Harbour Sixty Steakhouse
Harbour Sixty is an elaborate restaurant with a simple name. In addition to steak, this is where to go for oysters, caviar, seared foie gras, lobster and beefy $35 martinis with blue cheese olives.
Everything is supersized here: the steaks, the crab legs, the chairs, the flower arrangements, even the pie. A location near major downtown venues, tourist attractions, hotels, transit hubs and Harbourfront makes impressing here convenient.
A very dim interior winds throughout the lower floor of the historic Toronto Harbour Commission Building, a glowing bar on one side and an open kitchen on the other.
Everything in here oozes glitz and old bistro charm.
Mediterranean octopus ($30) sees tentacles that go from tender and meaty to crispy and charred at the ends, plated atop finger-sized zesty chorizo sausages and a smear of sepia aioli, dolloped with a herby dark emerald salsa verde.
A bone-in rib steak sells for a whopping $95, though it could likely feed a whole family. Cooked with picture-perfect criss-cross grill marks, the meat is molten in texture.
Add Alaskan king crab legs, Atlantic lobster, Caribbean lobster tail, or jumbo tiger shrimp to any steak dish for market price.
Alaskan king crab legs are ginormous, the meat succulent and sweet, and are served cut in half. After all, you didn’t come here to break down crab legs, you came here to be pampered. They’re served with lemon in classy netting that I feel complements the pure shellfish taste more than a dijon aioli. Only hot seafood is served with butter.
Truffled Parmigiano fries ($16) make for an appropriate baller side, the funky aroma of truffle and sharp parm wafting off the mountain of crispy potato.
Coconut cream pie ($18) is served by the slice as a towering wedge, layering sweet coconut with airy cream in a flaky, crispy crust, topped with shaved white chocolate and toasted coconut.
When I’m served a Manhattan after asking to sample one of the restaurant’s famous martinis, I learn the bourbon-based cocktail is actually a type of martini.
Made with vermouth and bitters and garnished with cherries, it’s boozy with a bittersweet edge.
The signature Harbour Sixty martini has a scotch rinse, but standard vodka martinis are a power move as well, garnished with un-pitted green olives. I’d have to say the Manhattan is more up my alley personally, bourbon more warming and flavourful in its potency than harsher, blander vodka.
There’s even a back exit beyond the washrooms (complete with cloth hand towels and heated toilets) that opens onto the parking lot for discreet escapes.