Pick 6ix, Toronto

Pick 6ix is Drake’s new restaurant in downtown Toronto.  This newest venture is a collaboration with chef Antonio Park.  With a diverse background, Chef Park has a deep connection to Japanese culinary methods.  Today Chef Park brings his experience from Tokyo, Osaka, New York, Montreal, to his newest adventure at Toronto’s Pick 6ix.

Pick Six is more glam then Drake’s previous venture Fring’s, which is luxe in a more eclectic way.  Pick 6ix makes you feel glamorous to just be there, rich marine blue velvet accents are not  only luxe but comfy as well.  Gold accents throughout every room make you feel like you are in another world.

I had a peek at the covered patio (where there is also a second bar located), it seemed to have a tropical yet still luxe vibe to it and is definitely on my list for an after work drink in the near future.  If you can’t get dining table reservations, its also a good last minute spot as you can still order the full menu at the bar.

The restaurant knows what crowd it’s catering to in the Yonge & Wellington area, as there are big screen tv’s in every room for the important sports games.  While this caters to a large male financial audience in the neighborhood, when a game is on, the volume is on quite high and the restaurant’s music is turned off.  This frankly brings down the luxe atmosphere a significant amount.  The music is turned back on during commercial breaks which helped to not completely destroy my dining experience…. if the restaurant found a better balance between the two worlds it would be helpful.  Perhaps the sports volume only turned on in specific areas of the restaurant, thereby allowing diners there for the elevated experience can in fact truly have it.

The food and beverages had some ups and downs.  Following was my experience:

Up All Night Cocktail – Yerba mate infused Bacardi 8, Fernet Branca, lemongrass syrup, lime, shiso. ($14cdn)  I actually expected this cocktail to have a bit of sweetness in it which it did not at all.  Definitely the cocktail for those that want something refreshing without much sweet.  Generous size for the price tag.

Pork Gyoza – available to order as either pork or chicken.  Deep fried which was the disappointing part of this dish. Even thought the description said deep fried I decided to give them a chance anyways. In an elevated restaurant such as this one, you would expect the time to be taken to pan fry their gyoza.  These ended up being very pedestrian and no different then my local sushi restaurant where they would be half the price.  The only stand out for this dish was the dipping sauce which was a surprising myriad of flavours.

Soft Shell Crab Maki (5 pcs) – Soft shell crab, avocado, tobiko, mitsuna, pickled radish. ($18cdn).  Beautiful presentation and tasted good but not “wow”.  The lack of wow vs the price tag made this dish just not worth it.  Next time I would like to try the lobster maki and perhaps it will have the wow factor. (sorry no picture but just picture the gyoza at your local sushi restaurant)

8-Hour Braised Kale Style Short Rib – Sweet potato puree, grilled broccoli, fingering potatoes, and brussels sprout leaves. ($38cdn).  Finally the wow factor!!! I can not rave enough about this dish… the sauce was just the right amount of sweetness, the short ribs peeled away with the touch of my fork the way they should.  Everything about this dish was absolute perfection and I would order it over and over again!

Chocolate Fondant – dark chocolate, berry type coulis (missed writing down the exact description), and vanilla ice cream. ($11cdn).  This was so delish, it was totally just a lava cake but the most perfectly made lava cake and completely on par with it’s pricing.  This is another item I could eat over and over again.

Overall verdict was that, while some items were underwhelming, overall the experience definitely warrants a repeat visit.

Reservations on their website HERE.  Note for popular days, reservations do need to be made quite far in advance.