What’s on the menu at St. Thomas, Yorkville’s new restaurant for tapas and wine-pairing dinners

What’s on the menu at St. Thomas, Yorkville’s new restaurant for tapas and wine-pairing dinners

It’s the sister spot to the Michelin-starred Enigma

Every month, St. Thomas offers a regional food and wine pairing with a handful of courses paired with unique regional wines

More New Restaurants

Name: St. Thomas Restaurant and Wine Bar
Contact: 23 St. Thomas St., unit 2, 416-413-1883, @stthomasyorkville
Neighbourhood: Yorkville
Chef-owner: Quinton Bennett
Accessibility: Fully accessible

Three years ago, chef Quinton Bennett opened Enigma, an opulent tasting-menu restaurant that has since clinched a Michelin star. Before that, he racked up experience leading kitchens in high-end restaurants and hotels in the UK, and travelling extensively in his spare time. Over two decades, he honed his token style: carefully constructed dishes with global influences but classical French or British backbones.

The team at St. Thomas a restaurant and wine bar in Toronto
From left: head chef Marques Steele, floor manager Stephanie Fournichot, head pastry chef Sarah Tsai, executive chef Quinton Bennett, and wine and beverage director David Ouellette

St. Thomas is Enigma’s sister restaurant—right down to its kitchen and team—but the ethos is a touch more low-key. There’s an à la carte menu with more-accessible price points and a focus on Spanish food, particularly the cuisine of the Basque region, which revolves around tapas (or pintxos, in Basque).“It’s important to me that neither restaurant feels like a stuffy library where you can’t crack a joke,” Bennett says.

St. Thomas is still plenty luxurious, with a steadfast focus on top-notch ingredients, inventive recipes and scrupulous precision in the kitchen. But there are always a few seats reserved for walk-ins, and guests can just as easily grab a vino tinto and some chorizo-prawn focaccia as settle in for a multi-course meal.

Related: What’s on the menu at Casa Paco, chef Rob Bragagnolo’s new Spanish restaurant and bar in Little Italy

The food

The kitchen hums with the orderly chaos typically associated with restaurants of this calibre—think lighting-quick knife work and plating tweezers galore. But it’s not complication for the sake of complication: underlying the menu of elevated pintxos is a constellation of house-made oils, gels, infusions and the like (often as much to curb waste as to extract maximum flavour) that make every dish a carefully considered balancing act.

A Spanish spread at St. Thomas Restaurant and Wine Bar

Sweet Hokkaido scallops are reinforced with nori pesto and shiro cream; Wagyu flatiron steak comes with porcini purée and smoky demi-glace; and petals of pickled red onion are filled with clear, piquant onion gel. And from 5 to 6 p.m., it’s pintxo hour—for $45, guests get a glass of champagne and a choice of three snacks, including savoury sourdough churros and Wagyu tartare on freshly baked brioche.

Rosemary focaccia with whipped goat cheese, red onion marmalade, caramelized orange peel and rosemary
From the pintxo station, this is rosemary focaccia with whipped goat cheese, red onion marmalade, caramelized orange peel and rosemary. From 5 to 6 p.m., guests can get three pintxos and a glass of champagne for $45

 

Wagyu beef tartare on pillowy brioche with punchy mustard emulsion, ketchup and celeriac remoulade with crème fraîche
More pintxos! Here we have Wagyu beef tartare on pillowy brioche with a punchy mustard emulsion, ketchup and celeriac remoulade with crème fraîche

 

Toasted house-made brioche loaded with truffle mayonnaise, mushroom duxelle, grated pecorino and manchego, and fresh chives
Also from the pintxos menu: mushrooms on toast, dialled up. Toasted house-made brioche is loaded with truffle mayonnaise, mushroom duxelles, grated pecorino and manchego, and fresh chives

 

Iberico pork pâté and jowl with a piquant gribiche sauce and tarragon dressing is served with house-made rosemary and buckwheat crackers
Ibérico pork pâté and jowl with a piquant gribiche sauce, tarragon dressing, pickled red onion petals filled with a punchy onion gel, and pear and apple membrillo (a super-concentrated, waste-conscious paste that takes up to a month to make from the restaurant’s accumulated fruit trimmings). It’s served with house-made rosemary and buckwheat crackers. $20

 

Beets are slow-cooked in aged vinegar and plated with tarragon dressing, oranges semi-dehydrated with cardamom and orange juice, goat cheese espuma and gel made from leftover beet liquid
Beets are slow-cooked in aged vinegar and plated with tarragon dressing, oranges semi-dehydrated with cardamom and orange juice, goat cheese espuma (foam), and gel made from leftover beet liquid. They’re finished with arugula, manchego, blackcurrant-leaf oil and muesli spiked with grated truffle. $28

 

