Her Father's Cider
Her Father's Cider occupies a prime corner lot in Harbord Village and as its name might suggest, it is Toronto's first bar devoted to craft cider.
Owner Josh Mott is not only well versed in the restaurant industry, his parents also run Beaver Valley craft cider. With his bar, he wants to share his appreciation for versatile, fruit-based brews by introducing Torontonians to a growing collection of styles from local and international producers.
Mott speaks passionately about Ontario ciders, noting that the province is home to some of the world's best apple growing regions and is poised to be a major player in the cider market.
The fridge spans an entire wall and is the focal point in the dining room. It's stocked with almost 100 bottles and cans representing regions in France, Spain, the UK, USA, New Zealand and of course, coast to coast in Canada.
Mott will change up the dozen taps. Pints sell for $7 to $9, but novices might do better by ordering a flight with a trio of five ounce pours for $12. Among the options available when I visit are Spirit Tree Pear Lavender, KW Thai Ginger and Ironwood's Perry Dise.
To accompany and elevate these brews, there are compelling seasonal menus from chef Ryan Barclay that span brunch, lunch, dinner and snacking.
To start, I get seasonal vegetables on toasted sourdough ($10), a stunning dish composed of crostini slathered with carrot ricotta purĂŠe and an artful application of wild chanterelles, asparagus, yellow zucchini, snap peas, chilis, pickled ramps and pea tendrils.
Then there's a blueberry salad ($12) featuring peppery greens in a poppy seed vinaigrette with a quenelle of creamy ricotta, bee pollen, preserved blueberries and crunchy toasted oats.
Finally, mini raclette ($16), a delightful table-side presentation of bubbly melted cheese with a medley of vegetables. Broccoli, boiled new potatoes, endive, pear and asparagus are among the veggies supplied for dipping.
The dining room is illuminated by purple light boxes and string lights; it feels very farmhouse chic. A striking geometric mural from artist John Kuna adorns the walls both inside and out, while salvaged stained glass windows and wood furniture give the place a rustic vibe.
A lineup of cider-inspired cocktails from Neil Hazelton are laced with orchard flavours. Her Elders ($10), for example, features a blend of St. Germain with lemon juice and Tawse sparkling cider, while brunchy drinks like the Cider-osa ($8) pair seasonal ciders with freshly squeezed juice and Aperol.
The patio alone might prove itself to be a major draw. It's an attractive proposition only made better by the stellar selection from both the kitchen and bar.
Photos by Jesse Milns