Notable Restaurant Review: The Farmhouse Tavern, Two Ways

We’re deeming The Farmhouse Tavern “the cream of the crop” of The Junction – the most impressive new venture to cultivate this west Toronto neighbourhood to date. If you have been looking for a reason to venture further into the Toronto Frontier (the westward wave of culinary expansion that began with Queen St. not so long ago), here’s your first starting post – this is a brunch worth noting. A crop of Toronto’s top chefs have quickly migrated to The Junction, sowing their seeds of talent and creating a budding food haven. But here she is; The Farmhouse Tavern. The true leader of the Wild West has emerged.

It’s more like a cozy farmhouse than an urban hot spot. Rusty antique farm tools hang from the walls, the rooms and patio filled with rustic accessories to set the mood. It’s a true farm-to-table dining experience, right here in your own urban backyard. They take this seriously at the Farmhouse Tavern. The restaurant is closed Monday through Wednesday, the owners spending these days shopping for the perfect local ingredients themselves and designing next week’s perfect plates. Come on a Sunday for “Fuck Mondays,” where they try their best to share what’s left of their fresh ingredients at a low, low price before the three-day shut down.

The fun and inviting vibe takes hold almost immediately, as you have to ask your server for a translation of the eclectic items you read off this week’s chalkboard menu – mother and child, cover girl, barnyard burger – just to name a few. For this brunch, she ventured toward the “mother and child” while he opted for a more familiar traditional eggs Benny. Poised for adventure, she was delighted as two poached duck eggs descended in front of her, accompanied by thin sliced, gorgeous duck prosciutto.

The slight morbidity of the dish’s name presents itself, yet takes nothing away from the marriage of silky, buttery yolks, salty prosciutto and fresh, crisp greens. For him, a stroll toward the familiar turned into a careening cart ride through the new and exciting. Again using duck eggs in favour of the traditional chicken, and pairing them with house made biscuits and Hollandaise, the “traditional” eggs Benedict is a far cry from “familiar” or “common.” Farm fresh and homemade, each piece of the dish is its own explosion of flavour and richness that glides over your tongue. The kind of food that reminds you of nature’s complexity and generosity.

His Rating
For a business meeting: 6/10. It’s fun, it’s rustic, it’s NOT professional.

With a group: 7/10. I’m just not sure there’s space for it, and the menu is not as far reaching as is often necessary to please your entire party.

On a date: 9/10. The overall vibe of this place is perfect for a one on one. Conversation, laughter and good vibes abound at Farmhouse Tavern.

Her Rating
For a business meeting: 5/10. Talking shop would just taint the vibe of this down home country gem. Relax. This is a place to get away from it all.

With a group: 8/10. A small group of four would love it here, just be ready for both the cab fare and the eclectic carnivores’ fare on the menu. Lasso your faves who appreciate an adventure in food. 

On a date: 9/10. Join your date for a casual pint and perhaps throw in a side of foie gras while you’re there. Why not? The atmosphere is oozing with nostalgia and conversation starters – who knows what you will learn.

His Last Word
Take a friend or a special someone, and do it weekly.

Her Last Word
Food does not come from the grocery store. This is real food, done right.

Photos courtesy Farmhouse Tavern