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Sassafraz has been nestled in the heart of Yorkville since opening in 1997, but it’s a rare landmark in the neighbourhood: there’s a quietly unassuming air about this restaurant where everybody’s welcome, whether you’re dressed in an Italian three-piece suit or stopping by for lunch after a gym session. It’s the kind of place where the chef specializes in gazpacho and Cornish hen equally, offering diners an unparalleled French-Canadian cuisine experience in Toronto.

“For us, it’s all about accessibility,” says Zoran Kocovski, owner of Sassafraz, “and we want to make sure that we’re inclusive of any Torontonian. So whether you’re coming in as a celebrity during TIFF or whether you’re visiting on a particular weekend to celebrate a special occasion, we want to make it fully accessible to you.”

Read the story of Sassafraz Restaurant

Ratings & Reviews - Sassafraz Restaurant

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  • Atmosphere: 3.9/5
  • Food: 3.6/5
  • Service: 4.1/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Overpriced pan fried steak with peas

For my $ 65 dinner, I got a soup, steak and a brownie. The first and third item were adequate - nothing spectacular. The main course is what really shocked me! Please imagine the following in the middle of a big white plate: - a plain pan fried steak (no salt, pepper or any type of sauce). They did not even offer any fresh ground pepper - a little mound of potato (about 3 tablespoons) - 6 or 7 green peas. Literally, I could fit all that food in the palm of my hand. For all the money I was paying, I was expecting at least some mix of veggies and a steak for which I could not readily make at home. It really was the bare minimum. Folks, please don't go to this restaurant. It does not live up to the price or its reputation.

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Restaurantica12
By

great restaurant

Great menu and service. Particularly enjoyed the summerlicious menu. Steaks are cooked to order and the fresh fish is amazing. Great place to people watch, especially when celebrities are in town. Love the dessert menu.

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Restaurantica12
By

Well rounded dining experience

We went to Sassafraz for a special occasion so we didn't cut any corners on price, but it was well worth it. The entrance brings you into S bar which is a more casual bar like dining area. We were sat in the main dining room which has an elegant and modern atmosphere. We were served an amuse bouche of grape chutney topped with toasted pine nuts. This was delicious although didn't have the saltiness to stimulate your palate that an amuse typically has. We ordered the carpaccio and sweet potato soup for our appetizers. The carpaccio was served with fairly traditional garnishes, but was amazing as a result of perfect seasoning and the meat being tempered perfectly. The soup was mediocre, as it was on the verge of being cold, and lacked any memorable flavor. The pheasant was absolutely delicious and was the perfect way to use foie gras as an accent rather than a primary flavour. It was cooked perfectly however there was little contrast in texture between the skin, the meat and the stuffing. The tenderloin was served on top of a lobster pomme macaire with a spinach puree, both interesting in taste and texture. The steak itself was good as far as quality of the meat, but as far as flavor it wasn't the best steak I've eaten. For dessert we enjoyed a variety of ice creams and sorbets, some of which included Jack Daniels Green Apple and passionfruit. They varied in quality and flavour, however overall they were enjoyable. The service at Sassafraz was above average; anything unused on the table was promptly removed by the porter and their etiquette was exceptional; something that is both rare and highly appreciated. Overall we enjoyed our time at Sassafraz, in part due to the excellent service and the elegant environment, as well as the overall quality of the food. We would recommend Sassafraz to anyone interested in great food and a well rounded dining experience.

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Restaurantica12
By

Cozy winter evening

This place warms up a cold Toronto Friday night in January. Live piano music really sets a nice tone if you dine in the main restaurant, which is so serene, airy and lovely. The restaurant seems to be on a completely different planet from the bar, which is noisy and crowded. I'm glad there's a door between the two. Our waiter was fabulous, friendly and attentive. We shared an appetizer of scallops over potato rosti, and enjoyed rib eye steak and halibut as our mains. The food was delicious, and so nicely presented it looked like a work of art.

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Will N
By

Perfect Valentines Day destination!

