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C House Lounge Cafe

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / Posted on November 7, 2012

c house lounge cafe torontoC House Lounge Cafe opened its doors in Yorkville just over two weeks ago, and it might be difficult to spot in its sub-level location, somewhat obscured by a pile of stacked chairs. It is many things (more on that later), including a cafe, but its opulent interior doesn't immediately belie this, or its established European pedigree.

c house lounge cafe torontoUpon entry, there's the "catwalk," a short, lit-from-beneath pathway that instantly spotlights you for other diners. There are rows upon rows of the same plush white leather throne chairs and couches, each accented by a black pillow bearing the C House insignia.

c house lounge cafe torontoI sit down on one of the aforementioned white couches with executive manager Mauro Cirelli, who is tasked with ensuring the smooth opening of the various C House properties--the company itself is Italian, and based in Milan, but they have many properties throughout the world, and this is their first Canadian venture. Both the C House look and menu are fairly consistent across continents, but each location is tweaked and tailored slightly to its host city.

c house lounge cafe torontoAt first glance, it's not precisely my type of establishment. Although Cirelli notes how comfortable I am on the sofa (and it's certainly cozy), there's a small part of me that wishes it was rattier, a la Sweaty Betty's. The mirrored ceiling and restrained blue fluorescence lend it the aura of a club about the explode, and I almost expect a parade of short-skirted women to burst from the back room.

c house lounge cafe torontoBut my (admittedly ill-conceived) stereotypes turn out to be wrong. Early-evening patrons sit quietly in the back, enjoying C House's newly launched aperitivo program (between 5-8 p.m.), which showcases not only its extensive list of both staple and original cocktail recipes, but an impressive spread of complementary snacks.

c house lounge cafe torontoC House is a contradiction. They open at 9 a.m. in the morning to serve a European continental breakfast with items such as croissants, fruit plates ($8) and yogurt parfaits ($8), they have a wide selection of signature salads such as a caesar with organic chicken breast and shaved grana padano ($14) and beautiful open-faced sandwiches, as well as a selection of cake slices (all around $5) and fresh baked goods as well. They close around midnight on weekdays, and 2 a.m. on weekends.

c house lounge cafe torontoTheir extensive list of coffees, iced coffee beverages, spiked hot coffees, and tea includes a white mocha made with white chocolate ($4.35), house-made hot chocolate ($4.25), and frappe caramel ($5.40). Their espresso is the brand's proprietary Italian blend, unavailable elsewhere or for wholesale purchase, and quite rich. My cappuccino is perfectly layered, not too bitter, and surprisingly sweet for only being coated in a fine layer of cocoa.

c house lounge cafe torontoHaving just overcome a summertime addiction to Dolce Gelato's sfogliatelle, I can't resist C House's ($3). It's, well, different. The phyllo seems slightly undercooked and the ricotta filling is not as dense as Dolce's, nor as sweet. It almost conjures up the taste of a well-crafted, but simple, vanilla pudding.

c house lounge cafe torontoI also try one of their open-faced sandwiches (between $15 and $19), available for both lunch and dinner. My only complaint is the bread--delicious, but a bit too heavy on the crust, making it unwieldy to cut. Otherwise, the flavors of capiccolo, parmesan, artichokes, mortadella and balsamic oil are at once fresh and lush.

c house lounge cafe torontoThen, there are the cocktails. They offer wine and spirits, but you'd honestly be amiss not to sample from Yuri the bartender's impressive arsenal. The chili mai tai ($14) is one of the most delicious cocktails I've tasted in recent memory. A (potentially excessive) love of spice is a necessary prerequisite, but you'll be well-rewarded by an expertly balanced blend of Bacardi Anejo White and Gold, and the infusion of, you guessed it, chili peppers. Hats off. They also offer non-alcoholic cocktails, and smoothies ($5.25).

C House follows two models: Yorkville's lounge setting, and an "express" format which is slated to open on Queen West by the end of the year, and will provide a more concise menu, better suited for take-away. There are also rumors of a third location in Shops at Don Mills.

C House Lounge cafeThe cafe's menu is somewhat in flux at the moment, but stop in and enjoy an authentic Italian coffee, or splay across their couches with a drink and a nibble. You might even be convinced there's a sun-warmed piazza beyond the dim interior.



