Arthur’s Restaurant emulates New York's fine dining with a dash of nostalgia
The latest venture by Chase Hospitality Group now open at Yonge and St. Clair
Shrimp & avocado ($16.95) IMAGE: MADDIE LEE
Arthur’s Restaurant brings some mid-century Manhattan flair to Yonge and St. Clair. It offers updated takes on classic American dishes for lunch and dinner, plus a weekend brunch stacked with classic Jewish brunch items and a cosy bar and lounge area in the back.
Arthur’s is the latest venture from the Chase Hospitality Group, well-known for downtown spots like The Chase, Planta and Kasa Moto. They conceived the restaurant with the local residents in mind.
“We wanted to bring a little bit of the downtown lifestyle up to Yonge and St. Clair,” Chase Hospitality Group president Steven Salm explains, “and the concept is reminiscent of a time when a lot of this community was growing up and starting their professional lives.”
The front dining room is elegantly appointed in true old-school style (think champagne ice buckets dotted throughout the room), with a spectacular ceiling centerpiece made to resemble the cut-crystal base of a drinking glass. For a more casual vibe, the back-room bar has leather-upholstered booths, sports games on the TV and Motown on the stereo.
But the most notable of the nostalgic decor is the collection of vintage ephemera — postcards, prints, school report cards — that hang in frames through the hallway and the bar area. These belong to the eponymous Arthur, Salm’s late father, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to New York during the war. As Salm recalls, “Our most amazing, cherished moments as a family were over food.”
Endive & grapefruit ($15.05)
So although the menu aims to stick to classic New York fare — with a little Italian and a little French — its real source of inspiration is the taste memories of Salm and chef Tyler Shedden, a fellow American expat. The resulting dishes aren’t recreations but tributes, with '80s staples like endive and avocado salad ($15.05) updated for modern palates.
Tuna tartare ($22.95)
And unlike the butter and meat-rich meals one imagines the wolves of Wall Street tossing back, dinner at Arthur’s goes down surprisingly lightly, and includes an array of herbivore-friendly options. Even a plate-sized veal chop milanese ($30.95) is given a lift with radicchio leaves and herb-covered cherry tomatoes.
Veal chop ($30.95)
Indulgence has been reserved for dessert. Baba au rhum (one of Shedden’s all-time favourites) leans heavy on the rum, serving up a spongy cake topped with pineapple chunks and lime chantilly cream ($13.95). And, of course, there’s a New York-style caramel cheesecake, sprinkled with freeze-dried passionfruit for a tart contrast ($13.95).
New York cheesecake ($13.95)
The drinks menu is a history lesson in classic cocktails, featuring martinis and Manhattans alongside Prohibition-era recipes like the Clover Club ($17). They’ll be able to be enjoyed from the 60-seater rooftop terrace that opens later this year, overlooking the city from a comfortable midtown view.
North Shore ($19)
Arthur's Restaurant, 12 St Clair Ave. E., 647-348-7000