Montecito Restaurant

Inspired by the stunning Santa Barbara coastline of California and the luxury estates that call that part of the world home, Montecito Restaurant delivers a rich taste of elegant west coast living to the Entertainment District of Toronto. Our project team had the pleasure of collaborating with Hollywood icon Ivan Reitman and New York City’s Celebrity Chef Jonathan Waxman throughout the creative process. Ivan personally shot film footage from his locale in Montecito and the work is featured on screens throughout the restaurant.

This classically aligned palette of materials is designed to emphasize the restaurant’s soaring two-storey volumes and at the same time, create a warm and intimate guest experience throughout each area. Lighting plays a major role in creating a soft and relaxed coastal vibe.

Photography by David Whittaker

Services Provided

  • Master-planning and Design
  • Concept Development
  • Contract Documents
  • Constuction Administration
  • Fixture / Furniture Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Kitchen Design
  • Artwork Procurement + Installation
  • Logo & Identity Concepts
  • Environmental Graphics Design
  • Exterior Signage
  • Signage Way-Finding Systems
Montecito Exterior View

Designed as a vertical social stage, Montecito’s three-storey glass facade floods the restaurant with daylight then transforms into a dramatic glowing lantern at night.

A Montecito Collage
Montecito Lower Dining Area

Hours of fixed frame and silent film sequences were produced by Ivan Reitman and are featured on two arched digital windows in the main dining room. Each montage showcases Montecito’s famed Italianate gardens and gorgeous seaside vistas.

Upper Level Bar

The Director's Lounge overlooks Adelaide Street and the boxwood lined terrace below. This glamourous space is stacked above the intimate Bistro Bar, giving the appearance of a four-storey bar.

Lower Level Bar
The busy Montecito kitchen
Located above the kitchen's busy expediting counter, a long-angled mirror affords diners a great view of Chef Waxman’s inspired California-styled dishes as they come off the line.
Upper Dining Area

We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!

Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters 1984
Stay Puft Man
Ivan Reitman’s iconic Ghostbuster’s character, Mr. Stay Puft, has become a selfie sensation for Montecito’s visiting guests.

The main staircase is framed by a flock of winged light fixtures and a soaring wall of ribbed amber glass.

Table Setting
Daily menus feature local and seasonal products that showcase local ingredients, sourced directly from Canadian farmers.

Santa Barbara’s sublime coastline and foothills provided our Branding Team with all the inspiration they needed. The Cypress Tree refers to a much-loved tree that resides on Ivan’s Montecito property.

Montecito Logo
Lower Main Dining Area