THE BLOG
15/07/2013 08:43 BST | Updated 12/09/2013 06:12 BST

The Chocolate Lab in the Sky

Sitting an ear-popping 300 feet above the street on the 31st floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, STOCK is one of the newest four diamond restaurants to grace Toronto's fine dining scene. With 10% of their visitors from the UK, Trump Toronto is clearly doing something right and part of that is their restaurant with a view and DJ, STOCK.

By day STOCK is a mild mannered luxurious restaurant. With white glove service from the lobby to the table, Trump Toronto treats everyone with the same special care. I had come for the chocolate but I decided to try the lunch menu while a wine tasting for their newest featured wine from the Cakebread estate happened in Loft at STOCK above my head. In the small world of food, it was a wine from a vineyard whose owner is apparently a family friend.

Entering Trump Toronto from the street, I could understand why so many people decided to visit this amazing hotel and residence from the UK. With a choice between hotel and apartment accommodation, visitors to the city can easily find the exact accommodation they need. Families have a special liaison to help the kids and white-gloved staff stand unobtrusively just where needed. Finishing touches are made with understated flourishes and the lobby itself is quiet and sedate - more condo entrance than grand hotel.

Travelling up in a beautiful, almost retro elevator, you emerge into a dark marbled area with the Quartz Crystal Spa to one side and STOCK Toronto to the other. The restaurant staff greet everyone with a smile and the free Wi-Fi is easy to get on to for a quick check-in and Instagram of the beautiful surroundings. Starting with a black cod, I was helped by the best waiter I have ever encountered in my life, including at the Savoy and Ritz hotels. My host and I chose to abstain from the wine and save rom for the chocolates made in their own Chocolate Lab.

The chocolate lab is somewhat deceptively represented by a modest cart which is wheeled around to each table. The sweet treats decorating the cart are all handmade by the pastry staff and are quite innovative for the Toronto chocolate market. From cola domes with popping candy to fiery chilli ganaches, there is something for everyone including the tea lover (earl grey tea chocolates), coffee lover (cappuccino chocolates), and simple dessert lover (handmade marshmallows). I particularly enjoyed the roasted almond in chocolate and edible gold dust which everyone knows as Dragees but I know as simply delicious.

The whole experience at Trump Toronto' STOCK restaurant is meant to be modern luxury, where guests feel like they can enjoy an opulent dining experience without the stuffy and snobbish environment. They want people to feel like they can come in a big group or an intimate table, and truly enjoy themselves, not worrying about which fork to use or if they are laughing too loudly. Drop by, dine, expect the finest quality food and impeccable service, but most importantly, feel comfortable and enjoy the experience without prejudice about etiquette skills. It is intended to make everyone feel special whether they just want to buy some chocolate lab desserts or have a full meal. There is even DJ entertainment in the evening along with some fun cocktails.

Downstairs, their amber bar is called SUITS Lobby Lounge and far from being your typical hotel bar this is a place you can sample some of the best amber liquids available on the market. It is, like everything at Trump Toronto, deceptively low-key, with top notch service, excellent alcohols and yet non-stuffy atmosphere. It is geared towards the "City" crowd it caters to, being situated in the heart of the financial district, but that does not diminish its appeal.

As a lifestyle, it's one I'd love to get used to. STOCK Restaurant at Trump Toronto is absolutely one of my favourite restaurants and 'trumps' the Ritz and Savoy for staff and atmosphere. If you get a chance, visit it when you are next in Toronto.