Once in a blue moon, you come across a restaurant that blows your mind.
Every forkful that passes your lips surprises you with its depth of flavour, and each sip of your cocktail takes you to another place.
Toronto just got one of these special places. Nestled into the Scotia Plaza—tucked behind royal blue velvet curtains—is CRU.
Here, you’re both a sophisticated adult and a child at play.
Now soft-open, the new spot will be celebrating its Grand Opening on February 28. And from the vibe of the space to the vast and flavourful menu, there’s plenty to anticipate ahead of your first visit.
Dim lighting and brass tones complement botanical wall art that looks fluid, almost like it’s floating through water. With the blue curtains and the peek of the kitchen’s aqua wall, there’s something undeniably Atlantis about the whole atmosphere.
To keep with the under-the-sea theme, one of the spot’s signature starters is a plate of delightful caviar donuts.
Glazed with creme fraiche and topped with radish and chives, these scrumptious bites of glory are just a snapshot of the creativity to come.
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Enter: charcuterie and cocktails. Chorizo, rabbit pâté, pickled vegetables and grainy mustard are served alongside house-made sourdough, making for ideal pickings to share amongst friends between sips.
The drinks fuse consumables with art.
An Old Fashioned made with smoked whiskey and orange offers a summer night’s fresh take on a taste you know and love. And the Regards Kyoto, blending the flavours of sake, mint, honey and lavender, is like magic.
Starters and small plates include veggie-forward options like the grilled eggplant with miso glaze shisho and soy nuts.
For a particularly textural experience, opt for the smoked salmon and quail eggs. Topped with cream cheese, fresh dill and everything bagel crumble, it’s a deconstructed version of your favourite open-faced sandwich.
While all the starters are splendid, here’s hoping you haven’t stuffed yourself. Because the mains are fresh, varied, and to-die-for.
Those who prefer a vegetable-focused meal can opt for beautifully braised artichokes, served with shallots, lemon and mustard.
If you want to lean back into the ocean-theme, the Arctic char is an excellent bet. Sweet potato, charred green onion and chimichurri enhance the flavours of the fish, never drowning them out.
For those craving something rich, the aged duck breast is a given. Ensure there’s a smidge of pumpkin seed crumble on every bite, and never take the confit squash for granted. It’s got more to offer than you might expect a vegetable could.
And while every part of the menu is a creative space, dessert is a true playground.
You may not have known that crème brûlée could be improved with the infusion of mango and dusting of dehydrated raspberries, but don’t beat yourself up.
Embrace the flavours and savour every second of this learning experience. You’ll remember for next time.
Take in a mini galette infused with gooey, creamy, rich caramel. Adorned with hazelnut ice cream, gilded with flakes of gold, you’ll know that this is more than a dessert. It’s a stroke of genius.
And ‘genius’ might be the best way to describe a restaurant that occupies space in a bustling, business-oriented neighbourhood and offers a menu that’s quite the opposite.
While every item on offer is sophisticated, nothing feels rushed, stressed out, or — heaven forbid — stiff.
Instead, every bite you take at CRU reminds you of what food, and the person eating it, has the potential to be. Adventurous, artistic and fun.
Address: 100 Yonge Street, Suite 100
Grand opening: February 28 from 5 pm