On the ever-expanding stretch of Dundas West just passed Dovercourt you’ll find The Guild, a comfortable spot filled with convivial folk and down-home good cookin’. We were invited recently to pop by and check out the fairly new restaurant (it opened earlier this year), and here’s why we’ll be back…
The Guild’s cocktails are crafty-as-can-be and use what many other restobars would consider top shelf booze. Best part? They’re all in the $10-$12 range for the most part, meaning you’re getting downtown-style drinks at a fraction of what some cocktail parlors would like to charge ya. We had a Winter is Coming – mulled port, Four Roses bourbon, pumpkin spice honey, lemon, and chamomile citron tea – and were left wondering why we were so pissed that we had to start wearing scarves anyhow. Ah… the power of a stiff drink.
The Comfort Eats
Chef Mani Binelli (as nice a guy as you’ll ever find behind the pass) took us on a li’l tour of his menu. The house-made duck prosciutto with plum bourbon compote left us wanting more of the sweet and fatty meat. The steamed mussels in a spicy tomato sauce with rosemary foccacia reminded us why we always wanted a proper Italian Nonna growing up. Confit of pork belly with kimchi and a tequila peach compote had that sweet, salty, vinegary blend of umami we love. The lobster angel hair with house-made pasta, grilled jumbo shrimp, mussels, asparagus and charred corn in a white wine tarragon cream sauce was heavy with flavour, yet all the seafood components still managed to shine. Needless to say, we were too full to try dessert…
While not necessarily the sexiest aesthetic of all the restaurants we’ve been to, we did love the size of The Guild. Too many restaurants nowadays are opening up with less than 50 seats, forcing us to clamour for a spot. The Guild is the size a restaurant should be: not too big, not too small; large enough to accommodate groups yet still retains that intimate vibe we love. Plus, the ceiling is effing gorgeous, so even if you’re there on a particularly blase blind date, you’ll have something special to look at between sips of too many cocktails.