Stately overlooking Toronto, the fifth floor elevator doors open to a sweeping view of the city’s Financial District. You have arrived at the Chase; one of Toronto’s richest dining experiences and a culinary must if you love phenomenal food and a casual yet elegant dining experience next to none.
The Chase has quickly become known as one Toronto’s hottest reservations. This modern luxury restaurant operated by the Chase Hospitality Group offers both small plates with big flavour as well as well-balanced entrées which utilize only the finest ingredients from around the world – coupled with simple and uncomplicated flavours which are simultaneously satisfying and unique.
Beef tartare with porcini mushroom, mustard smoked aioli and pickled shallot house focaccia; Fogo island cod with chanterelle corn; Asian inspired duck with sesame gai lan and pepper scallion pancakes; lamb adorned with medjool dates and jeweled rice tamarind; pan roasted seafood medley of lobster, scallops, oyster clams, mussels, shrimp and sea urchin butter and a dessert menu that could make a grown man cry.
The space features an expansive, award winning patio as well as an upscale dining area which is balanced by an open kitchen – allowing restaurant goers to enjoy the preparation show while enjoying what the show has prepared. And though the Chase resides within the dignified heritage structure of the Dineen Building, the Chase’s atmosphere is anything but traditional; managing to craft the perfect balance between high-class and comfortable, the restaurant is adorned by a crisp palette, unfussy furniture and modern, minimalist decorative details that complement the naturally lit dining room.
At the street-level, the Chase’s Maritime inspired Fish & Oyster can be found in the same building; this comfortable, social dining focused restaurant features a seafood driven menu and a more rustic, nautical vibe with oversized leather chairs, rustic wood tables and exposed brick – supplying a very different, yet complimenting, dining experience.
Leading the Chase kitchens is renowned Canadian chef Tyler Shedden. A British Columbia native, Shedden’s extensive culinary education includes time spent working amongst world famous chefs in a few of North America’s most lavish kitchens. Shedden has worked as the executive sous chef at Gordon Ramsay’s The London in New York City, as a sous chef at Chef Daniel Boulud’s New York restaurant DANIEL and was later hand selected by Boulud himself to work as the executive chef at Café Boulud in the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. These are only a selection of the prominent kitchens included in his diverse background before he joined with Chase Hospitality Group in order to help developed the brand’s culinary growth.
The restaurant continues to gather countless accolades in its youthful state – including being awarded as One of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2014 by Air Canada enRoute, a number 50 ranking on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list of 2015, Best New Restaurants in 2013 by the Globe and Mail and ranked as one of the 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada for 2017 by Open Table.
I spoke with Chase Hospitality Group’s president Steven Salm (SS) and Culinary Director Chef Tyler Shedden (TS) about the concept behind the Chase as well as Fish and Oyster and how they created a masterpiece within Toronto’s saturated foodie market.
What is the concept behind The Chase?
The Chase is meant to be as comfortable as your home, with the amenities and service you’d expect at a luxury restaurant. The design was inspired by New York penthouses and features floor to ceiling windows, marble floors and crystal chandeliers.
What is the concept behind having two separate restaurants in the same building – why not amalgamate?
The two experiences, The Chase and The Chase Fish and Oyster, speak to their environments. The main level of the Dineen building (where the Chase Fish and Oyster is located) has rustic and casual elements that work so well with the Oyster Bar experience. The 5th floor of the building (The Chase) was built in 2013, and has a cosmopolitan feel because it’s nestled among skyscrapers. We wanted to emphasize both spaces with complimentary restaurants.
How do the two restaurants flow together and balance each other? How do they offer different dining experiences?
The Chase Fish and Oyster’s menu focuses on local seafood and traditional oyster presentations. The raw bar is fun and interactive and the service is more casual. When guests dine at The Chase, they’ll notice that the service is refined and polished and the menu is contemporary American cuisine. The restaurants are unique and many of our guests frequent both!
So do they cater to different crowds?
Both restaurants cater to Toronto’s downtown business crowd as well as many out-of-town guests who are marking a special occasion.
Who designed the space?
Audax Architecture designed the restaurant [Toronto’s premier architecture and interior design firm with expertise in the luxury real estate market; providing their clients with a holistic approach to design, which incorporates both architecture and interiors. Clients include commercial and residential developers, celebrity chefs, restaurant and hospitality groups, and affluent homeowners.]
What makes [the chase and The Chase Fish and Oyster] unique in Toronto’s vast dining scene?
We are focused on sourcing local and sustainable products whenever possible. The Chase and The Chase Fish and Oyster use OceanWise seafood and responsibly farmed produce. Our menus provide offerings for all guests regardless of their dietary preferences.
Have you crafted separate menus for each restaurant?
Will the team currently in place focus more on one restaurant over the other? We have completely separate menus for the restaurants, they are two independent experiences.
What style of cooking do you gravitate towards? How did it help form the menu?
I love cooking with local and sustainable products. All of our restaurants have their own identity but the philosophy of using the best ingredients and constant innovation is present across the board.
Will the menu evolve and feature seasonal items?
The Chase menu changes each month and The Chase Fish and Oyster changes 4 times a year. We aim to use seasonal ingredients whenever possible and to deliver new options for our guests frequently.