The premise of the column is simple; work with restaurants of all kinds in this amazing city to explore what they have to offer and what makes them unique. In a city like Toronto, the choices are sometimes daunting and the food reviews and critics can be snotty and too complicated for their own good. So why not keep this easy?
Drinks. Appetizer. Main Course. Dessert. All along with a bit of information about what makes them our choice for Daniel’s Dish and why you should try them right away!
The Fifth Pub House, 225 Richmond Street West. (416) 979-0390
Ah the pub. We have all been to, enjoyed or hated one of these at some point or another in; in every case, what comes to mind? Dingy decor and greasy food for the most part. Chef Brad Livergant of The Fifth Grill & Terrace (hopefully coming to a Daniel’s Dish soon!), known for its fine dining experience will bring that upscale flair to the standard pub concept. I recently joined the Chef to discuss and try out the newest addition to The Fifth Family, and I can say I’m once again a pub fan!
Located mere blocks from the bustling financial core, The Fifth Pub House is the baby of a well established restaurant entity. The Fifth as a whole is comprised of five separate outlets, and the pub house itself opened a few weeks ago much to the need of a city plagued by dive bars and dingy pubs.
Pardon me Julio and basically all of the hipsters in existence, but those are not the kind of place I want to eat. Ever. Those establishments are for drinking and late night visits. The end.
The jovial atmosphere starts right at the red doors that great you on Richmond St. and lead you down into a den of good food, great staff and beautiful decor. An open concept dinning room and a bar that stretches the length of the room are exactly what I envision a pub to be. The only difference is, the floors are clean, the staff are smiling and the food looks and smells like I want to eat it and not as though I am being forced into some kind of torture.
A pub must have one thing in order to embody what a pub “should be”. Good beer. The concept itself stems from across the pond as a local gathering pub to enjoy a good pint after work and even goes so far in the UK as to be the hub of a neighbourhood. A bit of a strange concept by North American standards, but trust me when I say Cheers doesn’t hold a candle to a good British or Irish pub.
The Fifth Pub House makes its own beer and appropriately dubbed it The Fifth Stock Ale. An easy drinking blond ale that in all manners, complemented the space, the food and the night. And for a non-avid beer drinker like myself ,(I always end up feeling bloated. NO thank you. I actually really enjoyed it and would dare you to try it and not think the same. With a variety of beers on tap, a fully stocked bar and knowledgeable bartenders, there are no limits to your options. But if you want an authentic pub experience after years of wannabes like I did, try out the #FifthStockAle.
I’m sure you’ve noticed, the word kale has started to have a recurring role on my Daniel’s Dish posts. This bitter green seems to have a roller coaster effect in the restaurant world – it makes a come back, every one uses it, every one gets tired of it, it disappears then reappears. Luckily for you, The Fifth Pub House has taken a liking to this lovely leaf for what is my favourite salad in the city right now. The Kale For Karnivores is everything that the name says it is. Bite size bitter pieces of kale tossed in a sherry shallot vinaigrette which is acidic and savoury. Add semi salty pancetta, creamy avocado and sweet candied cashews… kale heaven.
What to chose with so many choices…when it came down to it, nothing said pub more then the 5th Wings. These things are made of monster chickens, I swear. A good chicken wing is a tough thing to find, but when you think about what it should be, what comes to mind? Crispy, meaty, just saucy enough and so good you lick your fingers at the first chance. Add the that the fact that you get a side of the delicious home made russet potato french fries that might just rival chip wagon fries and you’ve got pub fare 101 done right. In fact, when you go, why not just let me know so I can come along and enjoy them all over again. Pretty please?
In what was a non traditional way to end the night, we got one of the best kinds of the dessert. The kind that that I will remember for a long time because it wasn’t just something sweet on a plate that I had a hard time finishing. The Fifth has its own Cafe; the perfect way to take dessert with you on the way out and still satisfy that sweet tooth.
Secret You Should Know:
Many fine dinning Chefs in this city have made a bad name for their title and colleagues. They won’t amend their menu for their guests and they let their egos get in the way of their passion for food. A shame really, but a sad truth in the Toronto food scene. Luckily for us all, Chef Brad is an exception to this rule. Chef will happily hand over his recipe and secrets “I’d rather everyone learn how to cook” he told me when I asked him about his menu. This might now seem like a big deal or even that great of a secret to you, but coming from someone who worked in that industry for over ten years, this is basically a culinary miracle. So next time you fall in love with a dish at The Fifth and feel the need to try it for yourself at home, just know that you can!
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