By Lory Diaz
Victor Restaurant & Café at Le Germain Hotel on Mercer Street in Toronto just opened its doors after serious renovations, and this means they’re ready for all your TIFF dinner plans. The space has an American tavern feel, while maintaining the refined and detailed design that’s expected of the Le Germain boutique aesthetic.
The renovations were recently celebrated with a cocktail party held on September 6, 2017 where guests were invited to explore the new space while enjoying some delicious treats. Aside from the lobster bisque shot, oysters, and sliders, the coconut lime scallop ceviche was available to try. These have a creamy vibrancy in every bite, and are highly recommended.
For cocktail choices, I went with the Classic Gin Gimlet that cuts through heavier flavours without overpowering. Refreshing and delicious!
I love the expansive feel of the new lobby and restaurant entrance that was completed by The Design Agency, who are the same people behind Lena Restaurant. Anwar Mekhayech of The Design Agency spoke of the importance of allowing natural light into the space, while maintaining some intimate and cozy corners. The cocktail bar located at the back has that exact feeling, and Negroni on tap; The Negroni alone is well worth a spot at the bar.
Aside from the new dining and bar area, Victor Restaurant also has a new menu. We started with the seafood platter that traditionally comes with lobster tail, oysters, scallops, shrimp, and crab claw. Make sure to request the in-house made strawberry Sriracha sauce with this dish. The sauce doesn’t have the flat heat of traditional sriracha, but instead carries a tart and sweet complexity that complements seafood so well!
As a cheese lover, I was excited to try the French bean salad with prosciutto, almonds, raisins, and blue cheese. The stronger and saltier flavours pair nicely with the sweeter almonds and raisins, but I do recommend sharing this one as it can feel quite filling.
If you also love cheese, you could opt for the white cheddar pierogies topped with caramelized onions, dill creme fraiche, and a lovely apple-based mostarda. Pierogies can feel quite heavy, but the dill and apple lighten the flavours of this dish, adding some delicious variations in each bite.
Anyone visiting with children who may be pickier eaters could also go for the smoked macaroni and cheese, though I’m sure any adult would also love this gooey dish.
Guests of Victor Restaurant who look for steak that is properly cooked, without a heavy hand, should absolutely try the steak here. This is grilled and cooked to perfection, just the way you order it.
We took a short break from dinner, and were given a tour of the Le Germain rooms. The boutique hotel has a very clean and modern aesthetic, with each room containing a one-of-a-kind work from BARKAS Production. The showers also have a unique feature of being constructed of full glass on two sides, making them completely see-through from almost every corner. These make for very interesting and romantic stays!
I ended my visit at Victor on a sweet note. The dessert platter contained a chocolate raspberry, lemon-blueberry, butter, and coconut tart, with the signature Victor Baked Alaska in the centre. The Baked Alaska has a roasted marshmallow exterior, with delicious creamy ice cream interior. So difficult to pick a favourite, so consider visiting with a group of friends and sharing dessert options, because they’re all fantastic!
Guests could also pick a slice of the light and lovely blueberry cheesecake, but I doubt you’ll want to share the dessert.
Victor also has a lovely French style cafe that makes pastries and breads in-house, and serves coffee for anyone looking for a cozy working area. Each seat in the cafe has an individual outlet available, so I may have found my new favourite working space in Toronto. I know I’ll be bringing friends and family to Victor for a meal in the near future, and I can’t wait to see the evolution of their menu. Hope to see you there!