In the mood for an upscale dining experience in Toronto? Then try ONE at the Hazleton Hotel in Yorkville, for your choice of brunch, lunch or dinner. Or, perhaps consider a few of the restaurant’s outrageously delicious signature cocktails, which you can sip on the fashionable (seasonal) patio.
Chef and proprietor Mark McEwan – owner of two other well-known restaurants: Bymark and North 44 – delivers an ever-changing menu of primarily European cuisine (Italian and French) in an establishment so exclusive that’s it’s highly possible you’ll pass right by it unless you catch a glimpse of the tiny print on the door – as we first did.
The restaurant’s striking décor features a black, red and gold scheme with textured walls and extremely low lighting, which seemingly encourages patrons to speak in whispers and gives the illusion of being late night even when it’s not. The patio is candle lit and lined with trees. It offers a feeling of privacy but is the perfect vantage point for watching the hustle and bustle of Yorkville, Toronto.
With a dinner menu boasting a wide variety of appetizers, as well as main courses of pasta, seafood, and steak, we opted for Caesar Salads, the Striploin steak, and Truffle Frites, essentially French Fries topped with truffles. The 12-ounce steaks were tender and cooked to perfection and the fries were unique and tasty.
Having had only one cocktail each and a shared piece of thinly sliced cheesecake just to taste, the bill was considerably north of $200. However, we recognized that the price tag attached to such a meal is about more than just the cuisine – it’s about the experience as a whole. With that in mind, we believe that ONE is worth it, especially as the service we experienced was first-rate.
This fine dining establishment offers up catering services as well as provides private dining in two different facilities toward the back of the restaurant. It’s not so surprising that private dining is needed here considering ONE is known to attract celebrities. Our waiter told us of the high profile clientele that frequents the restaurant including such names as Toronto rapper/singer/songwriter Drake, Gene Simmons of KISS, and pro basketball player LeBron James. And during TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) you can bet that this establishment is jam-packed with well-known faces. As such, ONE has become Toronto’s version of Spago or The Ivy in LA.
If you choose to dine here, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone famous, perhaps even celebrity Chef Mark McEwan who is known for his best-selling cookbook, his show ‘Heat’ on the Food Network, and his current stint as the head judge on ‘Top Chef Canada’. And don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the Truffle Fries. We sure did.