Address: 137 Avenue Rd., Toronto, ON
First Visit: April 2017, dinner, 2 people, tasting
Figures is Yorkville’s newest comic theme resto-lounge owned by Nader and Patrick Marzouk. Adults can enjoy fine dining with an evolving menu of seasonal ingredients and cocktails in a resto-lounge atmosphere. Unlike any other fine dining restaurant I have seen in Toronto; Figures evokes a sense of playfulness with a vintage store at the entrance, and locally commissioned artwork inside the restaurant. The owners want to promote a fun experience and sense of surprise at each visit. Customers will only see the vintage store at the lobby entrance, as the seating and bar is behind another set of closed doors. Adding to the surprise element, the menu is also not posted on the website.
Figures has an awesome team with Ron Stratton (&Company) as the Executive Chef, and James Bailey as the Mixologist (Furlough by BarChef). Chef Ron Stratton was ranked highly in Dine TO’s Top 11 of 2011 by veteran food critic, Allan A. Vernon. He worked with highly acclaimed Chefs such as Pierre-Michel Bouedec, David Lee, Marc Thuet, Daniel Boulud, Jason Bangerter, and Bertrand Alepee. The menu at Figures is broken down to 3 main sections including vegetable, seafood and meat; with a separate bar and dessert menu. For the meat dishes, the shareable plates range from $18 for the oxtail to $70 for the A5 Kobe dish with XO sauce. The bar menu has seafood, pork belly, fries, and chips and dip options.
The cocktail menu was extraordinary, and worth the visit for just the drinks. Mixologist James Bailey is a sommelier with experience with traditional and molecular mixology. James’ experience ranged from creating cocktail programs for other restaurants to working at various establishments in Washington, Paris, and Spain. The cocktail menu was broken down to “classic” and “contemporary”. The contemporary cocktails were strategically named after popular comic or movie characters. The “Maleficent” cocktail arrived to our table with a burning lime. The drink contained activated charcoal that would turn the drink black…talk about a wicked drink (pun intended)! “Rarely on target” was a cocktail with a stencil of a storm trooper using the bitters. The drink prices ranged from $16 to $20. A bit steep for my pocketbook, but the quality of ingredients, taste and “fun factor” gets an A+! Another notable point is that James makes a fantastic mocktail as well.
During our evening, my husband and I had a chance to taste various dishes from the menu chosen from the chef.
Here were some of the drinks we had during the evening:
Bramble Bee-Named after Transformer’s Bumble Bee character. It contains Havana Club 7 Anos, Cazadores Bianco, lime juice, passion fruit juice, pineapple juice, falernum, and raspberries.
Rarely on Target- The drink was made of Bacardi Maestro, Dillon’s absinthe, egg white, lime juice, pineapple cordial, almond orgeat, and coconut milk.
Here was our tasting menu for the evening (sharing plates):
Fairytale Eggplant, sesame and chick pea
Octopus Escabeche, Black garlic
Lobster on a puree of watercress and jalapeno
Red stripe braised oxtail on a plantain chip
USDA Beef tenderloin carpaccio with a hoisin honey sauce (from the bar menu)
3 types of beignets
Mexican chocolate dome- Check out my IG video to see what is inside. Get ready to be amazed!
I want you to taste and experience the dishes and vibe for yourself, and decided not to go into detail about the taste of each dish. I will say that the plating, flavours and textures were well thought out; with the eggplant, beet, and beef tenderloin as my favourite dishes. The beignets could have been more airy and fluffy for me.
What I loved about the atmosphere was that although the restaurant was considered a fine dining restaurant in Yorkville, it felt laid back. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu, provided excellent drink recommendations, and gave us the right amount of attention. I get a little nervous when fine dining restaurants come by every few minutes to check if my napkin is on my lap…do you know what I am talking about? With a live DJ rockin’ old school hip hop and R & B jams, I was singing and dancing in my seat.
Figures hit all the points for a a fun and delicious date night, and bringing fun to Yorkville.
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