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.
Buy tickets ➡ http://burdockto.com/shows/?show=1426
$15 advance // $20 door
doors at 9pm, show at 9:30pm
New Music & Jazz is giving audiences the unique experience of hearing jazz musicians unite to perform an entire concert of tunes by female jazz composers. The performance, brought to you by The Canadian Women Composers Project and The Burdock, features Canadian jazz vocalists Laura ...
Tickets available at https://burdockto.com/shows/?show=1864
19+ / Doors: 9:00pm, Show: 9:30pm
Tickets: $20.00 (incl tax)
" “Your Voice” is a breakaway and rising hit off Bonnell’s recent album " - Atwood Magazine
“a powerful collection of reflective, genre-defying pop-folk balladry” 9/10 - Exclaim
“She’s one of the best young talents in the country right now.” - Rich Terfry, Host...
Buy tickets: https://burdockto.com/shows/?show=1835
$12 in advance, $15 at the door
Doors at 6 p.m., Show at 6:30 p.m.
// Tim Moxam
Tim Moxam’s quietly dazzling folk/pop practically begs for adjectives, that is until its mesmerizing mood takes hold. Then the only sensible thing to do is forget trying to classify the music and just surrender to its sway. And when it comes to conjurin...
Music starts at 9, $10 cover.
Dante Matas: Dante Matas and his band, The Infernal Racket, are an indie pop group from Toronto. In 2018 they released the album “A Colourful Headache” and toured the east coast of Canada. Live, they combine their melodic, hook-filled songs and introspective lyrics with explosive and energetic tendencies. Dante’s overall drive is to communicate human emotion thr...
The Music Gallery presents
Nadah El Shazly + ZOE
Part of the Departures series
Curated by Tad Michalak
Last year’s Land of Kush concert at the Aga Khan museum was a season highlight, and marked our introduction to Egyptian singer Nadah El Shazly. She returns to the Departures series to headline at one of our favourite venues, Burdock.
Though El Shazly started out singing Misfits ...
GLANDS OF EXTERNAL SECRETION (https://coherentstates.bandcamp.com/album/convicted-felon-adjusted-for-inflation)
Experimental collage duo of Barbara Manning (World of Pooh, SF Seals) & Seymour Glass (Bananafish) create vocal driven collaged compositions on the verge of collapse, with all the vigour & buoyancy of life. Errant keys chime out over the heavy breathing of taxed strings, collapsing...
Join us this April for five true, personal stories about finding your path with or without science.
Full lineup to be announced soon.
Hosted by Misha Gajewski and Jesse Hildebrand.
Doors open at 7 PM. Show starts at 7:30 PM. Seating is a mix of chairs and standing room, please arrive early for the best seats. Tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-story-collider-toronto-april-2...
Burn Down The Capital Presents:
EFRIM MANUL MENUCK & KEVIN DORIA
@ Burdock (1184 Bloor St. West)
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK & KEVIN DORIA (http://cstrecords.com/cst144)
Efrim Manuel Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor / Silver Mt. Zion) and Kevin Doria (Growing) return to Toronto in support of their first collaborative LP Sing Sinck, Sing out May 10th on Conste...