TORONTO — W Toronto has unveiled three new dining concepts led by new executive chef Keith Pears — PUBLIC SCHOOL, Living Room and SKYLIGHT.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Pears has competed in several food competitions, including Best of the West, MasterChef Canada, Gold Metal Plates, B.C. Chef of the Year, Garland Canada International Shellfish Chef Challenge, and 2016 Bocuse d’Or National Selection, in addition to winning Chopped Canada and gold at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party.
By day, PUBLIC SCHOOL is a two-floor coffee house, kitchen and bar where guests can enjoy barista culture, fuelled by De Mello Coffee and a plant-forward menu. By night, cocktails, new-school tonics, elixirs and low- or no-alcohol beverages will be available. PUBLIC SCHOOL’s made-from-scratch menu features modern twists on old-school classics, such as Strawberry Overnight Oats with Bee Local honey; Chickpea Fries with garlic tahini aioli, tomato jam and chives; and the Valedictorian Burger, a beet-and-kale patty with miso-harissa ketchup, smashed avocado and sprouts. Its coffee house can accommodate 36 guests and the kitchen and bar on the upper level seats 84.
Living Room is located in the hotel’s lobby/lounge on the sixth floor. The 5,000-sq.-ft. space has three distinct seating areas, the Fireplace, the Yard (outdoor terrace) and the Living Room Bar. Its menu features Toronto tapas representing the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, including Barbacoa Tacos (Kensington Market) with grass-fed beef, onion, cilantro, avocado salsa and lime; Jerk Chicken Skewers (Little Jamaica) with roasted pineapple aioli, cilantro and lime; and Fogo Island Cod Cheeks (Little India) with fried, masala dusted, Kashmiri curry yogurt and pickled onions. The beverages are defined by champagne and bubbles and focus on sustainability, such as the Celery Sour, the Green Goddess Bloody Mary and the Rum Away. The Living Room will also house an exclusive Moët & Chandon vending machine, the only one of its kind in Toronto. The space can accommodate 100 people inside and 34 outside.
Lastly, SKYLIGHT rooftop features curated cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired dishes and raw bar, and embodies the 1960s hippie revolution in Yorkville. Its menu will offer share-style plates spanning Mezze & Spreads, Raw Bar and Salatas & Tajines, including Eggplant & Pine Nut Kibbeh, Cauliflower & Chickpea Tajine and Seafood Towers. SKYLIGHT’s grill offerings include a Beef Tomahawk Steak, as well as the Za’atar Garlic Cape d’Or Salmon and daily chicken shawarma dishes. Is cocktail program is Vermouth and Amaro-centric, featuring a selection of upscale cocktails, seasonal spritzes and adult slushes. Standouts include the Aloe Glow and the Coco Mezcal. SKYLIGHT can accommodate 180 people indoors and 40 outdoors, including two private pergolas for six to eight people.
“It’s a dream to bring to life the W experience at each of these three concepts,” says Pears. “I am inspired by the diversity of the city and how it is reflected in the colourful, spirited spaces throughout this stunning hotel. I had so much fun crafting these very distinct menus and I want people to enjoy every bite, sip and moment of being at W Toronto.”