Address: 3401 Dufferin St
Phone Number: (416) 322-9422
City: North York
We’re not sure if Restoration Hardware’s Courtyard Café is something we’d be surprised to find at the very front of a lavish furniture store, or whether it’s exactly the kind of thing we expect. Either way, it is absolutely stunning. We visited in the heart of winter – it was a gloomy, cold, rather damp day – but inside RH’s Courtyard Café, that wasn’t the case. We dined under lush green trees and a 140-foot wide skylight that made us feel like we were comfortably dining outdoors in milder weather (without wind and bugs to mess it all up!) – oh, except for the beautiful crystal chandeliers hung from the walls and marble table tops. Seating is cozy – diners can sit in plush cloth booths or chairs, surrounded by pillows and candles. The interior itself is honestly worth at least one trip, even if just for coffee and one of RH’s desserts. Be aware that they do not take reservations however, so if you plan on going between Friday and Sunday, make sure you arrive a little earlier, since these are typically their busiest times.
The menu is relatively straightforward and incorporates fresh, seasonal ingredients in each item. If you plan to start your experience off with a beverage, RH truly has something for everyone. For starters, there are a variety of tea and coffee beverages to choose from. We tried the chai latte, which was creamy and delicate but finished with a spicy little kick right at the end. It was rather enjoyable! If you’re not feeling a hot beverage, RH also offers cold pressed juices, cocktails, and a specially curated collection of artisanal wines and craft beers.
RH does breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the breakfast menu are some simple breakfast staples. The RH Scramble ($14) is a popular option, featuring eggs, crème fraiche, avocado, and chives served with sourdough bread. If you’re feeling extra bougie, you can even add black truffle for $10. RH also offers a smoked salmon platter serviced with cucumber, pickled onion, fresh cheese, and an everything bagel ($25). There is also toast and jam served with butter and fresh cheese ($8) in addition to the RH granola and yogurt, which comes with fresh fruit, almonds, and honey ($12). Someone looking for a little more protein with breakfast can also add a side of bacon for $10.
The Lunch and Dinner menus are almost exactly the same, save for the addition of a shrimp cocktail to the lunch menu ($21). The menus come in three parts: For the Table (aka shareable apps), Salads, and Mains.
The Shareable Appetizers on the menu include Triple Cream Cheese served with preserves, pecans, and warm baguette ($17), Artisanal Prosciutto served with seasonal fruit and warm baguette ($19), Vegetables + Dips (the dips being chickpea hummus, curried cauliflower, & avocado) ($21), Burrata garnished with tomatoes and basil and served with garlic bread ($23), and good ol’ hand-cut fries ($8). We ordered some fries to start, which were deliciously crispy and not too oily – and definitely hand cut from real potatoes! They come served with ketchup and a delicious garlic aioli. The latter had an excellent balance of creaminess and acidity, which paired really nicely with the fries.
For lighter fare, there are quite a few salad options as well. When it comes to ordering these though, I server let us in on a little menu hack – when added as a side, the salads are a little under half the price they are listed for on the menu, and the portion is still quite large (the salads range in price from $16-$18). The standard side is the house salad, which is fresh greens with thinly sliced radish overtop in a vinaigrette – this wasn’t bad for a standard salad! We also tried the Kale Caesar, which featured uber fresh Kale and Romaine leaves in a creamy, mild Caesar dressing topped with crispy garlic sourdough crumbs, and shaved parmesan. This salad was so delicious, we had to practice some self-restraint in not licking the plate clean! Whether or not it would be worth $17 as an entrée though we are still unsure. On this day, we were satisfied with getting it as a side, even though it was super yummy.
RH’s mains are nothing that non-adventurous eaters would not enjoy – many are sandwiches with the exception of the simple prep of fish (fish of the day dressed with lemon, olive oil, and dill) and the slow roasted chicken (chicken breast flavored with roasted garlic in natural jus). Many, however, go with the sandwich options. The sandwich that has been gracing many an Instagram feed is the Truffled Grilled Cheese ($19), which is a simple thick cut, crispy, and well-buttered sourdough and sharp white cheddar cheese.
The Lobster Roll ($31), the most expensive menu item, is also popular – this sandwich is served with drawn butter, mayonnaise and sprinkled with old bay. The sandwich was delicious – the bread was delightfully fresh and buttery, as was the lobster. However, the portion was quite small considering it costs over $30. We would only recommend getting this If you really, really love lobster rolls and you have a serious craving for one.
Another good but significantly less expensive option is the RH Burger ($19). This comes with two juicy patties cooked medium and dressed up with all the fixins – American cheddar, pickles, onion, Dijonnaise (that’s Dijon Mayo), Lettuce, & Tomato. All of the veggies inside were really fresh and the dish was very filling. No bad for $19.
If we had to pick, our favourite main that we tried would have to be the grilled cheese for the lower price tag, overall deliciousness, and satisfaction levels. Other mains include a Shaved Ribeye Sandwich and Turkey Club ($18).
Want to finish with something sweet? There is a café in the very center of RH for a more casual coffee and pastry situation, or you can order RH’s chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, or banana split right to your table if you’re dining in.