Indulging in an expensive workday lunch is an extreme luxury for me. So when a co-worker and I decided to try out the highly lauded Nota Bene (180 Queen St. W.), it was a special day. Thanks to Executive Chef David Lee, this food destination was named Canada’s best new restaurant by both Toronto Life and enRoute magazines.

When we walked in, the sun-filled dining room played host to what looked like important business meetings and high-powered executives. We were way above our pay grade here, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the delectable dishes.


We started with Pommes Frites covered in shaved pecorino cheese with aioli ($8). These skinny fries were piled so high, eating them was like maneuvering through a game of potato Jenga. There were several casualties that ended up doting the crisp white tablecloth like fallen soldiers. Alas, this was too swank a spot to follow the three-second rule.


Our mains came next. Based on a recommendation, I went with the Big Eye Tuna Tartare with Potato Chips ($20). The circle of raw tuna is placed in citrus soy with ginger and topped with a layer avocado and a sprinkled of crispy shallots. It was a light dish that was thoroughly enjoyed right to the last bite. My companion Jason ordered the Nova Scotia Lobster Salad ($24). When the bowl was placed in front of him, he let out a sigh: “Bacon and lobster, together at last.” His satisfaction was complete once he tried the greens that were tossed with avocado, maple bacon, blue cheese and coated with a buttermilk dressing.


Nota Bene certainly isn’t the kind of place I can afford to go everyday for lunch. But until I’m a high-powered executive, it makes for a terrific exception.

Nota Bene / 180 Queen St. West, Toronto
416 977 6400 / Lunch: Mon-Fri 11 am-2:30 pm, Dinner: Mon-Sat 5-11 pm