Crystal / October 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Came to the second night after opening, service was very slow waited for a bottle of beer for good 20 minutes even though there were like 7 stuff members and only like 6 people dinning along with us. Half of the things on the menu for drinks they didn’t have. Their debit machine didn’t work and they don’t split the bill between people so only one bill per table which is not convenient. The food is pricey paid $16 for a little sandwich on one piece of bread. Didn’t like the lightning it was way too bright all night and the stuff members kept staring very inappropriately making us feel uncomfortable. Not a place where I wanted to stay for any longer and definitely not going back there.
isabela / October 22, 2012 at 04:53 pm
the best cappuccino in townn!!!1
Tara_xoxo / October 23, 2012 at 05:32 pm
I've been there a couple of times. because obviously I LOVE IT.... Would definitely recommend it if looking for the best and luxury place to chill and gossip. I am so attracted by the elegance and their interior design.

Simply I fell in love with the place
Ja replying to a comment from Crystal / October 24, 2012 at 03:26 pm

Amazing cocktails, Try it
hansa / October 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm

What a nice place !!! Fantastic Espresso !!!!
J / November 7, 2012 at 01:13 pm
Is it just me or does it look like a converted strip club?
sss / November 7, 2012 at 01:18 pm
looks like the set of a porno
Faker Alert / November 7, 2012 at 01:32 pm
All the positive comments are suspiciously descriptive...
What the f***? / November 7, 2012 at 03:24 pm
The reviewer shows up at a high-end cafe/lounge and wishes it was rattier like Sweaty Betty's? What is wrong with you?

Try my review of Canoe:
"While it certainly is a nice view from the window seat at Canoe, I can't help wishing it was substantially shittier and more subterranean, like Bistro 422"
who-rs / November 7, 2012 at 03:30 pm
Is the best seat in the house Pole Position, like at The Brass Rail?
duder replying to a comment from What the f***? / November 7, 2012 at 03:31 pm
mobo / November 7, 2012 at 03:53 pm
Yuck. The look and vibe is Euro-trashy / or Euro-greasy. and a little too expensive. Should do well in Yorkville (lol), especially in summer. (and relax I am a european-canadian)
What a Bunch of Malarky / November 7, 2012 at 08:23 pm
The positive comments about this place so obviously look like bullshit from someone promoting the place.
Jeff / November 8, 2012 at 06:06 pm
WOw, was walking in yorkville with my gf couple of nights ago and we checked it out, really cool place with amazing food. I tried the Open Toscana sandwich and it was amazing

would defiantly recommend this place
rose / November 10, 2012 at 08:37 pm
I strongly recommend this place for their AMAZING cocktails !!!!
Michael / November 17, 2012 at 09:38 pm
Cozy place !!! Friendly Staff, Great Open sandwich, I would come back again " GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD LUCK "
MarkHug / November 22, 2012 at 03:44 pm
Well, just coming out of it right now.
I liked it.
A lot.
The style you would expect from an up class Italian business, the design and comfort you should demand every time you go out and food&drink of the highest standard.
The only complaint is the lack of visibility but a place like this is worth looking for.
Tina / November 23, 2012 at 09:46 pm

I have the food, with Chivas and live piano . WOW
Raadi / December 16, 2012 at 04:33 pm
This place looks amazing. They offer variety of healthyfoods and salads. I think they will be successful.
Pere / December 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm
Wowwww. So many hot girls here:)
Anton / February 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm
Had high hopes, but ended up being very dissapointed.
The place looks OK, but be ready for false advertizing, tastless food and bad services. Never going back.
Sebastian / March 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Despite the outward beauty, a very bad place. I was with a friend on Groupon. Groupon apparently played a role - I ordered the beef, it was cold and very small portions, dessert was old and not so tasty, and the wine taste was not the one what I expected. The prices on the menu is very overpriced, the menu is very poor. And yeah, whole evening bartender stared at us is not a good look. So, I will not go there and do not recommend to anyone.
Laura M / March 19, 2013 at 09:39 pm
Decent coffee, decent food, comfy chairs.

