Brunch at The Drake Hotel in Toronto

I should start by exclaiming, “I can’t believe it took me four years to  brunch at The Drake Hotel.” Having lived in Toronto for some time it boggles the mind that I had not indulged in the boutique hotel’s infamous weekend feast. I arrived on a Sunday aft after biking from The Village to Queen West. The sun was shining and a light breeze helped make the cardio regime easy as pie.

The patio was packed with pretty people munching and crunching as an army of adorable servers decked out in navy blue twirled foamy lattes and heaving plates of hearty under the noses of hungover zombie hipsters. I was joined at the table by my friend Bryn. We both slowly woke up to the world while sharing a few of the kitchens signature dishes. My favourite was the addictive Chicken & Waffles featuring light and fluffy herbed waffle, maple drenched deep fried chicken, cherry preserve and sweet creme fraiche. Pretty Cobb Salad offers a a musty blue cheese moment and opportunity to check off “attempt healthy” on your weekends to do list. Of course one can’t state they’ve conquered brunch until they’ve sampled an Eggs Benny, and The Drake’s version swaps out English Muffin for a crispy cheddar scone (swoon).

After polishing off our plates on the patio we raced up to The Drake’s rooftop Sky Yard to sip through a trilogy of the bartenders favourite cocktails. There really is nothing more summer-y than sitting in the sun on top of The Drake, swirling straws and clash of cubes. The Basil Smash is a perfect refresh with a simple muddling of gin, basil and lemon while Hedonism II created by bartender Rudy Olsson offers a nice punch as rum, amaretto, cassis, lime and tiki bitters collide in one mouthful.

The Feast:

Basil Smash

gin, basil, lemon juice

Hedonism II

mount gay eclipse rum, amaretto, cassis, lime, bittermens elemakule tiki bitters

Seven Sages

cucumber gin, matcha green tea, honey syrup, muddled sage, lemon juice, seltzer water

Drake Benny

hand carved country ham, cheddar biscuit, 2 poached eggs, hollandaise, home fries

Drake Rancheros

2 poached eggs, black bean stew, arugula, queso fresco, tostadas

Chicken & Waffles

southern fried chicken thighs, herb waffle, niagara cherry jam, creme fraiche, maple syrup

Cobb Salad

ermite blue cheese, chicken, bacon, avocado, hard boiled egg, tomato, ranch dressing

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