So I find myself marching through a blizzard bound for Yorkville: grasping hold of my phone, spinning around in circles in front of the Park Hyatt trying to find Morton’s Steakhouse on Google Maps. Low and behold I spot a valet sign on the curb just north of the hotel and after making a quick left find the humble entrance to one of the neighbourhoods most adored Yorkville restaurants.
Morton’s co-founders Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch first met in Montreal when they worked at the Playboy Club. In 1978 the duo would open their first steakhouse concept in Chicago and now three decades later have a portfolio of 70 restaurants which consistently offer the creme de la creme in juicy beef and wine sloshed feasts.
Toronto has played home to Morton’s for nearly 15 years, initially opening when the Toronto International Film Festival called Yorkville its party playground. Adored by Hollywood celebrities, past visitors include Russell Crow, Michael Douglas, Robin Williams, Liam Neeson and Brad Pitt with his darling Angelina.
I was joined at the table by my good friend Melanie for a belated birthday celebration. We scooted across our booth and pulled up to a white linen adorned table, immediately fingering our way through the menu. She soothed herself over a very dirty martini while I warmed up with a bourbon manhattan. Over the next two hours we marched through an indulgent feast.
We started with nods to the ocean featuring crispy Jumbo Shrimp Alexander and fresh Tuna Tacos. Ordering a House Chopped Salad was our attempt at playing healthy before a fatty segue of Chicago Style Prime Bone-In Ribeye (medium rare) and Chicken Christopher with Garlic Beurre Blanc.
The “sides” here are nothing short of epic, best described as “hearty American portions.” Steaming bowls of creamed corn, spinach with mushroom sauté, bacon and onion Mac n Cheese and Chicago Style Horseradish Mashed Potatoes could quite easily feed an army.
As our steak knives were whisked away Melanie moaned over her bloat. I insisted we order a sweet finish, one needs to make a birthday wish after all. I was delighted to find a souffle menu (unheard of in the Toronto of today) and enjoyed the kitchens chocolate rendition in full bloom before waddling back into winter’s wonderland.
Very Dirty Martini
Jumbo Shrimp Alexander
Tuna Tacos with Avocado, Wakame and Pico de Gallo
Chopped House Salad
Chicago Style Prime Bone-In Ribeye
Chicken Christopher with Garlic Beurre Blanc
Sautéed Spinach and Button Mushrooms
Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese
Chicago Style Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Chocolate Souffle for Two