What’s on the menu at Blue Bovine, Union Station’s new 16,000-square-foot steak-and-sushi house

What’s on the menu at Blue Bovine, Union Station’s new 16,000-square-foot steak-and-sushi house

It’s the sister spot to Casa Loma’s BlueBlood Steakhouse

A spread of dishes on the table at a steakhouse

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Name: Blue Bovine Steak and Sushi House
Contact: 65 Front St., unit 108, bluebovine.com, @bluebovine
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Owners: Nick Di Donato (BlueBlood Steakhouse, Don Alfonso 1890, DaNico), Kevin O’Leary and Mitch Marner
Chefs: Executive chef Sean Blomely (BlueBlood Steakhouse) and executive sushi chef Yi-Joo Na
Accessibility: Fully accessible

In September 2022, at the tail end of the pandemic, Liberty Entertainment Group CEO Nick Di Donato was offered an opportunity he’d been waiting a decade for: the chance to lease out a huge main-floor space in the newly renovated Union Station. “They had only ever offered me space on the sub-level— but that was not the place for my vision,” he says. Just over a year later, Blue Bovine, a massive steak-and-sushi house, is open for business.

Blue Bovine chefs and owners stand in front of the elaborate main entrance of the Toronto steakhouse
From left: Sean Blomely, Nadia Di Donato, Nick Di Donato and Yi-Joo Na

Related: What’s on the menu at Aera, O&B’s new steakhouse on the 38th floor of the Well

With Blue Bovine, Di Donato—who recently brought on high-profile partners Kevin O’Leary and Mitch Marner—has every intention of marking his territory (yet again) in Toronto’s hospitality industry. That’s clear right from the restaurant’s entrance, where Di Donato has boldly planted a 680-kilogram bronze bull. Doors to the 8,000-square-foot space (the first of two phases) open up to the lounge, which leads to an omakase sushi counter, an area with steakhouse-style booths and a more formal dining space with tablecloths. “We have some customers who feel more comfortable dining when tables are dressed,” says Liberty’s creative director, Nadia Di Donato.

A sushi chef puts the finishing touches on a sashimi platter
Chef Na puts the finishing touches on a platter of sashimi


A chef stands in a kitchen next to an uncooked cut of steak
Executive chef Sean Blomely, pictured next to a tomahawk steak ready for the grill


The food

With his brazen surf-and-turf menu, Blomely celebrates the sea but makes no qualms about lionizing the beef. In proper steakhouse fashion, there are piscine starters (shrimp cocktail, oversized crab cakes), artful platters of top-quality crustaceans and a show-stopping seafood tower.

Related: Eight Toronto takes on steak tartare

The steak list, with nearly 30 premium cuts on offer, features a multitude of meat from all corners of the globe. There’s a bone-in rib-eye from Erin, Ontario; a barrel-cut filet from Nebraska; Wagyu from Australia; and Kobe from Japan. From quirky, charismatic self-taught sushi master Yi-Joo Na, the raw fish roster seems typical, but Na’s execution is both beautiful and experimental. Thrill-seeking epicures can grab a front-row seat at the sushi bar, where Na presents an ever-rotating omakase menu.

Chef Yoo-Ji Na, wearing eyeglasses and a baseball cap, presents a platter of nigiri sushi
Executive sushi chef Yi-Joo Na with a platter of nigiri


An artful presentation of eight pieces of nigiri sushi
The Chef’s Selection Nigiri rotates based on what’s in season. From left: a Hokkaido Island scallop topped with a drop of egg-miso emulsion and a wee shiso flower; sea urchin (also from Hokkaido) wrapped in seaweed and topped with sea grapes; stripe jack dotted with a punchy chive-ginger paste; a deep-fried spot prawn head and a piece of raw spot prawn finished with yuzu tobiko; Pacific salmon belly topped with a dollop of ponzu-fermented red onion and pickled ginger; unctuous amberjack dressed in a delicate, slightly minty kinome leaf; akami, a leaner cut from the celebrated tuna, with salty notes from herring roe (and bragging rights from the 24-karat gold leaf garnish); and a piece of Japanese red sea bream crowned with Japanese peppercorn. $65 for eight pieces


