Dinner and Drinks With Rob Ford

January 10, 2014 12:38 a.m.

After a day spent in search of embattled Mayor Rob Ford, TPM’s Toronto delegation may have found his soul — in a steakhouse.

This tale begins with the traditional Canadian staple of poutine, a combination of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy that based on police documents, is a favorite of Ford’s. Knowing Ford’s fondness for poutine, when I spotted a food truck serving the dish in front of City Hall Thursday evening, I knew I had to investigate.

Hassan, the amiable Iranian behind the wheel of the truck confirmed my suspicions — Mayor Ford had patronized this mobile smorgasbord. And,
of course, he had indulged in the poutine. However, Hassan informed me the mayor’s appetites were substantially less than I imagined. Hassan said he’d seen Ford “only two times” in the past two years.

“One time he got a drink, the other time he only got a small,” Hassan said.

For the record, I ordered a medium-sized poutine. It was fantastic.

After consuming the Ford-approved poutine, I excitedly shared the tale with a trusted Torontonian confidante. They informed me that, if I really wanted to eat in the style of Ford, I should visit a local steakhouse the mayor has repeatedly recommended and frequented, Harbour Sixty..

Oh boy were they right.

Harbour Sixty is epic. If you don’t believe me, visit their techno fueled website.


The restaurant is located in a stately former government building a stones throw from the shores of Lake Ontario. When I first arrived, I was quite confused. The long, wood-paneled hallways, and mirrored rooms adorned with black lacquer chandeliers were all deserted.

Eventually, I found the second floor and realized I had first somehow stumbled through the back entrance and into a private dining area. Upstairs, I pulled an embroidered chair up to the backlit marble bar and ordered a drink.

After three beverages and a decent tip, my tab was an incredible $92.21 (Canadian, of course). For this princely sum, I enjoyed a loud, awkwardly mixed soundtrack courtesy of a pretty brunette DJ that alternated between Dire Straits, Motown and the Steve Miller Band. There was also some truly incredible people watching.

Along with a team of waiters, the staff included a crew of attractive women who tended bar, danced with the all-male clientele, and sat on their laps. At the other end of the bar, a pretty blonde staffer gossiped about a recent table full of “politicians.”

“It was like ‘Groundhog Day,'” she said.

Sadly, we were unable to overhear more of her conversation.

Then suddenly a man jumped up from his table and unsuccessfully attempted to kiss the female DJ. He eventually settled for a kiss on the cheek from another staffer after performing an elaborate air guitar routine to The Who’s classic hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” which he described as, “my song.”

It was time for me to leave.

We may not have found Mayor Ford on Thursday, but after some time at Harbour Sixty, it was clear we were getting close.

TPM meets the Mayor Friday morning.

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