Reds Midtown ★
382 Yonge St., Unit 6, 416-598-3535
The popular Financial District power restaurant has expanded northward. Its new location, a 6,800-square-foot behemoth in the Aura condo tower at Yonge and Gerrard, is a dizzying but successful mishmash of gentlemen’s club leather, industrial accents and artsy vintage kitsch—and, like its downtown counterpart, it’s always packed. The kitchen hits highs and lows with its expansive menu. The seafood chowder, served cutely with a packet of New England oyster crackers, demonstrates perfect technique: velvety texture, gentle fish flavour and a wisp of smoky bacon. The caesar salad, however, is disappointingly generic, with tiny bacon bits and no sign of the Spanish white anchovies promised on the menu. Perhaps these corners are cut to keep the prices reasonable. To wit: an enormous, perfectly grilled 14-ounce AAA Canadian rib eye, served with Madeira jus and crisp truffled parmesan frites, is only $34, and a lamb shank, beautifully tender from its eight-hour braise, is just $23. The highlight of the short dessert card is an airy banana mousse dotted with edible flower petals, puddles of banana cream and half a brûléed banana.