This allergy-friendly restaurant was reviewed by guest blogger, Jessica Campbell. Originally from Vancouver, Jessica made her way east to experience Toronto’s energizing lifestyle. She writes about the food and flavours that inspire her to keep her family happy and healthy. All opinions are her own.
Herbivore, omnivore or whatever vore you may be, the plant-based food movement is making waves in the restaurant world, and in my opinion, everyone should give it a try!
Planta opened near the end of 2016, adding to the list of fine establishments by Chase Hospitality Group (Chase Fish and Oyster, Kasa Moto, Little Fin), and is thriving in the heart of Yorkville on Bay and Bloor. My one-year-old daughter and I were welcomed on a Thursday afternoon, stroller and all, by a friendly host and were seated at a beautiful corner table for lunch.
The space was a lot bigger than I had imagined. It had a casual fine dining feel to it, with white-washed brick walls, pops of beautiful green plants everywhere, and rose-gold metallic accents poking through. While the menu is entirely plant-based, it’s speckled with wheat products and nuts. This bodes especially well for those with dairy allergies (like us), because all of their “cheeses” are made of nuts. And almost all are done in-house. It’s difficult to find a restaurant in the city that’s completely dairy free because, let’s face it, you would be hard pressed to find a chef in the city without butter in his menu.
Our server was knowledgeable about food allergies and honest with us. We were told that they take allergies very seriously, but can’t completely prevent cross contamination with certain foods. For example, they make both gluten and gluten-free pizza crusts in the same oven, so when it comes to their pizzas, cross contamination is pretty much inevitable.
However, they will try their best to accommodate most allergies, and will bring those with food allergies a customized list from the kitchen. This list includes allergen-free items and even modified versions of existing menu items for specific allergies. Jackpot.
Everything on the menu sounds unreal and I literally almost ordered five different plates, but decided against it knowing my lunch date wouldn’t be helping me out much in the eating department… being a baby and all.
We ordered a Field of Greens cold pressed juice with cucumber, apple, kale, celery, romaine and lemon while we waited for our lunch to arrive. It lived up to its name, green and refreshing. They make their cold pressed juices to order therefore cross contamination with certain fruits and vegetables is also inevitable.
To start, the kale Caesar a vegan staple. The mushroom bacon was smoky and offset by the pickled onions. The dressing had a nice creamy garlic balance and the almond parmesan was tasty and had a very realistic texture. All in all, a tasty salad, but would I have it again? Probably not—but only because they have other salads that look too enticing not to try.
The Bianca pizza came next and was definitely the main attraction. Roasted rosemary potatoes, olives, fried capers, kale and hot chili oil. Put chili oil on anything and I’m almost always going to love it.
All in all, everything was vibrant and flavourful.
Planta was a pleasant afternoon in a beautiful setting. What would bring me back more than anything is the knowledgeable staff and reassurance that what is being served is safe. Priceless. Insert Mastercard ad here.
Chase Hospitality Group is opening another restaurant inside Yorkville Village this summer, called Palm Lane, which will also have a very plant-forward menu with gourmet greens. I’m very much looking forward to it.
Side note: CHG’s president is part of the innovator program with the Sick Kids Foundation. We spent quite a long time there when my little one was born, so if I can choose to eat somewhere that supports something near and dear to my heart AND be assured I’m eating allergen-free food, I’m in!
Restaurants that appear on AllergyBites may have updated their menu or changed management since a review was posted. Please confirm that they are still allergy-friendly & that menu items don’t contain your allergen(s) before visiting or placing your order.