SpeakEasy 21 has only been open for a short time, but when I arrived early evening to check it out, it was already packed with people. (Mostly suits).
Conveniently located inside the Scotia Plaza, but also has street access. I was able to successfully avoid the rain by using the PATH, which I liked.
Headed by Chef Andrew Wilson (Canoe & Origin North) SpeakEasy 21 brings handcrafted cocktails and contemporary bistro fare to the Financial District.
The sleek space offers up a wide selection of martinis, shaken mason jar cocktails, wine and beer. The menu is extensive, but here are a few drinks I tried that night.
Rob Roy (Dewar’s Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters, Orange Twist)
Baja Sunrise (Cazadores Tequila, Triple Sec, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice)
Canadian Cooler (Eristoff Vodka, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Mint Leaves, Cucumber Slices)
The food ranged from modern comfort food with a twist, to more eclectic fare. Think, fried chicken sandwiches and salted pecan brittle. Here’s what I sampled.
Bulgogi Tacos ($15) Korean style short rib taco, served on a white corn tortilla, with bibb lettuce, apple kimchi, marinated mushrooms, and sesame seeds.
Whitefish Tacos ($15) Battered whitefish filet, with green mango relish, spicy avocado, cilantro and house made queso fresco. This was my second favourite dish. The house made queso fresco was a nice touch. Delicious!
Beef Tartare ($15) Ontario AAA dry-aged sirloin, paired with fried capers, ceasar aioli, and prawn chips.
Short Rib Croquette: Crisp and filled with tender short rib.
Shrimp & Chorizo ($17) Crispy shrimp on a milk bun, with Luis Suarez’s chorizo, iceberg lettuce, cheddar, and a fennel tartar sauce. A bit of an odd combination, and not my favourite.
SpeakEasy Club ($18) Served on a toasted ciabatta, and topped with fried chicken, double smoked bacon, guacamole, watercress, and smoked chili aioli. This sandwich was my favorite, and basically has all of my favourite things on it. (Read: Bacon & Guac) The fried chicken was full of flavour and moist.
Short Rib Croquette
SpeakEasy 21 has two levels, gleaming wood finishes, large windows and an open kitchen. In the summer, a massive 3,500-square-foot patio will open.
One of my favourite features was their phone charging station at the host desk.
Exchange your phone for a key, and it’ll be charged up while you eat. (Insert rebounding cries of, how will we Instagram?) It’s a neat idea! (But, really.)
Stop by for a drink or snack!
SpeakEasy 21 at 21 Adelaide Street West Toronto, ON