Friday, May 24, 2013

The Fifth Grill & Terrace: A Romantic Warehouse Gem

Converted from a turn-of-the-century warehouse with original post and beam ceilings, wide plank floors, exposed piping and old 1902 freight elevator that whisks guests up to the beautiful fifth floor rooftop restaurant, The Fifth Grill & Terrace feels like a private downtown loft, but is actually a hidden gem and without a doubt, one of the city's most romantic restaurants. A perfect blend of classic steakhouse and refined French cuisine, The Fifth is an experience not to be missed, from its spectacular views, warm elegant French country décor and exceptional service, to its wonderful steak and seafood menu, it's an absolutely perfect setting for any occasion.

The original 1902 private freight elevator whisks guests up to the elegant fifth floor restaurant

The warm eclectic décor and handsome zinc bar of the min floor nightclub, 
The Fifth Social Club - with complimentary access to those dining upstairs 
and want to hit the dance floor afterwards!

Accessed from the south side of the building at the corner of Richmond and Duncan, guests are greeted by a friendly doorman-cum-buncer who directs patrons past the velvet roped entrance, though the main floor nightclub and escorted up an original pull-down, wood-slat elevator manned by a handsome fellow who swoops us up to the elegant dining room and heated year-round rooftop terrace. A refined urban oasis, The Fifth has been called a 'glamorous hideaway' with one of the best 'patios' in the city. 

The warm colours and gentle ambient lighting of the main dining room

The bustling kitchen of Chef Brad Livergant 

We began our evening with a round of martinis and a tasty cocktail called 'Le Canadien,' a potent combination of Canadian whisky, Angostura bitters and maple syrup. Enjoying our drinks, we perused the menu which features appetizers that include East Coast Oysters, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Chilled Atlantic Lobster to Beef Carpaccio, Foie Gras, a selection of Salads and seasonal Soups, it was a challenge to decide what to choose as everything sounded so good. As we considered our options, our handsome server Reed kept us nourished with a steady supply of delicious house roasted nuts. We finally decided on oysters, the Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, Fiddlehead Soup and a delicious Smoked Speckled Cedar Creek Trout topped with a dollop of herring roe caviar and served with some mixed greens.

A Hendricks Martini with cucumber garnish

House roasted nuts with cashews, pistachios, almonds and dried cranberries

A lovely presentation of fresh bread and crispy flatbread

The Fifth Dinner Menu

The evening Amuse-Bouche

A thick, robust and delicious Fiddlehead Soup, which was the featured soup of the day

Heirloom Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad with puff pastry garnish

The chef's special appetizer and recommended by our server Lainne — the Smoked Specked Cedar Creek Trout with Herring Roe Caviar and mixed greens...delicious! 

Half a Dozen East Coast Oysters with fresh grated horseradish, lemon and mignonette sauce

Acclaimed for their exceptional steaks, it wasn't a surprise that most of our table succumbed to these tantalizing, tender and juicy temptations. Truly one of life's great pleasures, a perfectly seasoned and precisely grilled melt-in-your-mouth steak is a heavenly experience. With a choice of Flat Iron, New York Striploin, dry aged Boneless Rib Eye, 6oz or 8oz Filet Mignon topped with a selection of sauces from Bearnaise, Peppercorn, Wild Mushroom and more, the menu also features a Mixed Grill, Oven Roasted Half Chicken, Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop, Australian Rack of Lamb, as well as Market Fish, Lobster, Pasta and Risotto. A decadent list of outrageous side dishes makes the meal complete, such as the tower of Panko Crusted Onion Rings, Roasted Asparagus, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and fabulously addictive Frites. Paired with a couple of bottles of delicious Barbera d'Alba wine from Piedmont, the evening was outstanding from start to finish. 

New York Striploin with Bernaise Sauce

A tantalizing tower of crisp and juicy Panko-Crusted Onion Rings

Thick spears of Roasted Aspararagus

A generous bowl of seasoned Frites

A delicious Barbera d'Alba wine from Piedmont paired beautifully with our steaks

Speckled Cedar Creek Trout with Broccolini

The Mixed Grill: Dry Aged Boneless Ribeye, Oven Roasted Chicken and Speckled Trout

A 6 oz Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom Sauce

With one of our party, my brother, celebrating a significant birthday, it was incumbent on us to order some desserts, which wasn't a difficult decision to make, given the selection of fabulous home made desserts: Lemon Meringue Tart, Sticky Banana Cake, Baked Alaska and the chef's special, a S'More Brownie with ice cream and warm chocolate sauce — complete with a birthday candle! Having never had a Baked Alaska before, I didn't know what to expect and was amazed as Reed set the dessert alight with a cupful of cognac.

The Dessert and After-Dinner Drinks Menu

Baked Alaska set aflame with cognac

S'more Brownie with Iced Cream and Warm Chocolate Sauce, complete with 
a birthday candle and chocolatey "Happy Birthday Dave!"

'The Reed': Frangelico, Baileys and Kalhua over ice - dessert in a glass!

Embraced in a celebratory haze, we splurged and enjoyed some after dinner drinks. Not knowing what to choose, Reed said that he'd invent something for me and returned with a delicious concoction of Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor, Kalhua and Baileys over ice. Very very yummy. 

The nightclub on the main floor is booming after 11pm, and is a popular spot on weekends

Booking a private table in the club for an exclusive party would be fabulous 
and can even come with a private butler!

The Fifth is a hidden gem. A beautiful setting, lovely ambiance, fabulous food and exceptional service with an unwavering attention to detail sets the stage for an unforgettable evening, and one which we hope to repeat many more times. Next time though, we'll stay a little longer and finish our evening downstairs!

Le Canadien
Serves 1
Recipe courtesy of The Fifth Grill & Terrace

Wash an Old Fashioned glass with 1/8-ounce of Lagavulin, or a suitably smokey Islay scotch, and fill with ice. Set aside.

Combine in a mixing glass:
1/3 oz Maple Syrup
2 dashes Angostura
2 oz premium rye whiskey, such as Crown Royal LTD or Wisers' Small Batch

Add ice & stir well. Strain cocktail over the prepared glass, garnish with lemon peel & serve. Et voila: Le Canadien!