Yorkville’s distinguished comic-book-meets-sophistication restaurant elevates their state-of-the-art dining experience with additional menu items in their second year running. A guest’s experience at “Figures” is sparked with curiosity and adventure; upon entering the lobby of the speakeasy, one is greeted with a glass-encased room plastered with comics and iconic cartoons. Access to the restaurant beyond the hidden door becomes an act of discovery, as if one is revealed to the secret headquarters of a hero. The magic doesn’t end there, where the interior of the comfortable 2000 square foot restaurant is decorated like a gallery saluting to animated/movie classics, and superheroes to marvel at.
Despite the nostalgic cartoon representations, Figures pulls in an adult crowd with a Pac-man ceiling-lined bar and lounge-like ambiance. Creative drinks play on contemporary themes from hit shows, such as the “Power of Friendship”, where gummy bears sit on an island of cotton candy followed by ‘belly magic’; a tropical ciroc concoction turns the drink blue. Johnny Blaze is another cocktail that pulls a smoky twist on an Old Fashioned. The rosemary syrup adds a dimension of sweetness to it.
With the changing of the seasons, a more elaborate menu will follow to give other ingredients their time to shine. Amongst coffee balsamic caprese, minty creamed asparagus, and lobster ravioli, even the starters are enchanting. “Trio of Cauliflower” is done uniquely 3-ways: charred, pickled, and fried with buttermilk. The cauliflower sits on a bed of avocado mousse complete with roasted garlic and poblano. For a more indulgent option, the “A&W” fried chicken bites incorporates lush roquefort crème frâiche, and De Arbol chili vinaigrette as dipping sauces. Let’s not forget about the “Tartare”, a smokey show-stopper that tastes just as good as it looks. USDA prime beef tenderloin is marinated with Remy Martin and parmigiano churro with a quail egg nestled inside.
All the mains sound equally phenomenal, including the “Grilled Branzino”, which is filleted beautifully next to a caviar, couscous, summer squash, and smoked eggplant medley. A touch of salsa verde adds a tangy finish to the tender fish.
The braised “Red Stripe” Slow Cooked Oxtail is arranged neatly under crisp plantains and heirloom carrots. This dish encompasses fall with its warm tones and hearty flavours. Freshness in the “Poke” is found in the organic salmon. One can make their own scallion flatbread taco using the stacked ingredients; an array of soft and crisp textures including wakame, edamame, and fried taro; complete with a flavourful togarashi mayo.
In honouring such a momentous dinner at Figures, the “Smores” dessert is bound to bring back childhood and camping memories. A table-side fireplace is arranged so guests can build their own masterpieces. The deconstructed set arranges graham cookies, homemade lychee marshmallows, and chocolates that resemble characters one may be familiar with.
Owners, Patrick and Nader Marzouk of & Company Resto Bar bring out the inner geek in all of us by allowing us to escape to a relaxing, yet enticing atmosphere. Overall, the concept is upscale, but not pretentious, as noted in their interior; a youthful flair amidst dark wooden tones regal seating. Additionally, their new edible works of art have evolved in portions and in presentation to represent the maturation of their restaurant.
So assemble your comic book squad and be the protagonist of your own meal. They are also the first Toronto restaurant to accept Bitcoin as payment.
Photos by Nick Lee