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Restaurants

25 Liberty

Posted by Angelina Purpura / Reviewed on September 28, 2012 / review policy

25 Liberty25 Liberty was just a street address, but now it's the site of Liberty Village's newest chef-owned restaurant. It wasn't long ago that the dive-y Liberty Bistro occupied the space but husband and wife duo Daniel Lynn and Tracey Coutts have taken over the venue with an eye for class. Chef Lynn, formerly of Zucca and Splendido, has returned to Toronto after seven years honing his craft in Bermuda. Lynn and Coutts spent a year searching the city for the right space to house their first restaurant, and jumped on 25 Liberty.

25 Liberty InteriorThe building shares its classic brick facade with the neighbourhood, and but inside it's a high-end cafe. During the day, I've seen a few people enjoying lunch of the patio, but I suppose that word of the opening hasn't yet spread wide enough to draw people in for dinner. With a drinks menu that leans heavily toward wine (with a lengthy list of options by the glass), and few beers on tap, it's a spot that's gaining traction for after-work drinks.

25 LibertyOn a Friday evening, we had the waiter all to ourselves. The menu is a comfortable mix of classic American and European dishes. We tried the Asparagus with Arugula ($14) and the Heirloom Tomato Caprese salads ($15). Both were seasoned with a light hand and it was hard to decide which we liked better.

25 LibertyFor mains, we had Roasted Duck Breast with a potato gratin and roasted onions ($32). The duck was nicely cooked, but the gratin actually stole the show. The Rack of Lamb with stuffed artichokes and potato galette (lead image, $42) was a huge hit. I've never been a fan of lamb, but the meat was so perfectly cooked that I would order it myself next time.

25 LibertyNext was Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu ($21). Their house-made egg pasta served as an excellent complement to the rabbit (though more meat would have been nice) and it was very filling.

25 LibertyThe dish I chose was the favourite of the night: Truffled Mushroom Risotto ($23). Don't mistake it for a vegetarian option, as the incredibly rich flavour comes from a veal jus. I had to fight off my dining companions to keep them from stealing it from me.

25 LibertyWe were all fairly full after dinner, but still ordered a Lemon Brulee Tart ($10) that was absolutely killer. Overall, it was one of the most completely satisfying meals any of us had enjoyed in recent memory.

25 Liberty has a lot of promise but is in a bit of a risky location. Unfortunately without advertising it's just not obvious that they're open, or that they're a restaurant. They do take reservations and will be on Open Table but for now to get word out they should posting their hours and a copy of the menu on the door to entice people.

Chef Lynn insists on working every service himself, which allows for some pretty direct quality control, but it's also prevented them from serving Sunday brunch until they work out the menu. There are plans to start serving brunch soon, but I think they'll miss out on a lot of business as the patio season disappears. I love what they did with dinner and hope to see what they'll do with brunch.

25 Liberty

Discussion

16 Comments

loper / September 28, 2012 at 09:52 am
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A+++ for presentation.
Mike / September 28, 2012 at 10:24 am
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Looks like a good place to take the lady out for a special night. I'll be trying it out.
Dan / September 28, 2012 at 11:38 am
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Didn't there used to be a really nice little pub there?
Reese / September 28, 2012 at 11:49 am
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Sick and tired of all these pretentious places in LV.
Seriously man! 25 Liberty had such a nice pub, so very relaxed..and price was decent. Do I really want to now pay $42 for a rack of lamb (which I am almost certain will be the smallest of portion sizes), because the fancier and pricier the space, the less and less the serving.
Same with Origin, pretentious as hell. Went for brunch this weekend, my boy got sweet potatoes with sliced beef or something, and I only got 2 SCRAMBLED EGGS and POTATOES. It costed us $40. Are you shitting me? I ordered these things they called 'NEW POTATOES', and it was literally 4 LITTLE potatoes (roasted/baked), so BLAND..and it was $5. So every potato was like $1.25. I am not trying to whine about cost here and there, because I am all for new experiences...but at least make it TASTE look. So so pretentious. God. It's like we are living in SOHO or something.
Enough LV, ENOUGH.
kyle / September 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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Thank you for the introduction, Ms. Purpura. If I may add that Tracy spells her name Coutts and that in addition to the wine and beer, we also offer a cocktail forward bar program.

Our hours are now posted on www.25liberty.ca, and brunch is imminent

It was a pleasure to have read the article.


Kyle
Patrycja / September 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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I wonder how they are going to feel about the invasion of TFC/Canada fans pre game.
LV resident / September 28, 2012 at 04:25 pm
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darn. the liberty cafe wasn't great but i loved sitting on their patio at night - looks like I won't be able to afford to do that anymore. I wish there was somewhere decent to relax in Liberty Village.

I second the comment about the TFC fans. It seems most places in the neighbourhood don't last unless they cater to that crowd. ugh. (Mildred's Temple is the exception I believe).
Jay / September 28, 2012 at 05:51 pm
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Was there with my girlfriend last week... The food was good at best. Not amazing and not terrible.I have to say for the price though it was NOT worth it. I have to agree with Reese. Toronto is full of overpriced, pretentious, restaurants that offer mediocre food. My girlfriend lives in the area and we had high hopes for this little spot. I'm sad to say it was a let down. :(
Alysa / September 28, 2012 at 09:50 pm
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Thanks to BlogTO for a nice write-up, and thanks to everyone else for taking the time to comment! As a new restaurant and lounge that has big dreams of establishing a loyal Liberty Village clientele, we are truly grateful for all feedback. There have already been a few menu tweaks here and there, and I expect there will be a few more in the coming weeks. We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone in and, Jay, we would love to have you and your girlfriend drop back in for a cocktail and a couple of plates at the bar. Hopefully we can turn things around...just let me know when!
Best,
Alysa King, GM
alysa@25liberty.ca
Tracey / October 1, 2012 at 09:07 am
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I'm looking forward to trying this place out! I don't mind spending a little bit of extra $$$ if I'm getting a good meal! It looks amazing!!!!
Lionel Barsalona / October 2, 2012 at 03:05 pm
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Dropped in after the last TFC game...the Stigel is crisp and refreshing on tap. The antipasto is pure quality and has plenty of flavour. Will bring the wife for a proper dinner.
LV / October 17, 2012 at 02:40 pm
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Mains that touch $40 are a tough sell in Toronto. Even tougher in a non-destination 'hood like Liberty Village, where established names like Mildred's and Origin seem to have already cornered the neighbourhood's limited market potential for high-priced meals. Still, I've already heard good things about the food and even better about the cocktails, so maybe 25 Liberty will be able to pull in the non-LV residents.

A restaurant that charges those kinds of prices should list its menu on its website, though.
Dan Armstrong / December 4, 2012 at 09:08 pm
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We've seen many restaurants come and go at 25 liberty over the years. We had high hopes.

We came today for lunch, at 11:47 all bright eyed and bushy-tailed expecting a warm welcome.

The girl looked at us and said "we don't open for another 13 minutes".

We left and will probably never come back.

For heavens sake, sit us down, give us some water and a menu and I bet 13 minutes will elapse then we away we go. But no they blew it.

vm / April 16, 2013 at 06:32 am
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My wife and I went to 27 Liberty on the weekend and it was one of the best meals we had in a long time. My wife had the short ribs and she said they were amazing. My lamb was cooked to perfection and the service was great. I'll be going back for sure to try the pasta which looked great.
vm / April 16, 2013 at 06:40 am
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Sorry its 25 Liberty>
mackenzie / December 12, 2013 at 11:13 pm
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This is my uncles restaurant and its good

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