Blogger Sharilene Rowland and I were recently invited by the marketing and PR team to enjoy lunch at The Chartroom Bar & Lounge at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. I had not been to The Westin Harbour Castle in several years so I was impressed by their relatively recent renovation. The lobby is now updated in an ultra-modern decor with sea-blue hues, reminding us of the ocean and The Chartroom Bar & Lounge extends from the lobby and overlooks The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Lake Ontario.
The Chartroom Bar & Lounge offers an all-day dining menu from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (A snack menu is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.) We joined our party and sat at a table overlooking the water. Our server quickly appeared and took our drinks order. She also let us know the daily specials so that we could consider them while perusing the menu.
The Chartroom Bar & Lounge and other restaurants in The Westin Harbour Castle including Mizzen Restaurant and Savoury are overseen by celebrity chef Corbin Tomaszeski so we knew that we were in for some culinary greatness. Chef Corbin includes Superfoods in every dish to ensure an anti-oxidant rich menu.
A few of us opted for the “Soup of Yesterday” ($9), which was a split pea soup with fresh mint, while the remaining three of us ordered the Rocket, Tomato and Avocado Salad with Honey, Lemon and Pepper Vinaigrette ($6).
Although I did not taste it, my dining partners advised me that the combination of fresh mint and split pea was inspired and the soup was a great success. (I made a mental note to make sure to grow fresh mint in my garden this year so that I can add it to soups, salads and cool drinks.)
If you’re wondering how to turn an ordinary green salad appetizer into something amazing, I encourage you to try the Rocket, Tomato and Avocado Salad with Honey, Lemon and Pepper Vinaigrette ($6). First of all, I must say that the ingredients in this salad were incredibly fresh. Replacing more standard greens with rocket (or ‘arugula’ as it is more commonly known) elevates the “house salad” into something exceptional. The peppery, bitter taste of the arugula blended beautifully with the sweet tartness of the tomatoes and blandness of the avocados and I loved the honey lemon dressing, which unified all of the flavours.
Sharilene ordered the Sea Salt Brick Chicken with potato puree, heirloom carrots and roasted green beans ($27). She loved that the chicken was super tender and the vegetables were crisp without being too crunchy while the potato puree was melt-in-your-mouth satisfying.
One of my dining partners opted for the Wild Mushroom and Watercress Pesto Risotto with petite egg and rasped parmigiano reggiano ($23). He advised us that the risotto was glorious!
I chose the special of the day, which was an Asian flank steak with sweet slaw and rice noodles. I ordered my steak “medium rare” and it was cooked as I had requested. I loved the variety of textures in this dish: crispy/chewy/soft. The vegetables and steak were marinated in a piquant Asian sauce that was neither too salty nor too sweet.
After we finished lunch, we were taken for a short tour of the hotel and had a look at a Corner King Room in the South Tower of The Westin Harbour Castle. The room was decorated in soothing earth and sea tones for a really homey effect. There were two windows that offered a lake view: one facing directly south and the other window looking southwest.
With a lakeview like this, wouldn’t it make you feel like you are at the cottage?
We saw these boats looking down from the window in the Corner King Room.
The window facing southwest provides a view of Lake Ontario and Billy Bishop Airport in the distance.
It’s always great to have another place to sit other than the bed and the Corner King Room offers a loveseat, which is situated by the window.
I love the sleek, modern bathroom with black granite countertop and an Art Nouveau style print.
We had a quick look at the indoor swimming pool that featured floor-to-ceiling windows, affording another spectacular lake view. On the north side of the swimming pool were more floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked a sundeck to be enjoyed in the warmer months. Beside the swimming pool was a good-sized whirlpool and a fitness centre has windows overlooking the swimming pool.
We thoroughly enjoyed the offerings from Chef Corbin Tomaszeski’s menu at The Chartroom Bar & Lounge. I highly recommend stopping in at The Chartroom for a casual dining experience if you are working in the King and Bay area or if you are visiting Harbourfront.
The Chartroom Bar & Lounge at The Westin Harbour Castle, 1 Harbour Square, is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Call 416-869-1600 to reserve.