The Circuit: Sutts, Strosberg LLP expands Toronto office

What: Sutts, Strosberg LLP expands Toronto office
Where: The Chase, 10 Temperance Street
When: Thursday, September 22, 2016

A little bit of rain can’t keep the lawyers at Sutts, Strosberg LLP from having a good time. The few drops that fell from the sky on Thursday had no impact on the bustling atmosphere and trays of delicious seafood atop the fifth-floor patio at The Chase.

The occasion? Sutts, Strosberg LLP, a Windsor-based firm known for its class-action practice, has opened an office here in Toronto. The firm has had space in Toronto for close to five years, but it was mainly for lawyers to use if they had motions, appeals or trials in the city. But the firm now has two full-time litigators —David Wingfield and Nicholas Cartel — based in Toronto.

“David has a tremendous amount of experience,” says Jay Strosberg, a partner at the firm. “He’s a former head of the anti-trust/competition law division of the Department of Justice. And Nicholas worked with David at the DOJ, so it was a perfect fit.”

As for now, it’s just the two of them, but Strosberg isn’t ruling out the possibility of expanding the team.

“David and Nicholas are already extremely busy,” he says. “We may need to look for another associate to assist them.”

To learn more about Sutts, Strosberg, visit the firm’s website.

The lawyer’s guide to dining out in Toronto

When Precedent needs help picking the perfect restaurant, we turn to the expert: Kirsten Thompson (aka Judge Foodie), a privacy and information lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault LLP who’s been wining and dining her clients around Toronto for years, and writing about her gastro-adventures in her online column. Here, the Judge offers up her top choices for where to take just about anyone on your to-lunch list.

Who: The anemic office-dweller

Want to treat your work pal who’s been chained to her desk all winter? A patio is key for a much-needed vitamin D boost. And in Toronto, if your drink doesn’t freeze, it’s patio weather.

Where: The Chase

10 Temperance St.

The Chase has all the elements of a good patio: accessible bar, downtown locale, lofty perch away from exhaust fumes, and a good mix of sun and shade. Plus, it’s a downright gorgeous place to spend an afternoon.

Runners up: DEQ at the Ritz-Carlton, Soho House

Who: The 1% club

If you’ve got money to burn, or you’re being wooed by someone who does, you might want to try these restaurants by the one-percenters, for the one-percenters (and their expense accounts). You know who you are.

Where: Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Lounge

188 University Ave.

Though it doesn’t have the most expensive dish in town (that would be the $492 steak at Jacobs & Co.), the return on investment here will make your mutual funds seem like rock stars. There are $14 fries on the bar menu; consider yourself forewarned.

Runners up: Stock, Momofuku Shōtō

Who: The old guard

Remember the days when you started and ended your career at the same law firm? When there was no such thing as in-house counsel, and an equity partnership was a lifelong sinecure? You don’t, but some in your office do.

Where: Biagio

155 King St. E.

With career waiters and solid Italian cooking, Biagio is old school in all the right ways. No palate-challenging molecular gastronomy here. This is a place to come to seal the deal, whether it’s a big deal, or a big date. Dates will also be impressed by the patio under a canopy of trees.

Runners up: The Roof Lounge, Bardi’s

Who: The parental unit

Kids are the new marketing tool, especially since women are increasingly in control of legal spend, so you’re going to have to think of the children. Not a fan of Chuck E. Cheese? Try a family-friendly(ish) alternative where you can entertain clients and still keep the small set amused.

Where: El Catrin

18 Tank House Ln.

This place has a young amigos menu, mesmerizing decor (painted skulls! blacklight! a decorative crypt!) and an enormous patio to entertain the little tykes. As the kids beat each other over the head with their tacos, adults can sample Toronto’s largest selection of tequila.

Runners up: Canteen, Café Belong

Who: The silverback

Every firm has one — the senior partner in the corner office, chummy with the Bench and possessed of decades of legal knowledge. Yet he still doesn’t know the difference between “reply” and “reply all.” Take him somewhere relatively hip to make him believe he’s still got it.

Where: The Carbon Bar

99 Queen St. E.

With a good menu, decent wine and an eclectic crowd that usually includes a luminary or two, your certain senior someone will feel like part of the in crowd. If you find yourself taxed for conversation, ask for his first-hand recollections of the Baby Blue soft porn series that used to broadcast from here.

Runners up: Bar Isabel, THR & Co.

Who: The secret agent

Whether you’re dining with sketchy clients, having an illicit liaison or just “exploring options” with another firm, sometimes you don’t want everyone to know who you’re taking to lunch.

Where: George

111 Queen St. E.

Tucked behind windows adorned with wrought iron, the award-winning food is a big draw here. Another draw is the discreet enclosed courtyard at the rear of the restaurant — summer breezes and sunlight without all the eyeballs.

Runners up: Woods, Toca

Who: Les intolerables

For when the drink is more important than the dinner (or the company). All you have to do now is decide between a great wine list and a fabulous mixologist.

