The Drake Hotel - Toronto - Summer Menu Tasting

By: Alison Silveira

For years, The Drake Hotel on Queen West has been an eclectic hub for artists and musicians wishing to express themselves. When it comes to culinary creativity, executive chef, Alexandra Feswick at the Drake's Sky Yard restaurant showcases her unique talents with flair and finesse. I attended the Drake Hotel's summer party on the bustling, yet intimate patio at Sky Yard to sample the restaurant's newly launched summer menu. 

Feswick's summer menu features fresh and local seasonal items to tickle your taste buds. Her beets and blue cheese salad is an excellent way to begin any meal. Light and refreshing, the dish is comprised of Ontario Stilton, roasted beets, fresh raspberries, toasted sunflower seeds, watercress and flavourful avocado cream. 

Crowd-pleasing albacore tuna ceviche with avocado and charred scallion puree was a big hit. Perfect for sharing, scrumptious morsels of ceviche sat atop a perfectly crispy taro chip, which disappeared all too soon, but the sampling did not end there.

Seafood lovers will be in seventh heaven when they take a bite of the pan seared Ontario pickerel with fennel, arugula, pickled cipollini onions and white anchovies. Sourdough croutons gives the dish a nice crunch, while sherry vinaigrette complements the dish with an acidic bite.

A tortilla cradling creamed corn garnished with grilled peach relish is an interesting combination that had me craving more. While I usually enjoy tortilla chips with a piquant salsa, the sweet and salty combinations of corn, peach and chips were both surprising and delightful. 

Whet your whistle with Sky Yard's new Drink Well bottle service program. Take mixology into your own hands by creating classic Drake cocktails such as the dark 'n stormy, Moscow mule, mojito, gin 'n tonic and the old fashioned. A mixologist attended to our party, delivered the essential ingredients and taught us how to craft the perfect cocktail. Interactive and fun, the Drink Well program is a more relaxed approach to ordering bottle service and is perfect for birthday parties, a unique bachelorette party idea or simply trying something new. 

The evening ended on a sweet note with summery strawberry baklava. Baklava on its own is saccharinely sweet and I was concerned that the dessert would be overly sweetened with the added strawberries. However, it was love at first bite! Decadent and delicious, the strawberry filling was tart and the sweetness was cut with balsamic vinegar under layers of phyllo pastry.  

Take advantage of the balmy summer weather at Sky Yard and bask in the sun while enjoying a great evening of delicious food and drink. 

To learn more about Sky Yard, visit thedrakehotel.ca.