http://www.thechasetoronto.com/fish_oyster/ 647.348.7000 $$$$
The main floor is home to the nautically-themed The Chase fish and oyster; colourful racing boat sails hang from the ceiling, soft lighting dances off exposed brick giving the room a warm cozy feel. One can sit at the bar, high tops or down in the main dining area in large comfy booths. Knowable servers are on the ball, and the kitchens timing is perfect. If I know there is a sommelier in the house I always ask for advice when selecting wine, and in this case we struck gold with a creamy rose from Loire valley having been just added to the list.
The Chase is becoming my favourite spot for oysters for two reasons: 1, their oyster shucker is unbelievably clean leaving each little jewel perfectly intact and 2, with each order a clever card identifies each oyster in the order they are placed making it easy to remember the ones you enjoyed the most.
Thinly sliced Halibut $21 is heightened by tart Muskoka cranberries, Yuzu, shaved hearts of palm and mustard greens. Avocado wraps together king crab and sweet corn salad in the kitchens version of a California roll $19. Octopus $23 falls apart in the mouth together with harissa, salsa verde, piquillo peppers and spiced pork sausage for smoky richness.
Plump P.E.I mussels $18, large and sweet bathing in white wine and roasted garlic sided with a house made foccacia (the best dipper) covered with apple butter. Sugary-sweet warm heirloom beets $8, shaved fennel and chive are a delight. Buttery roasted scallop is cooked flawlessly, with smoked duck, apple lemon relish, and foie gras on a toasted brioche – I can’t seem to get how they came up with a $24 pricetag on such a small portioned dish. Shoestring fries $7 serve as a salty addition, sided with garlicky mustard aioli is a must.