Restaurant review: The Civic at the Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel's flagship eatery presents classic dishes in a stylish setting inspired by the building's heritage.

What's the vibe

The Civic is the main dining room of the Broadview Hotel, a beautifully restored boutique property that’s become one of the east end’s most talked-about hangout spots since opening last July. The Civic is the final addition to the hotel’s trio of dining venues, which also include a main floor café and a rooftop bar. In contrast to the casual café and buzzy rooftop, the Civic looks to the building’s 19th century heritage for its inspiration.

The decor, done by the DesignAgency, exudes Victorian-era glamour with its rich colour palette, handsome wood finishes, and leather and velvet accents. The restaurant is already attracting a hip crowd and, in keeping with its aesthetic, the vibe is fairly upscale and refined.

What to drink

Like the decor, the Civic’s cocktail menu takes a cue from the Broadview Hotel's history. Drinks like the Uphill Both Ways, a mix of Buffalo Trace bourbon, amaro nonino, cream sherry, amontillado sherry and xocolatl mole bitters, are served at room temperature – the way many cocktails were served during the turn-of-the-century when ice was sometimes difficult to come by.

The cocktail menu also features plenty of references to the building’s past and present, with the Chef’s Choice featuring Toki Japanese whisky and fried nori paper as a nod to the years executive chef John Sinopoli spent in Japan; and the Dingman named for the building’s original founder, Toronto entrepreneur Archibald Dingman.

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What to eat

The food menu continues the Victorian-era theme, rooted in the types of dishes that would likely have been served at the hotel when it first opened over a century ago – but executed with a modern approach. That means lots of hearty, meat-focused mains like a carnivorously enticing 14-ounce elk chop and a savoury duck confit with coco bean and braised leek ragout. Lighter options include a halibut fillet with a crispy, golden finish and an autumn tagliatelle with rosemary cream and pine nut pangrattato.

Whatever you choose for your main, we recommend starting your meal with the red deer tartare, which is drizzled in house-made mustard seeds; and finishing with the chocolate board, a nibbleable selection of chocolate pieces served with apricot jam and candied cashews.

Dinner and drinks for two: about $150

106 Broadview Ave, 416-362-8439,