The financial district has never lacked for good eating, but until recently most restaurants in the area had stuffy atmospheres. But the Chase, and its companion the Chase Fish and Oyster, are among a new wave of power-lunch and expense-account spots that is bringing looseness to the core. Both restaurants occupy the recently restored 116-year-old Dineen Building at Yonge and Temperance, and both are the work of Gianpiero Pugliese, the principal at Audax Architecture.
The Chase Fish and Oyster, casually outfitted in Hamptons-inspired nautical whites and blues with sails hanging from the rafters, offers a raucous good time on the ground floor. The main attraction, however, is the Chase, situated in a fifth-floor addition. Off the elevator, a stunning marble-lined hallway opens onto an elegant bar that is typically packed with fledgling suits schmoozing to Daft Punk and M83. With its circular banquettes, hushed lighting and bookshelves stocked with elegant knick-knacks like coral and tea tins, the room offers a gentle rebuke to the reigning aesthetic of reclaimed wood and repurposed picnic benches. Former Reds’ chef Michael Steh assures the menu is also unabashedly luxurious. Case in point: an excellent grilled rib-eye arrives with hot and cold tomatoes ($50); and a handkerchief pasta comes with crushed tomatoes, creamy cow’s milk curd and, naturally, generous hunks of poached lobster ($45). thechasetoronto.com
Originally published in our Winter 2013 issue.