Having never been to the Fifth, other than to go to the club, we decided to try dinner there. Upon entering, I’ll admit it was strange to see the club functioning as a restaurant; where the bouncer welcomes you in and the person selling tickets brings you to an elevator. The club’s dance floor was spruced up with extra furniture and the pillars covered with white veils.
The restaurant itself is located on the fifth floor, hence the name, and you get to it through an old fashioned elevator complete with operator. It’s quite large with an indoor dining area and outdoor terrace. The dining room is classically decorated with white, tons of light fixtures and comfy chairs. The only odd décor was a mini disco ball hanging from the middle of one fixture which was whimsical but also tacky.
An amuse, a tomato caeser shooter, arrived as soon as we sat down. Not being a caeser fan, I tried it nevertheless - it was thick and garlicky without the zing of horseradish but could be refreshing on a summer day. A basket of bread arrives after ordering, soft French bread but cold so nothing crazy
My appetizer, the house cured bacon and summer melon salad, was beautifully presented. A combination of sweet melons, sour balsamic and slightly salty and smoky bacon, the salad was certainly flavourful. I enjoyed the thick cut bacon but could have done without the balsamic glaze over it as with the citrus vinaigrette the dish was a little sour for my taste.
While viewing what other diners were eating, the striploin appeared to be the overwhelming favourite so I chose that as well. A generous portion of steak arrives which dwarfs the small square of sweet potato gratin and sprinkle of French beans beside it. The steak itself wasn’t the best cut; mine was unevenly sliced which caused half the steak to be perfectly cooked at medium rare but the other half extremely rare. I also wish the Fifth invested in better steak knives as it became difficult to cut through the thicker rare part.
A pat of bercy butter - butter mixed with shallots, parley and white wine - sat on the steak. It needed more herbs as it’s supposed to add a burst of flavours to the steak but really just tasted like unsalted butter with specks of parsley. The beans were good, thin and crispy, I wish there were more of them! However, the sweet potato gratin arrived luke warm and seemed like a bit of an afterthought.
I ended with the vanilla panna cotta which didn’t really taste like panna cotta. It was a thicker and creamier consistency than most, but I enjoyed the richness. The strawberry rhubarb sauce wasn’t too sweet so really lightened up the dish. The dessert was the highlight dish of the night, which is disappointing for someone who likes savoury dishes more.
I was surprised the Fifth’s Summerlicious offer was priced at $45, which is normally reserved for the fancier restaurants in Toronto. The Fifth simply doesn’t have the same polish and food quality that you would expect for a place charging $45. It may be a strange comparison, but I felt like eating at the Fifth was similar to eating on the Niagara Falls strip – overpriced but satisfactory food. Service was great at the beginning with the person at the entrance enthusiastically welcoming us and the attentiveness of the gentlemen operating the elevator; but the service in the restaurant seemed lack luster in comparison. The food was decent but not amazing.
It was a bit strange they keep plates of food on tables between the elevator/bathroom and dining room before serving. While visiting the restrooms I could see the various plates left there with slips of paper marking the table. Somehow, it feels a little unhygienic and it certainly means the food is not under heating lamps and gets cold while waiting to be presented.
On the plus side, having dinner at the Fifth Grill and Terrace does get you admission into the club, so you avoid lines and cover. So, it’s a good option if you’re looking to go out dancing to burn off calories afterwards.
To see pictures accompanying the above please visit http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.ca/2013/07/the-fifth-grill-and-terrace-toronto.html