Where to DINE Now: Blue Bovine Steak + Sushi House

Blue Bovine Interior

The romance of the train station has been given a makeover. These marvels of architecture, transportation hubs, are now becoming shopping meccas and social and cultural hubs. Grand Central Station, Kyoto Station, London Bridge Station, are models for the shift in cultural development. Enter Toronto’s Union Station. At almost 100, it needed a lift. Anyone who has visited Union Station in the past year can attest to the dramatic changes. And now there is Blue Bovine Steak + Sushi House.

Liberty Entertainment Group is uniquely adept at revitalizing the beautiful underutilized landmarks of Toronto. What they have done for Toronto’s culture and dining is without peer and cannot be overstated. Just look at all the activity breathed into Casa Loma that did not exist before, from dining at Blueblood Steakhouse, to enjoying Symphonies, Holiday Lights Tours, and even Escape Rooms. Now the dynamic duo, Nick and Nadia di Donato, have re-imagined a corner of Union Station where all the mechanics are housed, and created a fabulous restaurant that is so accessible, and we don’t even need to drive there or search for parking.

Gougères
Gougères

Location, Location, Location!

We take the subway. Easy. Anyone visiting Toronto from anywhere across the GTA and beyond, can simply take the train or subway, and presto! You’re there. Anyone heading downtown to a Leafs game, Raptors game, Blue Jays game, the convention centre or a concert, you can dine here and be very happy.

We settle into a comfy round booth with champagne and cocktails. My Lavender Haze of Empress gin is a potpourri, aromatic and soft on the palate. In short order we are served steaming Gougères of white cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano. There’s no heavy cream. It’s just delicate, warm choux pastries for pop-in-your-mouth palate opening savouries.

Short Rib Ravioli
Short Rib Ravioli

If the bronze bull at the entrance is not a bold enough hint, the menu is flavour forward. “Umami” is hard to define. If you need a definition, it’s this Short Rib Ravioli, and the porcini mushroom jus in which the tender pulled short rib and delicate in-house made ravioli luxuriates. Thin pasta is stuffed with ricotta. It is so rich, and yet light. And the sprinkling of green peas adds just a little edge of colour and bite. I would walk a mile for this ravioli. It is easily the most delicious dish I’ve tasted in recent memory.

Not to be outdone, Nero Risotto, a Venetian recipe is blackened by squid ink, crowned with plump, firm U10 Diver scallops from Maine, and infused with an aromatic saffron beurre blanc. It is earthy and creamy, with such a delicious mouthfeel, we want to scoop up every last morsel. This is the height of sophisticated, decadent comfort food.

Nero Risotto with Diver Scallops
Nero Risotto with Diver Scallops

Everything that comes out of the kitchen looks different. Whenever something is whisked by, we ask each other, “Did you see that?” Across the dining room, Chef Eugene creates platters of sushi like display cases of jewellery.

Does Toronto need more sushi? Well, in this case: Yes. It’s rare to be surprised by the presentation of sushi. The differences in the sushi we eat are usually qualitative not innovative. But this? This is a work of art. This is sexy. The wasabi is imported fresh from Japan. The sushi rice is from Kagoshima. And the soy sauce is made in-house for sweeter, thicker brew.

Sushi
Omakase Sushi

Our omakase selection of sushi includes a nigiri of torched eel with a haystack of fried onions; a maki roll of sea urchin topped with sea grapes; akami tuna with a crown of Osetra caviar; torched A5 wagyu; in-season amber jack; cho-toro (medium fatty tuna) with a wasabi puree and beluga caviar; lightly torched king salmon; and fluke with toasted peppercorns. This is so impressive, and so delicious. We really enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship involved and how all the tiny nuances blend beautifully. It’s unique in Toronto.

See Also

We’re here for the steak. Our selection of salt includes a Mediterranean Black Salt, Maldon Salt, and a Himalayan Pink Salt. Our plates are warm. There is a trophy in the meat locker from the Kobe Beef Association. It’s not easy to find genuine Kobe Beef in a restaurant, let alone to find one location that can serve it consistently. It’s extremely rare, actually. There is a very rigid approval process involved. And so, we can confidently save ourselves the trip to Japan, and enjoy a Kobe steak right here. However, I believe in the high quality of Canada beef, and what is produced in Guelph, Ontario is second to none. Our centre cut arrives at the perfect temperature and with perfect caramelization. This is one of those moments when it so good, we have to close our eyes to fully appreciate it. Chef Sean Blomely shares with us that all you need is “A little bit of salt, and the right knowledge.” This beef is so lovingly marbled; every morsel is a voluptuous purse of all that we crave in a juicy steak.

Centre Cut Steak
Centre Cut Steak

To accompany our steak, we order a ginormous serving of Kennebec Fries. These crunchy, firm stalks of potato are so thick they could be support-beams for a massive Jenga tower. Once you’ve tasted these fries, nothing else will ever compare.

The design and concept of Blue Bovine is very smart. Its beaux-arts architectural style of the grand entrance with ornate detail and symmetry is melded with a modern twist. All the industrial mechanics are incorporated to highlight the uniqueness of the space, while the glass walls and open kitchen breathe life and an urban chic vibe. This is a hip destination that celebrates cosmopolitan Toronto. And why not? Blue Bovine nails it.

Blue Bovine Steak + Sushi House, 65 Front St W Unit 108, Toronto, 647-805-3682

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