Toronto, ON M5V 1M5
Lavelle is a new oasis to escape to when Toronto issues its severe heat warnings. It is located on the rooftop of the 629 King Residences, a FREED Developments project at King and Bathurst.
Naturally, the open-air spaces are busiest on sunny days (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)
The 16,000 square foot space is the newest venture by Trademark Hospitality Inc., the brainchild of industry veteran Reza Abedi (Parcae, Wildflower) and developer Peter Freed. The space has a pool bar, rooftop restaurant, bar and lounge.
The name draws inspiration from words in different languages that mean everything from happiness, beautiful, blessed to cleansed. It is an “urban playground, a place to lose yourself in à la St. Tropez and Monaco,” says Abedi.
Lavelle has three pools in total, the two outer ones are shallow enough to allow for bar service and open to everyone; for the serious swimmers, you will have to pay a $200 annual membership fee for exclusive access to the deeper pool in the middle.
Cabanas are available for larger parties and come with a bottle-service price tag that ranges from a $750 - $2,000 bottle depending on the day of the week. Otherwise, there is a healthy offering of 2-oz. cocktails ranging from $15-$18 such as the Watermelon Cresta ($18) crafted with Remy, Cointreau, fresh watermelon and lemon juice.
Ontario lamb saddle (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)
There are two bars: one attached to the dining room and another on the far side adjacent to the garden with a great view of the CN Tower. The latter also doubles as a fresh juice bar and house-made ice cream parlor with flavors of the boozy and traditional variety. The spiked ones are inspired by cocktails like the White Russian ($6) or the Le Grand Fizz Sorbet ($9) which is made with Grey Goose, just one of the two exclusive partnerships that Lavelle has (the other is Remy Martin).
Romain Avril (La Société, Colborne Lane) oversees the kitchen and is swapping his traditional French cuisine for a modern French menu that he calls “more approachable,” but also a place where you can “enjoy and indulge in fine dining.”
The restaurant has snack, brunch, lunch and dinner menus with more quick-service, light and approachable dishes offered up before the sun goes down and refined, sophisticated options for dinner. The snack menu, which is served at the pool and the bar is a list of elevated bar bites such as Charred Prawns ($18.50) on a sheet of rice paper and mango-coconut dip and Truffle Mac & Cheese ($12).
Romain’s pride and joy is his signature dish, the Tuna Tartare ($22) which is the result of years of tweaking and infused with Asian flavours such as soy dressing, daikon, dehydrated congee sesame cracker, pickled ginger and cilantro. Romain actually majored in Cantonese/French cuisine in culinary school which explains the sprinklings of Asian flavours in his dishes.
Lavelle's Herb-Crusted Ontario Lamb Saddle ($34) is the true embodiment of art mimicking life; in this case life being the rooftop garden which will offer free yoga classes in the morning hours. The plate is adorned with polenta fries, pickled plums, charred baby onions and the herb purslane.
Strawberry Fields from the dessert menu (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)
Dessert comes in the form of Strawberry Fields ($12); a playful presentation of textures in the form of a fresh and dehydrated pistachio sponge cake, housemade Strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, strawberry fruit leather and a pistachio brittle.
Published on: Jul 21, 2016