The Feasting Room is a six-month project by Noah Goldberg and Mathieu Dutan, who, much like the founders of certain other restaurants in the city, met on Craigslist. Goldberg, who has cooked at Lee and Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne in New York, was working at nose-to-tail temple St. John in London, England, when he decided to return to Toronto and posted an ad to enlist a general manager who would share in his vision. Dutan, who has spent time at Bistro Bakery Thuet, Gamelle and La Palette in Toronto and has also trained as a sommelier in Paris, answered Goldberg, and The Feasting Room was born.
Thursdays to Mondays from 5 to 10 p.m., The Feasting Room takes over The Orbit Room (after which your regularly scheduled Orbit Room bar takes its space back). The pop-up is a testing ground for Goldberg’s nose-to-tail menu concept and a means of measuring interest for a potential permanent location in the new year. Each week, a new six-course tasting menu focusing on one animal will be offered for $65, with an additional $35 for paired drinks. Each dinner is a blind tasting, which means guests don’t know what they’ll get until it arrives at the table. The “menu”—a diagram of the featured animal and its various cuts, packaged in the same rose-coloured butcher’s paper that adorns the tables—offers only a clue to the dishes. Each part is numbered and represents the course in which that part will appear on your plate.
This week’s menu features rabbit, and Goldberg has plans for hare, goat, wild boar, duck, goose, chicken, deer and buffalo, to name just a few. On the week of our visit, the animal of the week was pig. Dishes included a table snack of pork crackling paired with a glass of prosecco, head cheese with a selection of pickled vegetables and three types of Kozlik’s mustard, and pig spleen pounded with bacon and a frisée salad. Dessert was a play on pork ’n’ beans: cannoli fried in pork fat and filled with a red bean purée and candied bacon, sitting in a dulce de leche crème anglaise and paired with a sip of Barenjager honey liqueur. In other words, this is not food for the faint of carnivorous heart—even the soap was made of pig fat.