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Bier Market - Esplanade
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
58 The Esplanade
, M5E 1A6
phone: (416) 862-7575
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
A nice place to go to grab a pretty good dinner and oggle the large beer list. They have a smallish yet very good food menu and a pretty large list that took some looking over to come to a decision. They offer samplers of their beers which (it being July) was Summer beer when I went.
I went twice this trip, the second was with a friend who is a fellow beer geek to finish the evening off. The service was pretty good on the first go round but that evening I think we may have had the mentally challenged waiter who forgot our order and seemed to have some difficulty bringing our Rochefort 10s to us with a tulip glass. My friend went and retrieved them from the bar. Having said that the price for that beer was pretty impressive considering it was in a restaraunt/bar-$9canadian. I saw that same beer in Rochester at a beer store for $10 american-go figure.
Very busy and fills up quickly around 4:30 and seems to stay that way until closing. Very nice to sit on the patio, particulary in the evening.
07-29-2003 03:51:35 |
More by fattyre
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
Went here for a friends bday dinner on a friday night...
Atmosphere when we first got there was dead...we were there initially at 8 on a friday and the place was mostly empty...however, over the course of the next hour or so...that changed...was not overly crowded but all tables were filled, as was all stools and people were standing around the bar...we were seated at a large table kinda in the restaurant portion right in front of their stage. A cover band (pretty good for a cover band) went on at around 10 I think. It was relaxed upscalish.
The service was pretty good too...the server was great with making suggestions for me...as I had not heard of most of these beers b/c they were predominantly Canadian. She asked what style I liked, etc. Very helpful...she was also helpful in making sense of their menu. She was attentive.
Selection...was impressive...lots of things on draft...don't know how many but it was at least 20 I would think...plus a lot of bottles...small and large. Predominantly Canadian micro brewers but some US as well (saw some Rogue and others)...also offered BMC. I had an Alexander Keith's IPA...(see review) among a couple others...I mention this IPA here b/c it was the worst IPA I have had...it is not an IPA!
I had a flatbread for dinner along w/ shared apps for the table...everything I tried was quite good...my flatbread was 12...but that is where the value really does end...this place is PRICEY! Food...beers...drinks...everything...very pricey. I don't recall seeing a full entree for under $24 and most beers were at least $8.
I would probably go back here but cost could be prohibitive. Overall...good place though.
07-19-2011 17:19:38 |
More by crashdavisinoh
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$$
Very expensive but worth it as a special treat. Very good place for a business party that you can write off owing to the large capacity. Much attention to service but the waiter/waitresses are really not knowledgeable about the beers. LIghting was not too dim. A small tasting session set two of us back $67 CDN ($50 USD) with a tip. We were able to get some brews we haven't seen elsewhere, so there is private buying. 90% of their stock is available in the LCBO but they will buy up some of it (so Ontario BA Group: these guys are waking up a bit earlier or have good connections with LCBO store managers, likely the latter). Busy and noisy all the time.
12-19-2003 19:56:24 |
More by northyorksammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
This place has a really good atmosphere but I think the key is to get here early unless you are hoping to visit a trendy nightclub. We arrived at about 8pm and bellied up but after sitting there for a while the place went from being a really nice bar with a great beer selection to a place to go and be seen. To the point where we were told that we had to give up our barstools because they clear those out to make more standing room for the flood of people they were expecting. That was our clue to move our show on over to Cest What.
The staff was friendly enough but not like other places that we visited. The beer selection was good with many options both local and imported but you have to know what you are up against when you visit this place based on the time of day.
01-16-2007 19:42:23 |
More by Caesar1pup
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$$
One of many beer haunts in Toronto I was hoping to explore in the coming months. A chance trip to T.O. this weekend gave me the opportunity to check the place out, and generally speaking I was happy with the experience, but with some strong reservations.
The bar was easy to find, and there is ample parking in adjacent lots nearby. Though it was dinnertime on a Sunday, the place was relatively busy. Staff were helpful almost to a fault. Our waitress in particular was very friendly, patient (two of our party needed a good ten minutes to whittle down a beer selection), and her descriptions of some of the more unknown brews on the bottle list were spot on.
