Serving up a Japanese-inspired tasting and fine dining menu with a Nordic twist
Frilu, which is short for “friluftsliv” Norwegian for free air life, opened their doors this June 2018 in the far north end of Yonge St above Toronto. Daring, I know. Although, don’t let that discourage you. This small zen modern 28-seat restaurant, has raised the bar for uptown dining experiences. Despite the distance, this seems to be a new trend. Especially with restaurants like The Pearl Morisette recently taking first place at the Canada’s Best New Restaurants Awards presented by Air Canada in 2018. Which seem to be taking the approach of making their restaurants a destination just outside the city for guests to travel to for a new experience.
Frilu restaurant serves up a tasting menu experience like none other I’ve tried before. Creatively changing the menu seasonally to keep things “fresh” — pun intended. Not just any menu, one that not only tastes great, but looks incredible!
Think instagramable, and explodes with flavour in your mouth… then scrap all of that and prepare to be amazed. You want to be walking into it with a clean slate — and full powered cellphone battery too. Although, if you have the new Huawei Mate P20 Pro, you have nothing to worry, and can possibly resurrect you’re guests phone once they die too. Sorry, I had to add, I’m obsessed — and btw the majority of the shots included here were shot with it.
The $95 10-course tasting menu, and worth every penny, is a creatively crafted fusion between Japanese kaiseki and modern Nordic style food. Not surprising because the owner of Frilu restaurant, chef John-Vincent Troiano, spent 3-years of his earlier career training under Toronto Japanese master chef Masaki Hashimoto, followed by an apprenticeship at a Nordic restaurant in Copenhagen (Noma).
If you’re looking for the smoke and mirrors, you ain’t going to find it here. Simple classics, is how I would describe it. Also offering a great alcoholic ($60) and non-alcoholic ($30) drink pairing option for the tasting menu — which I highly recommend. The pairings really did go well with each course, and in most cases brought out the flavours in each dish. Which is to be expected.
Frilu has a very zen, minimalistic and modern Scandinavian design look to it. The copper finished light fixtures are definitely a great touch, and the long bold bar really ads a nice clean structure to the room — and yes, that is real moss along the back wall. Simple yet lush design. But the plating, mind boggling. I mean, one course even came out laid out on a bed of hay. Beautifully, I should add.
Overall, it has the perfect date night VIBE. The kind of place I would take a date I was trying to impress, trying to get out of the dog house, or a celebratory dinner with a special someone. Maybe even if I was trying to wow my parents or friend who’s in town and into these types of culinary experiences. If you’re looking for comfort or home cooked food. This isn’t it. I might add though, that it’s also not pretentious or stuck up vibe, as some would describe most fine dining restaurants.
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There was a great mixed crowd in the room. Some looked nervous, maybe on a first date. Others laughed as they cheers… and others looked like regulars that walk over to check out the new seasonal menu (ok yes not a guess, we overheard that scenario at the table next to us).
Location: 7713 Yonge St, Thornhill, ON L3T 2C4
Contact: 289.597.8867, firstname.lastname@example.org , Website
Crowd: Mixed, Date Night
Category: Fine Dining
Delivery: Not Available
Reservations: Open Table
Have you been? Let us know what you think below, and tag us in your photos, use #TorontoVIBE, or slip them into our DMs @ViewtheVIBE for a chance to be featured online and on our social.
Header Video: Filmed and produced by Sean Carson and Jon Raciunas from Composite Films.
The perfect date night VIBE. The kind of place I would take a date I was trying to impress, get out of the dog house, or celebratory dinner with a special someone. Maybe even if I was trying to wow my parents or friend who’s in town and into these types of culinary experiences. If you’re looking for comfort or home cooked food. This isn’t it.