Toronto hotspots for classy cocktails and sports are often mutually exclusive – you’re either getting a great sports experience, or you’re getting an intimate lounge experience. However, the PLAY Lounge, located within the Le Germain Boutique Hotel is certainly a unicorn that combines both. The PLAY Lounge and Le Germain are located within the Maple Leaf Square block, making them an ideal pick for people who may not enjoy the chaos of Real Sports, but still want the fan experience – especially if the Leafs win.
PLAY is located at 75 Bremner Blvd, and is easily accessed from the main ACC courtyard. PLAY offers a very intimate atmosphere with mixed level seating that looks to accommodate between 50-75. On game nights, it has several large TVs that will air the game, but you may need to ask for them to turn up the sound a little bit.
The cocktails are well made with their own unique twist – in this case, we tried sports inspired drinks that ranged from using maple flavoured whisky, to maple syrup rimmed glasses, and other Canadiana/sports tie-ins. The wine menu is well filled with great selections, and the beer menu has several great Canadian (and Ontario) beers available as well as several great imports.
The food at PLAY is a mix of items to share, and items not to share. This time, we only had items from the shareable side of the menu – but were generally rather pleased with the taste and quality of the items brought out.
Pulled Pork Poutine, Butternut Squash Pierogies, Slider Sized Lobster Rolls, Crab Cakes and remade Chicken Wings. Remade you ask? All white breast chicken is taken, and likely pureed with spices and seasonings. A separate chicken bone is cleaned thoroughly, and then the puree chicken is pressed around the bone. The newly remade chicken wing is cooked and then served to create a truly designer chicken wing. The only complaint was in the Pulled Pork Poutine, and perhaps less of a complaint and more of a preference – but would have liked if the fries were significantly crispier.
PLAY Lounge at Le Germain offers an incredible opportunity to take in the game in a classy, yet comfortable atmosphere that will have you coming back again. The mix of a lounge experience with the wonderful food, tasty drinks and the game make for an evening worth remembering. (At the time of this review, Real Sports is shuttered due to an employee strike, and thus makes PLAY an even more desirable location.)