Interior design genius Studio Munge and Toronto’s nightlife king Charles Khabouth, have teamed up once again to combine art, entertainment, and dining into one experience. Earlier in May, the doors opened to Sofia in the heart of Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighborhood. It’s a destination for upper-tier dining with décor that resembles swanky Hollywood glamour. The restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine prepared by executive chef Christine Mast. Christine was born and raised in Toronto and is a former butcher and sous chef at Canoe Restaurant. Chef Christine drew on her Italian heritage to create a menu that didn’t seek to reinvent the wheel, but rather to bring traditional dishes into the modern day, keeping charm intact. The restaurant is committed to sourcing top quality ingredients, and delivers them to the table with outstanding presentation.
Old Hollywood Glamour Meets 2018 Opulence
Sofia is both a restaurant, as well as a bar and lounge. Inside, you can find guests enjoying their meals to a live piano playing in the background, famous pop art on the walls, a cocktail named after an Italian journalist, fresh pasta, and overall décor that will take your breath away. At Sofia, it’s all about the details. “This is like a little jewelry box, everything needs to be perfect,” states Charles Khabouth when asked about his latest restaurant venture. The quasi-hidden space designed by Studio Munge is huge and comes with both north and south facing patios. The dining area seats up to 24 guests. There is a wraparound mural painted on the walls by David Drebin. Apparently, the whole bar was inspired by David who is an internationally-renowned and New York City-based photographer and multidisciplinary artist.
The night scene inside Sofia is just as impressive as the dining. The lounge features a circular bar wrapped in dark red leather, surrounded by sapphire banquettes and black chrome accents.
Sofia is the definition of old Hollywood glamour and 2018 opulence. I was afraid of the restaurant having gorgeous young waitresses hired strictly for their looks, but my presumption was quickly shut down when I saw the professional staff grace the restaurant in their sophisticated attire. Even the women wore white blouses, vests, and ties. The staff’s demeanor and professionalism very much impressed me the entire evening. Each employee was polite, knowledgeable, and extremely well mannered. It’s obvious that the team was hand-picked and carefully selected based on experience, conduct, character, and performance.
If I were to guess, I think that Charles got some of his inspiration from Hôtel Costes in Paris. Hôtel Costes is a unique and posh hotel located in the heart of the Rue Saint Honoré fashion district, away from the city and crowd. It’s known for its hotel bar which is basically a paradise for people watching and being seen. The chic ambiance at the Paris hotel is very similar to that of Sofia with stunning Italian Baroque-style décor.
“We are incredibly excited to be back in Yorkville and open Sofia during this time of significant revitalization,” says Charles Khabouth. “The neighborhood is developing beautifully, with much to offer in food, culture, luxury retail and entertainment.”
Like any passionate and dedicated entrepreneur, you can frequently find Khabouth at the venue assisting his team and catering to guests. The love and work that has gone into this project is obvious and the restaurant shines because of it.