Das Gasthaus has recently opened on the Danforth just east of Broadview. Steering clear of the usual cliches, the new eatery and beer bar offers a contemporary take on regional German comfort foods.
Owner Ruthy Cummings (formerly a GM at Spice Route) credits her inspiration to the women in her family. The charming space is painted light cream and accented with deep forest green velvet upholstery, dark wood bistro chairs and speckled vintage melamine tables. It feels very homey thanks to hand painted folk art butcher boards and sentimental artworks speckled across the walls.
While looking over the lunch menu I'm offered fresh sourdough with sweet and creamy, golden beet butter - already a good start. The house specialties are middle and northern German foods typically lesser known than the sauerkraut, schnitzel and bratwurst of the South. The opening menu from chef Andrew Taylor (formerly of Langdon Hall, Jump) is set to change seasonally and can be expected to spotlight wild game; pheasant, goose and duck; fresh and smoked fishes, seafoods, perhaps even eel.
The Wurstwaren ($9.95/per head) expands depending on the number of participants.
For one, it features two selections from the German meats cured in house; in my case a thinly sliced sauerbraten (beef pickled in wine vinegar and juniper) and Dunkel beer sausage along with pickled beets, green beans and mustard. For larger tables it'll come with boiled eggs and additional selections from the charcuterie on hand.
I also try the Taglich Sandwich ($13.95), a concept that changes daily but today features house made salami on pumpernickel dressed with mayo, mustard lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, pickles. It's served with a side of cool fingerling potato salad with tangy cucumbers and dill vinaigrette.
The bar menu is predictably beer-oriented. There are a dozen taps featuring seven German brews and five local craft beers with German characteristics or German brew masters. In the future, Cummings plans to import schnapps and introduce beer radlers mixed with grapefruit, lemonade or cherry juice for brunch-time imbibing.
I wish I had room to try the rosti potato or spaetzle with smoked ham hock sides ($4.50 each) but they'll have to wait for another visit. Currently, the restaurant is open most days from noon until midnight; Mondays are closed and Tuesdays open at 4pm for dinner.
Photos by Natta Summerky