When the former Trump Hotel was transformed into the St. Regis, the 31st floor restaurant was gutted to make room for the glitzy, gilded Louix Louis. Designed to look like the grand hotels and bars in Paris and London, and inspired by Toronto’s history as a big distillery town when Gooderham and Worts was the largest in Canada, the bar has an iconic look that’s even garnered an International Hotel Design Award.
“If you look at the room, it’s supposed to evoke a whisky barrel,” says general manager Dominik Ociesa. “You have the rounded oak edges, all the copper and gold. All of that makes you feel like you should be enjoying cocktails.”
The menu of dark spirit-forward drinks offers interesting takes on the classics and a few original creations, each with its own complex balance of flavours.
Ociesa brings years of experience and formal training as a sommelier to curating the hotel bar’s drink programme. “Assessing a wine for its qualities is about finding balance. Acidity and sweetness, savoury aspects and pairing – all these things can be translated to cocktails,” he says.
But divining balanced cocktails isn’t the only thing on the bar team’s agenda. Frequenters of Louix Louis range from Financial District suits, to worldly travellers and the residents who live in the units upstairs. “It’s a very discerning clientele,” Ociesa says. “They travel the world tasting cocktails, drinking wine – so we need to be able to bring the best in class and present it beautifully and do it efficiently.”