A stunning new brewpub has landed eastside at Queen and Broadview – replete with fabulous food, brews (soon to be brewed on site and to take home), retail shop with merch and good times.
What are you waiting for?
Chef Tara Lee (formerly of Bar Hop, Skin+Bones, Cowbell) has created a menu of sophisticated pub faves along with nightly dinner features, with the most expensive dish at just $25 for steak.
Focusing on local and seasonal ingredients, Lee makes everything from scratch, uses beer throughout the menu and is a fan of bright acids, which makes for lively fare.
The menu’s divided into snacks, sandwiches, mains and desserts, with snacks being “playful and small,” Lee says. “I love when a table’s full of little dishes.” She loves cooking octopus and “couldn’t imagine not having beer and mussels,” so both ingredients are featured. And items are kept simple and straightforward. “I try not to put too many things on one plate,” Lee says. “It makes us take care of the ingredients we have.”
With the kitchen being set right at the bar, you get a front seat to all the action. Lee says, “It’s the best spot. People ask a lot of questions. I find it mesmerizing.”
In addition to dinner and snacks, brunch service is in the works.
The focus here is beer, naturally.
Soon, co-owner Dave Lee (also husband of Tara Lee) will have fresh, local Eastbound Brewerybrewed on site, beer on tap and to sell – available in 12 ounce cans and fresh crowlers. Their 32-ounce can growler is easier to carry than glass versions, is better for the environment and allows for fresher brew.
Lee has a ton of experience (Kensington Brewing Co., Mill Street production brewery), but perhaps what’s most impressive is he traveled all the way to Chicago and Germany to enroll in the Siebel Institute, the only beer education program at the time.
Eastbound’s brewing and cooling techniques will set them apart from the crowd. “We’re going to start off with a pretty broad range – five to six styles: IPAs, porters, stouts and Belgian varieties,” Lee says.
Also of note: “We really try to bring the brewery into the kitchen – and vice versa,” he says. “We want to push one another to be creative and do new things: use different spices, fruit and vegetables.”
Their in-house brews are just days away from pouring. In the meantime, you can enjoy rotating local guest taps, which currently include: Nickel Brook Raspberry Uber, Sawdust City Brewing Co. Skinny Dippin’ Stout, Muskoka Brewery Legendary Oddity, and Collective Arts Prophets & Nomads Gose with Himalayan salt and coriander.
There’s local wine – including summertime essential rosé - and cider, too.
Fixtures & Fittings
The former furniture store has been completely transformed. Between the 45-foot live edge walnut bar at the front (with additional top bar at the back), the 3,500-square-feet open-concept brewpub is modern and streamlined with an industrial edge, yet simultaneously casual and comfortable.
There’s no hidden prep area – everything is prepared right in front of you, beer included. As a guest, you get to be a part of the process, which will please occasional beer drinkers as well as the more serious craft beer crowd.
The star of the show is at the back and set down into a subfloor that was home to an old movie theatre back in the ’30s. The five 20-barrel fermenters (capacity: 25,000 litres each) will soon be pumping out their own brews.
The result: you feel like you’re in a brewery without having to sit in a factory.
Off the Menu
Fried Olives ($7) Covered in finely ground panko, Cerignola olives are deep-fried until crispy and golden, and set on a thick bed of yogurt with a vampire’s worth of fresh garlic. Completely, utterly addictive. No doubt you’ll double up on this one.
Chicken-Fried Calamari ($14) Tender squid are swathed in a weightless, crunchy breading and served with a creamy, frothy, glossy green goddess sauce. Brilliant accompaniments of sliced fried lemons and crispy parsley are game changers.
½ lb. PEI Mussel Bowls ($9) Mussels steamed in beer clack together with crispy shallots, thinly sliced fennel and a heap of fresh parsley. Perfect on a hot summer’s day alongside a tall, cold pint of beer. Or three.
Lamb Meatball Grinder ($16) You don’t see grinders on many menus in T.O. That’s because it’s an American term for a sub-like toasted sandwich containing hot ingredients, used mostly in New York and around the east coast.
Big soft lamb meatballs are covered with just enough homemade tomato sauce to wet them but not much extra (no drips), tucked in with ridged dill chips, pickled onion scattered with mustard seeds (Lee really has a way with pickles and acids), harissa, Monforte goat cheese, and mint in a thick, crusty, toasted butter bun. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious.
Eastbound’s Herbed Fries ($5) Skinny, well-done fries tossed with thyme, parsley and salt, served with a captivating malt vinegar mayo. One of the best in the city.
Banana Caramel Chocolate Torte (Rotating dessert special. $7 and change) Pastry and sous chef Myra Richards creates a striking pose with this beauty, finished with toasted peanuts, bourbon whip cream and cranberry coulis.
At the Stove: Tara Lee
Head Honchos: Dave Watson, Dave Lee, Adam Stiles, Peter Moscone
Map it: 700 Queen St. E. (at Broadview)
Visiting Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 4-11 pm
Phone it in: 416-901-1299
How Cool is This?! Tuesday nights: $5 draft, $5 mussels.
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.