What’s on the menu at Alder, Patrick Kriss’s new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant inside the Ace Hotel
Contact: 51 Camden St., acehotel.com, @aldertoronto
Neighbourhood: Fashion District
Owner: Ace Hotel
Chefs: Patrick Kriss (chef/consultant), Devin Murphy (executive chef of Ace Hotel Toronto), Matthew Betsch (Alo Food Group corporate chef)
Accessibility: Fully accessible
From the dining room, you’ll see the open flames of a wood-fired grill carefully tended by the kitchen team. Fire is at the centre of this menu, but in a subtler way than you might expect. Roasted protein is a main attraction—like suckling pig with butter-enriched jus or a 20-ounce dry-aged striploin with roasted garlic—but this is light, Mediterranean-style fare accented by fire. Think charred-poblano aioli under a radish-topped bigeye tuna carpaccio or potato flatbread with briny strips of white anchovy cooked in the wood-fired oven.
As with any Kriss project, sourcing and seasonality reign supreme. The Santa Claus melon and cucumber salad, laced with paper-thin serrano ham, won’t be around in November—neither will the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes with burrata, basil and sourdough croutons. Guests can expect regular rotation and a focus on excellent ingredients, manipulated with care and thoughtfully enhanced with the blend of maple, oak and birch fuelling the hearth.
It’s a tight wine list, but there’s a little something for everybody with a mix of local and old-world bottles as well as established and up-and-coming producers. Cocktails reflect the Alo Food Group’s modus operandi—time-honoured classics with creative twists, like a layered Select Aperitivo–spiked take on a spicy margarita. Draft beer includes options from Toronto’s Muddy York and Eastbound Brewing Co.
Even though the restaurant is on the ground level of Canada’s first Ace Hotel, oversized windows and super-high ceilings ensure it doesn’t want for air or sunlight. The room radiates warmth, from the fire in the back to the generous use of Douglas fir, brick and terra cotta. Cozy booths tucked into the structure lend a lived-in feel. A stockpile of logs for the wood-fired grill overlooks the dining room.