Taking you back to the 1920’s when the streets of Paris, New York or Chicago were bustling with the sounds and soul leaping out of all the marvelous jazz clubs; there once was a time when dining to the smooth sounds of a passionate vocalist accompanied by impassioned acoustics was the norm.

Dressed in your best indulging in distinctive cuisine while sipping on refreshing cocktails and bopping your head to the fluid beats — this is the type of dining experience I so yearn for.  The perfect way to unwind after a long, hard day (or week!).

Toronto is brimming with prodigious restaurants of all sorts but what I find they do lack are restaurants that offer an exceptional dining experience AND live entertainment.
I am a big jazz lover.
So when I learned of a new Restaurant that opened its doors this year, I knew I had to experience Toronto’s newest jazz venue and dining destination.

The first thing I noticed was the striking décor of deep-coloured wood-trimmed walls, dimly lit by elegant chandeliers and a lot of deep red.
After walking into the main level of the restaurant (they have 3 levels), my eyes instantly traveled directly to The Red Pops (their Beautiful, One-of-Kind Red Steinway Piano) situated in the centre on stage.
Welcome to the Jazz Bistro.

Located at 251 Victoria St., the recently renovated, three-level club includes a performance and dining area, wine bar, private event space and expansive rooftop patio. The open-concept design ensures guests on the second floor balcony have a perfect view of the stage, which features a magnificent red pop Steinway piano (the only one of its’ kind in the world). The warm and inviting space serves as an intimate setting for authentic, live jazz performances by some of the world’s finest jazz musicians, and will focus on promoting Toronto’s own jazz artists. The space creates a comfortable atmosphere for quality modern bistro dining.

I loved how all levels of the Jazz Bistro offered such different atmospheres depending on your mood or if you were interested in hosting an event.
It would be the perfect spot to host an intimate event!
When I was visiting, there was a bachelorette dinner on the 2nd floor (hidden behind sheer curtains in a private cove in the corner of the 2nd level) and on the top (3rd level), there was a private party with their own separate live entertainment.
What’s great is that there is a bar on each level.
If you’re looking to really get into the euphonic mood and completely immerse yourself in the live jazz, the main floor dining is the way to go.
If you much prefer a more intimate dining experience where you can still see and hear the live entertainment, but not have much issues hearing your dine-mate/s during conversation, the 2nd level is the best location.
I personally LOVED the 2nd level dining experience. I was seated over the performance area so I can see and hear everything perfectly. It was also so very picturesque.

Even the washrooms are pretty!

I ordered myself a Kir Royal Cocktail (Prosecco with a dash of Chambord) and enjoyed the lovely sounds of the Mandy Lagan Quintet.
The Jazz Ice Tea is pretty amazing too!

As for the food…

… we were pleasantly surprised.
Why surprised?
I have not really had very flavorsome dishes at restaurants that offer live entertainment. Not sure why that is, but from my own unfortunate experience, I wasn’t really expecting to be blown away.

I loved the Wild Boar Terrine with Pickled Walnuts, Cherry Chutney, Honey Comb and Brioche for an appetizer. The fusion of flavours was delightful! It paired so perfectly with my cocktail.

I am definitely ordering this every single time I come here.

As for the mains, I ordered a Bouillabaisse with Yellow Perch, Clams, Diver Scallops and Prawns in a Tomato Saffron Broth with Rouille and Crostini.

I remember having Bouillabaisse in Paris so of course I was going to compare them. I felt like I was tasting the Provence!
So heavenly! The perfect dish on a cool day.
The broth was so perfectly tasty and the seafood was abundant and delectable.
I couldn’t even finish it because there was a lot of seafood! No complaints here though because I love seafood.

I also LOVED the Rouille along with the crostini. So tasty!
Rouille is a sauce that consists of olive oil with breadcrumbs, garlic, saffron and chili peppers and usually an accompaniment to Fish or Fish Soup, and notably, Bouillabaisse.

My husband ordered the Crispy Lamb Belly with Flageolet Bean and Tomato Ragout, Spinach Puree and Glazed Baby Carrots. I always said he had a knack for ordering the right dishes!

Thoroughly crisped yet not dry and seasoned to perfection, this is a very appetizing dish.

And you never want to leave here without dessert!

The Jazz Torte made of Chocolate Dobos Sponge, Pecan Praline Buttercream, Dolce De Leche Mousse & Vanilla Cardamom Ice Cream is delightful! Not overly sweet with the perfect combination of crunch and chewiness. And the presentation was just perfect!
Loved the chocolate musical notes sitting atop!

If you love the taste of coconut, you will love their Coconut Panna Cotta with Pineapple Carpaccio, Mango Coulis, Rum Tuille & Coconut Crunch.
A breezy shot of tropical delight!

So if you’re looking for a nice dose of live jazz coupled with some delicious eats in a beautiful setting, head over to Victoria and Dundas in Toronto and Say Hello to The Red Pops!

To learn more about Jazz Bistro, you can visit them at: http://www.jazzbistro.ca and also on Facebook and Twitter @JazzBistroTO.

Jazz Bistro
251 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1T8
416.363.5299 (JAZZ)

Disclosure: Dining was all complimentary for a complete review; however as always, all opinions expressed are my very own.

17 Comments on The Red Pops and Fine Fare at Jazz Bistro

  1. Great review…I love the food presentation; which I am sure tastes divine! The Bistro looks so lovely. I will be dining there with my husband next month. After reading your review, I am even more inclined to go. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We went last weekend. Jazz was superb and the desserts were amazing! Next time, I hope to try the other foods there.

  3. Ooo what a hidden gem! It’s totally been my experience as well that venues that offer live music often don’t have the best menus OR quality of food. Your meal looks amazing!

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