What’s on the menu at Clockwork, the Fairmont Royal York’s new champagne and cocktail lounge
Contact: 100 Front St. W., 416-368-2511, clockworktoronto.com, @clockworktoronto
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Chef: JW Foster (Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Banff Springs, Peace Hotel)
Accessibility: Barrier-free access to lounge and washroom
Drinks, drinks and more drinks. When it comes to bubbles, the selection ranges from $75 bottles of Venetian prosecco to $650 bottles of Cristal. In between are the usual familiar names (Veuve, Dom, Moët) and some lesser-known grower champagnes. Director of mixology Rus Yessenov dug through the archives when working on the cocktail card. Some of the drinks are Yessenov’s takes on perennially popular Prohibition favourites, like Meet Me at the Clock, which is his play on a French 75. Several recipes from the cocktail dark ages—when a Cosmo wasn’t an order that evoked some side-eye—have also been resuscitated and reinvented here.
A short menu of fancy finger foods (caviar, oysters, lobster rolls), sharing plates (ceviche, chicken liver pâté) and upscale bar snacks (scotch eggs, duck fat fries). There’s an emphasis on Canadian-sourced ingredients, with fish from the east and west coasts, beef from Ontario farms and many of the in-season products sourced from 100km Foods Inc.
Just in time for the Royal York’s 90th birthday, the hotel has completed its drastic renovation, which transformed a once-stuffy lobby into an Art Deco–inspired cocktail lounge. A section of what was previously public seating is now an open-concept, 60-seat cocktail bar overlooked by the hotel’s new double-sided bronze clock tower. Inspired by the golden age of railway exploration, New York–based design aficionados the Rockwell Group has made this section of the hotel’s main floor feel like a scene from a film-noir movie set on a train. Moody lighting gives the space an around-the-clock cocktail-hour vibe.