by HOLLY CRAWFORD
AFTER a reported $24-million renovation to the red brick Romanesque Revival building in the city’s east end, The Broadview Hotel was born, the owners hoping it would become a community hub and hotspot. It was quickly praised for an historically sensitive reno, and for having one of the most spectacular views in the city from its rooftop bar. That was the summer of 2017.
Just two years later, the food and beverage program at The Broadview, and its dining room The Civic, have undergone a revamp by new Executive Chef Richard Singh.
Singh attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Ottawa and went on to establish his career working at highly-regarded restaurants including Michelin-starred Noma in Copenhagen, Alinea in Chicago, The Fat Duck in England and Per Se in New York. He returned to Toronto, working with The Chase Hospitality Group and then the Shangri-La Hotel before joining The Broadview Hotel earlier this year.
The revamped menu at The Civic aims to embrace seasonal flavours and ingredients, using Chef Singh’s fresh approach.
The Civic has an interior that’s easy to love. Lots of detail, industrial-style fused with sumptuous banquettes, bold wallpaper and brass fittings.
The menu is smallish: among the mains one each of beef, pork, chicken, and pasta and two fish. A half dozen apps, and the same number of small sides to accompany the mains.
The highlight among the appetizers is the Sunchoke Soup, it’s creamy and satisfying; subtly flavoured with black truffle. Lightly Cooked Scallops, are indeed served to the right temperature and not overdone, as is so often the case. They are plated with tiny shavings of cauliflower, and while the splash of pure white adds to the aesthetic quality, I can’t quite find any care for it in terms of taste or texture. The Heritage Hen Egg served with peas, ham, asparagus and arugula pesto is beautiful to look at and to eat.
Among the mains the standout is the Pastured Chicken. Served with white asparagus and some confit chicken meat, it’s brought together with a slightly sweet Madeira cream sauce. The chicken skin is perfectly crispy, a lovely foil to the rich sauce. Roasted Wild Halibut with coco blanco beans hits all the right notes in terms of flavour, but arrives slightly overdone for my taste.
106 Broadview Avenue, Toronto
Canadian, with a heavy influence on local producers
Sommelier curated wine pairing suggestion is offered with each dish on the menu
A fusion of old and new, industrial and chic
Executive Chef Richard Singh took over the kitchen earlier this year