A new fine dining establishment has opened in Toronto in the Summerhill area. White tablecloths, candlelight room, attentive service, and a globally inspired menu, remind me fondly of what once was available in our fair city. A throwback to relaxed dining and special evenings out.
This is all from the brainchild of Chef Sash Simpson, who worked at one of my favourite restaurants, North 44 for over two decades, where he eventually became an executive chef. An amazing story in itself, overcoming poverty and the odds as an orphan and street kid in India, to owning and running a restaurant for Toronto’s upper echelons.
After years of hard work and dedication, he now has a namesake restaurant.
Sash Restaurant is modern, elegant and attractive. Seating around 90 people and an additional 10 and the bar, the room has lots of natural light with floor to ceiling windows on the far side, and an open kitchen on the opposite side, where you can witness all the activity. The room is furnished in greys and whites, with gold accents.
Sash has stuck with his winning formula. He is cooking globally inspired and locally sourced food. You can find an oyster menu, a caviar menu, seafood, like scallops, or braised Nova Scotia lobster, foie gras, Dover sole, a few types of steaks, veal, pastas, etc. Very reminiscent of North 44. No big surprises, just classics you’ve known and come to love. So are the almost 3X mark up on wines that I remember. Everything is nicely presented. I like the addition of his signature truffle butter served with a warm baked and sliced baguette. The prices are on the steep side, with appetizers ranging from $16-33 appetizers, and $42-60 mains.
There have been a few growing pains in the beginning with service, it can be painfully slow, but hopefully, things will be ironed out.
There is a $15 valet charge, but is a godsend as parking in this area is hard to come by.
I think the older, established, moneyed Rosedale, Forest Hill and Yorkville crowd are thrilled at this new destination for a special evening out.
If anyone deserves success it is Chef Sash Simpson who against all odds, hard work, perseverance and kindness has overcome and become a real Canadian success story.