If there’s one thing downtowners love above all else—friends, family, their orange tabby Kitty Kitty Bang Bang—it’s brunch.
Ever since The Hoof Café closed in 2011 to eventually become The Cocktail Bar, diners have lit candles on their windowsills every night, gazing into the sky contemplating the fate of their rabbit buckwheat pancakes. Have they been kidnapped and mangled into a dollar-menu abomination? Are they frolicking in a pasture with other discontinued menu items? Do they know they are loved?
Well, this past weekend the clouds have parted and a beam of hollandaise-coloured light shone on Raw Bar (926 Dundas St. W., at Bellwoods), for owner Jen Agg has declared from the mountaintops (Twitter) that brunch is back. Yes. We. Can.
“I never really wanted to stop doing brunch,” says Agg. “For a long time I said I wouldn’t do it again because it’s so stressful, but I have such a good team who I can rely on to be in charge of the organizational parts.”
The Hoof Cafe’s brunch, which from now on takes place in Raw Bar, will be run by chef Amancio dos Santos (of Raw Bar) serving items like sweetbreads and waffles; foie and French toast; Bombay hash of fried potatoes with chat masala, mint chutney and butter chicken sauce with fried egg and smoked mackerel; bone marrow scrambled eggs with seared beef heart and salsa verde, a “Big Salad” with brown butter dressing; and a Spanish-style blood sausage McMuffin that will also be available as a $10 takeout option that comes with coffee from Sam James Coffee Bar.
And to complete the meal and fill the two-year-old hole in your brunchless soul, Agg’s created new cocktails including Tanlines with sparkling rosé, Aperol, tangerine juice, and orange blossom water; a brunch punch; and Ho-j, Howe Sound beer with tangerine juice.
Brunch (dinner service continues as usual at Raw Bar) runs Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m., giving your Instagram account purpose in life again.—Karon Liu