The Fifth Grill’s terrace is among the lovelier patios in downtown Toronto. Located on the fifth floor of the restaurant’s Entertainment District complex, the terrace overlooks the downtown cityscape and exudes the feel of a sophisticated Muskoka cottage deck: white tablecloths; white-linen covers cloaking soft, high-backed seating; hardwood floors; and, overhead, a wooden roof to protect against summer rain.
Helming the stoves is executive chef Brad Livergant, who joined the restaurant about two and a half years ago and whose style is best described as Canadiana, capitalizing on seasonal ingredients and combining rustic elements with big-city flavours.
Take his charcuterie board. It’s laden with Niagara prosciutto, grain mustard, crisp cornichons, Benedictine blue cheese and crab salad, presented, charmingly, on a pig-shaped wooden platter.
Chef sends out rich and silky foie gras terrine, along with seared fresh foie gras partnered with pineapple gastrique. There’s a perfect salad of sugar-sweet heirloom tomatoes, sumptuous burrata cheese and pickled cipolline onions the size of small olives.
Ricotta gnocchi, soft and rich, sit in a pool of butter and are showered in grated parmesan.
Then the main event: a platter groaning with three meats: venison with bordelaise sauce; pork with apples and, the best of the bunch, rosy slices of duck with sweet/tart cranberries.
Providing delicious support are creamy chive-spun potatoes and meaty, earthy mushrooms sautéed with scads of garlic and herbs.
Things end strongly with a poundcake-anchored strawberry shortcake and a study in chocolate: dark and rich ganache; light-chocolate mousse; airy cake and rich ice cream.
Capable of hosting cocktail parties, sit-down dinners and stand-up tasting dinners, the Fifth Grill & Terrace is available for corporate events, opening parties, seminars and holiday events. For larger-capacity events, the Grill & Terrace can be used in conjunction with the street-level Fifth Social Club and Cabin Five.
Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued almost 1,000 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.