What’s on the menu at Casa Madera, the swanky new Mexican-Mediterranean restaurant inside 1 Hotel Toronto
Name: Casa Madera
Contact: 550 Wellington St. W., 416-601-3593, thecasamadera.com, @thecasamadera
Neighbourhood: King West
Owners: Noble 33, a U.S.-based restaurant group with properties in Los Angeles, London and Scottsdale
Executive chef: Olivier Le Calvez (El Catrin)
Accessibility: Fully accessible
Helmed by Olivier Le Calvez—a half-Mexican, half-French chef who has spent much of his life bouncing between Paris and Mexico City—it’s no surprise the kitchen is churning out cuisine without borders. The menu mixes Mexican and Mediterranean flavours—think a very Franco take on a carnitas taco that swaps out pineapple and pork for duck confit and orange.
Although Le Calvez refined the menu, it’s a collaborative effort. Noble 33’s co-founders Tosh Berman and Mikey Tanha, and the corporate executive chef AJ McCloud, were just as involved. For them, ensuring every dish added a soupçon of theatricality to each table was paramount. Expect flames, dry ice, dishes served on hot rocks, and over-the-top, American-sized mains like an epic seafood tower piled high with top shelf Piscean delights.
Cocktails are the drink program’s focus here. The menu—created by Carla Lorenzo, Noble 33’s L.A.-based corporate beverage director—is divided into the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. “Each cocktail is meant to be mini experience that evokes a sense of place,” says Lorenzo.
With a name that translates to “wood house,” it’s not surprising that Casa Madera is awash in wood. Rockwell Group, the designers behind the 1 Hotel Toronto, brought their eco-aesthetic into the 180-seat dining room.