Judging from the sprawl of the 15,200-sq-ft. Cactus Club Cafe that just opened in the First Canadian Place, starting small is not an option for the West coast chain’s eastern flagship location. Helmed by celebrity chef Rob Feenie, the only Canadian Iron Chef champion, the new venue, in the heart of the Financial District, is the 28th location for the chain, it’s first in Toronto. The globally inspired menu features Feenie’s signature dishes as well as items created just for Toronto, such as veal and porcini pappardelle and a beef duo of double-braised short ribs and tenderloin steak.
Billing itself as three dining concepts in one, the multi-storey venue is enormous at 500 seats. Slatted wood – lots of it – and high-end curated pop art (we’re talking Andy Warhol and Mr. Brainwash), plus unique lighting fixtures, serve up a sleek sophisticated setting. Downstairs is the main bar. A retractable roof brings The Deck, the third-floor patio, with its own bar and kitchen, into year-round play. The Rob Feenie Dining Room and Lounge offers a private salon for groups of 10 or more. The restaurant is currently putting the final touches on event hosting details.