With well over 100 beers and ales to choose from, you may have to peruse the menu for a while. A pint of the softly spicy German Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, with a taste of banana and clove, is a perfect way to begin the evening. The beer is brewed at the world’s oldest continuously operating brewery at the Weihenstephan Abbey in Germany and doesn’t disappoint.
Sitting in the cozy bar area, you’ll be in the middle of the after work crush. This is the spot where you may overhear some interesting conversations – from business talk to what songs are hot right now at the clubs.
If your focus is more on the food experience, ask for a comfortable seat in the dining area. The menu spotlights beer as a key ingredient, making for flavourable offerings.
During our recent visit, myself and my friend shared the Blue Blonde Mussel Bowl ($16.95) – the blue cheese, Affligem blonde beer, pears, spinach, leeks and a bit of cream blend well to make a sweet and savoury broth worthy of dipping into with the Cantillion Sourdough that comes with the dish. All Mussel Bowl flavours include a different type of beer.
For our mains, we tried the Big Apple Pizza ($14.95) – perfectly prepared with ale marinated smoked chicken as the star ingredient, complemented by caramelized onions and a light taste of sage. What makes this pizza perfect is that it’s not overly salted, letting the flavours of the ingredients shine.
The Coq au Bière ($18.60, above) is a hearty dish with brown ale-braised chicken with the skin adding to its flavour. It’s paired with woodland mushrooms, sliced, small pieces of beer bacon, and a sauce-moistened tarragon crème fraiche dumpling. This dish would be perfection if there was a touch less salt added. Nevertheless, the dumplings really steal the show in this dish and are a must-try.
A suggestion for a lighter meal for two is to share a Mussel Bowl with a side order of the Belgian Frites ($6) - fresh cut potato fries, blanched in beef and duck fat (yummy), and accompanied by a made from scratch mayonnaise and smoked tomato ketchup. Crispy, flavourful and nicely presented, they are a winner on this menu.
What makes Beer Bistro a great place to dine is the food and the pleasant wait staff, which does a great job in serving the food efficiently. While this restaurant is a noisy spot overall, it’s worth a visit if you are in the area on a weekday – certainly an experience not to be missed. ---Margaret Antkowski
Beer Bistro, Toronto
18 King Street @ Yonge Street, Toronto ON
Margaret Antkowski is a Toronto-based PR Professional and foodie. She loves a good pub and hiking in her free time. Check out her blog, The (Sub)urban Tourist.