Wine & Cheese at Union Restaurant – A preview

Having heard it was open I needed to check out the new, long awaited, spot on Ossington – Union Restaurant. I sauntered down on this rainy Tuesday before Canada day to check it out. With the paper not even off the windows and a fresh sheen on still on the furniture, the staff were greeting people and offering wine and cheese, and some items off the menu presented as appetizers.

The crowd seemed to be friends and local foodies who had also and already heard about the opening as well as a few people who just walked by and poked their head in the door. It’s a small room, with seating for only about 30 people, and a bar near the front – which I’m certain will be crowded with people – offering room for about 10-12 more. I also poked my head out the back door and checked out a decent sized space, currently littered with trash from opening, which could be used for about 30-40 more seats. (We’ll see whether our rather dictatorial city councilor will allow that)

The appetizers I tried were excellent – elk sliders which had a delicate oil to them, crisp fries with a flavoured mayo, some local cheeses with fresh bread and other good things. The wine they were serving was good too; I believe a local Tawse Reisling. I’m not a restaurant reviewer, so we’ll leave it up to the local foodies to get more detailed, and I know they will.

I saw a copy of the menu, which I assumed was a ‘start-up’ menu, as it only had about 10 items on it. The price range was wide with appetizers at a reasonable $8 up to entrees at as high as $45.

Union will be a worthy addition to the neighbourhood. It’s the kind of place I like to go to – a local atmosphere with friendly staff. It doesn’t look too expensive to stop by for a drink and some munchies, without being too ‘elite’ to feel like I’d be breaking the bank. I’m just worried that this will be my last chance. It’s going to be packed!

(Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera, but here’s a quick Blackberry shot – I’ll try and head back for more)

Update: Union is now getting real restaurant reviews. Martini Boys visited there and offered their take.

Update #2: Teo Paul updated the Toronto Life Blog!

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