Summer Menu Tasting at The Drake Hotel Toronto


By: Shelby Morrison

Downtown Toronto can be quite fast-paced, so it’s always pleasurable to enjoy the summer sun on a relaxing patio. The Drake Hotel Toronto is more than just a boutique hotel; it is a wonderful destination for food and drinks. Their rooftop, the Sky Yard is a fabulous escape from the city below.

The colourful, bright, rustic, yet chic patio is the perfect place to enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks. Complete with a full bar and a variety of different seating styles, the Sky Yard is the perfect little getaway.


The Drake Hotel Toronto has just launched a new summer menu, along with their new bottle service, Drink Well, which I was fortunate enough to sample. Instead of the usual bottle service where they toss us a bottle of Grey Goose and a jug of cranberry juice, the Drake has decided to take it up a notch. Since it is not a club, they felt that a more relaxed, interactive approach to bottle service was just what they needed.

When calling to book your Drink Well reservation, you will then be able to choose which cocktail you would like to feature. The drinks on offer are Moscow Mule, Mojito, Gin ‘n’ Tonic, Dark ‘n’ Stormy, and an Old Fashioned, along with a variety of beer, wine and champagne. When you arrive, you will be assigned a mixologist who will teach you how to concoct the drinks, in which you can then make yourself all night long. Each table will also be provided with all the necessary ingredients, glasses, ice, garnishes, and a recipe.


On this evening, I sampled a Moscow Mule (one of my favourite drinks!), and a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. We first were shown how to make each drink by a mixologist, and then had the chance to mix up our own.

As for the food, the new summer menu at The Drake Hotel Toronto was quite delicious. I had the opportunity to try a variety of light, fresh dishes.


The sushi on offer was a delicious lobster tempura roll, as well as a unagi roll which included BBQ eel, avocado, and kimchi lime sauce.


Next was albacore tuna ceviche, which was served on a taro chip, topped with avocado and charred scallion puree, and ancho chilli oil. The freshness of the tuna paired perfectly with the creamy avocado and crunchy chip.


Pan seared pickerel was the next dish, which was served alongside a salad of fennel, arugula, pickled cipollini onions, white anchovies, with sourdough croutons and a sherry vinaigrette. This dish was very light, refreshing and full of flavour.


Up next was the beet and blue cheese salad topped with raspberries, toasted sunflower seeds, watercress and avocado cream. Although I am not a blue cheese fan myself, the sweetness of the dish was very pleasant.


Grilled peach was then combined with grilled corn and placed on top of a corn tortilla chip. This unexpected combination was the perfect pairing of sweet and savoury.

One more dish was passed around before dessert, which was a goat cheese and roasted vegetable crostini. It was a simple, yet tasty addition to all the deliciousness happening on the menu at The Drake Hotel Toronto.


As for dessert, strawberry baklava was on offer. I was actually very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this uncommon combination.

For a relaxed, yet interactive and enjoyable evening, visit the Drake Sky Yard at The Drake Hotel Toronto and try out their Drink Well bottle service! You are sure to learn a thing or two about cocktails while sipping on the fruits of your labor.

— Shelby Morrison