What’s on the menu at Reign, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s new restaurant, bar and bakery
Contact: 100 Front St. W., 416-368-2511, reigntoronto.ca, @reigntoronto
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Owner: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Chef: JW Foster (Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Banff Springs, Peace Hotel)
Accessibility: Accessible entrance and washroom
Since 1929, the Royal York has hosted millions of guests, including the Biebs and the Queen Mum. To ensure its position at the top of the hotel food chain, it undergoes periodic facelifts. Just in time for its 90th birthday bash, the hotel completed its most massive upgrade to date, including a major revamp of the food program.
Reign is a three-in-one concept: there’s a lounge with small plates, a bakery with grab-and-go espresso drinks and freshly made viennoiserie, and the main dining room, which focuses on French fare. Escargot, beef tartare, foie gras, lobster thermidor, lamb tartine and steak au poivre are all by-the-book French, but the menu isn’t strict about borders—there are a few Italian plates, too, including ricotta gnocchi and cavatelli.
Instead of repeating any of the cocktails available at Clockwork, the hotel’s new lobby bar has its own, very different drink card. Here, the cocktails are a bit more playful, like the Motley Joker, a blend of Casamigos tequila, Blue Curaçao, Green Chartreuse, cucumber, lime and salt, served in a fish bowl.
The globe-spanning wine list is approachable and extensive, while the tap offerings are modest (the hotel’s Mill Street–brewed Apiary Ale made with their rooftop honey is still on offer). For beer connoisseurs, the bottle selection is the better bet, with offerings from Blood Brothers, Burdock and Henderson Brewery.
The Reign lounge feels separated from the lobby even though it looks onto Clockwork. Designers Rockwell Group achieved this by dropping the ceiling to make the space feel like an intimate, walnut-panelled den in an aristocrat’s mansion. The restaurant seats 210, with an additional 42 seats in the piano lounge.