Has it been only two months? Two months since The Guild opened? I was wondering about this the other day because the restaurant, located at 1442 Dundas St. W., seemed to have successfully integrated and established itself as a friendly and popular neighbouhood spot already (it is a packed house there every weekend). I double checked and triple checked. Yes, I'm right - it hasn't even been a full two months, technically speaking.
The Guild (Twitter: @guildresto, Facebook: The Guild Restaurant) served its first weekend brunch on Sunday, March 10th. Dinner service quickly followed a week later on Wednesday, March 20th. Saturday and Sunday brunch, plus dinner from Wednesday through Sunday? Methinks that's pretty impressive for a brand new restaurant. Well chef and owner Mani Binelli (formerly of Centro, Canoe, and Auberge du Pommier) didn't just stop there 'cause a couple of weeks later, he further expanded his restaurant's menu to include a $2 snack menu (with half priced wine) every Wednesday and Thursday, as well as a $30 prix-fixe menu on Sundays.
With such an ambitious offering, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that The Guild is gaining so much positive momentum in such a short period of time. The local spot is certainly off to a fantastic start, and this is confirmed after the very solid dinner I had at the chef's table several weekends ago, all thanks to chef Binelli (@ManiBChef) and Peter Petruniak (@ChefPeteTO), dinner sous chef of The Guild.
My night started off with a few cocktails. Here is bartender Alex James giving us a demo of how he makes "An Orange Cigar".
AN ORANGE CIGAR ($12)
AN ORANGE CIGAR ($12)
Papidoux calvados, bowmore 12 yr, cinzano sweet, aperol, orange flower water, roasted orange zest.
Props to Alex for his excellent cocktail list at The Guild; my friend Jason and I were really happy with all the cocktails we had (I also took a peek at their brunch cocktail list...they all sound really good too)!
OLD FASHIONED ($8)
Four roses bourbon, raw sugar, angostura bitters, orange zest
A BERGAMOT SOUR ($14)
Orange & cream of earl grey infused tanqueray, st. germain, lillet, simple syrup, lemon juice, egg white
We left it up to the chefs to feed us whatever they wanted...
BRULEED FOIE TERRINE WITH CANDIED KUMQUATS (amuse)
FRIED OYSTERS WITH HORSERADISH CREAM, FENNEL, HEIRLOOM CARROT AND BEET SALAD
SMOKED DUCK BREAST WITH FOIE GRAS, BOK CHOY, BLACK SESAME, BLOOD ORANGE AND CANDIED KUMQUAT
CONFIT DUCK GIZZARDS, MARINATED EGGPLANT, GARLIC SPROUTS, PEPPER PUREE, RADISH
SOUS VIDE PORK TONGUE, POLENTA, DRIED TOMATOES SAUTEED IN OLIVE OIL
ANCHOVY RIGATTE PUTTANESCA, LEMON PEPPER RICOTTA AND PARSLEY SHALLOT SALAD
YUKON POTATO GNOCCHI WITH BRAISED WILD BOAR IN A ROASTED GARLIC PORCINI CREAM WITH RAPINI
CARROT CAKE - 5 SPICE CAKE, WALNUT, RAISIN, CREAM, CARROT MERINGUE, CARROT FOAM
A very solid tasting at The Guild's chef's table. Standouts for me were the tender smoked duck breast with foie gras (I thought the citrus-y tones really brought out and enhanced the overall dish), the sliced sous vide pork tongue on a bed of creamy polenta (the texture on the tongue was amazing), and the anchovy rigatte puttanesca with lemon pepper ricotta (I really liked how the anchovies were incorporated in the pasta resulting in a nice and subtle flavour in comparison to the strong "in-your-face" flavour you expect from cured anchovies).
I also think I need to visit The Guild for brunch soon especially after seeing dishes like these on their menu...
- fresh canestri pasta with butter poached lobster in an aged cheddar gruyere cream and garlic panko;
- fois gras stuffed vanilla french toast, caramel finger bananas, raspberry chantilly cream; and
- omega pork belly, puffed rice, house kimchi and eggs
Ahhhhh seriously mouth-watering!