When a highly-respected venue decides to open a second spot – albeit in an area that seems almost counter-intuitive to its original mandate – there’s always the anxiety that said new endeavour will fall flat of expectations. At least, 99% of the time, that is. But if you’re The Drake Hotel, and you decide to open a stand-alone restaurant in the Financial District, you’ve not much to worry about.
Drake 150 (150 York Street) is officially open to the public, and it is, in essence, Drake 2.0. The space is stunning, mixing an old-school vintage diner vibe with modern day flair.
Coloured leathers adorn the banquettes while a freestanding pergola surrounds a large section of the dining area. Canadian artists are on display around the space, keeping The Drake’s community-oriented mandate in full form.
Now… onto the food. We were invited a couple nights ago to sample some of the dishes that will be on order come the restaurant’s opening. The menu is helmed by the Drake’s Corporate Chef, Ted Corrado.
We tried everything from the octopus to the roasted chicken to the lamb that’s so tender we couldn’t help but remark its texture was akin to beautiful pulled pork.
The food differs from the original Drake Hotel enough to ensure that Drake 150 will never step on its big sister’s toes.
Naturally, it being the Drake, there’s a full-fledged cocktail program with old favourites carried over from the original location as well as a couple new offerings. And Chateau des Charmes has bottled two wines under the name Fat Banker for this new Financial District spot.
Everything within Drake 150 has been carefully curated to offer an ode to the original hotel-restaurant’s roots while ensuring that Drake 150 is completely at home in the downtown digs.
Expect to wait for a table even though there’s ample seating. If the original Drake Hotel is any indication (and we’re sure it is), Drake 150 will take over the city’s restaurant buzz for weeks to come.