The Rooftop at the Broadview Hotel
The Broadview Hotel represents one of Toronto’s most enormous transformations. What was once the notorious strip club Jilly’s has been turned into something of an eastern version of the Drake hotel, with a downstairs cafe bar and a rooftop hotel that may just put Sky Yard to shame.
For one thing, the views here certainly beat a third-floor gaze down at Queen Street.
The rooftop space incorporates both indoor and outdoor areas.
From here you can see from the lake all the way to Eglinton on the other side.
The indoor roof space is bathed in a calming dark teal with comfy chairs and a lively bar scene, which also extends outdoors.
It’s decorated with chic modern hanging terrariums as well as touches that recall the past like lamps in the shape of nude ladies.
Fried smelts ($12) provide a fun, light fried snack that’s salty and a little oily but still airy, dressed with some cilantro and cress and served with a slightly spicy harissa mayo.
A clean bay scallop ceviche ($16) resting in a pool of leche de tigre with a little heat offers something different with each bite, with crispy garlic chips, elegant little rounds of crunchy cucumber and spicy chili, and airy mounds of South American sweet potato that add some sweet richness.
Jerk ribs ($16) come courtesy of a chef from Table 17 who went off to Cadillac Jenkins at one point and brought his experience there back to the Broadview Hotel. He’s good at nailing the balance of heat and spices in the two-day marinade.
They’re cooked sous vide after marinating, and then given a final quick cook. I appreciate how this locks flavour into the ribs, though they’re not one hundred percent fall-off-the-bone juicy and tender. Still, I love the idea of incorporating jerk flavours into this protein, and jalapeno cornbread is buttery dynamite.
Mini kofteh ($17) come on house pita with house pickled turnips, lamb and beef balls are seasoned with cumin, coriander and black pepper.
The Riverside ($16) cocktail is made with a house rhubarb shrub, Bulleit rye, Benedictine, and almond syrup. The rhubarb really sweetens the rye up and the shaken cocktail is foamy and airy, with the aroma of a lemon rind garnish lending refreshing citrus.
The downstairs bar also serves coffee and cocktails, as well as a limited food menu.
Pop some bubbly or sip on rose in this neon-clad space with a historical but updated and open feel.
Of course, there are also accommodations at Broadview Hotel, but even if you don't stay the night, it's remarkable to see the transformation here over dinner and drinks.