In the entire “history of life,” people have not often celebrated overeating as a milestone. But good lord in less than three years I have now profiled over 500 restaurants in Ontario since moving to Toronto. I don’t even want to think about how many calories were consumed, spoons and forks stuffed into my face.
I figured I should commemorate my 500th Toronto restaurant experience on the blog so I can look back at it when I’m celebrating my 1000th. I’ll leave it up to you (the good people of the internet) to ensure I don’t balloon. So, please do bitch at me to keep up the swimming and biking across the city, it keeps my figure as slim as possible considering my daily “workplace hazards.”
It was a hot as hell summer evening when I locked my bike on the curb at King and Spadina and pulled open the doors to Crush Wine Bar. An AC induced breeze hit my face and helped my heartbeat calm and cool. I was quickly whisked past the restaurants bar and into a comfy seat in their dining room. The restaurant was recently purchased by the Vintage Hotel Group who own several fantastic concepts in Niagara which I have visited over the years. Favourite experiences include Afternoon Tea at The Prince of Wales and brunch at The Queens Landing.
Crush is located in the heart of King West Village. The restaurant and wine bar finds its home in a historic, five-storey, brick-and-beam building which was constructed in 1901 and used as a textile factory. The building was restored and renovated in 2000. Crush has been spilling wine into the glasses of eager oenophiles in Toronto for over 8 years now.
I was joined at the table by three of my close friends, all of who appreciate a party focussed on good food and drink. Jonathan, Erica, Steph and I started off the evening with a sampling of Manhattan’s and a duo of refreshing summer cocktails and then spent the next two hours nibbling through Executive Chef Trista Sheen’s signature dishes.
Savoury highlights of my 500th Toronto feast included memorable cheese and charcuterie boards, creamy burrata paired with tart compressed rhubarb, crispy zucchini and wild leek fritters with chimichurri and a grilled pork chop with green garlic spaetzle and crispy pig ear. We of course ensured a sweet finish for our Crush marathon, two of these desserts were ridiculously addictive. The Peach Coffee Cake with ginger blueberry sauce was a perfect tip of the hat to summer flavours while the Peanut Butter Chocolate bomb reminded me so much of why I love my job. I regularly find myself loitering in decadence and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Special thanks to the team at Crush for hosting us as their guests.
The 500th Feast:
House Manhattan Flight
four roses bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters by Carroll + Co
House Gin and Tonic
beefeater, lime, tonic syrup by Carroll + Co, soda
Raspberry Mint Lemonade
absolut vodka, muddle mint and raspberries, lemon, simple syrup, raspberry liqueur, soda
Crush Charcuterie and Cheese Boards
selection of ‘dolce lucano’ cured meats, terrine, pate, cheese, preserves
compressed rhubarb, fava beans, watercress, pistachio crumble
Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast
swiss chard slaw, cassis reduction
Zucchini and Wild Leek Fritters
queso fresco, chimichurri
mustard greens, poached dumplings, spicy corn cream, plantain chip
Ontario Lamb Saddle
100km bean succotash, goat yogurt
Grilled Pork Chop
green garlic spaetzle, crispy pig ear salad
Goat Cheese and Eggplant Pierogies
house-made chilli sauce, pickled eggplant, basil
Peanut Butter + Chocolate Bomb
crispy wafer, peanut brittle, banana chips
Peach Coffee Cake
ginger blueberry sauce, lemon ice cream
Daily Donut Showdown + Crush ‘Quik”
#500 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010!!!