Toronto patio season preview: Earth
Patio season in Bloor West Village has officially arrived. A stroll through the neighbourhood west of Runnymede shows cafÃ©s and restaurants bubbling over with people, spilling onto sidewalks and balconies. There's no shortage of establishments to choose from and whether it's a bottle of bubbly or a pitcher of beer, there's definitely a place to suit your needs.
But while the neighbourhood certainly isn't hurting for more patios, the new Earth location on Bloor West (by the people behind Globe Bistro and Earth Rosedale), is a gift to give a neighbourhood that seems to have it all.
What's so special? First of all, it's of the finest patio pedigree — it's a rooftop.
Who goes there?
Bloor West Villagers are the last urban post before Etobicoke, the final community of left-wing commie pinkos to the west before Ford Country. A place like Earth is a perfect fit here, their slogan "Think global. Eat local" is like a mantra for the Bloor West do-gooders.
Grub and libations
The shtick here is that you're eating local food, which is better for you and the environment. And while they certainly do source their meat and produce from local farms when possible, they still offer things like oysters ($3.00/per), PEI mussels($6.00) and BC albacore tuna (11.00). Not that I have a problem with any of those things; in fact I adore all of those things. To me though buying things locally when they're available is a small concession. When your slogan is "Think global. Eat local." it should pertain to most everything.
Regardless, it's an excellent menu and one thing that's worth mentioning is that they buy their animals whole, use every part and sell steaks by the ounce. You choose how much you want to eat and pay accordingly ($2.99/oz for a rib eye, $3.49/oz for tenderloin).
As far as drinks go, wine is the drink of choice here. Glasses bottom out at a reasonable $8.00 and their selection is a pretty extensive, with plenty of old and new world offerings.
Odds of scoring a seat
Since the place is brand new, word hasn't quite gotten out yet about the roof. So let me be perfectly clear: this place is patio perfection. It's the way roof tops should be — and the it's not even totally done yet. I have no doubt there will be days when there's a line to get a seat up there, but right now you can take your pick.
A view to a...
Again, it's a rooftop. And even better, it's a rooftop in a neighbourhood of fairly short buildings.
To me, primetime rooftop patioing is at around 7:30 or so. It's when the streets are still slammed from late rush hour traffic, the sun is beginning to edge its way down towards the horizon and the sky is electric blue. You look over the edge from your patio seat and think about all the frustration you're not dealing with right now. Then you take another sip of wine return to your conversation and forget that the world below even exists.
Depending on your perspective (and skin type), unrestricted exposure to the sun is either a blessing or a curse (okay fine, I know — cancer — it's always a curse). Technically, my freckly arms make it a curse for me, but sometimes I like to pretend I'm one of the lucky ones and sprawl out on a picturesque patio for hours and hours. That's what this patio is for.
This is just a great place to be. It's big (60+ seats) and open and lovely. It's like the best of street side and backyard patios combined; you get a isolation of the back yard and the people watching of the front. Their proper patio furniture hasn't arrived quite yet (they've only been open for a few weeks) and it looks like they're planning on installing a bar up there sometime soon. But even without that stuff the Earth Rooftop is worthy of a visit, promise.
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