Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Scene

I had one of those hilarious urban evenings last night. In celebration of my friend Sandra's birthday, we started at Rush Lane (a terrific place for cocktails). I would totally recommend this, hipster-scale breaking point notwithstanding, because the drinks are FANTASTIC and the accompanying snacks are just as good.

The weather was shit, natch, but we had a bit of a break from rain as Sandra and I walked to Queen St. to meet Nicole. Gotta say, there's nothing like the Queen West strip in Xmas shopping season. We could barely steer ourselves to drink what with all of the fantastic hygge happening in those windows. Note: We have a shopping date Sat. after next to do Xmas "recon".

Turns out that Zack, the owner of Rush Lane, just happened to be one of the peeps who opened Colette (at the Thompson Hotel) and we just happened to be going to Colette for dinner. He urged us to put our names on the list for the rooftop bar, for after dinner, and to ask for Brad when we got up there. Gotta love the TO bar network.

OK, let's revisit that previous sentence: Who the fuck puts her name on a list to get into a bar, rooftop or otherwise. Am I 23?? Have I been 23 in the last 20 years??? But here's the thing - I've been asked about that rooftop bar about 1000 times in the last 3 years and, frankly, I've wanted to see the pool SO badly. (Note: Unless you're staying there, they won't let you in the elevators.)

Alas, in late November, the (much smaller than imagined) infinity pool is more of an infinity tarp (which you could easily - and dangerously - step on by accident, fyi). In the rain, I just wasn't feeling it - though I can see that it would be spectacular in the summer.

But about Colette: The food is very good - especially the seafood tower. The atmosphere is opulent and hyper busy in true bistro fashion. It's a transient sort of space (hotel restaurants always are) but this is mitigated by elegance. Sadly, our service was over-attentive in the most irritating way. Our waiter - who pretended to know everything but didn't know much of anything - was not up to it. When I'm at a fancy place I expect excellence. Simply throwing 15 servers into the mix, to refill one's wine glass every fucking 2 minutes, does not cut it. For all of its upscale, the restaurant is not refined.

Look, I am beyond spoiled for choice. I have some of the world's most fantastic food and service at my doorstep (literally). Moreover, I can experience any sort of meal in any kind of atmosphere. I've got fun pizza (with wine sold for a buck an ounce - in a chic setting). I've got awesome Asian food like, in 5 walkable neighbourhoods - and at every price point. I can eat Hungarian like the peeps in Hungary. Lord, there are 2 other venerable TO bistros within half a kilometre of this one. So, though I had an awesome time with my ladies - and a novel experience - I won't be going back to Colette anytime soon.

Now let's get back to the rooftop bar... OMG - they put stamps on our hands. The kind that only show up under black light! There was an attendant in the elevator. He checked our stamps! When we came out, after one drink - I mean, we'd been drinking since cinq à sept aftr all - there was a line-up.

Ordinarily, I would have been super snot-ball about this kind of scene. (My kind of scene is the kind that eludes one - on purpose, of course.) But it was impossible to remain unmoved in the midst of this view:

My iPhone can't do it justice but, it was a 360 degree sky-span with lake to the south, downtown to the east (that shot is south east) and relative darkness, dotted with tall buildings and leafy neighbourhoods to the north and west.

The bar was atmospheric, in that modern way:

And here are my friends looking gorgeous:

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night, don't you agree?


  1. That sounds like a FUN evening! And if nothing else, I'm guessing the overattentive server gave you plenty of entertainment while you all rolled your eyes at him, right? ;)

  2. Oh, I'm envious, goofy server and all! A night out with girlfriends? Dinner, drinks, dressing up? It's been too, too long. . .