Toronto Beach Club: What’s the vibe

Sandwiched between a Tim Horton’s and a Booster Juice, Toronto Beach Club, on first glance, looks like a nice building in a nice parking lot. But once you walk through the front doors (kindly opened for you), 'nice' simply won’t do.

The sprawling space looks like a Malibu dream house, with the exception of Lake Ontario in the backyard — although, even that looks temping from a seat on their massive patio lined with mature trees and rows of twinkly lights. The new project from Scale Hospitality Group (Shook, Lapinou) has created 12,000-square feet of luxury escape, steps away from Woodbine Beach. 

The buzz from the open-concept kitchen floats throughout the airy dining room adorned with calming pastels, custom furniture and sparkling marble accents. There is an entire wall of windows and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, letting nature and people move freely from inside to out. The vibe is coastal opulence, the service is fabulous and there is a VIP (very important platter) of fresh seafood on practically every table. Each seat looks like the best one in the house, although we had our eyes (and stomachs) set for some crudo on the outdoor terrace. 

Toronto Beach Club: What’s on the menu

Don't skip the seafood. Toronto Beach Club's daily catches are the closest thing you'll get to dining at a seaside European Villa — and we heard George Clooney's place is all booked up this summer.  

We started our meal with mezze: warm pita dipped into smoked eggplant drizzled with sweet pomegranate molasses. From there, we dived into the raw bar: meaty snow crab claws sticking out of a bed of crushed ice — points for presentation — and bright sea bream crudo with sprinkles of finger lime ("citrus caviar"), lemon balm and the right amount of chili for some heat. 

Our mains were a mix of land and sea with a 28-day aged striploin steak seasoned with sea salt. There was a bulb of roasted garlic on the side which we spread all over the tender meat for an elite bite. And just when we thought we couldn't possibly eat more, a bowl of hand-made pasta with briny clams arrived at our table.  

Toronto Beach Club: What else

The cocktail menu is separated into three sections: day time, evening and spirit forward. The Club Daiquiri redefined our previous overly-sweet-and-syrupy daiquiri expectations with a well-balanced (chug-worthy) mix of house-blended strawberry cardamom rum, lime and simple syrup. The Sienna Sour is their take on the whisky sour, using sumac and sweet-and-sour honey instead. It also comes with some pretty impressive foam art, because, why the heck not? 

Dinner and drinks for two, around $250

1681 Lake Shore Blvd. E., 416-694-8844;