The first Canadian outpost of the eponymous steak empire STK may have opened last fall, but with the recent launch of a new spring menu, STK is in its prime, setting Yorkville ablaze with its juicy offerings.
Helmed by Chef Tommy McHugh, a proud Torontonian, who trained at Michelin rated restaurants in the UK and most recently at Trump Tower and Splendido in Toronto, STK is known for its mind-blowing beef, and Tommy takes that mission seriously. Cooking is in his blood – he’s a third generation chef – and if that’s not enough, his sister-in-law happens to be none other than Nadege Nourian. One can only imagine what their Christmas dinner looks like.
Scuttling up the sleek Yorkville Avenue entryway, soaring flights of stairs make you feel like you’ve arrived, a hallmark of Yorkville ethos. Modern and yet somehow primal, a sleek marble bar is juxtaposed against enormous bull horns, while weaves of rib-like structures hang overhead anchoring it all together. Designed by DesignAgency, the room boasts over 200 seats, and a private dining room and lounge. It’s equal parts meat locker and meat market; the lounge and bar area is crammed with suits and pretty things, dropping money for cocktails like the copper lined STK Mule ($15), or the Fake it For Now ($15), with tequila, St Germain and watermelon, all while a nearby DJ drops a safe mix of house music backed by throwback classics.
Sitting in the dining area affords views of the ensuing hookups. Service is earnest and friendly, and snagging a table also means you score a warm loaf of blue cheese bread with chive oil- you want this bread so get that table.
Being a corporate franchise means consistency is key, so the steak that your Vegas bound pals are Instagramming is the same USDA Prime 45 day aged slab of beef that you’re eating in Toronto. They also aren’t aged in house, another corporate stickler rule, but chef maintains that while doing the numbers they’re doing, it would be pretty much impossible to keep up anyway.
There are a few notable additions for this location, with 6 and 10 oz filets from a butcher in Collingwood now in the rotation, so keep that in mind when you’re food porn-revenge posting that Vegas pal. Another Canadian only item is the Loaded Baked Potato Tater Tot Poutine ($15), including a hefty dose of all my favourites: bacon, green onion, diced chives all draping across mega tots with creamy sauce for good measure. Also only in TO, the fiery Crispy Cauliflower ($12) is both on trend and well executed, ditto for the seasonal side of Asparagus ($13).
Starters that are pretty much not optional include the Local Heirloom Tomato ($16), a heavenly dish of Vickies Veggies, hand torn croutons, basil oil with creamy burrata cheese stealing the show. Itty bitty Lil’ BRGs ($20) offer a handheld patty of Waygu with caramelized onions, aged cheddar on a housemade sesame seed bun.
But none of that compares to the 14-oz Delmonico Steak ($70). This beast of a slab of beef comes dressed simply but seasoned dynamically. A gentle crust gives way to a lovely medium rare, and pairs surprisingly well with their sauce plate offering, with eight enhancements to be had: red wine sauce, au poivre, stk sauce, béarnaise, horseradish, blue butter, stk bold and chimichurri. My preferred sauce is the grape varietal, a full bodied red is optimal lubrication for this steak. The somm recommended great reds from Bodega Nodemia from Argentina and Penley Estate Cab Sauv from Australia which both matched the meat perfectly.
Chef Tommy made a hard case for his Sticky Toffee Pudding ($15), and with his British background his pride is on full display with this creation. Crushed up honeycomb toffee adds a crunch to this whipped cream topped pudding, another special dish just for Toronto.
With tables turning and the kitchen cranking out 400 covers a night, one thing is clear: Yorkville has a serious case of the meat sweats and STK is the surefire culprit.
Have you had a chance to try STK in Yorkville yet? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.