Burdock has set up shop in what used to be Portuguese chicken resto Churrasqueira Aveirense and transformed the space into an artist-driven bar/restaurant/music hall/future-microbrewery run by a group of musicians and music lovers.
Inspired by Montreal's well-loved bar/bistro/music venue Casa del Popolo , the former churrasqueira has been split into two deep rectangular spaces: upon entering, there is the restaurant/bar/future-microbrewery, and a door on the left leads to the music hall.
Charlotte Cornfield, the hall's booker, aims to program a wide variety of quality music. Since Cornfield and Underhill are musicians themselves, they understand the wants and needs of those who play here. The custom-designed, acoustically isolated hall is relatively intimate - it can hold at least 90 and has its own bar separate from the restaurant's.
Back on the restaurant/bar's side, the space feels welcoming and homelike; in addition to smaller tables, there's a communal dining table by the bar, which resembles a wide kitchen counter.
For decor, there are hanging plants, what looks like the side of a staircase leading to nowhere and lovely tiles left over from the churrasqueira.
In the back, gleaming brew kettles indicate the imminent arrival of a new microbrewery. Burdock plans to offer its own craft beers using Ontario yeasts and hops come summertime, with guidance from Brewery Director Matt Park and Lead Brewer David Everitt.
They're offering a rotating list of pale ales, saisons, pilsners, sours and beer-wine hybrids that are all brewed in house.
Like the venue itself, the kitchen (open 'til 11pm daily) is helmed by a hyphenate. Jeremy Dennis ( Woodlot , Chantecler ) is a chef/musician/homebrewer, making him a perfect fit for Burdock - and vice versa - as this place incorporates everything he loves.
Chef has created a multi-format menu of contemporary Canadian fare using local, seasonal ingredients when possible. A majority of it is vegetarian and can be converted to vegan if necessary.
Bread and olive oil ($4) is a given, seeing as how Dennis used to work the graveyard shift at Woodlot as a breadmaker. The hand-mixed sourdough with stone-ground spelt, rye and cornmeal has a good story behind it: the starter is from Woodlot, and was brought over there by its head baker Jeff Connell from St. John's Bakery . Legend has it that it's originally from France and is over 100 years old.
Dennis has come up with snacks that he would want to eat while drinking beer. His inspiration for Dufferin Doubles ($5) came from the countless times he's eaten doubles from Patty King (now known as Golden Patty) while downing beers at Ronnie's Local in Kensington.
His take on the Trini treat involves curried Saskatchewan chickpeas and onions sandwiched between pan-fried sourdough bara that uses the same starter as the bread. The two flavourful doubles come with a not-too-spicy fermented jalapeno dipping sauce.
For mains, there's a charred cauliflower ($15) served with a sweet potato croquette and swiss chard. This makes for hearty comfort food, with a nice mix of salty capers, a touch of sweetness from the croquette, plus a satisfying taste of butter, oil and char.
Following this hearty, home-y theme is the ale roast pork shoulder ($15), one of only two meat dishes on the menu. It's amusingly described as "a gnarly hunk of mustard and ale-slathered slow-roasted pork shoulder," and it's served with sauteed sauerkraut (yum), black kale and smashed potatoes. The "gnarly hunk" is super tender and a pleasure to eat, as everything is perfectly seasoned.
Locals are starting to discover the spot, and it should become even more popular when the side patio opens up. The crowd transitions from older couples and families dining with kids in the early evening to a 20-to-30-something demographic after 10pm looking to catch a hot band or live DJ set. It seems Burdock wants to be all things to all people, and surprisingly enough, it may just succeed.
This October, The Story Collider returns to the Burdock Music Hall in Toronto for another evening of true, personal stories about science. This month, we'll present five stories on the theme "One of a Kind." From weird job interviews to a unique diagnosis, these stories are like snowflakes! More information and full lineup to be announced soon.
Hosted by Misha Gajewski and Jesse Hildebrand. ...
Join the editors, book authors, and others to celebrate the launch of Red Light Labour
Hosted by Anjula Gogia, with DJ Saira Chhibber
Presenters: Kara Gillies, Elene Lam, Valerie Scott, and Andrea Sterling
20% of the book sale proceeds are being donated to Butterfly: Asian and Migrant Sex Workers
Advocating for social and economic justice within a se...
Buy tickets ➡ http://burdockto.com/shows/?show=1435
$10 advance // $15 door
doors at 9pm, show at 9:30pm
》 Mike McCormick's Proxemics
In the summer of 2016, while exploring the physical and practical distance between him and his instrument, Mike McCormick decided to examine other “distances” in various aspects of his life. This lead him to compose pieces using texts from a collectio...
Three-time Maple Blues Award-nominee Chris Antonik and Canadian vocalist and partner Ashley Belmer present an acoustic blues show. In NORTHWOOD, Antonik’s catalogue will be stripped down, with a focus on strong vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar stylings, alongside the powerful harmonies and vocals of Ashley Belmer. While Antonik's electric, full-band approach, which continues to run in paral...
JESSICA MOSS (https://jessicamoss.bandcamp.com)
Montreal violinist & vocalist Jessica Moss (Silver Mt. Zion), celebrates the release of her 2nd solo LP "Entanglement" on Constellation Records, following the evolution of her solo music for violin, voice & electronics. Tortured violin loops weave a web of bristly yet comforting fur. Errant vibrations blistering into distorted notes. Beauty fin...