Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brunch at the Ritz-Carlton: Morning Mimosas & More

Sunday Brunch at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota was always a culinary highlight and one of my family's more decadent traditions, whenever we all gather on Longboat Key. That was until they permanently closed the doors on this divine diversion last year. Imagine our delight when we discovered that the Ritz in Toronto had launched their own Sunday Brunch in the hotel's signature restaurant TOCA, when the hotel opened in 2011. From the moment you arrive under the stylish porte-cochère and a liveried doorman opens your door with a "Welcome to the Ritz," you know all will be well.

The Ritz Bar with fabulous light fixture by Vancouver-born 
and Toronto-based glass artist Jeff Goodman

A stylish Art Deco Absinthe fountain accents a side table in the bar

The Ritz Sunday Brunch is held at TOCA, the hotels' signature restaurant 
on the second floor above the lobby

Sunday brunch at The Ritz is indeed one of the priciest in the city, but it's also one of the most extravagant. For about $80 per person, diners can explore a wonderland of lobster tails, chilled poached shrimp, mussels, sushi, a live carving station, omelette station, charcuterie and more, plus access to the all-inclusive mimosa and bellini bar. And if that wasn't enough, a chocolate fountain, crêperie, and French pastries for dessert. Not to be outdone, the Ritz also holds a Veuve Clicquot Sunday Brunch on the last Sunday of every month at $145 per person, which includes all of the Veuve Cliquot you can quaff. 

Never ending glasses of delicious Mimosas, Bellinis or Prosecco 
are complimentary with the Ritz brunch

A lovely chilled glass of Prosecco is a splendid way to start a Sunday

A spicy Caesar with seasoned rim and flash of celery — Cheers!

One part of the buffet was a symphony of cold salads and antipasti

An assortment of small plates like Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese, Croutons and Micro Greens, and in the background, Sundried Tomato Mousse with Grilled Shrimp

The Seafood Bar with lobster tails, cold poached shrimp, mussels and sushi 
including Califormia rolls and nigiri salmon

Buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup or warm chocolate sauce

Lobster tail, chilled mussel, poached shrimp and smoked salmon with 
sushi garnished with wasabi and pickled ginger

Sundried Tomato Mousse with Grilled Shrimp, and Butternut Squash, 
Triple Crunch Mustard & Smoked Duck Parfait, Zucchini Custard Torta with 
Tomato Coulis and a slice of Prociutto di Parma

Vegetable and Pork Dumplings with Roasted Squash, Asparagus and 
Grilled Salmon topped with matchstick potatoes and flash fried lime

The Dessert Room was filled to bursting with an array of sweet temptations

Beautifully presented and outrageously good

Little Lemon Cream cakes

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

A sinfully decadent Chocolate Fountain complete with fruit, marshmallows and cake for dipping

A slice of sweet, dense and intensely rich chocolate cake garnished 
with a ring of chocolate topped with a fleck of edible gold

The Ritz S'more with marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between 
two fresh baked graham cracker biscuits 

A slice of Raspberry and Pistachio Cream Layered Cake

A little Almond and Apricot cake

Silky smooth Crème Brûlée topped with pearls of chocolate covered wafers 
and a perfect blackberry 

A hot steaming cappuccino is the best way to finish a sumptuous brunch at the Ritz

Enjoying an exquisite weekend brunch with a mimosa in hand and all the breakfast stations you can possibly enjoy makes for the perfect weekend morning. When 'extravagant' is on your culinary wish list, the Ritz brunch is hard to beat. Order your Signature Bloody Mary or ask your server to keep the champagne coming, then take your time and explore all the different stops among the culinary offerings. For a morning of pure decadence, you don't need to look any further.

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