomely set tables, the room boasts huge picture windows that bring an airiness to the space.
Three sections of the restaurant can be reserved for groups: the City area (hosting 42 for sit-down meals); the Lounge (70 people, seated) and the Docks section (90, seated).
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,200 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.