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Oct 2, 2010 12:12 PM

Lee Lounge

Susur Lee was supposed to be opening a new place called Lee Lounge in time for TIFF. However, TIFF has come and gone but I've heard no more about this new place. So is it now open? And if it is, has anybody been?

601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

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  1. Hasn't opened yet. The sign out front has been changed several times - it said "see you in August" at one point, then changed to "see you in September", and I assume it's been changed again although I haven't been by in the last few days.

    While he doesn't mention an opening date, James Chatto ran into Lee at Local Kitchen last week, and posted this bit to his blog about it:

    "Susur Lee happened to be there, having dinner with friends, and he shared some news about Lee Lounge, the imminent next incarnation of Susur/Madeline’s. He has opened up the wall between that space and Lee next door, which will expand the ever-popular Lee’s capacity but still allow room for a lounge and bar with its own intriguing menu."

    1 Reply
    1. re: gregclow

      Intriguing menu! I wonder how, and to whom?

    2. Any news on whether Lee Lounge has officially opened as yet? There's a special Visa cardholders dinner event on Jan. 25th, but haven't heard anything else.

      1 Reply
      1. re: team_eater

        Papers are down as of Sunday! Not an official word though.

      2. I posted earlier in another thread that it was to open sometime in the summer but that never happened. Now papers are saying that in addition to team_eater's comment about the Jan 25 event, that Lee Lounge is to open in time for Valentine's Day, so I guess within the next couple of weeks.

        1. in the Eye Weekly interview he hints that the reverse order tasting menu will probably be available. That is good news for Toronto

          1. I received an e-mail invite (as anyone else on his e-mail dl) to an opening event - $225/pp wine incl.

            The reverse order tasting menu is fun for an experience, but is very problematic for anyone who enjoys pairing wine and especially frustrating for the "winos" (which I am not).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Apprentice

              OK Call me a wino!
              I was one of Susur's biggest fans (used to go to Lotus every month) but he lost me with his reverse tasting menu. I tried it once then, on future visits, ignored the main courses completely and just ordered a selection of appetizers (and specified the sequence of serving). I initially rejoiced at Lee - essentially it was all appetizer sized portions (again going monthly) - then they ALSO decided to send out the dishes in an order that suggested, to me, they were preparing 'batches' of dishes - so the order depended on what other tables were ordering - they just aggregated them 'at their convenience'.

              Gradually I've drifted away - maybe 1 visit in 2010, and the problem then was incompetent service.

              Over the years, my most memorable meals in Toronto have been prepared by Susur. A super-talented chef, but an artist that must be difficult to work with, given the staff turnover, particularly in the front-of-house. But how many chefs have followed the 'reverse tasting' idea in the 15+ years he has been doing it. Either this is an idea whose time has still not come - or it's an idea whose time should never have come!

              Susur has never claimed to understand wine - but even without wine I can't see why someone would follow a 'heavy course' with something much lighter (exception: complete, deliberate contrast of flavours/textures).

              Of course I'll try the new incarnation. He's given me enough pleasure in the past to have earned the chance. And if he repeats earlier successes (especially as an evolution, not a reprise) I will be the winner (regardless of the price of the ticket!).

              601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA