Life / Food

Q & A: What’s on the menu at Drake’s restaurant and sports bar, Pick 6ix

Gochujang teriyaki burgers, sashimi, and other proper, sit-down meals: Renowned chef and co-owner Antonio Park dishes on what diners can expect at Drake's new 178-seat restaurant.

Chef Antonio Park is in charge of the menu at Drake's new restaurant Pick 6ix. Park is also the culinary leader Yorkville’s Kasa Moto, and has two restaurants in Montreal.

STAFF / Torstar News Service

Chef Antonio Park is in charge of the menu at Drake's new restaurant Pick 6ix. Park is also the culinary leader Yorkville’s Kasa Moto, and has two restaurants in Montreal.

The 178-seat restaurant at 33 Yonge St., where LeBron James hosted a birthday bash for Cleveland Cavaliers player Dwyane Wade last week, is a partnership between Drake’s OVO label and Chopped Canada chef Antonio Park’s restaurant group.

It is the second restaurant affiliated with Toronto’s unofficial global ambassador. (Fring’s on King W. being the first.) Drake’s longtime head of security Nessel “Chubbs” Beezer is a partner.

While the official opening date has not been announced, it is known that Park, who has two restaurants in Montreal, Park Restaurant and Lavanderia, and is the culinary leader Yorkville’s Kasa Moto, is in charge of the menu.

I asked Park about the menu, Drake’s favourite vegetable and representing The Six.

How did you get involved with Pick 6ix?

Last year, or two years ago, I got to go to a party for LeBron James with (former Montreal Canadiens player and longtime friend) P.K. Subban and that’s how I met some of these guys. We all met through friends and hanging out together. I also met Chubbs a couple of times at Sotto Sotto and Kasa Moto.

From left to right: Chef Antonio Park, Drake and Chubbs attend host friends and family at the launch of Pick 6IX on January 10, 2018.

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin

From left to right: Chef Antonio Park, Drake and Chubbs attend host friends and family at the launch of Pick 6IX on January 10, 2018.

What’s the venue at Pick 6ix?

It’s a restaurant and sports bar but it’s not going to have sports bar food. There are screens everywhere so we’re not going for an eight-course omakase or white tablecloths. It’s something affordable for everyone and I want to provide for families and couples who wouldn’t normally go to a sports bar. You don’t have to eat chicken wings and fries, I wanted to create something healthier and have a proper, sit-down meal that goes from Mediterranean-style, steaks, sushi, Latin to Korean.

What’s on the menu?

It’s 30 items including the raw bar that does seafood platters, sushi and sashimi. We’re going to have a lot of salads, duck, beef, chicken, some Korean dishes like braised short-ribs. We’re doing a simple Ontario beef burger with a spicy gochujang teriyaki sauce finished with provolone. There’s a tiradito, which is like a ceviche but the fish is cut like sashimi rather than in cubes.

You’re the first chef in Canada certified to sell real Kobe beef at your restaurants. Will you bring that here?

I can carry it wherever I want as long as I pay the licensing fees, which is $5,000 to $10,000 a year. If there’s demand for it here or if Drake wants it, then sure. But it doesn’t have to be Kobe, it could be Haida-Wagyu, which is almost on the same level. I’m not going to restrict myself on ingredients.

Did Drake have any input on the food?

I asked him things like what kind of vegetable he likes and he said broccoli, so we did a broccoli dish where we blanch it, cover it with Japanese seasonings like nori and miso, some mizuna, top it with cheese and then it’s finished in the oven.

How much will dinner for two cost?

I don’t want to go above $50 per head. I want it to be affordable, but depending on the clientele, if you order Wagyu you’re not going to pay that but if you eat a salad and a hot dish from the kitchen with some sushi, then you should be able to pay $50 or $60 per person.

A view of the bar at Pick 6ix.

Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Remy Martin

A view of the bar at Pick 6ix.

Assuming you’ll be based in Montreal, who will be your chef de cuisine at Pick 6ix?

I have a couple of chefs who are in line for it now and I’m still deciding. I’ll still be overseeing everything anyway and I’m thinking of living here six months of the year. You’re going to see me a lot in Toronto.

You’re a chef from Quebec cooking at a restaurant that’s paying tribute to Toronto. Is there anything different you think you could bring to the food scene here?

It’s not about bringing anything from Quebec to Ontario. I’m not trying to bring anything but myself here. Why Toronto? It’s a very multicultural city and open to people from different cultures and countries. My parents are Korean, I grew up in South America, I trained in Japan and I’m from Quebec so I’m bringing a real mix of cultures here and Pick 6ix is a place to embrace different cultures.

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