Great attentive service Good food! Great wine selection! The only thumbs down was the wait (1 hour even with reservation)

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Posh lunch

Went for a weekday lunch, pre-TIFF, the restaurant far from full, but not empty and looking very airy and beautiful. We didn't visit the lounge/bar, which had more people and looked a kind of polished cozy. When our server finally arrived to say hello she was polite and friendly, but very rushed. She took our drink order twice, but unfortunately got half of it wrong, though the error was quickly fixed. Our food arrived VERY quickly, with no break between courses, which is great for a business lunch. The spinach salad was lovely, the blueberry and goat cheese works well, the walnuts were yummy and there was plenty to share one order, nicely divided for us. The scallops melted in my mouth, seasoned and cooked perfectly, the chantrelle foam a surprisingly tasty touch, the salad delicious and quite filling for its size. I still wanted to lick my plate. The salmon was also cooked perfectly, the buerre blanc a lovely flavour paired well with the sunchoke-potato puree. Desserts sounded good, but we had plans for Greg's ice-cream :) Settling the bill seemed to take longer than it should have - the apparently solo server pretty busy. Seemed busy enough to have two servers working..... And that really was the only drawback - a lack of attention. A nice Yorkville treat.

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Restaurantica12
By

A nice meal in a nice place...

Nice, bright yellow bistro type of restaurant in the heart or Yorkville--one of the "it" places for celebrities and celebrity-watchers. Very good food and good service. Would return.

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Restaurantica12
By

Reffered by Hotel consierge, went and returned a...

Reffered by Hotel consierge, went and returned a second time ( both business). Our American guests appreciated the food choices, quality, decor and service. Very attentive servers. No complaints

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Bad food! Bad experience! Went to Sassafraz for...

Bad food! Bad experience! Went to Sassafraz for Valentine's day b/c of great word of mouth -and were horribly disappointed. Waited over an hour to be seated! Our reservation was for a seating at 830pm, finally got a table at 945pm! We were standing in the doorway waiting for a table, along with 50 other patrons! Incredibly disappointed by poor organizational skills of the housestaff to allow that to happen. The food, thereafter was bland! Started off by cold bread and cold butter, then luke warm and broth-like lobster bisque (with a half-piece of white sandwich bread toasted and put ontop), followed by ordinary spinach salad with toasted almonds - dressing had no flavour, entree of overcooked indian style prawns (2 of them with 2 scallops)- which despite appearing spiced, tasted like overcooked prawns and scallops, and ended with dry chocolate cake. For over $200 total, this was definitely a poor choice for dining out! As my husband and I are foodies who simply enjoy good, well prepared food, we were unfortunately misled by the word of mouth that we had heard about Sassafraz.. We would never return!

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

We went there a couple of days ago to try their...

We went there a couple of days ago to try their winterlicious menu. The service was excellent. The Wine and food were very good too. We were seated at the bistro and not at the dining area, because it was full. The fish we ordered was well done , and it was completed with an extraordinary dessert.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

A huge change

Before the fire, Sassafraz used to just be a place to be seen, with bad food, bad service, but still all the hype. Its taken a complete turn for the better. I have never seen such dedicated staff who execute everything perfectly. Everything was set up in a perfect traditional fine dining manner which made the atmosphere even better! (even though it was amazing at night: candles, dim lights, music, the perfect mood) The food was absolutely amazing, taste and presentation both, Chef Bradly M, looks like a huge change for the company. Definitely recommend it to everyone!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Incredible! I took my girlfriend there for our...

Incredible! I took my girlfriend there for our anniversary and we both loved it. The service was top-notch, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Incredible! We all discussed everything overall...

Incredible! We all discussed everything overall and no one could find a fault. Service was terrific, the food was bang on, flavourful and desert was amazing. All of us can't wait to go back! Try the "Banana's 3 ways".

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Oh was so great. beautiful interior and wonderful...

Oh was so great. beautiful interior and wonderful service, excellent food. No wonder it is a favourite spot for celebrities. Even brought my 3 year old son and that was no problem, the servers kept coming over to talk to him, was really nice.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I have heard a lot about place, but I cannot tell...

I have heard a lot about place, but I cannot tell you what the hype is all about. The food was horrible. The vegetarian pasta was like something I could have thrown together. The portions were small and overall tasteless. Basically the place is all talk and no show. I would never go there again.

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 1/5
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Appears in 10 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Winterlicious 2017: $48 dinners

Winterlicious 2017: $48 dinners

The little yellow house that Sassafraz calls home is set in an array of Victorian row houses in the heart of historic Yorkville. Sassafraz has seen it all – from the early hippie movement of the ‘60s to the lack of movement that comes from too much Bordeaux. Sassafraz specializes in market-driven, French-inspired Canadian cuisine. On the Winterlicious menu, options include the bison short rib pappardelle with wild mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, fine herbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano; bean and root vegetable salad; and flourless dark chocolate cake.

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