District Eatery announces its arrival on King West with flashing marquee lights.
Located on King West across from the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the new restaurant and its grand street presence takes the opposite approach than its predecessor, Hush.
Inside is casual and fun. A mix of bar tops, dining tables, and lounge seating where TV screens are framed with living plant walls.
The gist of this place is that the food is on the lighter side while the bar goes hard.
The menu is light on fried foods, and big on veggies and whole grains all while being friendly to vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters, without shunning meat.
While a sandwich or a side of fries isn’t entirely absent, the menu is dominated by healthy-sounding alternatives such as street corn, hummus flights, Waldorf-inspired grilled chicken lettuce cups, and rice bowls topped with sashimi.
Feel for a steak, pork chop, or slab of grilled tempeh? Each is offered a la carte with supplementary sides like roasted cauliflower, ancient grains, and seasonal vegetables.
A sunny patio with seating for almost 50 has the potential to turn the chore of eating healthy into a social event. To drink, there’s kombucha and craft sodas flavoured with the juices from macerated fruits.
Cocktails are especially well priced. A range of libations including a Moscow Mule and a Rhubarb-Fennel Gin Fizz will only set you back $8.75. I audibly gasped when I read that on the menu–I haven’t seen a cocktail for less tham $12 in years.
Perhaps most unique to this place is the rotating selection of English Milk Punches that are served in three-serving bottles. Mixologist Andrew Hall describes them as a 300-year-old recipe comprising tea, various spirits, and juices blended with citric acid and milk (coconut milk in the vegan version,) so that it curdles before its strained into a refreshing, flavoured whey.
The drinks taste
whey way better than that description sounds. Today there are three flavours on offer; a fruity-tasting bevy made with rum, port, and black tea, a version with green tea, Jack Daniels, and fresh ginger drink, and a refreshing vegan pineapple-mandarin-passionfruit-vodka herbal tea.
Address: 303 King Street West, Toronto