Thursday, May 21, 2015

The One Eighty (formerly Panorama)

Renowned for its spectacular panoramic north and south views of the city, what used to be Panorama on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre has now been re-launched as The One Eighty, a sophisticated restaurant and cocktail lounge offering specialty cocktails and an innovative food menu. I remember back in the day when I was still in school Panorama was the place for a guy to take a girl on the first date. I remember the last time I was there I was on a date 10+ years ago. I wasn't really into food nor cocktails back then but man, I remember feeling so "grown-up" just being there. The place was so chic and fancy, you know? Downtown Yorkville, Bay & Bloor, 51st floor, pretty desserts and drinks. Yep, 'Sauga girl in the big city! Oh, how times have changed...

Anyhoo, let's not get off track. The decor at The One Eighty (Twitter: @the51stfloor, Facebook: The One Eighty) is a mix of classic and contemporary. Modern lines with shades of grey, touches of wood, and gold/bronze accents all evoke a sense of luxury in the revamped 2,500 sq. ft. space. Actually, I'm really loving those glossy white arched ceilings.

The restaurant accommodates over 90 guests for sit-down dining and up to 250 guests for cocktail receptions and events. The One Eighty also has a 1,500 sq. ft patio offering breathtaking views of the city.

A nice semi-private nook for a small group of friends

Owned by event management and catering brand EatertainmentThe One Eighty’s unique concept is inspired by President Sebastien Centner’s travels around the globe. At The One Eightyselect house cocktails are served bottled for a pop-art touch.

In addition, The One Eighty has an interactive table-side service where servers visit tables offering specialty snacks in stylish bar-carts. First thought that comes to my mind? Dim sum, of course!

Very fancy dim sum, though.

Me and the other guests at the table nibbled on pork belly, croquettes, lobster roll and fois gras brulée from the bar-cart ($5 - $7 ea).

We then shared the following appetizers:

Spring vegetables + maple mustard vinaigrette

Arugula, micro greens + market tomatoes

French green beans, frisée, chive oil+ pecorino

San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella + basil

Served warm with house made black pepper kettle chips

Our mains:

Le Puy lentils, baby kale, tomatoes, olives + lemon

Rosemary jus + zucchini tagliatelle

Crispy jalapenos + cherry chutney

Desserts so share:

Candied orange + petrified mandarin crisps

Buttery graham streusel

Overall, I thought the food at The One Eighty was average, definitely not something I would rave about. What I do like is the concept of the bar-carts because they give diners a chance to snack and nibble on special off-the-menu daily features in between courses. This is undeniably a fun and interactive concept. However, with a $5-$7 price tag on each plate they quickly become very expensive bites of food (be careful if you're feeling particularly famished!) The guests at my table enjoyed their mains - the salmon, cornish hen, and beef tenderloin (not pictured) - but I was extremely disappointed with my buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. When it came to the table I had high hopes; great presentation with the alternating chicken and waffles plated upright with a nice separate sauce vessel, but looks can only go so far. The chicken skin was soft to the touch and not crispy at all, and the meat inside was dry. I felt like I was eating a piece of chicken from a chicken sandwich at a fast-food joint (I also prefer my fried chicken with bone-in but this is personal preference). Even the waffle seemed dry and bland if that's possible. What made everything even worse was that chutney which was actually pretty pleasant at first but then became progressively hotter and hotter, so hot I had to ask for more water. And guys, this is coming from a person that likes and can take heat. I would've been livid if I had to pay $29 for this.

I wouldn't mind going back to The One Eighty for drinks only because I love the space, the ambiance, and this irresistible view of our city. 

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

Click to add a blog post for The One Eighty on Zomato