Toronto Life - The Dish

The latest buzz on restaurants, chefs, bars, food shops and food events. Sign up for the Dish newsletter for weekly updates. Send tips to



Introducing: Jazz Bistro, a new spot for live music in the downtown core

Introducing: Jazz Bistro

Name: Jazz Bistro
Neighbourhood: Downtown Core
Contact info: 251 Victoria St.,  416-363-5299,, @JazzBistro_CA
Owners: Joan and Colin Hunter, founder of Sunwing Travel Group and a crooner himself
Chef: Matthew Cowan (Simple Bistro)

The place: Once home to jazz institution Top O’ The Senator, the space lay empty for years until the Hunters took it over (it was briefly The Savoy in the mid 2000s). Inside, three floors of rich woods with gold and crimson accents are connected by a central atrium stretching up from the main stage. When it’s fully up and running in April, Jazz Bistro will book live music from Tuesday to Sunday.

The food: Updated renditions of bistro fare, like a tuna niçoise tartine ($15) and pan-seared arctic char ($22) with fingerling potato confit, as well as pastas like sage ricotta gnudi ($16). The restaurant is currently open for lunch and Sunday brunch (the latter featuring live music), with a dinner service to follow soon.

By the numbers:
• 88 keys on the custom-built Model B Red Pops Steinway Piano, the only one of its kind in the country
• 27 speakers throughout the bistro
• 7 monitors, which stream live music up from the main floor to the seats with obstructed views
• 6 chandeliers

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our
Restaurant Guide. Got restaurant news, tips or rumours? Send them to