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The Civic at The Broadview Hotel Review

Dr. John | Jul 16, 201810:47 AM

We live in the Broadview and Gerrard area and have watched with interest as the former Jilly's has been transformed into The Broadview Hotel. The main floor is divided into The Civic dining room and a cafe/bar area. It was easy to get a table on a Friday night - the room remained about half-full through our dinner. By contrast, the rooftop patio was packed (we took a quick look after dinner) and apparently had at least an hour wait. The dining room had a fairly casual atmosphere, more bistro than fine dining. Noise levels were relatively low, allowing for conversation.

The cocktail menu had a number of appealing choices. We tried the Sprezzatura (Campari, fig and black cardamom bitters syrup, raspberry juice, blood orange soda). It was very light (only 1 oz) and more like a refreshing fruit spritzer, with some bitterness to make it more interesting. They were kind enough to split it into two as they knew we were sharing it. With dinner we had a bottle of Domaine de Mauperthuis chablis, 2016, which was crisp and went well with the scallops and halibut below.

We started with red deer tartare (quail egg, shallot, caper berry, house prepared mustard seeds, juniper, black licorice). It was pleasant, but not particularly notable. The licorice was not detectable. Much better was the mushroom toast (local mushrooms, house made brioche, frisee lettuce, poached duck egg, and sea salt), all rich and buttery. Definitely order the milk buns, which are light and sweet, served almost unnecessarily with brown sugar butter.

For mains, we had the Hokkaido scallops (served with arancini, rapini, burnt onion, brown butter, spring pea puree‎), which were perfectly cooked, but meagre in portion (only 3). The pea puree went particularly well with the dish. Pan-roasted halibut came with house gnocchi, dandelion and roasted garlic "pesto" (just seemed like greens, not a pesto per se), tableside poured tomato and fish broth fumee. The halibut was also ‎perfectly cooked halibut and the flavours were nice, if not exciting.

Desserts were a stronger finish. Strawberrry shortcake featured vanilla Genoise cake, macerated Ontario strawberries, brandy whipped cream, and strawberry gelee. Very fresh, light, and not too sweet, allowing the strawberry flavour to dominate. Peach melba was also very good. It was supposed to have orange and almond financier crumble, but the cake seemed to be the same as for the strawberry shortcake. It came with vanilla pastry cream, peach compote, and raspberry sauce - again tangy instead of overly sweet.

Service was friendly, attentive, and perhaps a few too many "and how are the first few bites..."

Overall, a good place for those in the neighbourhood, but perhaps not worth a trek from elsewhere in the city.

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