The Octagon (Thornhill)

Residents of Thornhill will be familiar with the octagonal building gracing the corner of Yonge and Clark. First starting as the Copper Kettle, the restaurant was renamed to The Octagon in 1974 and converted to a high-end steakhouse. I love their Victorian dining room draped in rich wood and jewel tones – something about the historical décor makes me feel like I’m in a steakhouse. If you want privacy, ask for a table situated in their small private enclaves that can seat six.

Although their Caesar salad ($17.95/person with minimum 2-person order) looked overly dressed, it tasted surprisingly light having a thinner consistency and enough citrus incorporated into the freshly made dressing. It’s a decadent treat, but hand whipped Caesar salad made table side is a staple for me when visiting steak houses.

The escargots ($14.95) were traditionally prepared, arriving hot in the individually held clay baking dish and swimming in brandy laced garlic butter.

Of course, each table also gets a brimming pickle and olive tray (thankfully, their pickles weren’t overly mushy and I loved the heat of the chili… especially after the meal to act as a palette cleanser) and basket of garlic bread.  

Unlike other fine dining steakhouses, the Octagon offers “lighter” mains where the proteins are a normal serving and arrives with vegetables (no starches). The 6oz. New York strip steak ($32.95) would have been a tad tiny on its own, but augmenting it with a piece of my husband’s massive bone-in rib steak ($65.95) was perfect – enough for me and not leaving him with meat sweats.

Prepared using a charcoal broiled method, the steaks have lovely grill marks and a light smoky aroma. The meat is juicy and oozes with metallic beef flavour … you know you’re in a place that specializes in steak.     

Unlike some of the newer high-end competitors, the Octagon’s regular-sized mains also come with sides – large meaty mushrooms and a choice of starch (baked potato, garlic mashed potatoes, fries or rice). It’s a tad more “economical”, saving you enough to splurge for dessert.

Their coconut cream pie ($11.95) is the best I’ve had in the city: a silky coconut custard held in a pie crust lined with chocolate so its crispiness is retained. On top, plenty of neutral whipped cream and white chocolate shavings for sweetness. It’s not an overly heavy dessert but should still be shared.

Some things are institutions for a reason – overly ornate interiors, large portions of food and expertly prepared traditional menus. The Octagon has it all, long live the steakhouse.  

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Thornhill, Canada
 Address: 7529 Yonge Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - 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!

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