Review: Samuel J. Moore serves bistro standards in a handsome room at the historic Great Hall
Samuel J. Moore ★½
1087 Queen St. W., 416-897-8348
In an era when every Queen West restaurant seems to follow a decor bylaw enforcing Edison bulbs and barn board, it’s a pleasant jolt to enter this handsome room on the ground floor of the historic Great Hall. The pressed tin ceiling, antique marble bar and soft jazz standards are even more surprising considering the owners are also behind Wrongbar and the Lakeview Diner—both raucous hipster clubhouses. Alexandra Feswick, formerly of Brockton General on Dundas West, is cooking bistro standards with care, like buttery halibut in an herbaceous pool of green goddess dressing, and a hunk of strip loin, charred yet pink within and topped with sweet shallot confit. Drinks are made with house-made bitters, retro foams and sour cherry garnishes. The ricotta cheesecake resembles a room service dessert with its huge white plate and dusting of icing sugar and cocoa, but it’s cloud-light and charmingly unpretentious.