The Roosevelt Room takes the supper club back to the future
Another supper club is opening in the Entertainment District, but before the eye rolling commences, note that The Roosevelt Room is attempting to distance itself from its cookie-cutter urban-chic counterparts. The menu is to be prepared by a high-profile executive chef, and the interior is done in a deco motif intended to channel golden-era Hollywood (rather than the slick, soulless look into the future we’ve come to expect from supper clubs).
We met visonary and Bay Street whiz Jeff O’Brien yesterday as he was configuring the lines on the patterned ceiling above the bar and giving thumbs down to wallpaper deemed too shiny. “I’ve thought for the longest time that Toronto hasn’t really nailed the supper club concept,” he says. “There have been a lot of attempts, but they haven’t really fired all cylinders on the food, service and entertainment components.”
O’Brien isn’t taking any chances with the Roosevelt Room’s cylinders. For food, he’s turned to Trevor Wilkinson of Trevor Kitchen and Bar. Much like the French menu at the first Academy Awards dinner that took place at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood in 1929, Wilkinson—who was also the executive chef at Jump and Lobby—will be cooking up such bistro staples as coq au vin and duck confit. One of the signature dishes will be the Roosevelt burger, consisting of a red wine–braised short rib wrapped in ground sirloin, with blue cheese, tarragon dressing, arugula and a tiny skewer of fried pickles.
The 550-capacity club’s decor comes from the Design Agency (the firm headed by the hosts of HGTV’s Designer Guys), with a heavy emphasis on wood. Bold lines and sweeping curves are in the walls and etched into the woodwork. Downstairs, we find a long hallway lined with giant Tamara de Lempicka prints that cabaret dancers will pass as they secure their headpieces for the weekly shows in the main dining room.
Since this is the Entertainment District, modern elements are also included. A giant projection screen (on which silent movies will be shown) and an LED lighting system will serve the room well during obligatory DJ nights and celebrity events. The 20 unisex bathroom stalls in the basement are another interesting feature.
Sadly, the cinema-themed supper club that just screams TIFF won’t open in time for this year’s festival due to the six-week delay of the city strike, though there will be soft openings next month that lead up to the official opening in mid-October.
The Roosevelt Room, 328 Adelaide St. W. (at Drummond Pl.), 416-599-9000, therooseveltroom.ca.