Since opening in 2000, Tundra Restaurant has been a popular choice for travelers staying in downtown Toronto. Located adjacent to the Hilton Toronto hotel, the restaurant was conveniently located for visitors who didn’t want to venture too far from their hotel to find a good meal.
But with increasing competition in Toronto’s dining and hotel scenes in recent years – the newly opened Shangri-La Hotel is just a block away – Tundra management knew the restaurant couldn’t rest on past success. So when the 254-seat restaurant re-opened in fall 2012 after closing for renovations, diners discovered Tundra had been given a complete facelift.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the restaurant, which was previously separated from the hotel, has now been connected to the Hilton Toronto’s lobby so guests can enter from either the hotel or the street.
The interior has been revamped and modernized, with colours and wood and metal accents meant to evoke Canada’s northern landscape – rugged and beautiful. Tundra’s entryway now features a sphere hand-carved from Vancouver Island cedar.
The 4,000-square-foot space has also become more flexible. Dividers and drapes are available to quickly separate the restaurant for bookings ranging from large meetings and receptions to intimate dining parties.
Chef Kevin Prendergast’s new menu draws on influences from various regions of Canada, and it will change seasonally to highlight the best of what’s available. In the colder months, hearty fare such as Ontario rabbit confit over papardelle pasta and seared Quebec duck breast with mushrooms and roasted squash will comfort diners. Prendergast, a veteran of hotel restaurants both in Toronto and New York, doesn’t have to venture far for fresh herbs, either – a garden on the hotel’s patio houses basil, chives, sage, thyme and rosemary for use in the restaurant.
While the wine list available at Tundra’s new horseshoe-shaped bar and dining tables includes a mix of old world and local picks, the Hilton Toronto has incorporated a bit of marketing for the restaurant by serving Tundra-labelled wine, created by Niagara’s Pillitteri Estates Winery. The house red and white blends will be available for conferences and in-room dining.