Top pick for wine: Le Select

432 Wellington St. W.

With 1,200 labels and the largest collection of wine in the city — some bottles dating back as far as 1947 — you’d be hard-pressed to do better. Prices range from $25 to $2,500, so you can decide exactly which bottle your date is worth.

Runners up: Crush Wine Bar, Reds

Top pick for cocktails: BarChef

472 Queen St. W.

Your table can order a punch bowl full of your cocktail of choice, or try the “spherified Campari granita.” I don’t even know what that is, but I’m impressed. (Ed note: it’s essentially a flavoured, booze-soaked snowball.)

Runners up: The Harbord Room, The Spoke Club

Who: The last one standing

No matter who you wind up with on one of your drunken stupors, by last call, you’re going to need some grub. Available 24 hours, this is good food that rises to great after a pint or six. You know, for when you don’t get enough to eat at home.

Where: Pho Pasteur

525 Dundas St. W.

A little pricier than some of the other pho places, it makes up for it by being open all day and night, and serving up enormous portions. Cash only, so stuff a $20 in your shoe before you head out for a night of debauchery.

Runners up: Thompson Diner, Fran’s

The best view in the city: Canoe
Grab a spot in the southwest corner for a view of the lake.

The most dependable Thai food: Sukhothai
The Pad Thai is crazy good, and they deliver.

Where to watch the big game: Real Sports Bar
The TV is two storeys high. Game on.

Find the right food truck:
Download the app to keep tabs on your favourite mobile meals.

Photography by Vicky Lam

For more reviews of Toronto restaurants, check out Judge Foodie’s column.

Judge Foodie: Toronto’s top 5 expensive-but-worth-it restaurants

With February coming to a close, many of you have likely received your bonus.

The responsible among you will be making self-satisfied squirrel-like noises as you tuck the cash away in an RRSP. This column is not for you.

Rather, this column is for the profligate. For those of you looking to celebrate a busy year or an elevation to partnership, I present five restaurants that will be more than happy to separate you from your money.

Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto
6 Garamond Court | 416.444.7100 |

Kaiseki serves up traditional Japanese cuisine that is part gourmet cooking and part art form. This is the pinnacle of Japanese dining, which explains why the cuisine has lasted more than five centuries. It also explain the price: the dinner menu is a flat $300 — drinks not included (you can eat lunch for $200). Dinner features eight courses and, at the end, a complimentary tea ceremony. This is the ultimate in slow food: expect dinner to last between two and three hours. You’ll also need to make a reservation at least a week in advance.

The Chase
10 Temperance St. | 647.348.7000 |

Sure, a half-chicken dinner with fries from Swiss Chalet costs around $12, but it’s just chicken. To really experience poultry, venture out to The Chase where it’s not just chicken: it’s chicken whole roasted with foie gras, prunes, armagnac and brioche. Indeed, this chicken is so precious, that after it’s roasted, servers bring it tableside for inspection. If it meets your approval, they spirit it back to the kitchen to be sliced and diced by a professional. You’ll pay $71 for this expertly roasted and carved bird. The Chase’s offering is for two, so it may not be fair to compare it to Swiss Chalet. Oh, and it doesn’t come with fries.

Jacobs & Co.
12 Brant St. | 416.366.0200 |

Part restaurant, part lounge, this King West steakhouse has been a staple of the well-heeled since it opened in 2007. Their menu is full of pricey items, but big spenders will want to try the 16oz Black Tajima striploin priced at $328. Bigger appetite? Upsize to the 24oz ribeye for $492. For some perspective, that’s almost $200 more than the monthly lease payment of a Mini Cooper.

472 Queen St. W. |416.868.4800 |

While the stable of cocktails at $25 apiece might take your breath away, the $45 Manhattan is sure to cause you to hyperventilate. Like most of New York, however, you’re paying for the experience. And what an experience. The vanilla hickory smoked Manhattan uses Crown Royal Special Reserve, vanilla infused brandy, sherry and vanilla bitter, and smoke. And more smoke. Its preparation is a showstopper — ice picks and open flame are involved — and its arrival at your table is no less breathtaking: the drink comes inside a smoke-filled bell jar, nestled on glowing embers of scorched hickory. When the jar is lifted, smoke curls wraithlike around the table. It’s so hypnotizing that the cost seems downright reasonable.

1221 Bay St. | 416.920.2323 |

This Yorkville restaurant is renowned for its simple, earthy, back-to-nature approach to food. The usual adjectives apply: local, organic, seasonal and so forth. It also has some of the most expensive tea in Toronto. The priciest teas are grouped under a heading that says “Rare.” One selection, “Organic Blooming Mushroom Tea,” is a green hand-formed and high-grown tea from Nuwara-Eliya, Sri Lanka. I admit I don’t know much about tea. But I assume that being hand-formed and high-grown makes it worth the $13 price tag.

Kirsten Thompson is a Toronto-based research lawyer and commercial litigator. Since her call to the bar in 2000, she estimates that her restaurant to courtroom ratio has been approximately 14:1. Thoughts? Comments? Ideas for a review? Email her. Follow Judge Foodie on Twitter: @Judge_Foodie