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Restaurants

The Guild

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Listed on March 19, 2013 / review policy

The Guild TorontoThe Guild is the latest of a number of brunch-oriented restaurants to open on a reinvigorated stretch of Dundas at Dufferin. Yet, considering it took almost two years to bring to life, it seems to have arrived just as the neighbourhood's collective stomach has started to growl.

The Guild TorontoTransforming the space from its past life as a flower shop, the new interior pulls together rich textures like exposed brick walls and an ornate tin ceiling, while flour sack upholstered chairs, wood plank table tops and lovely terrarium centerpieces set a casual, laid back tone. Locals are even welcome to come in weekday mornings from 7:30am to 11am for WiFi, coffee and baked goods.

The Guild TorontoWhile a dinner menu is still in the works, owner and chef, Mani Binelli (Centro, Canoe and Auberge du Pommier) is ready to introduce The Guild's style and ambition with a daytime menu that includes brunch-like offerings that will be served throughout the day. A prime example is the the Foie Gras Stuffed French Toast ($14) that comes topped with caramelized bananas and raspberry chantilly cream, which melds the sweet and salty into one indulgent plate.

The Guild TorontoOn a more savoury note, the Celeriac Potato Pancake ($12) comes topped with layers of creamed goat cheese, spinach, house-cured trout gravlax and a sous vide egg. Binelli also succeeds with playful riffs that reimagine familiar flavours. Coffee and donuts is presented as a dessert for instance, in the Coffee Creme Brûlée ($6), embellished with a fresh, sugar dusted beignet.

The Guild TorontoEven the standard Bacon and Eggs ($12) is upgraded with thick cut, house-smoked, maple-dipped bacon (the back room smoker is lovingly named the Hot Box) and sous vide eggs set atop mini Yorkshire puddings. The sides of goat cheese yam gratin and delicate baby greens salad fulfill the standard format but offer a twist on familiar flavours.

The Guild TorontoBehind the bar, Alex James shows off complicated cocktails like The Gathering ($11), a bourbon and orange zest gin drink flavoured with bitters and port — though brunch-themed cocktails like the crustacean and butter infused Lobster 1442 ($11) might prove the bigger draw.

The Guild TorontoReservations will be taken and a kitchen-facing chef's table will be operational for tasting menus at some point in the near future. Closing hours will vary for now, but the current menu is available daily starting at 11am.

The Guild TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

16 Comments

El Trompo / March 19, 2013 at 09:27 am
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The interior looks curiously similar to Caplansky's Deli.
Gents / March 19, 2013 at 09:31 am
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$17 drinks? yikes

i hope most of the drinks are $11

beautiful space though
N'naambeak Fusilli replying to a comment from El Trompo / March 19, 2013 at 09:53 am
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It totally doesn't at all.
bobby replying to a comment from El Trompo / March 19, 2013 at 11:05 am
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It looks nothing like Caplansky's
Miki / March 19, 2013 at 11:25 am
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Is that roe on top of the egg on the 1st and 4th photos? I didn't see what it was mentioned in the description.
Justin / March 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm
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Serving size was TINY! left starving and craving something with a little more substance. Overall flavour of our Lobster on Belini's and Fois Gras French toast was decent it wasn't worth the $50 with an americano and a tea($4... more than the coffee).

I am not one to complain but I'd like to think they are still tweaking their portion size and tea price(I know it's 'Tea Forte' tea, I used to work for the sales agency that sells it, but that's extreme for Earl Grey).
trickydisco replying to a comment from Gents / March 19, 2013 at 02:18 pm
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more like $17 LOL...
but the food looks good...
booze shouldn't be such an overt cash grab though, make a buck but COME ON!!!!
Mani / March 19, 2013 at 03:23 pm
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I agree about the price for that drink and I own the place. That was a miscommunication. Drinks will range from 7-11 $. The menu will grow and develope over the next several weeks. So happy to be part of the neiborhood. Thank you for the comments!
Mani / March 19, 2013 at 03:38 pm
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And it's Malossol trout caviar. The tea will be priced at $3 and it will yield three beautiful cups. If you come in, try it, and don't like it it's on the house.
Memaw / March 19, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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^ Refreshing!
Jessica / March 19, 2013 at 06:08 pm
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Everything looks delicious! My mouth is watering from these photos. We just can't wait to come in and try when we are in T.O. Congrats Mani on a beautiful space!
Gabe / March 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm
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Looks great. Welcome to the nieghborhood!
Bill / March 23, 2013 at 03:50 pm
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I had brunch. It was phenomenal. Particularly the beignets. Wow was that good
Janet / March 30, 2013 at 10:21 am
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Went there last Thursday and closed the place down! Mani is a phenomenal host and the food was fantastic! I felt welcome and had good chats with the GM and the servers, who actually took the time to get to know me. Welcome to the neighbourhood!
Shelley / September 20, 2013 at 05:33 pm
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This place had amazing food, was easy to sit a large group (the place is HUGE) and they take resos, which is almost unheard of in Toronto these days. Defo a winner. And they smoke their own bacon downstairs. WHAT?!
Matt / September 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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Went in as a party of 6 on Saturday night & was offered a multi-course Prix Fixe for $65 with wine pairings for each course for $35 more. We decided to go for it and what ensued was quite likely the best meal I've had in Toronto this year (it would have been the best of the year except for a stop at Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal).

Since I don't recall all of the wine pairings I won't list them, but here's the food that was served:
1) Oysters - a New Brunswick variety I can't recall the name of
2) Cod croquet on a slaw - loved it. About 2" thick & 3.5" across
3) Lobster bisque - excellent & really worked with the proseco
4) Duck prosciutto on crustini (could have eaten a pound of it!)
5) Buttermilk fried quail with a cucumber hash-style salad
6) A massive, table-sized portion of flawless skirt steak, lobster (texturally, felt like it was butter poached), green beans & carrots all served on top of a celeriac mash. This dish felt like a Sunday family dinner turned up to 11.
7) Berries, meringue, & a fresh cream with a berry reduction sauce.

This was my first stop in at this place & I know every single one of us there will be back. In terms of value for money, I don't know if I paid enough for all that I got.

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