The restaurant/bar is pretty large, dark, with stone walls and dark wood accents. Random kegs are found in piles here and there, probably as a decoration. Some Bruegel-style paintings adorn the wall. It looked more like a club than a biergarden, but it was still fairly nice.
The staff was great and the place looked good enough. However, I'd rate this place higher if even just one of the three following things had been better:
1) Beer selection: This place does indeed have a very large draught selection, far better than most places I've seen in the province, but there wasn't a lot there that really wowed me. All but a few brews on the list are available in regular rotation at the LCBO, although it was nice to see them on draught. Foreign lager heavy, although there were some nice rarer brews to be found in the mix. I had Spaten Munchner and De Koninck. The locals, however, were wanting: just Steam Whistle, Denison's and Welly Dark, possibly an Amsterdam blonde. Nothing from Mill Street, Granite, Duggan, Black Oak or beyond. C'est What is just down the road, and is a lot better for this. However, I'd have been be more happier with the selection this if it weren't for...
2) The Price. I know Toronto beer is more expensive than other places, but jeez... Even the pints on special were pushing 8 bucks before tax/tip. The single bottle selections were so tempting, but were nearly 10 bucks a pop. I splurged and had Hoegaarden Verboden Vrucht, which was excellent, but was about $9.50. It was also my third bottle choice, as the previous two were out. Hard to really sample the fare - I really felt constricted to only have one or two before my wallet gave out.
3) The Food. Holy mother, this menu is pricey. I mean ridiculously pricey. My wife ordered a cheese platter to accompany our sampling, and for $17 dollars we got three small wedges, barely enough to share, with a few grapes and some crackers. Yes, cheese is expensive, but come on... Everything else on the menu was ludicrously expensive, so we took our hungry stomachs next door to a pseudo Irish pub and ate there.
Worth visiting only so often, especially if you've got a hankering for a rare foreign brew that would otherwise require a trip to Belgium to acquire. But if the prices were more reasonable, if the food was better-priced and more diverse, or if the beer selection was more unique, this would have been an excellent spot. As it is, my beer hankerings will probably take me to better places in the area. My wallet and inner beer geek will thank me...
03-28-2011 17:26:23 |
More by JohnnyBarman
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I like The Bier Market. It's a nice place to go to on a nice summer's afternoon. You can sit out on the patio and enjoy a good Beer. The place does get a bit too crowded for the staff to manage at times though. I personally would not go there in the evening , mainly because I just don't like over crowded places where you can't hear your friends. But a lot of people do like that ,obviously, or they wouldn't get that crowded.
The Bier Market has probably the best offering of Trappist Beers that I have ever seen on one list. Their Beer list (or book) is very infomative which helps when you are trying to make a decision with so many choices at hand.
I usually go there if I'm spending a day in To. and want to kill some time before I go someplace a little more quiet for dinner.
05-02-2007 21:29:00 |
More by BrewSomerville
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$
I have visited this place a bunch of times over the years.
The tap selection is abundant but the amount dedicated to craft beer is lacking. There are a lot of different macros available as well as a few rarer European macros (often a special beer of the month type deal) and a decent selection of good Belgian Ales on tap as well. You'll find a handfull of craft beer on tap here aside from the Belgian Ales but they are generally the more common offerings from the likes of St. Ambroise (Oatmeal Stout & Pale Ale for example) and Mill Street.
The food is decent, but nothing to go out of your way for.
The atmosphere is really nice - dark & classy - but if you visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night the place is packed and very loud.
02-28-2011 03:38:58 |
More by TheSevenDuffs
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
Popped in to get a nice refreshing beer after completing a charity run nearby. Bagged a spot on the huge patio at the front and soaked in the nice weather. This place has a lot going for it - the patio is one of the better ones in the city, and the inside is cavernous yet classy, like some sort of fancy German beer hall. I highly recommend coming here when its not busy unless you want to be surrounded by douchebags who think they're the shiz. Definitely avoid Thursday to Saturday nights - it becomes a total meat market and you will lose all your faith in humanity.
