E11even, a handsome fine eatery at Maple Leaf Square on 15 York St., whose crusty bread is buttered copiously by diners flying to and from the facing Air Canada Centre, has entered another level of the digital dining age with a recent enhancement to its technological oeuvre.
The restaurant’s extensive wine cellar—600 labels strong—is newly accessible to its clientele via the addition of some 40 tableside iPads. These little marvels make the wine drinker’s task easier thanks to the ability they lend customers to search their vino choices by region, vintage, producer or price.
The Toronto restaurant, which favours North American classics like crab cakes and jumbo shrimp cocktail, along with such comfort-food staples as mac and cheese and milk and cookies, is Canada’s first customer for Incentient.
Headquartered in Plainview, NY, Incentient is a transaction services company best known for its SmartTouch system that provides in-room remote ordering capabilities for the hospitality industry.
With the iPad at E11even, the innovators take it a notch further, producing a high-tech alternative to a printed wine menu that provides not only the verbiage on the libations but enhances the offerings with rich photography—every bottle in the cellar has a headshot—to facilitate customer selection. What’s more, the screen resolution is rich enough to be seen clearly in the dim lighting that often characterizes hoi-poloi food joints.
The usefulness of the iPad system—which first dropped at E11even thanks to vigilant attendance by owner Vito Marinuzzi at the device’s US launch—is further enhanced with recommendations and tasting notes added by the sommelier team. It also tracks inventory and will release items from its coffers if they sell out.