The Vic Pub

My Greek was a little rusty, but The Vic Public House’s owner, Jimmy Georgoulis understood what I was saying. Food is his life he says, it’s his love, and now, it could be yours too. Jimmy has been in the restaurant biz for over 20 years. His previous endeavour, Fuzion, closed its doors, and in its place stands The Vic Public House.

An inaugural toast was in order (for Vic Pub, and myself; this being my first TCG event), so I ordered The Prince of Wales. The vodka, melon liqueur, and cranberry infused martini had me feeling like royalty. A Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc was had by my guest, who repeatedly mentioned his love for this new found french discovery. He quickly decided the drink is the “perfect summer beer”, (it must be the citrus flavour the moderately priced bottle has to offer). And, Vic Pub also has the perfect summer patio. The vast outdoor dining area quickly filled up with friends, and couples alike meeting up to enjoy the beautiful evening pub-side. This marks my first outdoor supper of the season, and it’s going to be hard to beat. Nestled on the corner of Church and Dundonald, Vic has mastered the art of pub-onomics with its terrific location, a fun, friendly staff, and fantastic food.

Both Jimmy, and our waiter, Brock, recommended the pulled pork sandwich, duck tacos, and fish & chips. The latter have been a popular order among patrons. I felt the need to satisfy my poutine craving, so why not order the pulled pork poutine, and get the best of both worlds? And, that I did. The hand cut fries were topped with delectable cheese curds, gravy, and perfectly seasoned pulled pork. This dish represents a taste of home. Hailing from Quebec, the birthplace of poutine, I care a great deal about the proper curd. One simply cannot shred cheddar over fries, pour on some sauce, and call it poutine. Thankfully, Vic’s gravy is rich, the curds are fresh, and the fries are crispy (even the ones all the way at the bottom of the platter). Perfecting the poutine is a meticulous art, and Vic’s gravy to fry ratio creates a nice balance.

Mac and Cheese was the appetizer of choice for my fellow attendee. The appie was rather surprising. For a second, I forgot what was ordered when the dish came to us in cube form. The macaroni, and homemade cheese sauce were panko crusted, and utterly divine. Too often, the cheese sauce tends to be overly creamy, but Vic’s has a nice consistency, while not overdoing the cheesiness.

After finishing the refreshing cocktail, our waiter extraordinaire, insisted I try the Früli Strawberry. The beer from Belgium was wonderful. I am not a big beer buff, but I could definitely see myself getting into this stuff. The real fruit juice blends beautifully with the beer, and makes for superb sipping. (My guest was dead set on another Kronenbourg.)

After taking in the warm evening air, and the menu, our decisions were made. Burgers and pubs go hand in hand, and I wanted to see what Vic had up its sleeve. I selected the Vic burger. The medium rare kobe & bison filet served with argula, tomato, and bacon marmalade was delightful. The mix of textures, and flavours complimented each other with every succulent bite. After my profound potato consumption earlier, I opted for a garden salad as my side. The sweet vinaigrette was drizzled over a medley of colourful & crunchy veggies making for a fine summer salad.

The fish & chips were the pick of the day for my comrade. The lightly flaked cod was tasty, and the accompaniments of sauces and ‘slaw were filled with flavour. The fish may have been a tad salty for my taste, but nothing a swig of beer couldn’t rectify.

I am always interested in knowing why restauranteurs name their restaurants the way they do. For Jimmy, finding the name was quick and easy. Vic Public House is aptly named for the Victorian mansion the restaurant is housed in. The gracious owner loves meeting new people, and new people will love to meet him, and his delicious menu prepared by head chef, Edrick DeVilla, formerly of Fuzion. Everything is made fresh on site. Nothing, and we mean nothing, is ever frozen.

I’ll be back for the righteous poutine. And, when I do come back, it will also be to try the chorizio sausage pogo I had been eyeing. I will definitely save room for dessert next time. With classics like chocolate cake, Oreos & milk, and apple crumble, I’d be a fool not to. If the amazing patio, excellent (and affordable) food wasn’t enough, The Vic Pub also offers a weekend brunch. There is a problem with the food at Vic Pub, however. The one complaint Jimmy has had within the first month of opening? Portions are too big; there’s too much food. That is hardly a problem, but one I’d like to solve any day.

http://torontocitygossip.com/the-vic-pub/

Towne380 Pulls a 360‏

It’s been nearly a decade since it all began. I was 14 when I started working [at Moe’s Bar and Grill]. I was their coat check girl.

Illegal and underage

I’d get home at 2 or 3 in the morning after Tuesday’s Ladies Night, where I had an entire staff of siblings. The busboys, waiters and bartenders took to treating me like their little sister. Periodically, they came to keep me company or bring me hot chocolate.

The only reason my parents allowed me to work such an unconventional shift each week was because my brother was among the busboys. Those long nights cemented our relationship. He confided in me, and our brother-sisterly bond grew. But, this story isn’t about me; it’s about Shawn.

When we were younger, Shawn epitomized cool in the eyes of my other brother, cousins and myself. We look[ed] up to him, and not just because he was taller than us, and still is.

Out with the old

Last night, Towne380 was born. It stands where Moe’s stood for many years; where Shawn began and is now the manager and partner in the modern dining venture.

Towne380 is what Laval has been waiting for. From the team that brought you 40 Westt, Towne Hall & 40 Northh: Towne380 is the very latest from the creative force behind Montreal’s best.

Expectations, etc.

It’s sophisticated, and elegant, all the while, providing a welcoming environment. The expansive bar is host to great martinis and cocktails. The open concept kitchen allows you to feast your eyes on the daily arrival of fresh seafood, ensuring quality and superior flavor unmatched elsewhere.

The succulent array of meat is aged and prepared to perfection at their flagship location: 40 Westt. A variety of options are available at this lavish Laval eatery.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘It’s her brother’s restaurant, of course she’ll spout a positive point of view!’ So, go ahead, judge for yourself.

Towne380 opens to the public on November 30th, 2011.