Located at 97 Harbord St., THR & Co. (Twitter: @THRandCo, Facebook: THR&Co.) is the descendant of the neighbouring restaurant The Harbord Room. Curt Martin, formerly of The Harbord Room, helms the kitchen at the brand-new spot with Cory Vitiello overseeing both restaurants. THR & Co. boasts an impressive compilation of affordable sharing plates, pizzas, pastas, and meat and fish dishes with flavours and ingredients inspired by the Mediterranean.
THR & Co. features the elegant interior design of classic bistros with dark red banquettes, marble table tops and wooden floors (black and white graphic tile flooring can be found surrounding the bar). Natural light filters through the floor-to-ceiling windows illuminating the open and elegant space. The large mirrors toward the back of the restaurant further beautifies the airy space. My favourite spot to dine at THR & Co. is actually at the wrap-around bar, specifically the tail-end nook by the kitchen. Cozy and comfortably tucked in, these seats are ideal for casual dates and intimate conversation.
SOA (SUMMER OF ANTON) ($12)
Tromba tequila, wild berry & balsamic shrub, fresh lime and ginger beer
BEEF HEART TARTARE ($12)
Espelette mayo, green olive relish, cured duck yolk, crispy tendon & banyuls vinegar
WARM B.C. SARDINE ESCABECHE ($12)
Sherry vinegar, blistered curry pepper & grilled ciabatta
BLACK SPAGHETTI (AGLIO E OLIO STYLE) ($13)
Charred squid, shishito peppers, lemon & bottarga
DANDELION & RICOTTA ($14)
Farm egg, hen 'o the woods mushroom, potato, sheep milk cheddar & smoked salt
SLOW COOKED LAMB NECK "OSSO BUCO" ($23)
Harissa, braising juices, dried currant & pine nut gremolata
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER ($6)
Sumac, pistachio & sultana raisin
ORGANIC BEETS ($6)
Goat milk feta, caraway, burnt orange & mint
STICKY DATE CAKE ($9)
Ox heart plum ice cream, spiced nuts & salted caramel
SLOW COOKED CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE ($9)
Cherry, graham crunch & candied hazelnuts
The beef heart tartare is hands-down one of my favourite dishes at THR & Co. Served with crispy beef tendon puffs that somewhat resembles jumbo shrimp chips, the nicely seasoned raw meat is chopped fine and lightly packed with green olive relish. Topped with a dollop of creamy espelette mayo and cured duck yolk shavings, the beef heart tartare is not to be missed. The B.C. sardine escabeche is also a superb starter. The sherry vinegar and vegetables work brilliantly in cutting the fattiness of the warm fish while the grilled ciabatta underneath it soaks up all the bold and robust flavours.
Tossed in garlic and olive oil with a medley of charred squid, shishito peppers, bottarga and lemon, the black spaghetti – served al dente - was fabulous. I instantly fell in love with the hint of zesty lemon and the slight crunch of the cured roe. Next up: the dandelion and ricotta pizza. The fragrant and earthy flavour of the mushrooms was simply delightful. Coupled with melted sheep milk cheddar and a beautiful yellow farm egg in the centre, this light and crispy pizza pie was a hit.
The “osso buco”, traditionally prepared with braised veal shanks, is replaced with braised lamb’s neck at THR & Co. This is probably the most succulent, most tender piece of lamb I've ever had. The pool of broth with dried currents, tomato and harissa is incredibly soothing and full of flavour. The vegetable side dishes – roasted cauliflower with sumac, pistachio and raisin, and the organic beets with goat milk feta, caraway, burnt orange and mint – were both very delicious.
Make sure you save room for dessert. The slow cooked chocolate cheesecake, adorned with graham crunch, cherries and candied hazelnuts, has a consistency and texture similar to a rich, luscious ganache. The sticky date pudding with smooth ox plum ice cream, spiced nuts and salted caramel is also out-of-this-world decadent.