Extensive list of Belgians is without a doubt the largest in the city as of reviewing. Taps are a mix of not-so-exciting local micros and standard inBev/macro crap. A couple Belgians liven it up - DeKoninck and Delirium Tremens. I'm not so sure about the beer quality. The Denison's weisse we ordered was a mere shadow of every other time I've had it, and I got the impression that because it is a standard tap even though its contract brewed in batches, that the pub probably buys up a whole bunch at once and leaves it to fester. That said I've had no issues with the other beers I've had here, although I think a reduction in the number of taps would help improve the overall freshness. I've eaten there a couple of times and the food is quite good (and priced towards an upscale market).
Stick to the taps unless you've brought your bank manager. These are not prices you would be comfortable paying, especially if you're used to US pricing.
06-16-2008 13:57:13 |
More by bobsy
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
The inside of the establishment is quite large, with seating broken into 3 or 4 large sections. A huge bar runs the length of one wall and a full stage is present in the back. There is also a large patio in the front, often quite full during the warmer months. The beer selection seems to have suffered over the past year or so, with a heavier mix of macros on tap (Keith's, Sterling, etc.) as well as mostly common imports and some quality local micros. There are still some gems among the bottles though, with a good selection of Trappists. However, Belgium seems to be the only foreign country that is well represented, with the rest of the line-up consisting mainly of light lagers and very few darker beers of any style. All beers seem to be served a little on the cold side. Beer lists aren't updated regularly either, with many kegs going out of rotation without notice. Service is really hit or miss here. Out of one visit with great service, there will be another three visits where I leave frustrated with poor service. I often end up ignored for long periods, even when there are plenty of servers and few patrons. Servers are generally cordial, but their beer knowledge is very limited and extends mostly to pushing the latest trendy offering. Prices are a little on the high side compared to other downtown locations, especially for pints of local beer. Overall, a trendy and slightly expensive place to hang out and have a beer. I'm a bit disappointed with this place now... the first few times I came here I was quite impressed. But lately it just seems a bit overrated.
07-07-2005 02:16:24 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$$
The beer market or whatever its called is a playground for yuppies and yuppies in training. Its way too dark and the music is obnoxious pop and technocrap played way too loud. The clientele tend to be snobby and shi shi or loud and jocky, quaffing stella, becks or if they are super adventurous, Kronenbourg. The gray (fake?) marble and black curtains that make up the decor makes this place feel cold and unwelcoming.
The beer menu looks pretty good with lots of international brands and an emphasis on the Belgiums. The English section is pathetic with nothing you cant find at the LCBO, and the American Section is limited to only Anchor Liberty and Steam (They used to have some Rogue and Victory beers, but these were dropped because of lack of popularity... shameful). The taps are the big three Interbrew 'specialty beers' and some Ontario micros and international macroswill. They do have Sargent Major which is my favorite Ontario beer.
I can understand a beer bar being out of a few or several selections but the amount of MIA beers on the beer market menu is ridiculous. Literally the first 7 beers I ordered (Rocheforts, Goudenband, Maredsous, Delerium etc) werent in stock, it was embarrassing for me and the bartender. The prices are also much higher than other beer bars in toronto. The beer I finally settled on was a Cantillon Bio Gueuze for 15 dollars (I stupidly ordered it before looking at the menu). At Volo this is 10 dollars.
The bartenders are friendly but not very knowedgable, my Gueuze was served in a snifter. Im not a glassware snob but a snifter? come on. They were also swamped by Stella swilling yuppies so the service was very slow.
Youd think that a place with this name would be focused on beer. its not; Its focused on the novelty of beer, in fact I saw as many mixed drinks as beers being served and half the beer menu wasnt in stock. This is just another trendy nightspot with a 'unique' theme.
09-15-2004 21:31:26 |
More by CAMRAhardliner
Bier Market - Esplanade in Toronto, ON, Canada