I’m convinced that brunch is the ideal meal. With all the comforts of breakfast, but just a tad later in the day to accommodate the laziness of weekend mornings, it really is the best of both worlds. Often paired with a boozy mimosa and great company, the breakfast-for-lunch vibe is iconic and no less so when it’s served at The Drake Hotel.
Let me start off by saying that The Drake Hotel is a place that I’d love to spend a night at. Each of the rooms is uniquely decorated and curated with different contemporary art. Plus, the boutique hotel is a short walk away from just about anything you’re looking for in the city. But that’s not all, The Drake also boasts a nightclub, and a lobby bar, along with a restaurant overlooking Queen Street that’s serving up some tasting things—brunch included.
Meeting the 11 a.m. cut-off, my date and I strolled in at the perfect time. Ready for our leisurely breakfast, we began with orange juices and a round of zesty Drake Caesars that were crafted using a local Bloody Mary mix from Carrol & Co. and a hint of horseradish to liven things up. Though I’m not a huge Caesar stan, I will admit that they are starting to grow on me. And besides, tomato juice has loads of antioxidants, right?
While we had a full day of eating to be done later that day, that didn’t stop us from enjoying a couple of menu items like the smoked salmon bagel and the sweet potato and kale hash. But, the thing about The Drake is to never expect the ordinary.
No better morning companion than a bagel, The Drake’s version uses smoked salmon that they’ve cured in vodka and then smoked with applewood chips. In addition to delicately placed smoked salmon filets, the bagel is also dotted with punchy green capers, slices of purple onion, a sprinkle of dill and—of course—a good smear of cream cheese. And to keep things fresh, a leafy green side salad drizzled with champagne vinaigrette. Fresh, nourishing and a bit bougie, this was a hit!
The hash was also amazing. A more-is-more sort of dish, it consisted of a fried egg served on a bed of crumbled chorizo, roasted sweet potatoes, and sautéed kale. Plus, it was topped with pico de gallo and a dollop of guacamole for extra deliciousness. I’m a sucker for a hash since it tends to combine all sorts of breakfast staples (eggs, starch, protein, etc.) into one well-orchestrated plate, and this hash was no exception. I loved the spice and saltiness from the chorizo contrasted with the bright flavours of the pico.
While I wish we could have ordered more, I took stock of two things I’d liked to try during my next visit: the wild blueberry mini scones with whipped honey butter, and the breakfast martini. What makes it a breakfast martini you ask? A spoonful of gooseberry marmalade—yum!
Aside from breakfast and brunch, the restaurant also has a lunch, dinner and snack menu. Of course, the famous Drake Burger is also something I’d love to taste given the chance. Receiving lots of hype, the burger starts with a juicy chuck and brisket beef patty, and is topped with bacon, onion, cheddar, pickles and Drake sauce. Oh, and it comes with a side of fancy fries that are dressed with shaved pecorino and truffle shards. Does that not sound heavenly?
Bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed dining at The Drake Hotel. If brunch is any indication of how great the restaurant is, then I’m hooked. Reasonably priced given its chic locale and extraordinary offerings, it's a must-try. A centre for arts and culture, I’m convinced that The Drake is also the place to be if you enjoy food! The chef’s vision comes across just as artful and on brand with the establishment and that’s pretty special. Will you be headed to brunch at The Drake Hotel anytime soon?