Toronto's dining and nightlife hot spot
After enlisting some of the city’s most eminent hospitality and entertainment companies, INK Entertainment and Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto quietly opened America Restaurant for private events during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, welcoming the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley before it even officially opened to the public. In September 2014, the already much buzzed-about America had its official grand opening with an exclusive, VIP-studded event with the city’s well-heeled and socialites alike in attendance, complete with a lavish oyster bar and liquid nitrogen popsicles.
Towering over the Financial District, America sits on the 31st floor of the luxury hotel, overlooking the humming streets and bankers running to and from one meeting to the next. Stepping off the elevator, you’ll find yourself in a quartz-accented corridor and quickly greeted by a hostess ready to oblige and celebrity photographer George Pimentel’s black-and-white prints adorning the entrance.
While the bar and lounge plays host to executive business meetings and corporate tête-à-tête’s during the day to early evening, the night welcomes those who are dressed to impress, a place to see and be seen. Plush, tufted velveteen sofas and leather armchairs set the scene for a glass of bubbly or an Old Fashioned, in the shadow of a towering wine wall boasting one of the most extravagant lists in the city.
Meanwhile, the dining room’s Old World stuffiness as Stock has been transformed into a modern space with colorful prints and silhouettes, creating a playground for Toronto elite and guests to have a little fun.
Behind the food is chef de cuisine Bill Osborne, who earned his chops in London restaurants like Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London before working at Toronto’s Canoe restaurant, Oliver & Bonacini’s flagship fine-dining restaurant. Under the tutelage of executive chef Markus Bestig and corporate executive chef Anthony Walsh, Osborne creates traditional American favorites with an added fine-dining flair, like foie gras flapjacks or lobster Rockefeller. For main dishes, the stunning Washington State lamb rack or the perfectly, slow-cooked Chinook salmon are executed nicely, but it’s the beef shin barbecue for four to six people that’s the showstopper, served with mushroom mac and cheese, heirloom carrots and bone marrow.
Come 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, America turns into a swanky supper club and lounge. As the lights dim, the DJ plays and sexy blonde-bobbed femmes in jaw-dropping little black dresses take over the staffing duties as bottle service begins and a revelry-seeking crowd begins to filter through the doors of the Toronto hotel, dressed to the nines.
Here, Toronto lifestyle and entertainment monarch Charles Khabouth, owner of INK Entertainment, brings his A game, keeping a watchful eye over guests, ensuring every detail of the space and experience is executed to his standards. Doing what he does best, Khabouth draws a guest list that is the envy of the city’s restaurant and entertainment scene.