Although staff once said September 28, the official opening date has been announced: Drake One Fifty will open on October 2. The 6,000 plus-square-foot Financial District space has been conceptualized by British designer Martin Brudnizki and includes a curated art collection and customized wine and cocktail program to accent Executive Chef Ted Corrado's Canadian brasserie menu. This has definitely been one of the most anticipated - and delayed - openings this year. Hipsters with cubicle day jobs, rejoice!
Highlights of the new Drake One Fifty menu include: roasted shoulder of lamb ($27), grilled sardines ($15), rotisserie chicken for sharing ($40), seasonal house-made pastas including rabbit confit torchetti ($22) and a seafood tower (fresh daily mix of lobster, crab, oysters, shrimp, mussels, clams and squid, served with an array of sauces and available in multiple sizes, $45 to $120).
There will also be Bay Street twists on the Drake Hotel's Queen West classics, such as the Drake burger topped with cured foie gras, pickled red onion, Bibb lettuce, Russian dressing and old cheddar served alongside hand-cut fries ($24). Plus daily homemade pies for dessert! Pies, after all, being the new donut (which was the new cupcake, which may have been the new macaron, but who can keep track?).
Over at the bar, Drake One Fifty's mixology team have created a wine and cocktail program to complement Chef Corrado's menu. Featured cocktails include the Suppressor #21 (Cynar, Barolo chinato, sherry and orange bitters, $13), the Baller Manhattan (Colonel E.H. Taylor rye whiskey, Carpano Antica formula vermouth and Angostura bitters, $22) and the French 75 (Hennessy V.S. cognac, lemon juice, sugar and prosecco, $14). The main bar, with its leather stools overlooking the windows on York Street, seems very Queen West but will no doubt be full of men-in-suits rather than beards-and-tattoos.
Designer Martin Brudnizki (Soho Beach House Miami, Cecconi's West Hollywood in Los Angeles, Le Caprice in New York City) collaborated with Drake Hotel Properties CEO Jeff Stober and his in-house design team, continuing the Drake's familiar contemporary-meets-classic, high-meets-low style.
Drake One Fifty's exhibited artwork will change on an annual basis. Douglas Coupland's Universal Luggage Bar Code Sunset: Vancouver to Toronto (2013) was custom-designed to fit in the curved walls of a 12-seat alcove. And Micah Lexier's installation Eeeaacchh Identical (2013) is displayed, playfully, above the 60-foot circular marble bar. There will also be custom video installations by Guy Maddin in the restrooms and Drake TV throughout the venue.
Click here to win tickets to the launch party.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
· Drake One Fifty Opening September 28 [Eaterwire]
· Toronto Restaurant Openings: Crave Healthy Habits, Drake One Fifty, 420 Smokehouse, Soos, Il Pantonne [BlogTO]
· Drake One Fifty to open at 150 York St. in summer 2013 [Toronto Star]