Farmers Daughter toronto
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The Daughter

The Daughter is the offspring of Farmhouse Tavern , situated just across the street and over a little on Dupont. Owner Darcy MacDonell was motivated to expand by a creative itch and the desire to capture some of the overflow from the popular original location.

The style inside dispenses from the rustic vibe of its progenitor, in favour of a more modern and urban approach. While the business model is similar, the differences are literally black and white: Farmhouse's daily-specials chalkboards are out, and whiteboard paint serving the same function is in. Sleek furnishings and soft-hued colours fill out the room while agricultural accents make only token appearances.

Farmers Daughter toronto

Heading up the kitchen is chef Leonie Lilla, formerly of The Libertine and Momofuku Daisho . Here, she applies a playful lens to a tight line-up of dishes emphasizing seafood over meat. Half the menu is dedicated to ocean fare like fried shrimp ($9), oysters ($18/$34) and octopus ($20), while the other half manages to accommodate vegetarians and devoted meat-eaters craving a burger ($18) or a little surf 'n' turf ($21).

Farmers Daughter toronto

Menu boards hung on walls offer no clues as to what you'll get, and even out-loud descriptions can't brace my taste buds for some of the delightful surprises. For instance, there's steamed clams ($12) served in a cold salad composed of a trio of lettuces and shaved apples tossed in apple basil vinaigrette. Better still, it's the only salad I've ever had that is garnished with with house-fried potato chips and a scoop of ice cream... sweet and creamy mustard ice cream, that is.

Farmers Daughter toronto

Heart 'n' Soul ($12) is beef heart tartare served in a bone marrow canoe with croutons, pickled radishes and a quail yolk. The classic dish gets a nouveau twist with the addition of marrow pebbles, making use of some modernist wizardry to impart the rich flavours of luscious fat into a powder that melts on my tongue.

Farmers Daughter toronto

The restaurant will also do weekend brunch; a separate menu lists inventive morning fare like yogurt salad ($11) and frog waffles ($13). I tried out the oeuf mollet ($12), a soft egg set over asparagus swimming in deliciously silky - and, somehow, butterless - hollandaise.

Farmers Daughter toronto

The bar menu, scrawled on those dry-erase walls, and offers about a half dozen cocktails like an apple rhubarb punch ($10) and black caesar ($10) made with horseradish vodka and coloured with squid ink. Wine bottles on display include Farmhouse Tavern's own Pinot Grigio ($10/glass or $45/bottle), plus some choice international selections. Beau's is on tap, soon to be joined by a house beer currently in the works from the Junction Craft Brewery.

Farmers Daughter toronto

The Daughter is currently open Thursdays and Fridays at 5:30pm for dinner and on the weekends from 10:30am for brunch service followed by dinner. A 40-seat west-facing patio is,slated to open in mere weeks and come fall there is a private dining space in the basement aspires to host Hunt Camp-like supper clubs. Reservations are welcome and advised.

Farmers Daughter toronto

Photos by Jesse Milns


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