Oliver & Bonacini's original restaurant reopens after a month-long hiatus, revealing a fresh face, a new chef and a warm wall of whisky.
TORONTO, April 19, 2013 /CNW/ - On April 15th, 2013, Jump Restaurant reopened its doors following a month-long renovation, giving full facelifts to its dining rooms, bar and kitchen. Although the restaurant has undergone smaller revamps over the past two decades, this renewal has been the most extensive, with partners Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini investing $1 million in upgrades, the same sum required originally to construct the restaurant in 1993.
Back then, it was Commerce Court's soaring glass atrium that had Peter Oliver visualizing a modern New York-style café and bar. He convinced Michael Bonacini, then Executive Chef of Toronto's top restaurant, Centro, to join forces in creating something completely new and innovative in the financial district, an area not previously known for its trendy dining. Now, 20 successful years later, there are no regrets on the gamble.
If Jump's original design by Robert Meiklejohn could be described as big, bold and confident, deSignum Design's 2013 interpretation reads as warm, intimate and refined, while still maintaining the classic Jump bravado. Polished wood tables have replaced white tablecloths. Cognac-coloured leathers, tones of charcoal grey and warm amber woods have been injected into the space, complete with a subtly textured carpet to help balance the sound. Dramatic lighting elements have been added, including a modern 46-foot sculptural light fixture spanning the length of the dining room. Oversized drum shades, strategically positioned within the space, cast a warm metallic glow from the interior. The new host desk illuminates the entrance like a translucent onyx beacon.
"We wanted the room to have a variety of textures and warmth, along with a bit more intimacy," said Michael Bonacini, who oversees design and construction projects for O&B, amongst his many other responsibilities.
Jump is also welcoming the talented Paul Benallick as its new Chef de Cuisine. "Jump's culinary philosophy is the same as the day we opened - to serve food that is robust, honest and full of flavour," said Bonacini. "Our plan is to add to an already well rounded menu, keeping the classics, while introducing a fresh new vision. We're also featuring a really exciting bourbon, scotch and whisky menu and plan to experiment with these ingredients in some of our dishes."
Jump's new bar menu features over 60 types of whisky, bourbon and scotch, as well as 10 brand new whisky and bourbon-infused cocktails. "The Ritual", a signature, offers a shot of Jameson Irish whiskey layered with maple syrup and garnished with a potato chip.
Jump's private dining areas have been expanded to accommodate 60 guests for seated diners or 70 guests for reception-style gatherings, and now integrate key meeting attributes like upgraded soundproofing and built-in flat-screen monitors.
About the Design
- The wine rack area by the front door entrance has been replaced by a dramatic whisky, scotch and bourbon display, with the warm amber colours of the spirits liberally reflected throughout the dining room
- Jump's signature New York-style bar has remained unchanged structurally, though it has been carefully restored to its original condition
- Cruiser-height tables now flank the south side of the bar, while butterscotch leather lounge chairs and stools line the back lounge, accented by deeper toned wood
- The coiled chain wall treatment behind the lounge's long curved banquette is a nod to the iconic spring Jump sign on Wellington. The warm metallic glow is highlighted by dramatic uplighting that accentuates the room's height, while contrasting the tufted aged leather banquette.
- Karen Skobel and Paula Gauci of deSignum Design (www.designumdesign.com) are also the designers behind Arcadian and Bannock, two recent Oliver & Bonacini projects
About the Chef
Chef Paul's passion for food goes as far back as his childhood days, where he worked alongside his grandfather in the garden and developed a love of raw ingredients. Born and raised in Wellington County, Paul began his culinary career at Pronto. At the age of 26, he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine at Auberge du Pommier. After having been mentored by some of Toronto's top chefs, such as Anthony Walsh, Michael Bonacini and Brad Long, Paul decided to explore the culinary arts in the UK, where he partnered an intimate restaurant in North Yorkshire. After five years, Paul decided to return to Canada, bringing back with him the understanding of what it is to respect the history and culture of dining. He had the opportunity to share that passion with students at George Brown College, where he ran The Chefs' House, staffed entirely by students. Most recently, Paul opened the kitchen at STOCK as Chef de Cuisine. Paul brings to Jump a wealth of experience and a fresh approach to Jump's modern menu.
About Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
Oliver & Bonacini is recognized as one of Canada's leading fine dining restaurant companies, operating 11 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Operations include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining and special events. Unique concept restaurants include Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier, Biff's Bistro, Luma, O&B Canteen and Bannock. The company also operates a midrange casual dining concept, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, with locations in Toronto, Blue Mountain and Oakville. The company's private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including Arcadian, the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Windermere House on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka. Oliver & Bonacini credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else. For more information, please visit www.oliverbonacini.com.
Photos may be downloaded at this link:
(Photo Credit: Allison Woo)
SOURCE: Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
For further information:
or to schedule an interview or walk-thru, please contact:
Director, Marketing & Communications
Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants
Tel: (416) 485-8047 ext. 228