Settling down at Daniel Boulud’s Dbar in Toronto

Photo from Toronto Life
Photo from Toronto Life

I called a friend who I knew would be up to going to Daniel Boulud‘s Dbar in the Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto on Thursday night.  It has been on my list of places to try since it opened last year.  We got there about five-thirty and felt lucky that tables were available. My friend who’d been there before says it can be really crowded even at three o’clock in the afternoon.

Dbar occupies a grand space at street level of the Four Seasons Hotel at 60 Yorkville Avenue.  The decor is minimalist and the colours muted, a bustling team of wait staff make sure that all details are taken care of, like helping you with your cocktail or menu choice, utensils replaced after every course,  water glasses never being less than half filled, the service is what you expect for the Four Seasons.

Photo from Toronto Life
Photo from Toronto Life

Thursday night and time for a girly drink – the Strawberry Basil Mojito, please!  Some good choices of bottled beers and of course an extensive wine, creative cocktails and the best quality spirits.  The crowd is a mix between businessmen in small groups, creative types with funky framed glasses discussing the media scene; professional women to women whose best friends must be plastic surgeons.

Menu offerings of bar fare is interesting as expected.  I order the small Nova Scotia Lobster salad and my friend orders the Yankee Burger. The smiling attentive team of wait staff come by to make sure our drinks are to our liking and take care of any details. The Strawberry Basil Mojito is cool but don’t be fooled, it packs it packs a punch as I noticed with my second glass.

Our meals arrive.  My dining companion is thrilled with the burger, cooked to medium, the colour inside the burger is perfect.  The lobster salad has some fair size pieces of lobster enhanced by the lime gremolata and the fresh coconut strips.  Between the mojito and the flavours of the lobster salad, it almost feels like I am on vacation somewhere by a beach, just chill in’.  That’s what I feel food at a good restaurant should do, transport you to somewhere else or to a new food experience level.

The house if filling up, women dressed in sparkly dresses having a drink before dinner and the business men have all but left.  Young couples start to come in.  Guys not accustomed to wearing jackets and girls in stilettos so high, that you forget they’re trying to be sexy and worry about them falling off the shoes.  My friend and I are having great conversation and let our eyes wander around the room checking out the new arrivals.

I’ve finished my salad, but I’m still feeling peckish.  I skipped lunch that day in anticipation of trying a couple of things on the menu.  I ask for the menu again and order the Pate de Campagne.  It arrives accompanied by a grainy Kozlik’s mustard, some great toasted bread and gherkins.  This small plate goes down well.

We finish up with coffee and some warm miniature Madeleines dusted with icing sugar.  The coffee is good and our cups are continuously topped up.

We laugh, we eat, we talk, we drink and we spend a nice evening at Dbar.  At the end of the night, I feel relaxed, the meal was good and we were never once rushed to order, to finish or to pay.  Is it exciting, no, but it’s the kind of place that you can quietly people watch, be with friends or  enjoy some of the best bar fare in the city.

It was a night of happy eating.  Same to you my friends!!

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