The Peacock Public House
Seeking to transform the previous project in the same space (Mad Crush Wine Bar) the original idea was to call the place Pigeon in homage to the birds that populate College Street, but the more regal Peacock was settled on.
The original Mad Crush layout hasn’t been toyed with too much, a skylight above the bar still the highlight of the interior. A curtain now separates the front bar and a back area.
An upper floor with a stage is open to public dining, a small stage able to host anything from comedy shows to intimate music acts, the space actually totally soundproof.
A scotch egg ($7) is wrapped in a very fennel-forward house pork sausage with a thin crispy coating, soft cooked and served traditionally with Branson pickle, a very tangy English condiment.
A selection of toasts includes roast garlic button mushroom and Stilton ($9) topped with rich creme fraiche that melts into the veg and a “La Sauvagine” with house lardons, walnuts and honey. Most are on thickly sliced Blackbird sourdough.
Larger fare includes house bangers and mash ($19) with sweet and aromatic shallot gravy. A textbook rendition of the classic, the potatoes are airy and the Stilton and peppercorn sausage is hearty.
Atlantic haddock and chips ($19) are served with classic mushy peas and a viscous house tartar, the giant fish fillet battered in a light and crunchy Steamwhistle and vinegar batter and sprinkled with a few flakes of Maldon salt.
A daily pie special usually runs around $20 - $25, today’s a turkey and pea suet pudding that’s kind of like a giant Thanksgiving dumpling. The crust is incredibly soft, fatty and buttery, the whole thing sitting on a bed of roasted kale.
A leek and stilton tart ($17) is a vegetarian entree option, the menu here actually about 40 per cent meat-free.
Peacock prides themselves on stocking an impressively wide range of craft beer brands both on tap and in a huge can and bottle fridge, which includes more artisanal offerings like Burdock’s Tuesday, Whip and Squints from Left Field, and Godspeed’s Yuzu. However, you’ll find them here at a lower markup than nearby beer bars like Birreria Volo.
Mad Crush Wine Bar was itself already a reinvention of the original Mad Crush location on King, so this makeover into a more casual business as Peacock is just another step in the evolution of Toronto’s bar scene, and owner Jamieson Kerr’s solid position in it. Peacock also does English-inspired brunch on weekends.
Frank Russo hosts a weekly comedy night with lineup and headliner changing every week. Cowbell Brewery sponsors the event with $6 pints of Cowbell on offer. There is a musical guest to open the show each week. Tickets are available at the door for $10 or https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4082054
Shake your Tailfeather.
Music + Dance Party every weekend @ 9pm at The Peacock Public House
• Toronto's top DJs spinning on College street Thursday, Friday and Saturdays
• Hosted by Resident DJ Tim North
• Drink Specials / Late Night Food Menu
Starting next Thursday March 28th with Tim North
Thursday 3/28 - Tim North
Friday 3/29 - MKSTN @mkstnn + Asey @whoisasey
Hutch & Friends is back for a four month run @ the Peacock! After an eighth month break, this monthly stand-up showcase is not to be missed. Hosted and curated by Paul Hutcheson with the comedic talents of Ashley Cooper, Ryan Dillon, Clif Knight, Nick Reynoldson & Carol Zoccoli. (tickets are $15/$20 @ door)