The Craft Brassierie & Grille
As the craft beer trend makes its way throughout Canada, Toronto can now officially say it has a restaurant that it can boast about and use to lead the charge. On a corner of the ever youthful Liberty Village area, The Craft Brasserie and Grille has opened, bringing with it 120 Craft beers on tap and the type of dining missing from Liberty Village.
Walking into the beautiful, rustic looking building, you can tell this isn’t another dive bar with “fancy” burgers and fries. The second you walk in you notice the amount of effort that has gone into every inch of the establishment. There are booths and tables for all party sizes, flat screen TV’s, everywhere you look you get an overall feeling of a high quality experience to come; which has yet to be seen in Liberty Village. Along with the quality of the restaurants furnishing is the ridiculous amount of taps at the bar. They each have their own unique handle to represent their craft brews and they wrap all the way around the entire bar; each tap is a work of art. To further demonstrate to patrons what the restaurant is about is an open window into the Keg room. It is unlike anything you will find anywhere in Toronto, with an endless amount of kegs, tubes and pumps in sight. For those with experience in the beer world, The Craft will be cleaning over 5 filters a day, the keg room temperature will always be constant, and each keg line is separately regulated with flow regulators on every line. Each regulator will also be tested regularly along with a thorough regular cleaning. There will never be residue in the lines, meaning if you truly want a proper beer, this is the place to have it.
Along with many other food reviewers, the Craft’s head chef and their staff served us downsized versions of their menu, alongside an array of beers, paired by their beer sommelier Matt. To briefly go over each course, we started with “Mom’s” homemade spring rolls. They arrived at the table lightly browned and crispy and stuffed with pork and vegetables. With a side of homemade ketchup as a dipping sauce which packs a punch., No Heinz here.
Next we were served a classic comfort food with a twist blue cheese French fries. I cannot emphasize enough the difference between fresh and frozen frites. fresh Yukon gold potatoes compared to a frozen pre-processed potatoes, fresh just taste better. Did i mention the blue cheese fries were garnished with bacon, yes, I did say bacon, it was candied and it is smoked and made in house, everday.
We cleansed our palettes and we then promptly served a light fragrant beer, which was paired with one of their healthier options an amazing Quinoa Salad. It is a beautiful creation, with three different types of beans and sliced green apples. It is a dish the chef should be proud of as it must be hard to make a salad shine in such a beer heavy environment. This could be a customer’s healthy dish, to go with some of the more tantalizing and not so healthy daily choices we consume. Next up we were served a sumptous portion of another classic comfort food baked Mac and Cheese, containing Applewood smoked cheese, candied bacon, spicy chorizo and a heavy cream.
What looked to be the only “traditonal” plate, served this evening, were the braised short ribs. meaning they didn’t really have an obvious twist like the blue cheese of the fries or the candied bacon and chorizo in the mac and cheese. They were very hearty, had an amazing aroma, were fall of the bone tender. Served with garlic rice and side of green beans. Even though they didn’t have the flair, displayed previously by the chef in other other dishes, the entree was still quite delectable.
At this point, belt buckles were being undone and most people were not fully completing their dishes; it was dessert time. The smell was the first of the senses to take hold as a piping hot skillet was set down on the table. It contained a big, buttermilk pancake containing blueberries and a delicious syrup to accompany it.
Rocking a slight buzz and after eating 1-2 courses too many,The Craft Brasserie and Grille is one of the best restaurants in the area know as Liberty Village. It has knowledgeable, friendly and courteous serving staff unlike Local. its food is worth the higher price range unlike Williams landing, and it is more than just your local pub like the Brazen Head. It has great atmosphere which caters to families, sports fans, and beer lovers . Another huge feather in their cap, is it has received approval to build a patio, which means you can stop by and enjoy a pint on their patio as soon as it is finshed. It is big enough to cater to all different types of rush hours every day of the week. This review may not have commented on the beer aspect of The Craft Brasserie and Grille enough considering it is the staple of the restaurant. The reason for that is, that any questions can be directed towards their beer sommelier Matt, who will gladly answer any and all questions you may have about their 120 craft brews on tap during your visit to The Craft Brasserie and Grille .