Though he hasn’t quite built up the catalog to join the Mount Olympus of Great Food MCs, Aubrey Graham has a unique way of weaving eating in his rhymes. Rather than name-checking the usual suspects of rapper dining like Benihana and Philippe, Drizzy sets a higher bar for himself and his cronies—think “spaghetti bolognese at the Polo Lounge” and “dinners at French Laundry in Napa Valley [with] scallops and glasses of Dolce.”
So, as the Internet has been collectively freaking out over “5AM in Toronto,” the new Boi-1da produced track he unleashed in the early hours today, our fascination at FWF HQ revolved mostly around one line:
Eating like I’m seated at Swiss, Joso’s, and Sotto’s…
Here, it would seem, is a glimpse into how Drake really eats when he’s in his hometown. But what exactly are these spots, and are they Canada’s answer to the French Laundry?
Well, Swiss Chalet (swisschalet.ca) certainly isn’t—this seems to be Aubrey’s “keeping it real” spot, if you will, where he might go after a studio session to recharge with some chicken and frites platter. With a few locations around the city, it’s essentially Toronto comfort food on a Friendly’s level. Word of advice from a Yelp reviewer: “The ‘world famous chalet sauce’ is basically a mild bland gravy so you should get your chicken with bbq sauce, it’s a nice thin tangy sauce and a much better option.”
Sotto refers to Sotto Sotto (sottosotto.ca), a celeb-friendly trattoria that has also played host to Blake Lively, Ben Affleck, and Jon Hamm during the Toronto Film Festival. As one Yelper informs us, “This is definitely a ‘celebrity’ place with pictures all over the walls of the owner with the likes of Brad Pitt and many many others going waaaay back.” One wonders if Aubrey is on the wall yet, or if this name-check in the song is actually a desperate plea to finally convince the owners to recognize him.
By far the most promising spot is a seafood joint called Joso’s, which despite having a celebrity clientele as well, appears to be infinitely more weird and awesome. Exhibit A: The Greatest (and Slightly NSFW) Restaurant Website in the Game. Yes, it plays music. Yes, the flash intro ends with two huge red arrows pointing at a pair of boobs. Yes, there is a section devoted to “Leo’s Art,” which looks like a mashup between Salvadore Dalí, YouPorn.com, and a really terrible video game.
Inside the restaurant, there is a sculpture of a female figure with big hooters that seems like the second best Toronto landmark after the CN Tower. If FourSquare is to be believed, Drake really does go there, since this super-amped dude ate at Joso’s in the summer of 2010 and “saw Drake with his entourage!!!” Other A-listers spotted in the gallery of stars: Joni Mitchell, Mark Messier, Kevin Bacon, Mariah Carey, and Mo Peterson.
So there you have it—that’s how Aubrey gets down when he’s at home. Not enormously exciting, though Joso’s seems like a pretty hilarious time.
UPDATE: @feasTO tells us that it may be Swish, not Swiss—as in Swish by Han, a Korean restaurant. No firm evidence, though the restaurant itself has tweeted about Drake’s visits, so it’s entirely possible that they’re right. If so, props to Drizzy for breaking outside of the celebrity haunt-chain restaurant dichotomy.