What’s on the menu at Reign, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s new restaurant, bar and bakery

What’s on the menu at Reign, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s new restaurant, bar and bakery

More on the Royal York

Name: Reign
Contact: 100 Front St. W., 416-368-2511, reigntoronto.ca, @reigntoronto
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Previously: Epic
Owner: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Chef: JW Foster (Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Banff Springs, Peace Hotel)
Accessibility: Accessible entrance and washroom

The food

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.

This Niçoise salad is made with olive oil–poached albacore tuna, soft-boiled duck eggs, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, green beans and fingerling potatoes. It’s dressed in a mustard-shallot vinaigrette. $25.


Instead of steak frites, Reign does the dish with duck. $32.


This aged AAA tenderloin comes with a marrow butter–topped pomme purée, red wine jus and green beans. $45.


This strawberry-rhubarb shortcake gets a kick from Grand Marnier. $15.


The drinks

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 Motley Joker is a blend of Casamigos tequila, Blue Curaçao, Green Chartreuse, cucumber, lime and salt. It’s served in a tiny fish bowl with a glass straw and rubber stopper. $35.


L’hermitage is a blend of Grey Goose, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau, Gentian, Absinthe, lemon, rhubarb and lemon verbena. $18.


The space

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.

The restaurant portion of Reign is separated from the hotel, unlike its previous incarnation, Epic, which opened onto the lobby.


Here’s the lounge.


The grand piano was made by Germany’s Schimmel Pianofortefabrik and is a special edition (only 40 were made). There’s live music in the lounge five nights a week.


Here’s the bar.


Next to the bar is a café selling coffee and baked goods to-go.


Five different dining areas flank this archway-decked hallway that’s meant to evoke an English manor.


Here’s one of them.


And another.


This is one of two private dining rooms. This table seats 12, but the focal point of the room hangs above: a cubist fabric chandelier fabricated by Preciosa and designed by Rockwell Group.


The breakfast buffet area is flanked by double-sided bookcase walls, which are decorated with statuettes made by local artists Moss and Lam.


And here we are in the breakfast buffet area.