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Restaurants

Beast Restaurant

Posted by Ryan Spencer / Reviewed on July 13, 2011 / review policy

Beast RestaurantBeast is tucked away at 96 Tecumseth, just North of King and West of Bathurst, on a quiet tree-lined residential street with ample shaded patio seating to cool off on a hot humid summer evening. Being the first of the month and nearly broke from rent, I hit up their Beast 120, a discounted tasting menu offered Wednesday to Saturday from 5-7pm; hence the 120 since it's two hours.

I recently discovered Toronto is to 'happy hour' as the town in Footloose is to dancing -- apparently, there's some backwards city ordinance outlawing the phrase since '84. But I digress. Beast patronizes local suppliers who utilize sustainable practices. With glasses of wine at $5, domestic beer at $4, and tapas starting at $2, I'm releasing my inner gourmand savage while sparing my wallet any harm.

Beast RestaurantTheir inventive poutine ($4) consisted of fried gnocchi, mushroom ragu, and of course squeaky curds. A playful combination that sadly missed the holiest ingredient in the poutine trinity, a velouteĀ“ gravy. I found the ragu too thin to coat the starch of the potato gnocchi but overall a well executed dish.

Beast RestaurantThe "dirty" rice balls over housemade ranch dressing were surprisingly rich largely due to the chicken livers incorporated into the rice which elevated it to a creamy risotto consistency. A real winner with the clean finish of the Flat Rock Chardonnay ($5).

I kept this winning streak by ordering the PEI Malpeque Oysters ($2 each). The buttery and mellow flavor of the meat was brightened with the simple shallot mignonette. Not exactly reinventing the wheel, but tried and true flavors that resulted in a solid summer amuse-bouche.

Lamb ribs ($4) were drenched in a South Carolina barbeque sauce so sticky and tangy I hardly tasted any gaminess from the lamb. My only hesitation was that my rib was more fat than meat. Embarrassingly, I found myself gnawing the little meat I did find off the bone. I guess those actions speak louder than these words. I washed it down with the Stratus Tollgate ($5), a versatile yet delicate table red.

Beast RestaurantFor dessert, we opted for the Tres Leches cake ($4) and the coconut chili ice cream ($3 a scoop; not part of 120). The Tres Leches cake was muy delicioso. Dense yet spongy, the absence of dulce du leches was not missed. By far, the ice cream was my favorite dish on this hot summer night. With the addition of chili, the coconut coerced the tongue while the capsaicin of the chili hit the back of our throats; a wonderful dichotomy of flavors that simultaneously worked and soothed our palate.

In marketing, happy... er...120 is usually categorized as a loss leader in hopes an establishment will boost revenue by creating an artificial demand at an otherwise slow time. I'm sure Beast will have no problem with this tactic since it's far and few in this city. It's also an economical way to explore a new restaurant. If this is a taste of what's to come, I can't wait till the 15th when I can return and order off the full menu.

See also: The Carnivore's Fantasy Tasting Menu

Beast RestaurantPhotos by Peter Henderson.

Discussion

10 Comments

mike in parkdale / July 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm
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I used to live up the street from there, before it was 'beast'. My timing must be terrible, because after looking at these photos.... I'd be there all the time.
Jon BJ / July 13, 2011 at 02:30 pm
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This guy really writes like an asshole
Mike / July 13, 2011 at 03:52 pm
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Been to Beast both for brunch and for their cinq a sept.

Cinq a sept is ridiculous value - 4 drinks and a big dinner's worth of food, tax and tip for less than $60. Every single plate that was put out was really tasty. Rachelle's homemade bread was top notch, amazing fancified poutines, great quiet patio on a downtown residential street, laid back and friendly service. Go.
Jennifer replying to a comment from Jon BJ / July 13, 2011 at 11:57 pm
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You don't even know enough about writing to use punctuation in a sentence mocking someone else's writing! And, because you chose to pick on this guy who happens to be a great young writer, you are clearly the asshole here.
McRib / July 14, 2011 at 03:34 am
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how does one "write like an asshole" anyway?

i live near here, will have to drop by for 120 sometime soon.
george / October 6, 2012 at 11:42 am
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anyway this comment is about the food!does the sat, turkey sand special go on all weekend?or will the special change and are you open monday?
Mike / December 8, 2013 at 07:14 pm
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Stopped by today for brunch. Went inside, asked for a table, was told it would be a 30 minute wait. There were a couple open tables for 2 but nothing that would seat our party of 3. No one else was on the list or waiting in front of us, so we decided to wait. At least until they told us to go wait outside. I feel bad we missed out on having what sounds and looks like a potentially great meal. Feel good about not paying a rude wait staff though.
Norman Robertson / March 9, 2014 at 07:42 pm
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Ew!! Disgusting animal eating!! gross, happy heart attack.
Iliana / July 21, 2014 at 04:04 pm
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"If you are in search of an original spot away from the beaten path, The Beast should be on your list. The food is very original, somewhat on a pricier side, but worth the experience."
"Ma cherie spotted this place due to its unique logo, which was now hidden behind a big, sprawling tree. But we did know that The Beast is a popular place well known in the city for its original dishes, passion to use local meats and trying to utilize the whole animal."
Read our full review here: http://ilianaspalette.blogspot.ca/2014/07/the-beast.html
Tim / October 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm
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Shitty slow service. But DOPE chicken

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