The reviews for Canadian rapper Drake’s Toronto restaurant are in, complete with all the requisite puns on Drake song lyrics. Pick 6ix, a collaboration with prolific Canadian chef and restaurateur Antonio Park, Drake’s own security chief Nessel “Chubbs” Beezer, and Dutch businessman Sabah Nissan, opened in February. The goal, according to Park, was for a restaurant/lounge/sports bar that would attract “families and couples.” But, Pick 6ix also has a distinct club vibe, including VIP areas and velvet ropes.
The resulting combination isn’t wowing diners or critics. Here’s what they’re saying about Pick 6ix:
The Not-really-a-restaurant News
Jason Chow gives Pick 6ix one star in his review for the Globe and Mail. Although the Toronto critic expected the restaurant to be “loud, flamboyant and expensive,” he can’t abide the “flawed club-like service and middling food.”
The food was particularly disappointing given chef Park’s reputation, Chow laments, and although the fish was high-quality, Chow’s kitchen team “needlessly adorns every piece of sushi with a dollop of caviar, bits of gold leaf, or a marinated konbu.” Flawed service, meanwhile, began at the coat check and hostess stand where “if you’re not in Drake’s entourage or about to drop four figures on a few bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne, you get the feeling that you don’t matter.” At the table, servers were friendly, but “held a tenuous grasp of the menu.”
Chow argues that Pick 6ix is more of a club than sports bar or restaurant, and relays the following anecdote to illustrate his point: “While on a photo shoot for this column, the Globe and Mail’s photographer was offered free booze and connections to Hollywood in exchange for taking a diner’s new Tinder profile pic. Meanwhile, Drake quietly watched the Raptors game with a female companion and a burger in the VVIP room, surrounded by his security detail. Just a regular Tuesday night.”
Drake pun deployed: “We’re going home: Drake’s Pick 6ix in Toronto invites much nitpicking”
The Disastrous Dinner News
In the Toronto Star, restaurant critic Amy Pataki writes that Pick 6ix’s “Asian fusion food is overpriced and problematic.” Two of the three meals Pataki spent at the restaurant were in fact “disastrous,” and the misses were wide ranging. “A $39 spaghetti bolognese wearing a poached lobster tail is as far-fetched a collab as October’s Very Own cutting a record with polka king Walter Ostanek,” she says of a pasta dish that’s no longer on the menu. Fried dumplings were “criminally oversalted” and raw hamachi “lost under sauce and banal cheesecake” was a “hard pass.”
Only in rare moments does the food at Pick 6ix “taste okay.” Pataki was similarly unimpressed with the restaurant design, including Drake’s “hidden bathroom,” which featured a plain white toilet (“no heated seat or Japanese spray attachment”); plain non-quilted toilet paper; and merely “ordinary” soap. Pataki concludes, “Like the rest of Pick6ix, it’s a letdown.”
Drake pun deployed: “Drake’s Pick 6ix started at the bottom and stays there”
The All Buzz News
Pick 6ix has a dismal two and a half stars from its 27 Yelp reviews. Most Yelpers, it seems, were disappointed by the food, service, and overall experience. Many Yelp reviewers took issue with the staff. Katie C. describes them as “snobby,” Ron C. encountered “rude, disrespectful and non-hospitable manager,” and Laura M. says it seemed like the servers didn’t want to be there.
The food didn’t fare much better. Randy N. writes, “The spicy salmon roll was good but over all [sic] this is one of the worst experiences and tasting meals I have had in the “6ix,” and Katie C. called it “overpriced and mediocre.”
There are a few outliers among the 27 reviews, but even most of the positive reviews aren’t glowing. A four-star review from Irene H. notes that Pick 6ix charged her $2 for ketchup. Shaheed S., who also gave Pick 6ix four stars, liked the “young and good looking crowd.” He apparently didn’t mind that the restaurant seems “tailored for the rich and private events as I got the impression that the status quo were encouraged to dine and leave.”
If the presence of a verified VVIP room wasn’t enough to confirm it, the reviews should certainly Pick 6ix’s clubstaurant status.
Drake pun deployed: None! But Mel C. does write: “My friend suggested that we order the broccoli since Drake mentioned that he likes broccoli. This dish was a pass.”
• We’re going home: Drake’s Pick 6ix in Toronto invites much nitpicking [The Globe and Mail]
• Drake’s Pick 6IX started at the bottom and stays there [Toronto Star]
• Pick 6ix [Yelp]
• Everything You Should Know About Drake’s New Toronto Restaurant Pick 6ix [E]