I really do like this place a lot and I will keep going back !!!
Lew Ashby / March 24, 2013 at 02:05 pm
I went to C House Lounge for dinner last night. It was an absolute trainwreck - so bad it was funny. There might be some redeeming value to this place as a cocktail lounge (if they had sufficient staff) but as a restaurant they have no business being in business. Unbelievably slow. Understaffed. Incompetent management and chef. Many of the items on the menu they were 'out of' (it was only 8pm on a Saturday night) including 2 of the 3 soups offered. The third was a barely edible mint pea soup - unseasoned and bland but for the horribly bitter chunks of something (peppercorns?) throughout. Main courses took forever to arrive, and were stone cold. The chicken entree consisted of a half dozen tiny slices of overcooked dry chicken, stuffed with cheese, and spinach which arrived buried in a massive pile of barely-dressed greens, all of which remained on the plate. The beef entree (also stone cold and overcooked) consisted of two unevenly sliced slabs of beef that appeared to be carved off last week's Sunday roast or picked up at the lunch bar of a local grocery store. The mysterious round hole in one of the slabs was curious. By this point we were almost 2.5 hrs into our visit so we skipped dessert. I won't even go into the gaudy decor, except to say that though they describe themselves as "premium, sophisticated, elegant" that would probably only be perceived as such by Jersey Shore-types. The cheap paper dinner napkins rolled into tubes and left in a tacky silver tray in the bathroom as hand towels were a first for me. The only bright light (beyond the ugly blue neon) was our server. I felt bad for her and we encouraged her to get a job elsewhere. Anywhere.
Dani / March 24, 2013 at 03:37 pm
Ive visited the restaurant a few times and I never had a bad experience. I think it is affordable for yorkville and I like the ambience and decor also strongly recommend their specialty cocktails and open sandwiches.
Monika / March 25, 2013 at 05:15 pm
WOOOW !!! So Surprised!!! Lew are you sure you were in C House ????
I’ve been there few times and I believe their food is healthy, fresh and SOOOO Tasteful
Lew Ashby replying to a comment from Monika / March 25, 2013 at 07:19 pm
Oh yes, I have absolutely no doubt, and have the photos to back it up. They'll probably appear on another site that allows you to post such things. The restaurant (if you call it that) was C House Lounge at 70 Yorkville. The above review was accurate (except I didn't bother to mention the high pitched squealing child running throughout the restaurant a 10 pm as you can't blame the restaurant for that). Our party wasn't the only one to feel that way. The couple behind me walked out. The couple beside us thought it was awful and very slow too. This is the kind of place that only someone paid to do so can love. Which is probably the reason for your suspiciously positive comment.
SAM / March 29, 2013 at 02:30 pm
Paul / March 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Very romantic place, Fantastic cocktails !!! I tried the lasagna which was Amazing !!! I don't have a single complaint about this place and I would definitely recommend it!

Lilly / April 20, 2013 at 01:50 pm
This place could be better if they actually paid their staff. If patrons knew that the staff, which are all canadian citizens work for tips only, they would probably not come back. Personal friends and family are constantly having their C-House cheques bounce. This has been happening since 2012 when they opened. Staff here are working for the meager tips left by patrons in the hopes that management gets it together. The C House should be forced to pay all their employees on time and patrons should demand this from this business.
Stan / April 20, 2013 at 01:53 pm
I agree with Lilly. From personal experience it is true, the C House is constantly late in paying their employees. We get our tips and that's it. Our legal minimum wages are behind by weeks at a time and when paid they bounce. This place is a disgrace to the city of Toronto and Canada that says to enforce rights for all its citizens.
Stiven / April 21, 2013 at 11:32 am
It's true guys! My girlfriend worked there from the opening, constantly delayed salary, she worked hard only on the tip. And in the end she was fired in one day without explanation. A bad place to work, when the owners of the rest they do not leave a tip for the staff, it's disgusting. Canada is a beautiful country in which all people have a right to get paid for your hard work, but this place - the island of injustice and violations of the law in the very center of Toronto.
nando / April 22, 2013 at 08:47 pm
Someone should step up and take these so called business owners to the labour board -
toronto guy / May 4, 2013 at 03:45 am
My spouse worked there for a couple of months around the holidays and didn't have a paycheck bounce but was routinely paid 4-5 working days late on a bi-weekly payroll. It became a burden on us for her to not be paid her hourly wages for nearly 3 weeks, almost every single pay period. A couple of times she only got a single paycheck in an entire month because the payroll was delayed that much, this was chronic behavior.

After going out for drinks with her and 3 or 4 of her workmates who unanimously said they were often paid a week late, 2 of them stated they had checks bounce not one but twice. After that I made her quit in spite of both of us needing to have steady income while we are both in school and raising our child. It is just wrong to be working for tips only not knowing whether or not you will be paid, or if paid getting an ulcer wondering if a check would bounce or not when she finally did come home with one.

The worst part of the whole thing is that she loved the place and the her co-workers there. To me it sounds like people are being forced to quit after getting no results demanding their paychecks. Imagine being paid every 18-19 days and there is a strong possibility of bouncing paychecks. Who can sleep at night under these conditions? I couldn't and I didn't even work there.

Smarten up C-House, or you will be padlocked by the Sheriff and audited by Revenue Canada.

I would avoid working at this lounge because your tips are all you will have to live on while you wait 2-3 weeks for payday and then wait as many as 5-6 extra days until the paychecks arrive from off-site.

