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417 Restaurant & Lounge

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Listed on July 23, 2012 / review policy

417 danforth toronto417 Restaurant and Lounge opened this week on the Danforth just East of Chester in what general manager Drew Burke-Gaffney boasted was a whirlwind seven weeks in the making.

417 danforth torontoIn a word, the decor is slick. Impressive (I suppose) for a seven-week feat — but the dark furniture, blue lighting and wall-mounted water features contribute to an overall vibe that is way more lounge than restaurant.

417 danforth torontoThe massive dining room and overlooking loft with private bar are suitable for private events, but I can only hope that they lay off the DJ booth during regular dinner service because the pounding music (inside and out) made it impossible to have a conversation without yelling across the table.

417 danforth torontoThe backlit bar illuminates bottles of spirits and wines making drinks a definite focal point. The 417 Cocktail ($10) made with vodka, rose liqueur, pressed apple and lime is tasty, but it's the improbably large selection of 22 Ontario craft beers on tap that may prove to be a real draw.

417 danforth torontoThe menu from Chef Kai Zyganiuk is described as emphasizing locally sourced ingredients and influenced by Mediterranean flavours, though I am having a bit of a hard time seeing it. When the Ahi Tuna Ceviche and Lime-Avacado Crema ($13) arrives topped with a grapefruit roasted almond crunch, I can't help but ask, which of those ingredients are local?

417 danforth torontoThe Vine Ripened Tomato and Melon Gazpacho ($7) comes next. Served chilled, the puree of tomato and honeydew has a sweet quality that is punctuated with raw garlic notes that I'm not sure I enjoyed.

417 Danforth RestaurantThe Herb Roasted Lamb Chops and Slow Braised Shoulder ($38) is tender and well cooked. Alongside a heap of sweet purple yam mash, it's a generously sized entree.

417 danforth torontoFor dessert, I try the California Air ($8) that features almond cake, candied fennel, anise streuzel and lemon and white chocolate cremeux. The presentation is beautiful and at last I see hints of the purported Mediterranean influence.

417 danforth torontoAdmittedly this wasn't really my thing; the space is a little too big and impersonal, and the food was somewhat overshadowed by the flashy decor and loud music. With so much going on, it will be interesting to see if the 417 can find a way to embrace its nightlife vibe and also provide a dining experience that is worthy of being priced on par with some of Toronto's finer restaurants.

Photos by Jesse Milns



oooh... I like pricey mains / July 23, 2012 at 01:35 pm
They should have called it deadpool seeing as how nothing lasts longer than a year there since myst. which was basically just an unsuccessful laundrymat. concert venue or gtfo.
loper / July 23, 2012 at 03:16 pm
Tell us if you liked it or not... don't say "I'm not sure I enjoyed" that's just confusing and lacks confidence.
kalli / July 23, 2012 at 06:30 pm
I had dinner there Saturday. The food, especially the lamb chops that came with braised shoulder and purple yam mash and asparagus was simply divine! My husband had the braised beef ravioli with black truffle cream sauce, saying it was one of the best pasta dishes he's had in a very long time! The music was fabulous and upbeat..not too loud, and the decor was fresh and vibrant something the Danforth has yet to see!! We will definetely be going back soon!!
Henry / July 23, 2012 at 09:18 pm
What is someone's lost; Myth, is our (the Danforth)'s gain.

417 Restaurant is a something that the neighbourhood needed. There was no loud bumping club beats the author was referring to on Saturday, just nicely curated songs. The transformation was worth the wait as the decor and design made you feel like you were in LA.

The menu looks amazing, and the prices - they are a bargain - not as the title suggests "pricey mains". Seriously, where else could I get a 10oz Ribeye steak frites in the city for under $30, and perfectly cooked? It was huge portions, flavourful and was definitely a winner. My partner had the pickerel, and I was fighting to sneak in bites. We also had the ahi tuna; a must, and the pressed feta - Greek enough?

Dessert was another world; the presentation and plating was crazy good. The nonbaked cheese cake and the California Air (almond cake) speechless.

The staff were really professional and attentive. Definitely be back for more.
Guy / July 23, 2012 at 09:35 pm
>I can't help but ask, which of those ingredients are local?

Jesus, get over yourself.
JR / July 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm
The awkward moment when a restaurants management start trolling it's negative BlogTO review...
MrsPotato replying to a comment from JR / July 24, 2012 at 01:38 am
My thoughts exactly.

Ben / July 24, 2012 at 11:26 am
While I was thrilled to see the god awful Davos/Legends Sports Bar/Whatever-the-hell-it-is-this-week gone, not so thrilled to have this hulking monstrosity replace it.

I'm with "pricey mains", the space is just too huge, but well suited for concerts. My opinion, I don't need another overpriced lounge in my hood for the suburban set to come to the Danforth to play at.
NC replying to a comment from JR / July 24, 2012 at 01:10 pm
really / July 24, 2012 at 03:42 pm
In one breath you are lauding the fact that they have 22 LOCAL micro brews available aka local...and you choose not to mention they have an ONTARIO pickerel on the menu...we are in Ontario aren't we?

You work for Astoria or something?

And as for everyone who thinks it should be a live venue...isn't that what the Danforth Music Hall is?

JOhn / August 6, 2012 at 07:13 pm
Hey Henry, it's considered bad form for owners to review their own restaurants here. You're just a little too effusive to be taken seriously.
Henry replying to a comment from JOhn / August 28, 2012 at 12:54 am
Hey JOhn, I enjoyed my meal and the service they provided.... and gasp: I settled my bill in full. If the words that I used were too effusive, and seemed too much to be taken seriously, then maybe you should actually travel over the DVP and try their food. Hands down, best value.

When you look at the portions and the prices - you too would be shocked. Try ordering a lamb dish in the city with 3 pieces with lamb shoulder that isn't gamey NZ meat, but very succulent and well plated - all for under $40 - and with sides to boot.

Proper services needs proper write-up... isn't that why others ask for our opinion?
lisa seward / November 1, 2012 at 09:34 am
Great time at 417! Great atmosphere and food and all that one wants in a night out...or better yet a Brunch with nice jazz music in the background (not overwhelming) and a warm feeling in the air! Kudos to making the customer feel welcome with attentive and friendly service.Like the name...easy to find!

Kristian / November 22, 2012 at 10:14 am
We've had dinner here a couple of times and are having our corporate holiday party here this December. The space is beautiful, the staff are warm, friendly and attractive (never hurts) and the food is fantastic. Also, wine by the ounce is such a great idea. I would recommend this place for a date or for dinner with a group of friends. Such a great spot!
Bobby Hamon (ex. DTS'59) / August 4, 2013 at 05:30 pm
Nice to see this in my old neighbourhood.
I wish I was there to savour the goods.
But I'm alive and well living in southern England but a hello to anyone left from the days at DTS.
I mostly miss Riverdale Terrace, the Pee Wee and of course Hockey Night in Canada.
Good bye and good night.

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