Supper Club? Silly me.

Event Review

Earlier this week, I attended The Roosevelt Room (<--slick website; I like Cut Copy) media launch soirée which promised much entertainment and a lavish sort of affair.

Silly me. Being a food blogger, I was most excited about the food. The menu was inspired by the original dishes served at the first ever Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 and the executive chef, Trevor Wilkinson, was formerly executive chef at Toronto hot spots, Canoe, Jump and bain-of-my-existence-center-of-clubworld, Lobby.

Silly me. Being a food blogger, I arrived on time, which I am accustomed to doing at most after work events.

* tumbleweed blows *

My feeling is that people are impatient after work and thinking about getting home. But then again, I don't operate in the fashionable worlds of Evan Biddell (cool website), Aliya Jasmine from MTV Canada, and Toronto's own socialite, Ainsley Kerr.

Before I launch into a tyrade against the food, I thought it best that I describe some of the finer features of the evening as the public relations people did a lot of detail-oriented work.
  • Video monitors around the club displayed the black and white movie Sunrise from 1927, including slick screens in the bathroom.
  • Cigarette girls in costumes gave out candy cigarettes.
  • Flapper girls performed a dance routine.
  • Outside the venue was a red carpet where 10-15 fake paparazzi had been hired to make every guest feel like a star. Gimmicky, but cute. Danielle from Final Fashion has some great pictures here.
  • The interior of the Roosevelt Room is impressive. The Designer Guys were behind the accurate decor of the prohibition era.
  • They serve 1920s Prohibition-era Cocktails that range from $20-35 (gah!) and are made with fancy syrups like star anise & apricot. There were lots of foamy, fizzy drinks floating around.
Sheryl Kirby from Taste T.O. cleverly pointed out yesterday that a place that purports to be a supper club should seemingly have a reasonable place to eat. Duly noted. When I arrived with my companion, we wandered around aimlessly to find a suitable place to eat and eventually perched ourselves awkwardly on a shaky table.

Finally the food started circulating:
  • French onion soup - *very* salty
  • USDA prime mini burgers - I found them overly greasy with the brioche bun AND cheese AND prime meat
  • Torchon of foie gras with birch syrup - I like foie gras, but not pâté. I had to choke it down
  • Tuna niçoise on potato - Good, I can eat this
  • Steak Tartare - I started eating this & enjoyed it, panicked, realized there was too much raw meat, tossed it around in my mouth, tasted it, panicked again, somehow managed to swallow it
That was the deal breaker.

Ultimately, the food they served just wasn't my kind of food. I found it heavy, meaty, fatty, abundantly seasoned and rich. I like fresh flavours and balance - even when I'm eating rich foods.

If you want to spend a lot of money and be surrounded by a bunch of wankers, I think The Roosevelt Room is shaping up to be #1 in Toronto.

It opens to the public tonight.

2 Drummond Place
Toronto, ON M5V 0A5
(416) 599-9000

View Larger Map


  1. But the real question is - what colour were the thong underwear in your swag bag?

  2. When Sheryl told me that I missed swag I was even more disappointed to have missed it. I was invited but was committed to something else.

  3. Aw, I'm sorry you missed it, Andrea. It was a great event, but I didn't care for the food. Let me know the next time your pocket is feeling too heavy and we can drop $70 for a couple of drinks there :)

  4. Thanks, but I'll pass. :)

    I head that it wasn't condusive for conversation either. All flash, no substance.

  5. Very flashy, yes.

    I don't totally understand why they want so badly to market this 'club' as a 'supper club'- it's just going to alienate casual diners.

    Maybe it's for clubbers who want to eat? (And spend lots of money!)

  6. Great review! And thanks for the wanker warning.

  7. Smells vaguely of the "prohibition-era" club on Gossip Girl, eh? Or maybe I'm just watching too much tween tv.
    Too bad about this place, I got the mail-out and thought it looked pretty interesting. Alas, another TO spot putting lots of energy in the decorating and not enough in the kitchen.

  8. I certainly encourage others to visit the Roosevelt Room and draw their own conclusions, but I found the whole concept pretty hyped: high-profile chef, high-profile designers and yet I wasn't particularly impressed with anything.

    I'll be interested to see whether it sinks or floats. Does Toronto want this?

  9. ROFLOL! I love how you looked at the event from a foodie perspective and me from mostly a fashion/lifestyle. However, I was mostly there to see friends and have a good time. Although, I have to agree with you on the prices of the food.

  10. Yeah, I was a little snarky, but I can appreciate the creative details of the event in spite of the food.

    I'll be interested to see if people want to go there and spend that money. I imagine it will be business people with corporate accounts.

  11. Hi there!

    I noticed the comment on Taste T.O. - The Roosevelt Room clears the dancefloor of all tables for events. And the tables in the booths are on hydrolics, they are brought up to a more appropriate height for dining hours, and dropped down for parties & bottle service.

    Also - the $20+ drinks are a special section on the menu, most cocktails are around $7.00. The Roosevelt Room just brought out the molecular cocktails to spoil you ;)

  12. Hi KMP,

    Thanks for clarifying that. Those hydrolics sound pretty fancy.

    That's fair to note that the Roosevelt Room *does* offer regular cocktails at regular prices, but they do have those fancy selections too.

    At the end of the day, I just wasn't impressed by the food. I was there again tonight for the Bizbash party and I thought I would give things a second chance.

    I had a shrimp taco that I enjoyed quite nicely, definitely the best thing I've eaten so far. I ate a coconut chicken skewer and it was definitely underseasoned. Others were having the French onion soup. I asked if it was salty and they said no, but I didn't care to try it again. Frites were tasty and the cookies tasted good, but were overdone like rocks.

    I also don't know how I feel about the bathroom attendants. That's a lifestyle thing, but it never makes me comfortable. I never know how to deal with that.