Restaurant review: The Fifth’s Coastal Menu

An Entertainment District dining institution takes inspiration from French and Italian coastal dining for its latest menu.

What’s the vibe?

The Fifth Grill & Terrace is an intimate rooftop restaurant set in a century-old warehouse building in the Entertainment District. Diners reach the restaurant via a ride in an attendant-operated freight elevator, which has been updated to ensure a safe, smooth ride without sacrificing its historic charm. From there, diners enter a warmly-lit room furnished with glittering crystal chandeliers, a wood-burning fireplace and white linen tablecloths.

The atmosphere is romantic without being stuffy, with wood beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls adding a stylish industrial element. It’s a special occasion spot through and through, with a cozy, relaxed ambiance that lends itself to lingering dinners and long conversations.

What to drink

Wines and cocktails are the focus of the Fifth’s drink offerings. The brief seasonal cocktail menu is simple and refined – a natural match for the setting. The smokey maple old fashioned is a subtly sweet twist on the classic cocktail made with Crown Royal whisky, Laphroaig and maple syrup. We also loved the rosemary sapphire, an herby, easy-drinking blend of Bombay Sapphire gin, lychee, rosemary and cranberry.

There are a little over a dozen red, white, sparkling and rose wines available by the glass, with an emphasis on French and Italian origins to match the food menu. A wider selection of wines are also offered by the bottle.

What to eat

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We sampled the Fifth’s new winter menu, which updates the restaurant’s predominantly French-inspired fare with influences from chef Robert Toppan’s Italian roots and culinary background. We started with the venison carpaccio topped with pickled mushrooms, which added a nice, earthy element to the delicate slivers of venison. The charred octopus was a highlight, served with a zingy chimichurri that brightened the smokey flavour of the octopus.

Although the menu is big on meat and seafood, vegetarians are not forgotten with dishes like stuffed acorn squash en croûte with root vegetable ratatouille. Diners can order a la carte or opt for a three-course prix-fixe menu with with wine pairings.

Dinner and drinks for two: about $100 (prix-fixe menu: $55 per person or $80 with wine pairings)

225 Richmond St. W. Suite 501b,