Have you been looking for a patio spot that isn’t right beside busy traffic and instead sits away from the swarms of summer shoppers? Well, our friends at INK Entertainment have taken over 314 Queen Street West to bring you a green rooftop patio that’s right in the downtown core, but away from the bustling activity down below. The Gaarden will sit on the rooftop of CUBE all summer, and Torontonicity was invited to their opening day to get a preview peak at the spot!
The Gaarden is a comfortable patio with a handful of booths at the sides where guests can sit with a few friends and enjoy their cocktails and conversation. There are also communal tables in the middle, making the shared seating a great place to strike up a conversation with others. I think the rows of seating with gorgeous flora interspersed make it a fun date night location, as you and your date can grab a seat by one of the plants that provide just enough privacy to enjoy a conversation, but still in a casual and fun environment like a patio. I’m a fan!
Guests on opening night were treated to some of the tropical cocktails that will be available throughout the entire summer, including the 1800 Coconut Crusher: 1800 Coconut Tequila, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, and soda with a shaved coconut rim. This is the type of cocktail for anyone who wants something refreshing and summery, but with a slight creamy note that only coconut can contribute. It’s not a strong cocktail either, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for stronger flavours.
I wanted something that had clearer flavours and less sugar, so I tried the Botanical Grapefruit Spritzer: Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit vodka, soda and an orange wedge! Sounds overly simple, but it reminded me of my favourite carbonated grapefruit flavoured water with an added kick. The botanical notes are very light and are only registered at the very end of each note, but play nicely as an added scent with each sip. Don’t underestimate those soda-based cocktails, as they help you stay hydrated!
A full menu including items like lobster mac & cheese, lamb spiducci, roasted salmon and truffled fries (just to name a few) will be available. For opening day, guests were treated to light fare which included a fresh veggie roll with red peppers, carrots, cucumbers and Chioggia beets. I loved the combination of fresh vegetable with the botanical cocktail, as the grapefruit went well with the red pepper and fresh beet flavours.
Another food item available to enjoy that evening were mini beef empanadas. They were just two bites, and perfectly sized for a casual evening enjoying cocktails in the sun. The filling was nicely spiced and still moist, which is key with the typical dough that has a slightly drier quality. They flew the whole night and were without a doubt a crowd-pleaser!
If you’re interested in visiting The Gaarden, make sure to check them out Wednesday to Sunday, starting in the late afternoon. The Gaarden is open only until the first week in September, so make sure to check them out before it’s too late. If you discover a favourite cocktail, or try their Jalapeno Margarita, comment down below and let me know what you thought! Enjoy!
You might also want to check out another great patio, Bizarre Beach Club in Liberty Village.
The Gaarden (at CUBE), 314 Queen Street West