A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of visiting Holts Café for lunch. It’s a trendy cafe on the mezzanine level of one of Yorkville’s institutions, Holt Renfrew. The cafe was an elongated bright space with a red and light grey color scheme. It’s an ideal setting for a casual lunch, business lunch, dates, or mid-afternoon shopping break. Holts Café’s menu features a locally-inspired menu with a variety of signature dishes including the chopped salad and Holts burger.
I started off with a drink from their mocktails selection; the Mango Mule ($7) – peaches and cream syrup, lime juice, mango juice, ginger syrup, Angostura bitters, soda. It was a sweet and refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.
We got the Grilled Jerk Shrimp ($14) containing jalapeño pineapple salsa as an appetizer. I was told that it only had a slight kick due to some regular clienteles complaining about the heat level. The jerk shrimp along with the sweet and juicy pineapple was a fantastic combo.
The Fragrant Steamed Mussels ($13) – peppers, thyme, oregano, garlic, shallots, white wine was another stand-out appetizer. The seafood delicacy come together with the help of white wine and various spices to create a lovely aromatic smell. The broth itself was light and savory, and there was a generous helping of mussels (big enough to share between two people).
One of their most recommended salad was the Chopped Salad ($19) – avocado, cucumber, peppers, chickpeas, sweet corn, red cabbage, romaine lettuce, French vinaigrette. The salad was a decent option, but there wasn’t enough French vinaigrette, so it tasted too light to me.
I opted for the Pickerel ($27) as my main, and it was a perfectly cooked dish. The fish was lightly seasoned and complemented the creamy Jerusalem artichoke and French beans. It was also topped with some shaved fennel, which didn’t really seem to add or detract from the taste. Lastly, the pickerel was pan-seared, which resulted in a beautiful crust that added to the texture of the fish. A simply light main course!
Steak Frites ($27) – 8 oz petite tender, hand cut fries, wild mushroom ragoût, red wine jus
Desserts has always been one of my favorite things, so I was looking forward to trying the Strawberry Shortcake ($10). It was made with shortcake biscuit, pastry cream, strawberry compote, crème Anglaise, Chantilly cream. It was literally a platter of sugar, which probably doesn’t suit everyone’s palette. It was very sweet, which I liked. However, I think that they could add a few more strawberries to balance out the sweetness of the shortcake biscuits.
The Chocolate Mousse ($10) – fresh raspberry, feuilletine hazelnut crust, coulis gracefully sat in a pool of coulis made from puréed fruits. It was definitely an airy and rich dessert.
Brewed Coffee ($4.25) – Caffè Umbria
Overall, our lunch at the Holts Café at Holt Renfrew Toronto was a very pleasant dining experience. Despite it being near 75% capacity, I noticed that all diners were being attended to appropriately, which I am not surprised considering the brand namesake.
If you do come for lunch, they are are extremely limited parking spaces in the Yorkville area. So I’d recommend either using public transportation, Uber, or taking a taxi. However, if you do plan on driving, Holt Renfrew does offer valet parking for $25.
Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
Address: 50 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M4W 1A1