15 York Street
Brought to you by the same makers of Toronto's most popular sports bar: Real Sports Bar & Grill, comes a rather elegant and sophisticated restaurant. E11even (@E11evenToronto) is located just outside of the Air Canada Center and provides a fine dining experience of North American cuisine. They have a lot to boast here. They have an exquisite menu, dazzling venue, relaxing summer patio, very friendly staff, and is home to Canada's only female Master sommelier . Even their washrooms are something they are proud about (more on this later)!
Bar Side of E11even.
Upon entering the restaurant, you are in the middle of the E11even bar. Dark wooden high chairs and tables, fully stocked bar, and several flat screens to satisfy the sports fans. The restaurant side is similar in decor, but instead is filled with dining tables and comfortable sofa booths.
The funniest thing about my night here happened when I was on my way to the washroom. I asked one of the waitresses where exactly they were located and as she escorted me in the correct direction, she casually mentions "E11even is ranked for having the best washrooms in North America. It's got heated seats, bum sprays, everything!" I smile and thank her, and then it made me think, "There is actually an organization out there that ranks washrooms in restaurants?!" None the less, the washrooms were in fact quite equipped and luxurious!
Instead of another boring booklet as a drink menu, E11even uses an Ipad as a medium to list out the drinks that they have. Pretty interactive way to look through all their beverages!
After ordering, the waiter brings a pan of bread and some butter. The bread resembles the light and buttery sweet dinner rolls from Chinese bakeries. I prefer this type of bread over traditional ones, so there was little difficulty finishing this pan. Had to hold myself back from asking for another!
Recommended by our friendly server as one of the most popular appetizers, we ordered a Kobe Meatbball to share. It's a huge ground beef meatball, moistened by a marinara sauce and crusted with parmesan cheese. So does a meatball made from premium kobe beef taste better than regular beef? You bet. You can definitely tell the difference in the texture and the way that the meatball just disappears in your mouth. However, at the end of the day I felt it is just a meatball. If you're looking for some kobe beef, go for the burgers.
Prime Burger ($28) -shaved prime rib and creamy horseradish
After checking in to the restaurant on foursquare, I got a flurry of tweets and messages to order a burger. So much so that it felt like it would be injustice not to do as instructed. Surely my obedience is awarded! This Prime Burger was nothing short of amazing. It's also a meat lovers treat. A thick juicy kobe beef patty topped off with a mound of shaved prime rib. Makes you wonder when meat was considered to be a topping? But I'm definitely not complaining. The fries were also delicious. They are slender and crispy, with a duck-fat buttery flavour. I could not stop eating these!
Blackened swordfish ($30) -creole rice and chimichurri
The Blackened Swordfish entree was less than enjoyable compared to the burger. It is almost as dry as it looks, and the creole rice was not much more impressive. All I could taste on the fish was pepper. Perhaps I'm just not a big fan of swordfish's natural texture to begin with. The chimichurri oil makes it a bit better, but overall not the strongest dish that E11even has to offer.
Warmed Nut Brownie -($11) -with vanilla ice cream
I almost didn't order this because I was full to the brim from dinner, but the devil in me insisted that I had to do it. It didn't take much effort to devour it though, because it was so good! The brownie was slightly crunchy on the outside, with a gooey chewy warm center. Really complimented the creamy smooth vanilla bean ice cream. Reminded me of Haagen Daaz ice cream, if not better. And be prepared for lots of pecans and hazelnuts!
So how do you ruin a good meal? You bring the bill in a little black envelop labelled "The Damage". Just kidding! In fact I thought it was humurous and well devised. Hey, it's not everyday that I have a smile after the bill comes! But really, the price tag was not too bad for the food that is served. Would definitely come back in the summer time to try out their patio!