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Restaurants

The Chase Fish & Oyster

Posted by Derek Flack / Profiled on August 15, 2013 / review policy

Chase Fish and OysterThe Chase Fish & Oyster is the more casual of the two restaurants that have opened in the historic Dineen Building at Yonge and Temperance. Located on the ground level, the interior has subtle nautical vibe that conjures up a beach-side oyster bar. That's not, however, to say that it isn't upscale: both restaurants in this tandem are directed at the deep-pocketed occupants of the Financial District, and it's obvious that owner Steven Salm put a boatload of money into this endeavour.

Chase Fish and OysterWhere the menu at The Chase is extensive and diverse, the lower level lives up to its longer name in putting the focus of its raw bar and seafood. Naturally there's a steak ($28) and a few other non "surf" items (fried chicken seems somewhat out of place), but they're not the main attraction.

Chase Fish and OysterThe wine list is also pared down here (you could still easily order a bottle from upstairs), though you'll find 22 by-the-glass options ranging between $12 and $25, including a a white offering from Norman Hardie that's served on tap ($11 glass / $40 jug). The cocktails, meanwhile, are more playful on the ground floor with options like the Shipwreck ($14), which features gin, Pimm's, lime, cucumber and mint. Also impressive was the Sea of Cortez ($18), a tequila based drink with grapefruit, Chartreuse, lime and agave.

Chase Fish and OysterWe start with the "California" Roll ($19), a long spread of avocado stuffed with dungeness crab and corn salad. The crab is smokey but light, and the creaminess of the avocado pairs well against the light acidity of the salad. It's an ideal lunch dish: filing enough but not likely to make you feel stuffed.

Chase Fish and OysterNext is the Crispy Pickerel Salad ($23), two portions of deep fried pickerel served atop a bed of radicchio and dilly tartar sauce. The fish is indeed crispy, but also manages to come off as not particularly greasy. The batter might have been seasoned a bit more aggressively, but one can take care of this at the table. A lighter take on fish and chips, this is a more refined version of the classic.

Chase Fish and OysterTo finish this late afternoon meal, we go for the Octopus ($23). A colourful dish, there's a slight Mediterranean influence in the form of the accompanying black olives and piquillo peppers. The octopus itself is tender and mild, taking flavour from the other items on the plate, which include impossibly crispy and salty bits of pork sausage. If only there were a few more of these, I'd still be raving about the dish (which I kind of am anyway).

Chase Fish and OysterWe skip the oysters (market price, three piece minimum) on this visit, but a subsequent stop at lunch reveals a wide variety bivalves and as many as six "fancy sauces" ($2 each), including Bloody Mary Salsa, which was a particularly good complement. That said, each order comes with your standard fresh horseradish, lemon, as well as cocktail and mignonette sauces, so there's less incentive to order any add-ons.

The Chase Fish & Oyster is going to be a serious player in the business lunch and post-work drinks game, though its ultimate success will rest on attracting crowds through the evening. Given my early visits, I'd say the pieces are certainly in place for this to happen.

The Chase Fish and Oyster

Discussion

9 Comments

Rick / August 15, 2013 at 01:20 pm
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Looks pretty good, but has this become another food fad in the city now - Osyter bars?

Seems like there is one opening up every other day. Oh well, more oysters for all.
poor soul / August 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm
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how are they going to survive in this economy? Look at those prices and I'm sure their rent on a monthly basis must be north of 20k. Will close in less than a year I promise you that much.
twenty4burgerLOL / August 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm
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looks like another another "business" expense lunch. calling the CRA on this one.
kevin / August 16, 2013 at 10:51 am
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$20 for a burger? I think I'll go to the McD's across the street.
JustAGuy / August 16, 2013 at 03:18 pm
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GET THE PRAWN SALAD!! Haawwlllyyy moollyy!
Then go for a drink upstairs at the stunning patio.
Fair weather / August 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm
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I'd rather just head to John and sons at the far end of temperance. They know their oysters and offer value for money. No word against Chase but I feel like I can't relax there!
Khanh replying to a comment from Ramen banh mi taco / August 20, 2013 at 01:05 pm
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Since when did Pho become a fad?
Uhhh / October 14, 2013 at 07:45 pm
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Is this a joke? $19 for a flipping roll of sushi? Jesus fricken Christ. Who was like "you know what would look good on the menu? A roll of sushi for $19 dollars. Almost $20 but not really."
Sylvie replying to a comment from Fair weather / May 21, 2014 at 04:19 pm
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Unfortunately, oyster's don't take culinary skill. I wouldn't eat any of the other slop at John & Sons. The prices are practically identical to The Chase.

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