First Look: Drake One Fifty, the Financial District’s much-anticipated new it spot
Slow-roasted lamb with Greek yogurt, green beans, eggplant, potatoes and chili paste, $27 (Images: Natalie Swiercz)
Drake One Fifty — The Drake Hotel’s first standalone restaurant expansion — offers Bay Street broker types and opera-bound art patrons a reprieve from the stuffy eateries that plague the Financial District.
The 6,000 square-foot room, previously occupied by a bank, has been completely gutted and reworked by British designer Martin Brudnizki. He even took out the York Street-facing wall and installed windows reminiscent of a Brooklyn warehouse. While Drake One Fifty is its own entity, there are a few design nods to its progenitor — including art installations, a mini Drake General Store, a vintage-style photo booth and a small corner stage that will host DJs and acoustic sets.
The room can accommodate up to 180 people, and we expect it to get raucous around the marble bar. Art installations by Douglas Coupland and Micah Lexier are almost lost amongst the surrounding eye candy. There are motley banquettes in a range of autumnal hues; a waggish pergola by the Brothers Dressler; cork ceiling and handmade Moroccan tiles; all of which combine to give the space a Tim Burton-meets-Finn Juhl charm.
The menu is still evolving, but we got a sneak peak of what’s to come.
Under the sharing section of the menu, there is a mammoth côte de boeuf ($90) that could comfortably feed a couple of cave men (or three peckish ballet-goers). The raw section of the menu includes a scallop crudo ($17) and a two-tiered seafood platter ($150) that comes with oysters, clams, squid, mussels, shrimp and lobster, although it’s subject to change depending on what’s in season. Mains include homey dishes like ricotta gnocchi ($19, based on a recipe handed down to executive chef Ted Corrado from his grandmother) and a salt cod vichyssoise ($12).
For those who thought the original Drake was too far away for a quick quaff, this down-downtown outpost also offers a selection of cocktails like the French 75 (Hennessy V.S. cognac, lemon juice, sugar and Prosecco, $14) and the Basil Smash (Beefeater, muddled basil, simple syrup and lemon juice, garnished with a slapped basil leaf, $12).
Drake One Fifty is slated to officially open next week, and we predict that it will be perfect for power lunches, post-work cinq à septs and business dinners.
Drake One Fifty, 150 York St., 416-363-6150