CLOSED: America (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 325 Bay Street (inside the Trump Hotel, 3rd floor)
Type of Meal: Dinner

If Stock was where Bay Street met to discuss deals, the new America is where they go to celebrate afterwards. It’s much darker than the former restaurant and lit in a lilac glow, giving you a glimpse of the lounge it morphs into later in the night.

Gone from the menu are the seafood towers; American favourites make up the options instead. Their Winterlicious menu ($45), although offering little from their regular menu, provided tastes from various states. From Hawaii, the heritage salmon poke ceviche was adorned with pineapple and macadamia nuts. Despite the menu noting the dish having coffee and coconut in it, the predominant flavour was citrus… to the point that it overpowered the fish. Although was refreshing. 

For me, the pressed BBQ pork was the better starter. The meat was sweet and flavourful and resembled chunky pieces of pulled pork molded together. Additionally, the braised apple mustard on the side complimented it well. Tasso ham crackling and bacon powder finished off the dish, giving it flourish but kept with the theme.

Our entire table opted for the Wellington County steak and beef cheeks for the main. If you like meat, this is for you – a large portion of ultra-tender beef cheeks and two generous slices of nicely cooked but slightly chewy steak. Along with creamy heirloom grits, collard greens, roasted carrots and a smoked bourbon butter topping it, this dish is delicious but heavy. I rarely do not finish my plate, but the components were all so rich that I simply couldn’t do it.

To be fair, it was likely due to my poor judgment with the bread. I couldn’t help it, their jalapeno corn bread was so buttery and delicious I just had to have a second piece! This is hands down the best corn bread I’ve ever had – including all the ones I tried in New Orleans.  

The granny apple sticky sourdough pudding was sweet and rich sitting in a pool of Maker’s Mark bourbon pecan toffee sauce. But, the slightly salty pretzel ice cream on top really helped to calm the sweetness. All in all, a great dessert.

While the peanut butter panna cotta sounded delicious, the consistency was way too rich and resembled nothing like the light panna cotta. Instead, it felt like we were eating spoons of sweet creamy peanut butter – tasty for one taste but really doesn’t leave you wanting more. Topped with peaks of toasted marshmallow and chocolate this dessert is best split amongst a table of four.

Despite being stuffed I couldn’t help but try a small piece of the dark chocolate rocky road bar that accompanies the bill. It’s a nice ending if you want something small to sweeten the end of your meal.

Luckily, America continued their former counterpart’s attention to service. Everyone I encountered that evening was genuinely friendly and warm. America, I salute you.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Is Winterlicious worth it?

As a special feature to the Winterlicious blogs, I will attempt to calculate the savings being offered (based on my meal selection).

Winterlicious - $45

Regular menu* - $74 -  salmon ceviche ($23), steak and cheek ($37) and sticky pudding ($14)

Savings - $29 or 39%

* At America, it's hard to determine the savings as most items aren't part of their regular menu; prices based on the fried oysters and pork loin

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Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!