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Restaurant review: Lavelle

Go for the view — but stay for the food — at Toronto's new 16,000 sq. ft. oasis, Lavelle

lavelle

What's the vibe?

At the top of one of those shiny new King Street condo buildings, Lavelle promises the kind of killer views Drake only dreams of. It's a chill spot, but things liven up as the day (and night) goes on. The Hollywood-worthy pool stretches the full length of the rooftop; it's shallow, but it still does the trick when the humidity hits. Not a pool bunny? Grey Goose is one of the venue's main partners, and they've sponsored some slick blue cabanas to get you some shade. (They're also responsible for the booze-infused ice cream.) Lavelle really delivers as a lookout: ain't nothing getting in the way of the CN Tower, and that blue sky goes on for days. With a capacity of 500 people, this place is huge by Toronto standards. Expect to see a lot of swan floaties, bikinis and champagne popping—we're on King West after all.

What to drink?

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With Grey Goose as a partner, the outdoor bar serves up French Riviera-inspired cocktails made for easy sippin' in the sun. The Freak-A-Holic is a refreshing blend of Remy Martin, Cointreau, fresh watermelon and lemon, or for something more sophisticated, try their trademark Old Fashioned (served on tap). You'll also find a selection of shareable punches for larger groups. Catering to the sunny day vibes, the bar doubles as an ice cream parlour, serving up "adult" (and by this we mean spiked) flavours like White Russian and Le Grand Fizz Sorbet. The cocktails are all available inside the 250 person dining room, along with a French-heavy wine list that grows weekly.

What to eat?

To sum it up in one sentence: go for the view, stay for the food. The French-inspired menu comes courtesy of Romaine Avril, who has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in England and France, including London's two Michelin-starred restaurant, the Greenhouse. More recently, he held the position of Executive Chef at Yorkville's La Société. Naturally, the outdoor menu features shareable, bite-sized snacks to nibble poolside. The dining room menu is split into three parts: raw, appetizers and mains. You'll find French classics like tuna tartare, foie gras terrine and chicken cordon bleu interlaced with international twists like the sticky pork belly and hamachi crudo. After a hard day of lounging by the pool, the seafood tower might be just what the doc orders: a mix of market fresh fish, including oysters, crab claws and a half lobster will run you a cool $96 ($172 for four).

Dinner and drinks for two: around $155

627 King Street West, 647-347-9353, chezlavelle.com

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