The Drake Hotel: Brash beverages, Kevin Bacon and Broken Social Scene
Each day of the 2008 film festival, Toronto Life will introduce one of TIFF’s hot spot restaurants. We inquire about the vibe, the celebs who dine there and, of course, the food. Today’s special: The Drake Hotel.
The usual suspects: Media mavens, gallery owners, Broken Social Scene.
Celebrities on site: Johnny Knoxville, Kevin Bacon, Maria Bello, Nick Nolte (who insisted on mixing his own cocktails), Orlando Bloom, Penélope Cruz, Rachel McAdams, Ron Howard, Scott Speedman, Tommy Lee and Viggo Mortensen. Heather Graham became a fixture at the Drake Café while filming in Toronto. And now, rumour has it Jennifer Aniston will be showing up this week (or you could maybe even say tonight) for the Management after party. Wouldn’t the tabloids be in ecstasy if Brad and Jen’s long awaited reunion heated up the Sky Yard?
Why here and not another venue? Bill Simpson, the Drake’s general manager, said, “Because of its cool and cultured reputation, it’s come to be known as a place where the unexpected happens. A hub for visual and performance art, dining and hospitality. Therefore, it’s more than just a place to eat, sleep and party.”
Signature dish: “We are really well known for our mojitos; they’re really the best in town. When it comes to food, this year at TIFF, we’re offering a TIFF-inspired three-course prix fixe featuring lobster, caviar and tender short ribs accompanied by three wine pairings,” said Simpson. (We tried it, and at $75 with wine pairings and food, it’s on our list of top festival treats.)
Give us a taste: After a night of getting down to some hip hop in the hotel’s Underground bar and being hit on by Tom Green (yes, Tom Green), former governor general Adrienne Clarkson departed the Drake and stepped onto Queen Street. There was a raucous crowd gathered around an anonymous wild child who was stripping atop a taxi. As the cab driver yelled furiously at the young woman, Clarkson quietly strolled to her car. She came back for more the next night and was overheard saying on a couch in the lounge, “I love this place…it’s a true celebration of arts and culture.” We couldn’t agree more.
The Drake Hotel: 1150 Queen St. W. (at Beaconsfield Ave.), 416-531-5042.