What’s on the menu at CRU, the Financial District’s new spot for massive ribeyes and plant-based pastas

What’s on the menu at CRU, the Financial District’s new spot for massive ribeyes and plant-based pastas

Name: CRU
Contact: 100 Yonge St., 647-351-4747, crurestaurant.ca, @crutoronto
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Previously: Lbs.
Owners: Jonathan Gonsenhauser (Lbs., Momofuku, e11even, Pangaea) and Will Tomlinson (Lbs.)
Chefs: Jon Williams (Richmond Station, London’s Hedone, The Clove Club and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal)

The food

A seasonal menu of contemporary Canadian menu that includes house-made charcuterie, massive ribeye steaks and plant-based alternatives like vegan ’nduja and eggplant Bolognese on egg-free cavatelli. Besides the usual à la carte offerings, guests can also order Australian wagyu beef by the ounce and two tasting menus: the five-course Premier Cru ($70) composed of items from the menu, and the seven-course Grand Cru ($85) that features some off-menu surprises, like hand-caught Baffin Island turbot.

This vegan dish replaces ’nduja with seasoned white beans on grilled sourdough bread with pickled fennel. $11.


The whimsical Caviar Doughnuts are crisp biscuit rings topped with crème fraiche, radish, chives and, of course, Osetra caviar. $16.


The selection of house-cured meats and terrines may include a paté de campagne, Alsace salami, coppa, soppressata or chorizo, served with house pickles, grainy mustard and grilled bread. $21.


Yellowfin tuna tartare with togarashi, dashi jelly, avocado ice cream, radish and nori dust, served with taro chips. $18.


The grilled eggplant is dressed with a miso glaze, pickled radishes, shiso and soy nuts. $13.


Za’atar-spiced burrata comes drizzled with a date-and-honey compote and served with grilled bread. $19.


Taking cheesy mashed potatoes to the next level, the pommes aligot are made with mozzarella, Parmesan and gruyere. $12.


The shaved beet salad is made with roasted beets, pickled beets and radicchio, and comes dressed with Banyuls wine vinegar and a pistachio emulsion. $17.


For this dish, egg-free cavatelli is tossed in an eggplant bolognese that’s made with roasted vegetables (making something Williams calls “tasty paste”) and a cashew-based stracciatella. $23.


Available at lunch, CRU’s Burger features a patty made with chuck, brisket, wagyu and ribeye trimmings, on a house-made brioche-style bun. It’s topped with smoked onion chutney, dill pickles, mustard aïoli, and Camembert, and served with fries. $23.


The aged duck breast comes with squash two-ways (duck-fat confit, pickled) topped with a pumpkin seed and licorice crumble. $29.


The bone-in ribeye is a monstrous 40-ounce slab of dry-aged Canadian Angus Beef that’s finished with wagyu fat and jus. $130.


The Millionaire’s Tart features a shortbread crust filled with salted caramel and topped with hazelnut ice cream and gold dust. $12.


The apple pavlova is topped with vanilla pastry cream and mulled apple cider compote. $9.


The mango crème brulée is topped with coconut sponge cake, lime gel, freeze-dried raspberries and cilantro shoots. $12.


Gonsenhauser (left) with Williams.


The drinks

In addition to a rotating beer list dominated by Toronto breweries, there’s a deep wine list of classic producers and a line of house cocktails, some of which are zero-proof.

The zero-proof Like Clockwork contains orange juice, marmalade, egg white and bitters. $5.


The Mid-Work Cigar is made with rum, sherry and sweet vermouth. $13.


The Feather & Board is a mix of whiskey, lime, chamomile and ruby port. $13.


Regards Kyoto is made with Soto Junmai Daiginjo sake, house-made toasted rice milk, mint and lavender. $15.


The space

While the seating was reconfigured in the dining area to accommodate larger groups, the main room retained its booth seating and long horseshoe bar. The restaurant’s walls have been adorned with hand-drawn murals by Polish artist Swanski, and floor-to-ceiling blue velveteen curtains now shield diners from daylight glare while providing privacy at night.

The artist Swanski, who also designs wine labels, is responsible for the murals at CRU.