Restaurant Review: Abrielle – Where Mediterranean Flavours Meet Urban Sophistication
|355 King Street West
|Dinner for two with drinks
Nestled within the elegant confines of the Sutton Place Hotel, Abrielle is Toronto’s latest gem in Mediterranean gastronomy. This elegant establishment is more than just a restaurant–it’s a heartfelt tribute to the diverse and rich flavours of the Mediterranean coast, cleverly planted in the city’s bustling heart. While it navigates through occasional culinary hiccups, the journey Abrielle offers is an enticing one, especially for those craving an authentic taste of coastal Mediterranean delights in an urban setting.
The ambiance of Abrielle is a thoughtful fusion of intimacy and openness. Cream and terracotta hues blend seamlessly with the spaciousness of the hotel lobby, creating a dining space that feels both intimate and expansive. The soft, ambient lighting coupled with the gentle hum of conversation transforms each meal into not just a feast for the palate but also a vibrant social affair.
Under the expert guidance of Chef Olivier LeCalvez, the menu at Abrielle is a love letter to Mediterranean cuisine. Each dish is a delicate dance of tradition and innovation, catering to an array of tastes. The sea bream crudo, a standout among the starters, exemplifies the kitchen’s high aspirations. The fish’s subtle flavour is artfully paired with cucumber jus and the fresh crunch of white turnip, while the basil adds an aromatic freshness. However, the dish’s elegance begs for a more adventurous seasoning to truly highlight the sea bream’s natural charm.
Abrielle’s vegetarian offerings defy the norm, with dishes like the burrata stealing the spotlight. This dish is a delightful contrast of textures and flavours – the burrata’s creamy richness is beautifully offset by the slightly bitter treviso. The chermoula introduces an earthy spiciness, and the brown butter honey drizzle adds a sublime sweetness, elevating the cheese’s velvety texture to pure culinary bliss.
The mushroom dish is another testament to the kitchen’s prowess, combining robust earthiness with a delicate vin blanc foam. While the foam adds a sophisticated element, its acidity could be toned down for better harmony.
A unanimous favourite is the half roasted Gianonne Chicken. The chicken itself is a masterpiece, boasting crispy skin and tender, flavourful meat. Paired with chanterelles, the dish is bursting with earthiness, complemented by a rich brown butter jus and a surprising hint of lavender.
Desserts at Abrielle, especially the Passion Fruit Chocolate Ganache, are the crowning glory of the meal. This dessert is a harmonious blend of the chocolate’s richness, the sharpness of passion fruit, and the comforting sweetness of caramelized banana. The vanilla and coconut cream add a tropical creaminess, creating a dessert that is both indulgent and refreshing.
The wine and cocktail offerings at Abrielle enhance the dining experience, showcasing a curated selection of Mediterranean wines and innovative cocktails. A highlight is the “Spa Day” cocktail, a refreshing blend of Tanqueray Ten gin, Bianco Vermouth, St Germain Elderflower, cucumber, lime, lavender bitters, and egg white. This creation perfectly balances crisp, floral notes with a smooth, frothy texture, making it an ideal companion to the meal or a delightful standalone treat.
Service at Abrielle mirrors the quality of its cuisine – attentive, knowledgeable, and warmly unobtrusive. General Manager Arash Shroff shines in his role, ensuring every guest feels valued and welcomed.
Abrielle is a noteworthy addition to Toronto’s culinary landscape, particularly for Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts and stands out for its ambitious menu, enchanting ambiance, and exceptional service. While there’s room for refinement, Abrielle is a culinary journey that promises to evolve and captivate with time.
Mme M. xoxo
La rubrique de Madame Marie
1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
2 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
3 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
4 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
5 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.