Power Lunch: Constantine
Constantine offers Mediterranian eats on the ground floor of a the newly repurposed boutique hotel, Anndore House.
Location: 15 Charles St E, Toronto, ON M4Y 1S1
Must-try eats: The crudo of the day paired with the pear and speck pizza, drizzled with warm honey and finished with walnuts.
Libations: Cocktail-wise, The Tropicaliais is all the rage
Where to sit so you’re in-and-out in 60 minutes: On a warm day, the patio is the perfect place for a power lunch
Located inside the newly developed Anndore house, Constantine is a chic meeting spot perfect for closing deals while breaking bread. An elegant black and gold hallway leads to the restaurant’s bar, which has the same dark tones and sumptuous atmosphere. To the right, the space opens up into a bright dining room, decorated with cream coloured furniture and white, ceramic urns lining the perimeter of the room. The centrepiece of the 138-seat room is an open kitchen, so guests can follow each step of the food preparation from boiling water to topping off a pasta dish with a quenelle of whipped ricotta.
Despite the small size of the boutique hotel, the entire interior of Constantine seats nearly 200. On the other side of the main bar is the outdoor patio overlooking a quiet side street — a nice break from the honking and shouting of downtown Toronto. The outside seating sits 25 people under a canopy of potted plants, transforming the dark exterior of the Anndore House into a quiet lunch spot, ideal for stimulating conversation with clients or co-workers.
Chef Craig Harding searched the globe in order to curate a menu that touches aspects of many different cultures. Constantine brands itself as a restaurant that celebrates a broad range of Mediterranean cuisine, which is reflected across all the menus. The starters reflect places like Spain, Italy, Israel and Morroco with Sea Bream pate and straciatella crostini with blistered shishito peppers and the roasted carrot salad with quinoa on top of a Labneh spread, which is a great dish for sharing.
The main dishes are divided into three sections: pizza, pasta, and protein. The pizzas are the perfect size for lunch and with toppings like pear and walnut, ricotta and swiss chard, and lamb and labneh, there’s something for every palate. The Branzino is a definite go-to in terms of the proteins. The light, white Mediterranean fish is a satisfying midday bite, wrapped around braised artichoke and laid atop a bed of bulgur wheat.
Because no power lunch is complete without drinks, Constantine has you covered in terms of upscale cocktails and wines. The cocktails share the same Mediterranean flare as the food menu, utilizing the unique flavours of Moroccan syrup and parés baltà cava. A spinoff of a Mai Tai, The Tropicaliais is a tropical and herbal with cachaça, branca menta, lemon, lime, orgeat and passionfruit. Another signature cocktail is the
Wine aficionados will love Constantine’s extensive list of wines separated by region and colour. Reds, whites and rosés are available from regions of Italy, France, Portugal, Austria, and pretty much anywhere else in the world.