TORONTO — Toronto received its first taste of Cactus Club Cafe flair yesterday at the soft-launch of the west-coast chain’s first eastern location.
The restaurant — located in First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto — boasts a reimagined menu and elevated design accented with art pieces and light installations. Founder and avid art collector Richard Jaffray explained that featured artwork plays a large role in the individuality of Cactus Club’s restaurants. The Toronto location is the first to feature works by Mr. Brainwash (street artist Thierry Guetta) and the name of the main floor bar — Kate’s Bar — was inspired by some of these pieces.
Iron Chef champion and executive chef Rob Feenie’s menu features eight new dishes such as a lingcod cocotte served with roasted mushrooms, brioche croutons, pearl onions and truffle butter ($33), duck confit with double-smoked bacon, soy-truffle vinaigrette and baby frisée salad ($26) and Feenie’s Beef Duo featuring roasted beef tenderloin, braised short rib, potato pavé, celeriac purée and port wine jus ($44).
The menu is complemented by a beverage program designed by B.C. Restaurant Hall of Fame member Sebastien Le Goff, featuring a world tour of notable wines and classic cocktails. Le Goff explains that Toronto’s wine list is rather unique among Cactus Club locations as predominant wine preferences in the city vary greatly from those of the west coast.
The 500-seat, three-floor space offers three distinct dining concepts under one roof: The Rob Feenie Dining Room and Lounge, Kate’s Bar and The Deck. Occupying the restaurant’s third level, The Deck is best described as an all-seasons rooftop patio. The space boasts a fully retractable roof as well as its own kitchen, bar and dedicated staff.
The restaurant is set to officially open by the end of the month.