On June 10th, it was a special treat to be whisked away to the heart of Kleinburg, Ontario to get a peek at the newly opened XXI Chophouse. Located on the historic grounds of The Doctor’s House, this modern steakhouse is the result of a $4 million renovation, and it shows.
The interiors exude luxury and fine dining. There are walls that are clad in large marble tiles. There are custom cut mirrors in the shape of XXI. Soft materials and wood, whose warmth is juxtaposed with leathers and metals, are found everywhere. Light fixtures are contemporary in style; very clean and simple. The restaurant definitely has a modern aesthetic, while managing to remain cozy and inviting. The original wooden beams of the building were preserved and there are equine-themed accents – nods that honour the time when the building served as a stable.
Before dinner began, we had a few moments to tour the surroundings. The restaurant seats 90 people, but the outdoor patio can hold 300 people. The beautiful grounds of The Doctor’s House are where hundreds of couples have tied the knot. It’s a perfect site for weddings, with a chapel and six banquet rooms available. The lawns are beautifully manicured and the vegetation was particularly vibrant that day, still glistening from the rain that afternoon.
We then proceeded to a sun-drenched room where we would have our dinner. The menu is the creation of Executive Chef Sam Khalil, and features fine seafood, and local, organic, hormone-free meats from Paradise Farms. We began with an impressive shellfish platter, with Maine lobster, Alaskan King crab, shrimp, and oysters. Then it was on to a sampling portion of five different starters, my favourite of which was the crab cake. It was light, moist on the inside, and crisp on the outside, and the celery root applesauce and avocado dressing were the perfect accompaniments. The caprese salad came next. It was delicately plated with alternating slices of heirloom tomato and bufala mozzarella; it too was delicious.
A quintet of sides then arrived. They were all very flavourful, especially the sautéed mushrooms and the mashed potatoes, whose lobster component came through strongly. Following immediately after, the stars of the evening were served – the steaks. We had a choice of either the filet mignon and the NY striploin. Both of these cuts delivered on expectations. The classic striploin was succulent and well seasoned, and the 55-day dry aged filet mignon was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and comes out as my favourite of the two. Interesting fact – all of the meats at XXI Chophouse are actually aged in house.
We ended our meal with mini donuts. Three dipping sauces came with the dessert – salty caramel, peanut creme anglaise, and hazelnut. These were a great way to cap off the evening. Other options on the dessert menu include red velvet cake, alunga mousse, creme brûlée, tiramisu, and cheese platter. Along with our meal, we enjoyed wine from the vast selection available at XXI Chophouse, proudly displayed in the dining room.
The Graci family has owned and operated The Doctor’s House for 14 years, and XXI Chophouse is the passion project of the the next generation of Gracis, brothers Ben and Marc. The family invites diners to come and experience high-end dining in historic Kleinburg at their beautiful new restaurant. With delicious food and a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, and at only 45 minutes from downtown Toronto, XXI Chophouse is worthwhile visit. XXI Chophouse is located at 21 Nashville Rd at The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg, Ontario. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 12-3pm for lunch and 5:30-11pm for dinner.
Photos by John Tan