Dineen Coffee (Commerce Court)
Dineen sells quick quality coffee and dreamy Thuet pastries. This location in a business thoroughfare pays homage to both its original location at Yonge and Temperance and the soaring architecture in its new spot.
The cafe appears as if it were plunked down at one end of Commerce Court West fully formed, though this is quite the opposite of the case. CCW was designed by Louvre mastermind I.M. Pei, so the pressure was on to compete with the space.
Patrons line up on the right side of the cafe as they approach the wraparound bar festooned with ornate floral arrangements. Eye cold-pressed juices, sandwiches and salads in the case and place orders here.
Your morning latte ($4.10) will be anything but basic here, made with beans from Social roasters. A glassy, silky-smooth top is decorated with classically impressive latte art.
A cortado ($3.32) is insanely smooth and silky, perfectly balanced, and despite this our barista insists on redoing it to her exacting standards. The second one comes out close to satin in texture, though I’m sure the first was equally pleasant.
Thuet lemon or salted caramel and chocolate tarts ($4) fall apart with the touch of a fork.
Gooey, tart lemon filling oozes out and combines with shards of flaky crust, and meringue on top is airy and sweet.
A rotating selection of sandwiches are delivered somewhere around 11 to noon. Turkey and brie ($9.99) is accented by cooling cucumber and is enveloped in a crunchy, crusty, but soft and chewy Thuet baguette.
For the latte-averse there’s house strawberry rose iced tea (around three bucks for varying sizes) with a strong, almost candy-like strawberry edge to it, sort of like the most artisanal Gatorade you can imagine. They make all their syrups in house as well.
Other Thuet pastries are available if tarts aren’t your thing, including pain au chocolate, almond and chocolate croissants, and seasonal danishes.
In the summer, Dineen at Commerce Court West spills out onto the sidewalk with a patio.
Pencil, who also designed their other location, took the wheel here. The whole cafe is technically fifteen removable components. Customized espresso machines are a dusty rose colour, and classy, comfy chairs and stools are by Louis Interiors.