Big Crow Brings the Taste of Muskoka to the City

The smell of wood and open flame; meat cooking in the same room it’s being served. Blankets on benches. Muskoka in the city. This is how to get your country fix without leaving the 416. This is Big Crow (176 Dupont Street).

From the owner of Rose and Sons, one of Toronto’s hottest restaurants, comes one of the newest, must-try eateries in the city. Big Crow is housed behind Rose and Sons at Dupont and Davenport in a large wooden, cabin-like space. Cowhides lining the backs of benches, lanterns dangling above communal tables, and the sound of trains occasionally passing by outside all combine to lend Big Crow the perfect feel of true, Canadian fireside dining. Stepping into Big Crow for the evening almost feels like stepping back to a simpler time (don’t worry, your cell will still get service). Thoughts of fresh Algonquin landscapes mingle with the smell of wood smoke until all the urbanity, still just steps away on Dupont, fads into another life – one that feels very far from the impossibly cozy evening Big Crow provides.

But we didn’t just come here to get away, we also came to eat. And this is where Big Crow backs up its atmosphere with a menu to match. After all, this isn’t just about the sound of fresh wood crackling on the fire – what’s cooking on top of that fire matters just as much.

We started out with a round of smoked mozzarella and roast garlic bread that had the best combination of crunch and melt we’ve had in a long time (could be the three types of butter they use). Next up was a pickle bowl appetizer covered in delicious sauerkraut and hot peppers with pickles so large a steak knife had to be utilized – basically, these guys don’t mess around when it comes to their mini cucumbers. As if this wasn’t enough, the Steel Head Trout Poke placed in front of us was a mouthful of wonder that we simply couldn’t put down. The combination of peanuts, chilis, ginger, soy, and furikake instantly made this one of our favourite ceviches in the city.   


With so many spices lingering on our taste buds, we decided a cocktail would only add to the evening’s flavours. The Bohemian Cooler (ginger beer, elderflower, rye) was the perfect choice to cool our mouths off before we heated them up again with a plate full of BBQ’d meat. And, like all of Big Crow’s cocktails, this dangerously delicious drink is available in both glass and pitcher form – just as it should be if you ask us.

And then things got real. The plate that came out next simultaneously shocked and delighted us. We’re talking four types of BBQ’d meat, all grilled to perfection. Ribs, chicken, sausage, and steak – each with their own unique garnishes including a spectacular pear, walnut, and Pecorino blend. Pair all of this with fresh veggies, bread, and a bowl of traditional pork and beans and we were pretty much settled in for the entire night. By the time we left we were overcome with the joys of a full belly and an evening spent ‘outside’ the city.

So the next time you’re looking to get away from it all but you’ve only got a few hours to spare, we suggest you tuck into Big Crow for the night and get lost in a restaurant experience unlike any other in Toronto.