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Review: Brunch at Toca in the Ritz Carlton, Toronto


I flopped into my seat, barely able to lift the corners of my mouth to force a smile. My parents sat staring at me blankly. While I looked as though I had just come out of the hospital from an anesthesia induced coma, I had in fact just spent my morning at the Ritz Carlton’s “Spa My Blend by Clarins,” indulging in their signature facial which practically had me snoring. My therapist buffed my brow while rolling cool jasmine stones around the bags which sat hanging under my eyes. I had arrived to brunch very much in a daze.

It was noon on a Sunday and we were sitting in the breezy dining room at Toca gearing up for a decadent brunch. My last visit was this past summer for a short but sweet memorable lunch which featured cold strawberry gazpacho and suckling pig terrine.

My family has made “brunching” a Mothers Day tradition. For many years we’d spend our weekends at the cottage in Muskoka where the regions most lavish offering was served up at Grandview Resort in Huntsville (which sadly no longer exists). I loved the concept of brunch. Sampling through a table overflowing with the savoury and sweet but not feeling committed to ordering just one plate. Buffets, when offering the creme de la creme, provide youngsters an opportunity to try something new. It was while brunching that I first encountered eggs benedict, yorkshire pudding, chocolate cinnamon rolls and peanut butter pie. Our family brunch visits would always conclude with my parents rolling out of the parking lot in our minivan and hilariously chirping, “the diet starts tomorrow.”

The culinary team at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton prepares the cities most decadent brunch. At $79 per person (including all-inclusive Mimosa and Bellini bar) guests pay a pretty penny to indulge in the pretty on their plate. My buffet strategy: first tour around the space and make a mental note of each stations highlights. One can weave a story in their mind on how the meal will play out, always being sure to end the ordeal with just enough space to enjoy the plethora of sweets that far to many never make it to.

Brunch at the Ritz would include: a la minute omelette station, beef wellington, soup, salads, steaming silver trays home to plump house made sausage, crispy bacon and eggs benedict, a jaw dropping seafood station featuring sushi, lobster, oyster and prawn, oozing cheese board and a sweet shop which had been set up in a glass enclosed wine cellar.

I hadn’t seen my parents since October so eagerly caught them up on my recent trips to Maui, Hong Kong, Czech Republic and Namibia while we sipped latte’s and nibbled through plate after plate. Mom and dad commented, “this is the best brunch we are ever going to eat.” I winked and replied, “the diet starts tomorrow.”

Special thanks to the team at Ritz Carlton for hosting me as their guest.

#522 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

TOCA on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to “Review: Brunch at Toca in the Ritz Carlton, Toronto”

  1. Bill dobson
    January 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    The food was delicious and actually a bargain at $79. I would definely go to this brunch again. It was the best Sunday brunch I have ever experienced.

  2. Jamie S.
    February 3, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Smorgasbords always compel me to overeat, but that is exactly the point, right? As long as it’s not a weekly ritual, gorging on this lavish pleiad of courses should be strongly encouraged. Almost eighty bucks might sound like a lot for a pre-lunch feast, but looking at the pictures – incredibly well spent. There does not seem to be a single item on this brunch menu that I would avoid. Thanks for the review, the beauty procedure bit was fun to read!

    • dobbernation
      February 3, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      It includes bottomless bellinis you can’t go wrong!