Dinner at the minuscule new diner from Anthony Rose, the ex-chef of the Drake Hotel, is good, chaotic fun. LCD Soundsystem thrums from the speakers while Rose squeezes between the tightly packed communal booths, dropping F-bombs (“It’s impossible to fuck up a patty melt—you’re gonna love it”) and pouring wine for parka-cocooned couples waiting by the door. You can see Rose’s down-to-earth enthusiasm all over the menu of upgraded greasy spoon specials, which are deftly prepped by chef de cuisine Chris Sanderson. Fried rice comes loaded with pickled ginger, crunchy peanuts, hunks of tender pork belly and broccoli, like trashy Chinese takeout made with quality ingredients. Liver and Onions turns out to be a playful name for airy-light chicken liver mousse with caramelized onions, cherry jam with a stack of chewy rye toast. The chili, a smoky stew of pulled beef and pork rippled with melted queso fresco, is a little greasy and a lot overpriced, at $19. Rose is right about that patty melt, though, which brings a butter-crisped grilled cheese stuffed with a messy mound of pink ground chuck. The sybaritic sandwich leaves little room for the luxe soft-serve custard sundaes, but you might as well order one anyway. A diner is no place for restraint.
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