Where to DINE Now: Draco

Toronto Marriott Markham

It has been quite a few years since we took the leisurely drive to Downtown Markham, and we’re amazed by the changes. The interesting shops, the well thought out plazas, and all that artfully-designed parking space! New restaurants have opened everywhere, like flowers after a spring rain. Almost every cuisine of China is represented here, in this fourth largest city in Ontario, as well as any of the Italian culinary nuances we could ever desire. A day in Markham, dining and shopping, is probably the coolest getaway you can experience without boarding a plane.

We make our HQ for the day’s adventures at the Toronto Marriott Markham. Lunch in the spacious main floor dining room of Draco Restaurant is the plan, and once seated in a comfortable curved leather booth, menu in hand, we know we have chosen well.

Korean Short Rib
Korean Short Rib

“I love simple ingredients presented well” says the affable Executive Chef Bill Jewer. The menu leaves us no choice but to order a taste of almost everything listed. I mean, really, who could choose between Korean style short ribs, presented atop house-made kimchi, and topped with a little soy barbecue sauce and chopped green onions, and say, grilled lamb chops with mint salsa and grain mustard. We must have them both, please.

And then, there is the braised, seared pork belly taco, with a zesty Asian slaw of crunchy napa cabbage and carrots, soy ginger, and lush house-made salsa verde of avocado and the ping of jalapeno. Carefully folding the taco, we relish those first bites.

crab cakes
Crab Cake

Choosing a wine to pair with all these flavours is no problem for me. Sparkling Rosé goes with everything (in my humble opinion.) Particularly with a luscious Stone Crab cake made with crab from Boston, that comes perched on garlic aoli and drizzled with balsamic. A clutch of greens brings out the fresh oceanic flavours.

It’s never enough when each dish is more enticing than the one before. Pan-seared black cod, for example, is irresistible partnered with roasted sweet potato, braised fresh spinach and lemon butter sauce. And my favorite vegetable, (100% vegan) garlic braised eggplant has enough garlic to ward off any vampires skulking around. Also vegan, is the very popular Buddha Bowl served with gluten-free crisp oven flatbreads.

black cod
Black Cod

We take a break to admire our surroundings and the ever-changing works from, the Remington Art Gallery. Even the hallways are a treasure trove of a collection of historic photographs. Much to see. Much to eat.

Wagyu Steak
Wagyu Steak

Throwing caution to the winds, I finally, once in my adult life order chicken wings (and an extra serviette.) These maple bourbon wings and chicken leek pot stickers are worth every drop of sauce, and every bit of sticky fingers. We end today’s decadent feast with a 6oz. Australian wagyu coulotte steak that’s served with equally tasty sides of duck fat smashed blue potato, asparagus, and demi-glace perfumed with a hit of truffle oil.

See Also
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Deep Dish Key Lime Pie
Deep Dish Key Lime Pie

Do we have an appetite for dessert? I’m just a girl who can’t say no to a trio of sorbets, mango raspberry and peach. And just a little taste of deep-dish Key Lime pie with refreshing sweet-citrus. Draco has quite an innovative mixology program, too, and a particularly extensive bourbon selection. We opt for a smooth Maple Bourbon Latte to pair with our disarmingly devour-able dessert.

We feel no rush here, just a calm sense that we’ve escaped the hustle and bustle for a quiet and sophisticated respite to an ideal getaway from which to recollect and recharge.

Draco Restaurant, Toronto Marriott Markham, 170 Enterprise Blvd, Markham, 437-777-3496

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