When Nicki said, “Mark your calendar for the 3rd, we’re doing a review,” I thought little of the save the date. After all, going for dinners is part and parcel of working in an awesome position at an awesome company like View the Vibe… usually.
The restaurant in question, however, is not part of my personal downtown core. Nor does it merely push the bounds of the North-of-Bloor areas. It’s. In… Whitby! (Pause for dramatic effect.)
After a gruelling four hours in the car with Ms. Nicks – okay, just the other side of an hour, but same difference – we arrived at Chatterpaul’s in, and I’ll say it again, Whitby! Needless to say, shocked was I at the night that then befell us…
So Chatterpaul’s gets its moniker from Chef James (Chadman) Thomas-Chatterpaul. (Say that ten times fast.) He’s a Trinidad transplant who brought his culinary talents to Toronto’s suburbs – you know, Whitby sharing a similar climate to Trinidad and all, right? – and opened the resto du jour with Penny Johansen. [Note: She is quite possibly one of the most loving and adorable restaurant co-owners you’ll ever meet.]
Now on this particular Wednesday evening – the night wrought with fog from the schizophrenic weather – Chatterpaul’s was pumping. Though… where else in Whitby can you go for a four star meal? (Seriously, anyone know?) Perhaps it was Wednesday’s $6 martinis and $6 apps in the lounge? Perhaps it was the global dishes that feature island influences? Perhaps it’s just because Chatterpaul’s is actually amazing…
The decor is warming with a mix of contemporary and classic. There were first dates, relationship vets on their weekly night out, a group of gals hitting the town… and us. Two downtown Torontonians feeling far from home and empty of stomach.
Chatterpaul’s menu is anything but small. Approaching 70 dishes isn’t easy. But Chatterpaul himself yields classy dishes imbued with bold flavour profiles. Look at the duck breast I ordered, sitting high on a pile of pillowy pulled beef ravioli. Or the cedar planked crusted brie accompanied by wonton chips and a cranberry compote. Or Nicki’s Chilean sea bass atop plump chunks of lobster and portobello mushroom pasta medallions. Or the grand finale… the white chocolate creme brulee. (Excuse me while I drool with memories of meals gone by.)
The flavours coaxed out of every ingredient – some that aren’t typically pals in the fusion department – were wholly enriched. The plates aren’t delicate. Instead of creating these delicious recipes and serving them as though they’re jewelled eggs demanding small and precise display, Chef James serves up pretty dishes that still have the appeal of comfort… only elevated. Instead of cooking for other chefs and bloggers with cameras that love negative space, he cooks only for the love of the craft… and his famished guests.
Don’t take my words as dogma, watch the vlog to see Chatterpaul’s cunning culinary compositions for yourself…
And check out Chatterpaul’s Vibe video to see this gem of an establishment from an all-round perspective.