Some of the best meals we’ve had border more closely on the casual: spreads of charcuterie to share, mounds of protein to pass around, sides neatly assembled on platters in a take-what-you-will fashion. Family-style dining at its core encourages a social experience, and these five restaurants formalize the art so you can ‘informalize’ your conversation…
While Chef Rob Rossi’s joint struck a claim with family-style dining in the city shortly after opening – offering a whole roasted suckling pig with all the fixings suitable to feed eight – they’ve helped bolster its appeal with the recent addition of a whole roasted Peking duck you can share with the company of three.
This prized Toronto restaurant saw a mass overhaul last year with an in-the-family transfer of ownership and an out-of-the-box redesign. But for those who say Little Anthony’s has lost any semblance of its tradition, you need look no further than Nona’s Dinner. Start with an antipasto platter then make way for some perfect pasta before indulging in plates of meat and fish with your choice of sides. Oh… and leave a li’l room for dessert.
Harken back to the Old World with Edulis’ family-style Sunday brunch and get a glimpse at why this Niagara Street restaurant is hailed as one of the best in Toronto. The table’s yours for the afternoon – and who wouldn’t stay around a few hours with half price wines – and you’re treated to a multi-course meal that in the past has seen plates like chorizo migas with fried egg, fried rabbit with cabbage slaw, and French apple cake.
Sitting on the third floor of the Shangri-La Hotel while overlooking the bustling University Avenue is an experience that could seemingly be laden with pretension. But once you order a ‘large format’ meal of fried chicken, or porchetta, or bo ssam, those qualms quickly dissipate. These meals, tailored for the dining enjoyment of four to six, are family-style interactivity at its best, contained within Toronto’s urbanity… also at its best.
The Queen and Beaver Public House
A stalwart on Elm Street, The Queen and Beaver does Brits proud. Its pull is particularly entrancing on Sunday nights when they bring out the Feasting Menu. Served with traditional sides and condiments, The Queen and Beaver’s family-style dinner has rib roast and Yorkshire pudding, beef Wellington, and even wood roast suckling pig on menu for group orders. Book by Thursday to ensure a fantastic close to Sunday.