By Romina Monaco

4.5 Star

Should Earl’s and Moxie’s be worried about the newest contender in the world of culinary cocktail lounges? Perhaps. Joey Yorkdale provides a wider menu selection as well as presenting a more tantalizing atmosphere than its counterparts. This trendy establishment located in uptown Toronto’s biggest shopping centre is a sure hit!

Tony and I literally ‘bumped’ into this newly-launched location (Joey is a chain) after a afternoon trek through the Yorkdale Mall. Not fond of shopping, I was happy when in seconds we conveniently made our transition from shopping inferno to dining paradise! I was quickly drawn to Joey’s fluid and sexy ambiance – dim lighting emanating from over-sized wrought iron chandeliers, comfy leather seats along with funky tunes playing in the background.
The menu is unassumingly avant-garde. I call this style of cuisine Global Gastronomy for the Sensitive North American Palate! Celebrity chef, Chris Mills designed a western-friendly menu showcasing diverse ethnic dishes with ingredients not so alien as to be displeasing (no cerebral matter or intestines located anywhere on the menu and although being adventurous by nature, I do dabble in these types of dishes from time to time). The collection is a modern fusion cuisines such as Italian, West Indian, South Asian, Creole, Chinese and Japanese. The wine list also offers a selection that can’t be found at the LCBO. I was excited to see on the Joey repertory my preferred Italian, sparkling Prosecco from Tenuta Santome in the Veneto region.
On one of the many television screens we watched a slide show depicting scenes of the heart of downtown Toronto and all its arterial routes. For some reason I was enraptured with this little form of entertainment until the arrival of the Chinatown Lettuce Wraps. This nouveau-style appetizer consisted of ground beef simmered with toasted peanuts, noodles and fresh cilantro all wrapped in a huge iceberg lettuce leaf. I found the sharp contrast between the tangy filling and the crisp coolness of the lettuce both interesting and refreshing.

Accompanying Tony’s 12oz mouth-watering New York Steak was Joey’s signature mashed potatoes. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this side dish was an absolute delight! Struggling to keep my fork on my side of the table I welcomed with relief my steamy bowl of Panaang Prawn Curry, which arrived just a few moments later. I was taken aback by its artistic presentation, intense aroma and spicy, rich flavour.

Step aside Starbucks…the cappucino at Joey was more than great and tasted even better with the
Molten Lava Cake! This divine cup of coffee was perhaps one of the best I’ve had this side of the Atlantic.
To wrap it all up, Joey transcended my ‘foodie’ expectations. I believe that the price point corresponds to the quality of food as well as the service provided. Without feeling over-served and constantly watched (which I can’t stand), there was never a moment our glasses weren’t filled or that I had to look around for a server. Another added bonus? The restaurant is accessible from a major central highway and the parking lot is a giant! Definitely a 4 plus in my book!
Joey Yorkdale
305B 3401 Dufferin Street
Toronto M6A 3A1
(647) 317-5679

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