Amid Canada’s most expensive real estate, restaurants, and designer shops lies a Yorkville sensation. Currently hidden behind scaffolding, due to the tower’s multi-million-dollar renovation, is Planta restaurant.
Attracting Hollywood’s elite and business moguls from around the world, this plant-based, eco-friendly restaurant has reached levels of cult fame. Earning a top spot in Toronto’s restaurant scene, Planta was named by Open-Table as one of “Toronto’s Most-Booked Restaurants During TIFF 2018“.
Opening in Canada in 2016, Planta has taken root and spread. With three locations in Toronto – Yorkville, Queen West, and Temperance Street – Planta recently opened its first US establishment. Partnering with Miami’s nightclub and restaurant guru, David Grutman, they were able to secure a spot in Miami Beach’s coveted South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood.
With culinary kings molding Planta’s creative vision, including the likes of Executive Chef David Lee, restaurant investor Chase Hospitality Group, and of course, David Grutman, it is no surprise the coastal-inspired enterprise is a resounding success.
The moment you walk through the doors of Planta’s flagship location in Yorkville, you know you are somewhere special. Imported statuesque palm trees stand-out like works of art amongst the restaurant’s white and black color scheme. The chairs, walls, and floor played host to these colors, displayed in various patterns and textures. Adding to the ambiance are wall cutouts, dimly lit, and filled with green foliage. Reaching to the 25-foot ceiling, the greenery is met by iron chandeliers, casting romantic shadows on the guests below.
With almost every seat in the house spoken for on a Tuesday night, the energy in the room is palpable. The servers seem to move in perfect harmony, weaving trays of food and drinks artfully between the tables. Food consumed as quickly as it is delivered, it is difficult to catch a glance at what people are ordering.
One dish that consistently passed by our table was the Cauliflower Bites. Filled with whipped cauliflower, fried, topped with lemon aioli, and dusted with truffle almond parmesan, it was easy to understand why these spheres were a menu favorite.
In addition to the Cauliflower Bites, our table ordered the Watermelon Poke and Sunday Meatballs from the snacks/small plates section. The poke was a tower of visual beauty. From the bottom-up, the layers included diced watermelon bathed in citrus soya, smashed avocado, toasted nori, and coriander sprigs. The taste and texture were unmistakably similar to traditional tuna poke.
As for the Sunday Meatballs, they were equally delicious. Drowning in a spicy tomato sauce and dusted with a generous serving of almond parmesan, our table of four fought for a taste. Only once every morsel was consumed did we turn our focus to refreshments.
Looking to top up our beverages before enjoying the main dishes, we reviewed the unique drink selection. Kombucha-on-tap captured the attention of the table. With two options to choose from, Ultraviolet, composed of cold-pressed pineapple, cold-pressed lemon, blue matcha, and lemongrass, was the ultimate winner. In addition to kombucha, an order of Peach Don’t Kill My Vibe (rose-infused gin, peach liqueur, cava, and a hint of lemon) and About Last Night (tequila, Campari, grapefruit, sweet vermouth, lime juice, and pink salt) were placed.
When our mains arrived, our group was abuzz with excitement. Eagerly we dug into our selections, which included the Planta Burger, Bianca Pizza, Mushroom Bolognese, and the monthly feature – Greek Burger with tzatziki and olive tapenade.
Thoroughly pleased with our menu selections, the only regret of the night was not saving room for dessert. Despite our server’s insistence that we try the Chocolate Terrarium or Birthday Cake – complete with raspberry buttercream – our appetites were fully satiated.
With our group already making plans to again dine at Planta, it is undeniable that this vegan restaurant has masterfully created a memorable and desirable dining experience. Successfully carving out a unique place in the competitive restaurant scene, it would not be surprising to see Planta continue to grow, opening new locations throughout North America.