June 8th, 2012
Eat Play Love
Until now, we had made it a rule to stay as far away from strip malls as possible.
Set in a plaza at the tired corner of Gerrard and Carlaw, The Playpen is an unexpected treat of fine food and finer libations. The Mondrian color scheme and ’70s light fixtures set the mood (even our waiter looked like he’d stepped out from central casting) but the food is far from kitsch. Chef Laura Prentice’s lobster maki balls, tender rack of Ontario lamb and chocolate ganache with cardamom sent us on a stairway to heaven and back.
Finish up with a couple of beet martinis in the plush lounge bar and you’ll feel very playful indeed. —Marianne Wisenthal
The Playpen, 842 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, 416-907-9761, www.theplaypen.ca