What's the vibe?
Planta is as fashionable as you'd expect it to be, given the swanky location at Bay and Bloor. If you were familiar with the spot during its days as Pangea, you're in for a bit of a shock. The Chase Hospitality Group has given the space a total revamp: it's modern and minimalist, with white-painted brick walls that add to the high-ceilinged loft vibe. Expect a lot of natural light (and Holts shoppers) during the day. The entire menu is plant-based, so it's vegan-friendly, but Planta is more LA chic than boho. Yes, it's trendy, but that's not CHG's primary intention: instead, they're exploring sustainability. No easy feat in the restaurant world.
What to drink?
If you want to eat your greens and drink 'em too, Planta's got a juice for that. There's a range of cold-pressed juices (and juice shooters), including the beet and pineapple-based Planta Punch, and the ginger and orange Energizer. Planta also worked with Village Juicery on custom blends to give their cocktails an extra nutrient kick. (#drinkclean?) There's the Carrot Collins (yep, that's made with carrot juice), or for those feeling less adventurous, a vegan bourbon sour (hold the egg). Tying in with CHG's sustainability goals, the wine list is 100% organic and biodynamic.
What to eat?
You can't go wrong with the small plates. Chef David Lee's coconut ceviche achieves the same texture as the real deal; it's got a bright hit of lime that keeps you coming back for more. The watermelon poke is downright pretty, showcasing the fresh, floral notes of the fruit. If you really want to freak out your palate, try the caesar salad. It's made with smoky, addictive mushroom "bacon" you'll end up craving for brunch. Then, of course, there's the carrot dog. Served with a side of excellent fries and a massive dill pickle, it looks – and tastes – like it belongs at the Rogers Centre. This one is a labour of love for Lee. He worked with the grower to find just the right carrot to transform into this smoky, meaty-textured "hot dog." The local street meat vendors won't know what hit 'em.
Dinner and drinks for two: around $85.
1221 Bay Street; 647 348 700, plantatoronto.com