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Taps: 20 / Bottles: 145
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
18 King St E
, M5C 1C4
phone: (416) 861-8242
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This is a first class place catering up scale to beer (with a good deference to wine drinkers). Its conveniently situated downtown, service is very good, decor is nice enough to bring anybody too, including our wives. Selction was excellent and we were able to review some hard-to-get beers some which were likely privately ordered.
Although I did not eat here I am relying on others that the food was appropriate, reasonably priced and that the chef is a National class.
A must see if you are in Toronto.
01-13-2004 03:38:29 |
More by northyorksammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
We stopped here after dinner at Smokeless Joe, about a 5 block walk throught the frigid cold. The atmosphere is a little highbrow, with many suits and financial types distributed throughout. The bar is maybe 12 seats long, there are maybe ten tables sprinkled around the bar, and there's a restaurant section with seating for about 60-70. The tap list is roughly 25 deep, mostly very good selections. I tried Fullers Mr. Hairy and a Hop Addict. Service was OK, they were very busy but attended quickly when beckoned. A very nice bar that I won't hesitate to come to again if in town.
02-07-2009 22:22:35 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$$
In simple terms, this is the best beer dining experience I've had. At the end of the meal, I told my niece that this makes me understand what Europeans sit and eat meals for two to three hours at a time.
As a vegetarian, the choices on the menu were limited, but that had little effect on the evening. Started with Potato Truffle Perogies. Amazing complexity for a perogie! Sweet tang from gueze and sheep's milk cheese, I would guess, creamy and full flavored. Just amazing. Drank a Black Oak Summer Saison with the meal, as recommended by the waitress and the pairing guided on the menu. While the beer was good, but pairing worked really well. For an entree, we shared a Blue Mushroom Pizza. Meaty texture from the mushrooms and a tang from the Quebec blue cheese. Again, complex and elegant taste. Got lost in ordering a beer for taste at this point already, but still great. For dessert, we tried three of the beer scream ice creams. In order, we like the Vanilla Bourbon swirl, the dragon stout & skor bar, and finally the rocky road with coffee porter. Excellent finish on the meal.
For the real dessert, ordered a bottle of Cantillon Grand Cru 2008. Excellent aged bottle, a rare and fun treat that few bars accomplish for their patrons. While the night wasn't cheap, I was glad to have paid the price for such a rewarding evening of discussion, food and beer. In spite of it being upscale, it never felt snooty. Friendly and relaxing. If you haven't--you must--at least once.
07-28-2011 19:39:27 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
While a patron of C'est What had assured me my army pants and t-shirt would be fine for Beerbistro, I made sure I changed into better clothes before I went. The fine glassy-classy entryway and the chi-chiness of the other patrons made me head to the hotel before perusing the extensive beer menu.
Others may be critical of the upper echelon, high-class feel of Beerbistro (and Trap Rock and upstairs at Brewers Art and the late lamented Bank Street,) but I think these types of locations help to elevate beer in the public perception. Yes, a pubby atmosphere is perhaps the best place to have a round of browns with friends, but arty glass-and-steel enclosures are very welcome to me. Clean, well laid out, proper glassware, inventive lighting: a place to survey at length while sipping an outstanding beer or ale.
Plus, the unusual food choices included choices that contained ingredients that would compliment certain beer flavors and for that matter, beer itself (I had a small pizza with loads of goat cheese and some mussels with cured salmon.) Food is served until at least midnight every day.
The beer menu is flat out outstanding (see the beerbistro website, there's no need to duplicate it here,) and the servers are educated. Our bartender had a funny laugh, and it erupted a number of times on a busy Friday night. We had a fine time.
08-20-2004 17:16:46 |
More by ecoboy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
When you walk into Beerbistro, it doesn't seem like the type of place that would specialize in beer, but a quick glance at the ~20 taps behind the bar quickly removes all fears. The front of the establishment is a sizable bar area where people often congregate after work for a drink. Separated from that by a half-wall is the dining room, which in turn has an open view of the kitchen. The decor is very modern, with beer menus listed on mirrors and a very open concept. Despite the relatively high-class surroundings, it still feels quite comfortable.
I already mentioned the large selection of taps. Beers offered here range from quality local microbrews to very interesting imports. The bottle list is also quite extensive, with many items that are hard to find in most other establishments. The beer menu itself is quite impressive, more of an educational guide than a simple menu. It emphasizes the characteristics of the beer rather than just placing them in the same old categories.
Service is quite good, and for the most part the staff knows a bit about beer. I've eaten here three times now and have come in for drinks several times and have had no problems with poor service. The food is always excellent, with a menu that seems to change on a fairly regular basis.
The owner also holds regular beer-themed events, and this is one of the best aspects about Beerbistro. I recently attended an evening beer tasting and had the opportunity to try samples of many beers that I wouldn't have otherwise tried. There are also regular "meet the brewer" nights, but I haven't attended one of those yet.
If you're visiting the downtown area in Toronto, definitely take the time to check out Beerbistro.
Update June 23, 2005: There is now a fairly large, partially covered patio at the side of the building. Looks pretty nice, but I haven't had time to check it out yet.