A selection of raw fish and seafood, prepared for sushi
Sashimi: the before shot


A sushi chef puts the finishing touches on a platter of sashimi
Almost finished…


A platter of sashimi
This beautiful arrangement of à la carte sashimi features amberjack belly, scallops, spot prawn, organic king salmon dipped in black and white sesame seeds, salmon belly, red sea bream, three different kinds of tuna, striped jack, sea urchin and salmon roe. Prices vary


The Five Musketeers is a composed plate of luxury featuring Beluga caviar, king salmon roe, Hokkaido uni, Mujol caviar and tiny wasabi pearls. $145


Tuna tartare
The Red Toro Tartare rests on a ponzu sauce drizzled with garlic oil. It’s finished with Osetra caviar, chrysanthemum and chives. $39


Deep-fried polenta squares
The polenta squares are made from a base of cornmeal, cream, butter, parmesan, chives and thyme. Once set, the mixture is cut into cubes, coated in cornstarch, deep-fried, then topped with a mountain of shaved parmesan and chives. $20


A tomahawk steak
The 44-ounce Nebraskan Prime tomahawk steak is aged in-house for 28 days, drizzled with oil, seasoned with top-of-the-line salt and seared on an 1,800-degree Southbend grill. $245


The drinks

There’s a list of wines from top producers around the globe, with a focus on grapes from Napa, Tuscany and Bordeaux, as well as an extensive champagne collection and a decent selection of sake to complement the sushi. Bar manager Bryan Laylo (BarChef, Mother) has developed a cocktail program of classic recipes along with some signature creations, like the Enigma, a muddled medley of Tromba tequila, chamomile-infused Grappa, turmeric, maple, pineapple and lemon.

A green, gin-based cocktail, garnished with cucumber
The Limelight is a breezy and herbaceous gin-based cocktail made with Strega liqueur, cucumber water, rosemary syrup and lemon juice. $25


A take on an old fashioned cocktail
The Front and Centre is the bar’s spin on an old fashioned. Here, the classic cocktail is represented through an intermingling of Basil Hayden Bourbon, aged port, chocolate bitters, a few dashes of Angostura, a hint of saline and a drop of maple syrup. It’s poured over a giant Blue Bovine–branded ice cube and finished with orange and lemon peel. $27


A purple, gin-based cocktail, garnished with edible flower petals
Here we have a slightly sweet violet-hued drink of Empress gin, curaçao, lavender syrup, lemon and egg white. $24


A bartender makes a drink

People holding cocktails at a restaurant

The space

Subtle juxtapositions run throughout the sprawling room, starting up front, where the grand marble-clad entryway is cheekily undermined by a custom carpet featuring the likeness of Jim Morrison. This interplay between elegant and edgy is repeated throughout the space. Walnut booths sit next to windows that look out into Union Station—the transit bustle partially obscured by wood-turned spindles—and street art installations are peppered around the various dining rooms. But this part of downtown is still sports-fan central: squint and you may notice the paper-thin flatscreens, to be powered up only on major game days.

Inside the main lounge and bar at a Toronto steakhouse
Photo by Ethan Shaw, Door24 Luxury Videography and Photography
Looking from the bar into the lounge area of Blue Bovine, a new steakhouse in Toronto
Photo by Ethan Shaw, Door24 Luxury Videography and Photography
Comfy couches in the lounge area of a steakhouse
Photo by Ethan Shaw, Door24 Luxury Videography and Photography
Chef's table seating
Photo by Ethan Shaw, Door24 Luxury Videography and Photography

Booths in a steakhouse in Toronto

Wine bottles line the walls of the dining room in Blue Bovine, a Toronto steakhouse

The bar at Blue Bovine, a steakhouse in Toronto's Union Station