Cardamom-cured hamachi crudo layered with shaved fennel, warmed mandarin jelly, fennel vinaigrette, fermented kohlrabi with turmeric, and ginger and fennel fronds
Cardamom-cured hamachi crudo layered with shaved fennel, warmed mandarin jelly, fennel vinaigrette, fermented kohlrabi with turmeric, and ginger and fennel fronds. It’s a bright, beautifully balanced standout in Toronto’s sea of hamachi crudos. $32

 

Malaysian jumbo tiger prawns served with house-made focaccia
Malaysian jumbo tiger prawns are brined for three days to intensify their flavour before taking a bath in chorizo butter. They’re dolloped with smoky chorizo salsa; a strong cilantro emulsion with parsley, shattered over liquid nitrogen for maximum brightness; scallop fudge (you read that right); lemon; parsley; and roasted garlic butter. Served with toasted house-made focaccia for dipping. $34

 

Barbecued mackerel
In a typical escabeche, fish is lightly pickled in a vinegar blend. Here, barbecued mackerel comes with escabeche flavours on the side: escabeche pickled carrot, escabeche gel, cardamom and carrot purée, and a punchy cucumber-celery-jalapeno salsa to cut through the richness of the fish. $32

 

Cured Hokkaido scallops served crudo with pickled salmon roe, shiro cream—think beurre blanc, but with major umami—and a drizzle of earthy nori pesto
Cured Hokkaido scallops served crudo with pickled salmon roe, shiro cream (think beurre blanc but with major umami) and a drizzle of earthy nori pesto. The dish is finished with olive oil infused with lemon rind. Impressively, all the strong flavours on this plate only enhance the scallops’ delicate sweetness. $42

 

This aged Iberico coppa pork steak is slow-cooked and finished on the barbecue, then topped with nectarine, chili, and mint chutney next to a dollop of smoked eggplant and cumin mole
This aged Ibérico coppa pork steak is slow-cooked and finished on the barbecue for a meltingly tender final product. Topped with nectarine, chili and mint chutney next to a dollop of smoked-eggplant-and-cumin mole. $32

 

Wagyu flatiron cooked to a gorgeous mid-rare comes with porcini mushroom purée, mushroom ketchup, roasted Ontario hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and a mushroom glaze
In a very posh take on steak and mushrooms, Wagyu flatiron cooked to a gorgeous medium-rare comes with porcini mushroom purée, mushroom ketchup, roasted Ontario hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a mushroom glaze. It’s served with a smoky demi-glace, poured tableside. $38

 

Here we have Basque cheesecake with a graham cracker manchego base, topped with more manchego and preserved, dehydrated blackberries
Here we have Basque cheesecake with a graham-cracker manchego base. It’s topped with more manchego and dehydrated blackberries. $20

 

A gluten-free black forest cake with almond chocolate sponge and dark chocolate ganache made with 70-percent Valrhona chocolate
This is a gluten-free Black Forest cake with almond chocolate sponge, dark chocolate ganache (with 70 per cent Valrhona chocolate) and cherry pâté de crème. Served with a dollop of cherry gel. $20

 

Coffee creme caramel
Coffee crème caramel—heavy on egg whites, which makes for a lighter, firmer texture—with a stunning spruce-tip syrup. $18

 

The drinks

There’s a lengthy wine list that tends toward old-world classics, including a solid by-the glass-selection that includes organic Spanish Grenache and South African Syrah. Cocktails are balanced and thoughtfully constructed, like an autumnal blend of calvados, dry curaçao and Drambuie clarified with a milk-fat wash. There’s also an extensive selection of top-shelf spirits, like Pappy Van Winkle, a hard-to-find American-made bourbon with a cult following.

Every month, St. Thomas offers a regional food and wine pairing with a handful of courses paired with unique regional wines
Every month, St. Thomas offers a regional food-and-wine pairing. Pictured here is Catalonia

 

The York Emerald, a blend of house cucumber and mint-infused vodka, DOM benedictine, house-made coconut syrup and lime
This refreshing, easy-drinking cocktail is the York Emerald, a blend of house cucumber-and-mint-infused vodka, Bénédictine, house-made coconut syrup, and lime. $24

 

Shadows and Dust is a smoky, strong blend of Siete Misterios mezcal, Bowmore 12 scotch, Antica Formula vermouth, and wormwood and oak bitters
Shadows and Dust is a strong, smoky blend of Los Siete Misterios mezcal, Bowmore 12 scotch, Antica Formula vermouth, and wormwood and oak bitters. $30

 

The space

The opulently whimsical room—with iridescent forest-green walls, gold mosaic tile, glass partitions etched with floral patterns and chandeliers strung with glittering butterflies—is loosely inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Slightly set off from the main room is a small champagne lounge (which is also available for private bookings) set before an ornate wine-and-liquor display.

The wine cellar at St. Thomas Restaurant and Wine Bar in Toronto

The bar at St. Thomas, a restaurant in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood

The shiny dining room at St. Thomas, the sister restaurant to Enigma

Two-top tables inside St. Thomas's Yorkville dining room