Weekly Lunch Pick: a luxe take on a classic sandwich at a new King West TIFF hub

Weekly Lunch Pick: a luxe take on a classic sandwich at a new King West TIFF hub

Lunch at Toca: olive sourdough, watermelon aloe cocktail and LBLT (Image: Renée Suen) 

This Thursday marks the start of TIFF, with its usual flurry of stars. Celeb hunters hoping to avoid the red carpet crush should know that the new Ritz-Carlton Toronto will host its fair share of TIFF press conferences and undoubtedly some stars as well. At Toca, the luxe hotel’s eye-catching restaurant, chef Tom Brodi serves Canadiana-focused food made with local ingredients. Lunch starts with warm slices of spongy, olive-laced sourdough. The LBLT ($23) features soft, tarragon-laced chunks of poached Yarmouth lobster, a stack of Canadian back bacon and diced tomatoes pressed between two dense halves of a Thuet pretzel bun. The hearty sandwich comes with two vegetable sides: a sweet and crunchy coleslaw of shredded red cabbage, carrots and red pepper and a simple mixed green salad dressed with a tart vinaigrette (which is apparently where the dish gets its second L). A watermelon and aloe cocktail ($8)—a virgin mix of aloe water, lime, watermelon juice and earl grey syrup—washes everything down nicely.

The cost: $42 including tax and tip

The time: 60 minutes, including a quick stroll to inspect the restaurant’s $250,000 cheese cave

Toca, 181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8008, tocarestaurant.com.