A new resto-bar, SpeakEasy 21, opens in the heart of the Financial District. Located on the main floor of the Scotiabank Plaza right next to the Trump Hotel, the 4,000 square foot space offers a contemporary dining experience with relaxing casual vibes.
Chef Andrew Wilson, previously stationed at Canoe, Colborne Lane, and Origin North, serves up a menu of traditional pub fares with the sophistication found at high-end restaurants. Many items are tapas-style and varying daily entrees are also available. The menu comprises of dishes made from scratch using seasonal ingredients. My personal pick includes The Burger for its tender, buttery ground chuck patty.
With a name like SpeakEasy 21, libations are what’s in store and fortunately, the same attention to the food is also is paid to the drinks. The libation menu consists of 45 cocktails, both classic and unique blends, all carefully crafted with fresh cold-pressed juices made in-house. The SpeakEasy Caesar even features a homemade bouillabaisse. For the non-cocktail drinkers, there is also an extensive wine list consisting of 38 varieties.
Designed by the same team (Solid Design & Build Inc.) behind La Carnita and Valdez, the interior of SpeakEasy has received the distinctive treatment as its name would suggest. From lacquered wood decors to luxe leather chairs, the 1920’s art deco theme runs strong throughout the restaurant. With prohibition speakeasies as the basis for the design, contemporary elements like flat-screen TVs and funky lighting were added to the space to create a touch of modern sensibility. Near the south entrance, there are several 1920’s hotel-style phone booths for you to seek refuge should the crowd ever become too noisy for you to take a call. Patrons are also encouraged to “check their phones” in individual charging stations so they can mingle freely with libations in hand.
With its south entrance connected indoors to Scotiabank Plaza, the restaurant has a great location to Toronto’s underground PATH, providing convenient access to King subway station and the Financial District without having to tread through the bitter cold of winter and snow.
Featuring live music on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the ambience at SpeakEasy is casual and light, a contrast to its location in the stiff business quarter. An expansive 3,500 square foot patio is also set to open this May, just in time for the long-awaited summer.
With its unique interpretation between old and new, informal and refined, SpeakEasy 21 is an escape after a day’s hard work. If you’re looking high quality no-fuss food and drinks at a laid-back hangout, this is the place to check out.
Top Personal Food Picks:
Shrimp & Chorizo
Address: 21 Adelaide St. W. (Scotiabank Plaza)
Photos by Nick Lee except where indicated