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Introducing: WVRST, King West’s new sausage and beer hall

Wvrst’s dining room features long, communal tables (Image: Signe Langford)

More and more, it seems as though Clubland is outgrowing its old epicentre at the Richmond and John area and oozing west along King Street into what was once a much more sedate dining destination led by Susur, Lee, Marc Thuet’s nom-de-jour resto, Brassaii and Rodney’s. As we reported back in April, it’s into this shifting scene that chef and simple food enthusiast Aldo Lanzillotta has opened his first restaurant, Wvrst, which serves up artisanal sausages and brews in a casual beer hall setting.

Nipping off the main drag and following the big red W up a set of dark, grey stairs takes you to the sort of place where worn-out jeans, lumberjack jackets and ironic baseball caps are all welcome. The 4,000-square-foot open space is strung with bare light bulbs and set with long communal tables, benches and stools, with the tunes swinging wildly from house to classic rock.

The concept—Munich-style beer hall—is all over the focused sausage, fries and beer menu. On the night we visited, Lanzillotto and his old friend Claudio Aprile (Origin, Colborne Lane) huddle in a corner, perhaps discussing Aprile’s rumoured expansion, perhaps simply talking sausage. At one of the blonde wood tables, six bros play a drinking game, while further down, a bunch of cool kids in pork pie hats drink from brew-appropriate glassware.

Lanzillotta is currently offering a menu of 18 sausages, including kangaroo with herbs ($9), bison with blueberry and maple ($9), Mediterranean lamb with olives ($6) and Guinea fowl with old cheddar and asparagus ($9), served on buns from Golden Wheat Bakery and Pastry on College. These are paired with over 30 beers ($6–$11) and French fries that are double-dipped in duck fat and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt ($4.50–$6.50).

Some of the place is still a little rough around the edges: Lanzillotta is waiting on signage, outside lighting and his 30-seat boulevard patio. But he remains optimistic that it will all come together some time this summer.

Wvrst, 609 King St. W., 416-703-7775, wvrst.com.

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
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  • phil

    was there the other week – it was ok. very pricey. i hate to compare it to some of the places in Europe that i’ve vistited – but you can’t compare. limited atmosphere, pricey food and beers. the beer selection is decent however and does compliment the offering of sauseege. give it a go if you’re into that scene, but don’t expect ‘Munich Style Beer Hall’ or Frankfurters in Barcelona – that’s where it’s at!

  • T

    I disagree, while there are some amazing places in Europe this is the first in Toronto to offer this concept and actually do it very well, while at the same time putting a unique Toronto spin on it. I found the sausages were amazing and those duck fat fries were to die for and even more amazing with the maple/rosemary dipping sauce. I want to go back and try all the different combinations.

  • ToddWhitmore

    What is the beer list like?

  • ToddWhitmore

    I retract that – it is on the website and very good – count me in!

  • Johnny

    This is THE place for me. Friends (and family) have recently experienced amazing sausages, let alone the first place in Hogtown that serves currywurst! The beer list is top-notch and, yes, the fries are so good. I like that it has it’s own spin on a “German Beer Hall”, too. Took some clients from the States and Japan there the other night and they’re asking to go back to try the Ontario beers (again) and game sausages before they head home. They mentioned that Toronto is on to something with wvrst and I’m with them on that. Great atmosphere, too. Saw a large, fun group celebrating a birthday for a 75 year-old man (grandfather?) sitting right next to a group of young (20-something?) professionals having after-work food/drinks. I, too, want to go back and try all the different combinations.

  • Ang

    I can’t wait! see you this Monday night Wvrst! myself and a gal-pal (both German “backgrounds” may I add ;) ) will be indulging in this fine food/ beer experience!

  • Restos in TO

    Love this place. We’ve been five times and enjoy every time. Can’t wait for the upcoming take-home sausages and loyalty program.

    Our review of the place is below:
    http://restosinto.tumblr.com/post/10421950636/wvrst

    Enjoy the write-up!

    Cheers,
    Restos in TO

 

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