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Restaurants

Reds Midtown Tavern

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on November 1, 2013 / review policy

reds midtown tavern torontoReds Midtown Tavern, an offshoot of the popular Financial District wine bar, is now open at the base of the Aura building at Yonge and Gerrard. The new restaurant shares the same menu and similar aesthetics to its predecessor but is geared towards a more diverse clientele.

reds midtown tavernInside, the inviting decor features exposed brick walls, wine bottle chandeliers, shuffleboards and a mix of communal tables, bar stools and dining room seating. Upstairs, the mezzanine showcases quirky collections of vintage sunglasses, motel keys and Zippos.

The menu from Chef Matt Robertson (formerly of TOCA, Canoe, and Spendido) offers sharing plates and mains that aim to be ultra accommodating to both those who want indulge and those who want to eat light.

reds midtown tavernDecadent platters of fresh shucked Oysters ($14) and charcute-covered Butcher Boards ($19.95/small or $29.95/large) are billed alongside bar food favourites like Cheeseburger Sliders ($14.50) and Buffalo and butter-sauced Wings ($13.25).

reds midtown tavernThe pull apart, Crispy Potato Flatbread ($10.75) is a unique offering that's essentially a savoury version of a Beaver Tail. It's like garlic bread only better — fried, then topped with sweet garlic chimichurri aioli, shaved parmesan, arugula and a roasted tomato, balsamic gastrique.

reds midtown torontoLighter options are available too. The menu offers a solid selection of salads, fresh fish features and a showcase of dishes from Four, the SIR Corp sister restaurant that is dedicated to keeping each dish under 650 calories. I try the Double Dip ($11.25), a vegan starter that layers smoky baba ghanoush over garlicky hummus in a deep bowl. Fresh veggies and house-made flatbread are supplied on the side for dipping.

reds midtown tavernEntrees can be assembled by adding a side salad to any shareable order for $6, or there are hearty tavern plates, sandwiches and a daily curry. Big appetites should consider The Unapologetic Burger ($15.25), featuring two massive caramelized beef patties dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made sauce. With fries on the side, it's impossible for me to clean the plate.

reds midtown tavernAt the bar, the extensive wine list shares the spotlight with a lengthy menu of craft brews and cocktails. Beverage choices include 80 varieties of wine, 30 draught beers, and at least a dozen thoughtfully crafted cocktails. I try the Corpse Reviver ($10), a potent blend of gin, Triple Sec, Lillet Blanc and lemon that's finished with a fiery absinthe rinse.

reds midtown tavernReds Midtown Tavern also plans to enrich patio-life on Yonge Street with the addition of 90 outdoor seats. Currently, the restaurant is open daily from 11:30am. Reservations are accepted.

reds midtown tavernPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

15 Comments

Chris / November 1, 2013 at 11:52 am
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I'm puzzled - since when is Yonge and Gerrard "mid town"?
TJ / November 1, 2013 at 11:57 am
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It's an interesting decision to open a higher scale "tavern" in an area where food is readily available at much much lower prices. You've Bay street prices at this tavern except you don't have high rolling Bay street workers/clients in the area. I suppose you can say those moving into Aura are presumably higher scale residents (considering the price to live at Aura).
matts replying to a comment from Chris / November 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm
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I had the same reaction.... what then is Yonge/Bloor and, worse yet, Yonge/Eg? Suburbs?
peanutsgonewild / November 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm
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This place looks just like Against The Grain Tavern. Its amazing that Reds used to be a classy joint and now its barely better than Bishops/Hunters Landing.

Toronto food is going down hill.

I had diarrea just looking at the pics!
fred / November 1, 2013 at 02:33 pm
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Owning a restaruant is the hardest business to run. 150% is required at all times to keep customers coming back on a regular basis. You have to appeal to all five senses, to be successful.
Alexander / November 1, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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I will accept (barely) Midtown being Lawrence to Bloor...Yonge/Gerrard it ain't.
Morgan / November 1, 2013 at 03:24 pm
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I am glad to see a nicer restaurant to go to for work lunches. Im sick of having to book Milestones, Joey etc
matts replying to a comment from peanutsgonewild / November 1, 2013 at 03:49 pm
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go have a check up
Midtown? / November 1, 2013 at 06:47 pm
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Midtown?

Liora Ipsom will now forever be synonymous with super hipster downtown elitist.

10 bucks she's from Barrie or Ottawa.

Deal.
peoplearedumb / November 2, 2013 at 12:00 am
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'Midtown' is in the actual name of the restaurant, dumbasses.
outofit / November 2, 2013 at 06:38 am
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I normally don't reply to extraneous, meaningless comments - and in a minute you will see why. I am sure I am much older than the reviewer and definitely older than those who don't like the descriptor "midtown". As I grew up, Queen was "downtown", Bloor was "uptown" and ergo Gerrard is "midtown" and I must say I am still comfortable with that, I rarely go NOB.
Justin / November 3, 2013 at 01:04 am
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I want that burger.
Catherine / November 6, 2013 at 09:33 am
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This place is awesome!! Great beers on tap, ummm....shuffle board! Great staff, esthetics and the food is incredible. Get off your computer and go for a visit before making ridiculous judgements.
hahano replying to a comment from outofit / November 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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Haha, love clowns like you living in a bubble. Just because you are comfortable with making things up doesn't make them true. Using acronyms like NOB makes you sound like such a knob. When was bloor uptown? The 1870's? You disgusting fake dinosaur. That's some of the fakest dumbest bullshit I've heard on here in a while.
Connor / May 6, 2014 at 05:18 pm
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I was there last week and asked the Midtown question. Apparently they use the label to distinguish its central position for groups coming from the West and East to meet. I can see that actually makes sense when I meet friends from the Beach and I live Queen West. Yonge street for me is midtown no matter how far S or N you go.

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