No stars, learn how to pay staff.
CatherineH / May 12, 2013 at 11:40 am
Beware everyone, never go to C House Lounge. Worst place ever. Worst service (2 hrs wait eventhough we made reservation), underwhelming food and overly sour drinks. This place should be called F minus House Lounge because it failed miserably.
Adi / May 12, 2013 at 05:08 pm
My friends and I came over for a 7:45pm reservation. The place looked nice, and the staff were friendly. Then an hour passed before we got our table. We were assured that the open sandwiches were very quick and easy to make so we would not be waiting much longer for our food. Then a series of wrong plates came and just like that, another hour paased. To say we were starving at the TWO hour mark is an absolute understatement. A complimentary appetizer or even an apology from the manager would have lessen our disappointment but none of that came. I felt how embarassed our server was and I felt for her knowing that a lot of it was beyond her control, but how can you bring yourself to tip an establishment that ruined your night? In hindsight i wish we left something for the server but when the manager is well aware of the screw up and an apology from him would have only cost a few steps and a few words from him but chose not to, then why bother to care?

I don't even want to talk abt the food. Let's just say that it did not redeem the restaurant's name at all..

Never again.
Michael_F / May 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm
I really do not understand why people are always complaining. I went to C House couple of days ago and I ordered and open Tuna, and I really liked it. It was so fresh and wonderfully presented. Complaining is inherent to human nature. No matter who you are, where you are, what your lot is in life, there is always someone who complains about you.

So, I think C House is doing a great job and I Highly recommended.

harold keen / May 21, 2013 at 08:31 am
Visited with my wife the other day. The food and service was certainly good. But the atmosphere--like you entered a 5 star supper club-nite club is exciting. With its combination of extra large plush white leather seating arrangements, mirrors, glass and sophisticated,- this place is something to behold. We will return I expect many times.
Jules / May 27, 2013 at 03:19 pm
Bought a Living Social voucher to try "high tea" at this establishment last week. Not only was the service mediocre (our waitress asked how we were doing but kept walking and never stopped to listen to our reply LOL), the food was HORRIBLE. The sandwiches were made from white bread that was not even the quality of "Wonder Bread" with a piece of lettuce and shaved slice of turkey. Then the scone... oh the scone... if you can call it that. It was so hard you can cave in a man's forehead with it. You can tell the danish was old b/c the jelly cracked. They also served us one tea bag instead of loose tea. I finally felt I had to say something and approached the matter discreetly since other patrons were present and I didn't want to embarrass the company. The manager admitted that the scones were made the previous day (or 2 was my guess) and that the sweets were from Dufflets (and another company that can be found at supermkts). She also said that Living Social deal was mismanaged and that it was not true "high tea" but it was really only "afternoon tea." Obviously she doesn't know what she's talking about since high tea and afternoon tea is used interchangeably. And the "afternoon tea" was included in their menu and the cost was $45!!! She wanted to make things better after touching the hard scone and said we can order anything from the regular menu which promises to provide a delicious experience since she eats at the establishment whenever she works there. But then she said we would have to pay 50%! So, since their open sandwiches are $20, my friend and I would have to dish out another $20 at a minimum, so that means with the $30 we've already paid Living Social, our total would be $50 for open face sandwiches... We were afraid they would spit on our food so we opt out of the offer and went on our merry way... but we did leave them a $5 tips since we rock as Living Social customers!
Shogo / June 24, 2013 at 06:08 pm
I went today to find out why they weren't answering their phones to get a reservations for an "afternoon tea". They have no voicemail and have two different numbers listed: one for "Groupon" and another for the restaurant. To my surprise the place was closed. There was a note saying that they were having plumbing problem and they would be closed for the foreseeable future.
Based on what has been said, they probably are closing down and using that as a cover. Groupon also has today a new deal for the lounge.
Katy / June 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm
We made reservations a month ago for the afternoon tea deal for this afternoon, we go to the restaurant today only seeing the place was closed. They still have that sign saying plumbing issues and is closed. The Facebook page is closed down now too (the page was still on last night when I was looking up the address) Urbanspoon have also indicated today on the site that the restaurant is closed. I want my refund back from the Livingsocial deal.
loretta / July 1, 2013 at 01:49 pm
What a crazy clown festival. Clown-House? Oh boy.....And trying to slip out the back door too!! Wow!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!
TR / July 12, 2013 at 06:33 am
Erika C / July 14, 2013 at 09:09 pm
"Chouse" means to con, scam, cheat, or swindle. Ironic house this clue is literally written all over the walls, napkins, to-go cups, and over your head at the front door. Customers, landlords, employees, vendors, and lenders- you have all been choused. Call the police.
slave worker / August 3, 2013 at 09:14 pm
the owners were scum and karma will cunt punt them back to where they belong -- in hell, and sucking on lucifer's long poisonous sausage

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