We landed in Toronto mid-afternoon after an early morning wake-up in Dubai, a 14 hour flight and short snooze on the plane. Our strategy to combat the jet lag was to hit the ground running and stay awake until midnight. Short stop at the hotel to drop off the luggage and grab a shower then we headed down to the old apartment to see if we could scavenge any winter clothes from a few remaining boxes we had sitting in storage with the tenant. One pair of glorious winter boots later we made plans to meet Samer’s brother and his wife for dinner at the Harbour Sixty Steakhouse, just around the corner from our old place.
Harbour Sixty has been at this location for over a decade though the owners have been in the Toronto restaurant scene for much longer. Considered by many to be one of the best places to eat steak in Toronto, the location is right next to the Air Canada Centre at the historic Toronto Harbour Commission building. The spot always gets a large crowd – especially on a game night – and the case was true during our most recent visit.
The minute you enter the bar you appreciate the effort that went into the current design to create an upscale steakhouse ambience combining a modern decor with classic undertones. It’s what I would have done with the place if I had a million dollars. As we were early, we sat at the bar for a drink and some appetizers. They make a great martini and it’s worth stopping in for a few drinks alone if you are in the neighbourhood. I particularly liked the crispy bacon on offer at the bar instead of the typical nuts or chips.
We ordered two glasses of wine, some oysters and a shrimp cocktail to tide us over. The oysters were of good quality although I am more of a fan of large varieties and these were a bit on the small side. The shrimp cocktail on the other hand was unparalleled. Three shrimp, each about the size of my hand served with a classic cocktail sauce – possibly the best shrimp we’ve had anywhere. A short while later, our guests arrived and we were promptly seated at our table.
The menu is extensive, providing a lot of variety for the carnivores, herbivores and wine lovers at the table. As we are all big eaters a feeding frenzy ensued for the next hour that included a Village Salad (extra feta), Caesar Salad (I can still taste the garlic), more shrimp cocktail, 3 orders of filet mignon, one pan seared halibut, and 3-4 side dishes. We stopped short of ordering the fancy version of Kraft Dinner (truffled mac & cheese). The highlight was the Foie Gras Poutine which we tackled the second it arrived, only remembering to take a picture sometime later so apologies for the lack of presentation – but it was that good!
The rest of the food was of typically high standard but lacks the creativity we appreciate in other modern steakhouses, and the cuts of meat could be better selected for flavour. We did have a mishap with the preparation of one of the steaks during this visit. It was ordered medium and arrived well-done, so it was sent back and we were disappointed to find that it re-appeared blue and mooing 15 minutes later. However, the service staff were attentive and professional the entire time so whisked it away and comped us with a delicious dessert platter to make up for the mistake.
Though it can be on the expensive side, we make a stop at Harbour Sixty whenever we visit Toronto because this spot manages to hit many of the right notes for location, food, service and overall quality. It even has those fully automatic toilets in the restrooms which provide endless amusement.
Shrimp Cocktail – $36
Caeser – $13
Village Salad – $15
Filet (10 oz) – $49
Halibut – $38
Grilled Asparagus – $13
Sauteed Broccolini – $12
Sauteed Spinach – $13
Foie Gras Poutine – $40