07-08-2004 22:28:35 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$$
Had a few days to peruse the selection available to one in Toronto. An earlier review was pretty on when describing this place as somewhat "smoke and mirrors."
I arrived and sat at the bar. The only other person at the bar was an off duty waitress watching the Yankees lose to the Blue Jays. 10-15 minutes later, I was graced with a menu. 5 minutes or so later, I was lucky enough to order something local (Mill Street Hellesbock). Grunted answers. The 8 or so crowd of Miller Light swilling folks that arrived soon after me got a brighter reception.
Decor appears to be trying pretty hard and probably does well with a yuppie financial crowd. Beer menu was interesting as others have noticed. Food appeared experimental, but I'd already eaten for the night. Would've finally ordered the Raftman as I was very interested, but didn't have all night to await the unbusy, rude barstaff.
Overall, not bad and would be nice to clandestinely talk your coworkers into a nonbar beer bar. However, the spread appeared much more varied and a bit cheaper at Cafe Volo. Plus, they actually had good service there.
05-02-2006 14:18:20 |
More by Dithyramb
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Came here after the Leafs/Senators game on January 3rd. The Beer Bistro is a dazzlingly gorgeous beer bar. In fact, one could be forgiven for mistaking it with a fine dining restaurant or luxury lounge.
Atmosphere: a beautiful and vibrant decor with a mix of tables, booths, and couches and a sizable sit-down bar. The vibe is laid-back, conversational, yet somewhat loud. Jazz, indie rock, and hip-hop play amidst the chatter. The crowd is diverse in age (20s to 60s) and the bar has an exciting ambiance that appeals to beer geeks and non-beer drinkers alike.
Service: our waitress was helpful in describing several beers and mix drinks to us. She knew how to properly pour a beer and brought our drinks to the table promptly. I wouldn't say she was 'friendly' but she definitely knew how to do her job.
Selection: the Beer Bistro has an impressive draught list. As of January 2009, taps were Unibroue Raftman, Hacker Pschorr Edelhell, Neustadt Springs 10w30, Fuller's ESB, and Durham Hop Addict. Bottles included Orval, Weihenstephaner, Harvey's Porter, and a number of Dogfish Head offerings. I tried the DFH Indian Brown Ale, Hop Addict, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, while my friend had a 10w30, Aventinus, and Sam Adams. The mix drink and wine lists are not as extensive as other beer bars but they're still decent.
Quality/Value/Overall: we did not try any food here but 12 drinks were just under $110. I would say that's reasonable value. We enjoyed a wonderful evening of drinks and conversation with good service and a great atmosphere. This is the type of place that you could bring your girlfriend, family, first date, or anyone you are trying to impress. A fun and classy beer bar.
EDIT: tried the Cheese & Lager Fondue and it was absolutely fantastic. I added my food rating and upped the selection score after sampling the bar's outstanding cellared bottle list (which I didn't catch the first time).
01-10-2009 19:25:38 |
More by cratez
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
This is a nice little beer bar/restaurant in the heart of the city. I visited it on a Saturday night which happened to be very busy but we still managed to find a spot by the bar and have a pint.
They had a great tap list (about 20 taps) of local craft beer and a long list of bottles. I was happy to see Great Lakes Miami Weisse on tap and had a pint of that.
Prices are a little higher than other beer bars downtown, perhaps due to the location.
Didn't have any food, but I would to return to do so.
08-23-2010 02:18:58 |
More by TheSevenDuffs
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Visited on 4/18 and 4/19/2010:
Upon entering the place it seemed a little just a bit too upscale for my taste. It felt like it was trying to be one of those trendy bars where all the suits go after work, not that being a suit is a bad thing, as I actually did just that one day, but I guess this would not be a place that I would typically like to hang out in for some beers, unless lived in Toronto, then it would probably be in the rotation, but not heavy.
The beer selection on the other hand was massive. A good number on tap and a very large number in bottles and even a selection of cellared beer. Some of the prices on some of the bottles seemed a little out of line from what I have seen, but overall not that unreasonable. The beers that I ordered appeared to be fresh and served in the appropriate glass ware.
The service was a bit slow. I went on a Sunday night (not all that crowded, but there was a hockey game in progress) and a Monday early evening (crowded, almost SRO) and found the service to be the same no matter the crowd. The first night I did get a chance to talk to the server and he seemed to know a good bit about the beers, but was more knowledgeable about the local brew.
The food was perhaps slightly above average pub grub. Nothing all that special or memorable.
Overall, if I find myself in Toronto again, I will probably go back due to the beer selection.
04-29-2010 14:54:34 |
More by PhillyStyle
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
The beer is taken care of by Steven Beaumont, who is a Canadian authority ob all things beer related, and he's put together a great lineup of rarities not available in the Ontario market, as well as some solid local brews.
Absolutely fantastic food - if only it was cheaper I would go here all the time! The house frites are justifiably popular, and all (or most) of the dishes are made with beers. Servers can recommend what drink pairs well with your meal, which is handy considering the lengthy bottle selection and numerous taps. Very stylish surroundings draw a business crowd of a weekday evening, and a smart-dressed clientèle on the weekend.
01-14-2008 15:47:17 |
More by bobsy
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Beer Bistro in Toronto, ON, Canada