Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: The Civic

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: The Civic

The Civic

Victorian-era taverns are the unlikely inspiration for John Sinopoli’s novel chophouse in the recently hipsterized Broadview Hotel. I admire his intent—in a city growing as fast as ours, we don’t look back often enough. I’m also impressed by how he translates that past into something temptingly up-to-date, lavishing a braised rabbit leg with a lavender jus, dressing a buttery slice of toasted brioche with roasted hen of the woods and chanterelle mushrooms, and ratcheting up the tang of venison tartare with house-­pickled mustard seeds and the orange yolk of a quail egg. The standout is an elk chop, which, along with the leather-top tables, the hard liquor cocktails and the dimly lit room, is a time machine to a cigar smoke–filled men’s club. You have a choice of sauces for that 14-ounce chop, but don’t bother: salt and pepper are enough to highlight the meatiness. In this particular case, the Victorians had it right.

106 Broadview Ave., 416-362-8439, thebroadviewhotel.ca

The Civic’s dining room, just off the lobby of the Broadview Hotel.
A strapping, bone-in elk chop.