Meetings Canada

Opinion

Don Appetit! Cineplex Rec Room — That’s Eatertainment!


Don Douloff, Food WriterLast year, Cineplex opened the first Toronto location of its Rec Room concept inside the historic Roundhouse, on Bremner Boulevard, in the shadow of the Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium and CN Tower.

The 40,000-sq.-ft. space comprises a sizeable video gaming area, two restaurants and a lounge/events space. As the movie exhibition business becomes ever more challenging, it makes perfect sense for Cineplex to diversify with this eatertainment concept.

On the food and beverage side, THREE10 restaurant dishes up casual fare inspired by Canadian flavours. We begin with roasted beet salad garnished with silky, herb-whipped goat ricotta, baby arugula and smoked almonds in sherry vinaigrette. Perfectly fresh rocket greens anchor another salad, this time jazzed with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Mac ’n’ cheese topped with lobster.

Dusted with herbs, moist roast chicken, its chicken jus fortified with white wine, is accessorized with creamy garlic mashed spuds. Brining, and skilled seasoning, render a fat, 10-ounce pork chop wonderfully moist and flavourful. Further animating the chop is tangy red cabbage, crisp house-made slaw and superbly tender potatoes (I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a potato dish this much!) Cabernet sauce animates juicy bone-in rib steak.

Rich and creamy mac ’n’ cheese is generously topped with chunks of tender butter-poached lobster, a match made in culinary heaven!

Save room for the terrific desserts: Served warm, in a skillet, generous bumbleberry cobbler, loaded with acres of brightly flavoured fruit tucked underneath a homey and irresistible cinnamon oat crumble crust, is topped with a baseball-sized scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I finish with nana’s raisin pecan butter tarts — made from “nana’s top secret family recipe.” Nana really brings it — flaky, delicate pastry stuffed with not-too-sweet filling speckled with pecans and raisins. Each tart is topped with a dab of vanilla ice cream. Superb!

Raisin pecan butter tarts.

All of this unfolds in a sprawling, boisterous, fun space outfitted with sky-high ceilings, exposed brick, wood beams, steel girders and flooded with plenty of natural light.

Group options include a full Rec Room venue buyout accommodating 1,200 people; The Hall (full back area including pool tables and lounge/couch area) accommodating 426, cocktail-style and 228, seated. The Hall offers three private rooms (called Dens) that accommodate 15, cocktail-style and 15, seated
All three Dens combined accommodate 60, cocktail-style and 47, seated.

— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 30 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,400 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.



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