Restaurant review: Cru

Set in the Financial District, Cru offers contemporary Canadian cuisine in a high-end but not too stuffy atmosphere.

What’s the vibe

Sustainable seafood spot lbs might have been short-lived, but Financial District foodies will be happy to hear that the restaurant has been reinvented as Cru, an upscale destination for contemporary Canadian cuisine.

Cru’s interior might incite some déjà vu since not much has changed on that front, save for a wall-wrapping hand painted mural. Polish artist Swanski is behind the somewhat abstract, yet oddly appealing depictions of tentacled creatures. Pendant lighting, velvety blue curtains, cushy booths and marble tables set the modern and high-end but not too stuffy atmosphere.

What to drink

The collection of quirky cocktails is definitely worth exploring. We went with the Feather & Board, a mixture of Stalk & Barrel whiskey with lime, chamomile and port, that made for a strong and subtly sweet cocktail. Another favourite, and more on the refreshing side, was the Emerald Sky with gin, chartreuse and green tea.

The Canadian vino offerings are just a blip on a lengthy wine list, which is slightly surprising considering that they specialize in Canadian cuisine. But what Cru lacks in home-grown wine, they make up for with local beer. Side Launch, Ace Hill, Burdock, Left Field and Godspeed all have a place on the brew menu.

What to eat

The seasonally-rotating lunch and dinner menus vary in more than just portion size at Cru – lucky for us we got to give them both a test run. The more approachable options on the lunch menu make this a great spot for a lunch meeting (or an extended lunch break when you’re looking to treat yourself), while the dinner offerings are a little higher-end.

We started things off with warm, creamy burrata and bread – a safe and tasty choice – before moving on to the herb crusted branzino and the arctic char.

While we did enjoy the first part of the meal, it all became a blur and everything faded away to nothingness when we tasted the aged duck. Savoury and melt-in-your-mouth tender, the duck is paired perfectly with the sweetness of roasted beets and blackberries. We would definitely go back for this dish alone.

Dinner and drinks for two: around $125.

100 Yonge St. #100, Toronto, (416) 901-0211,