Restaurant Sassafraz, Toronto, Canada

5,5 points

Sassafraz is an intelligent combination of a French café and restaurant in the middle of Toronto’s affluent neighborhood Yorkville.

Due to my profession, I travel yearly to Toronto. This year I chose some restaurants for business dinners, but also to test them out. How did I found this place? It is listed on some internet sites as one of the best restaurants in Toronto. Of course, I could have asked some of my friends from Toronto – but I like to follow such recommendations although they are very often not the best ones. My visit to Sassafraz was not a bad experience, although it was not superb either.

White seems to be a popular color these days for modern, trendy but also exclusive places. 941213_497554603631425_1813871194_n

Not in Europe but in North America.  For me, the whole atmosphere was a bit too sterile: sophisticated cool and without any personal charm. I hope the designer has more charm than his taste suggests. I visited the restaurant on a Friday night and was surprised that it wasn’t full, though reservations are highly recommended. Service, as always in Canada, was super friendly but seemed a bit strained: it took some time to take order – in particular since I was thirsty and craving my “wake up” beer.

This first dish reconciled all my concerns and turned my rising spleen toward contentedness in just a few minutes. Although not unique or extraordinary, all dishes kept their promises. wp_20160909_006

Light, fresh, and mild, along with fine tender late summer flavors. Since this time I went only for dishes with seafood and fish, I had to smile about the colors of each plate: yellow and, in particular, green ingredients and vegetables. (Colors which were pretty close to the meal I had only some days before at Michaels in New York: Michael’s Restaurant, New York. Particular peas seem to become more and more popular – this beautiful and colorful vegetable appears more and more. wp_20160909_010Consequently, my favorite course was linguine with peas and shrimps. Exquisite.

wp_20160909_011Adding chanterelles to codfish is a nice combination, though all together it was a bit too sweet for me.

The wine list is not too extensive but contains many Canadian wines, which is nice but I do require help in selecting, not knowing too much about them. We ordered an Ontario Chardonnay which was not heavy – it’s lightness made it a good addition to my light dinner.

There is no ballyhoo even though the style of the restaurant would perhaps lead to this expectation. Food is ground-level solid, even above average – but not too special. Price-wise it’s all right, but don’t forget about high tipping when calculating your dishes. Like many times before, it is not so easy to assess my experience: a not very charming but, depending on taste, elegant location which, for me, is much too boring (as many other places in Canada) with – as said – a properly good menu. Some dishes are presumably excellent – exceptions prove the rule.

Here is the link to Sassafraz (C)Outside pic taken from Sassafraz FB page.