Walrus Pub & Beer Hall
The Walrus Pub is a sprawling, multi-faceted establishment designed as an airy hang for the Financial District crowd.
Planned by in-house designer Ricky Alvarez, the space is an amalgamation of eclectic features.
From its melange of artwork to its case of taxidermied birds, spinning slowly on disco ball rotators inside what used to be a wine cooler, the space takes your eye on quite a visual journey.
Taking over where Italian haunt Far Niente used to be, the space is separated into three section, with a pub area serving 20 taps – featuring two rotating beer options – on the main floor, and a more private area on the third floor with a pool table and shuffle board.
On Thursdays, expect live music after 4 p.m., and a full DJ set up from 9 p.m. onwards daily.
The highlight for me is the Ivory Room, the beautiful area near the restaurant's entrance dedicated to martinis.
With lots of natural light and an eclectic variety of original and local artwork, its the perfect spot for a daytime date.
The signature Ivory Room martini ($13) is a light gin concoction with Lillet Blanc, elderflower liquer and dry sherry - a good option for something tasty but light.
The Four Horsemen martini ($16) is much stronger – hence, my favourite – with bourbon and angostura bitter mixture that's sort of negroni-esque and very sweet.
The tuna sashimi ($17) is albacore tuna from British Columbia and comes on a bed with black rice, avocado, spicy mayo, and drizzled with sambal sauce.Fresh oysters are served on a bed of chilled pebbles instead of ice and served with house made mignonette. They can be ordered in pairs ($6) or half dozens ($15).
Pizza dough is made in-house and served with a crusty covered in sesame seeds, which is a nice touch. The pepperoni pizza ($16) is simple but tasty, with provolone cheese and Ezzo pepperoni shipped from Ohio. Gluten free crust is available for an extra $2.
The R&R cocktail ($13) is a sunny looking drink of rye plus apple and rhubarb soda from British brand Franklin & Sons.
The Walrus burger ($17.50) features Ontario beef chuck and brisket, Russian dressing and American cheddar – all atop a slice of Martin's Potato Rolls, which are the same buns that Shake Shack uses.
The crispy chicken sandwich ($17) uses hormone free chicken breast that's been brined marinated in hot sauce. Coated in panko, it features a housemade black pepper mayo and pickles from Etobicoke pickle masters Tymek.