Now that we’re heading into the season of gathering with friends we are looking to maximize our time over great food. To be honest, weekend brunches got a little too predictable, a little too same same. So, we’ve been on the lookout for some spots that goes beyond the expected eggs benny. Here’s to delicious and interesting brunch spots in the city worth getting out of bed for this weekend:
Chotto Matte: Jungle Brunch: (161 Bay Street) If you’re in need of an escape from the winter’s cold winter (did it arrive early this year?) this is where you want to be. Step into the tropical oasis in this Peruvian/Japanese “Nikkei” style restaurant located at Bay and Front. You’ll want to take a deep breath when you see all the lush greens. Saturday’s Jungle Brunch ($49) includes a buffet-style spread of impressive appetizers including ceviche, fresh sashimi and maki rolls, beef tataki from the robata bar, warm miso soup and salads. Then have choose your entree from the menu – the seabass and the chicken are hands-down favourites. Save room for the dessert spread. And feeling festive? Add on the $40 bottomless cocktail selection. Live entertainment will have you conga line down the aisles and forget it’s winter.
Byblos Uptown: (2537 Yonge Street) Another great escape into the warmth as you enter this inviting establishment located up at Yonge and Eglinton. Bright sunny space with tall ceilings gives an airy, yet cozy, feeling. Take a break from the usual omelette brunch and explore all the deliciousness here including the popular Middle Eastern dish Shakshouka – a deeply satisfying breakfast made with poached eggs nestled in a house-made tomato sauce. Another favourite is the Strawberry Qatayef Pancakes with just the right amount of sweetness to brighten up any dreary day. And what would brunch be without the sunny side of a fresh sangria?
Storm Crow Manor: (580 Church Street) dubbed as the “nerdiest” restaurant and bar in Toronto has us geeking out with a great menu and fun atmosphere. Their recent ghastly “headshots” made us look twice! Housed in a Victorian Manor this multi-level establishment has several themed rooms to satisfy any science-fiction fantasy fan. Themed decor includes Mary Shelley/Frankenstein (pay attention to the backlit portraits on the walls), Harry Potter-esque apothecary, Steampunk and more. Every nook and cranny is filled with curious objects with some created as site-specific and other items from actual film /tv production sets. Several hidden private areas include Heaven and Hell include futuristic stained glass windows, and yes, there is room behind the moving bookcase – of course. Take the stairs down to the washrooms in the basement fashioned after the Catacombs in France. Watch out for the screeching cats. We think the person in charge of decor has the best job in the world. Order up one of their specialty drinks and be prepared for a bit of pomp and circumstance. Brunch here offers a concise menu and portions are generous. Going through the descriptions on the menu is half the fun. Example: CAT. IV AVO-KAIJU TOAST is explained as “Genetically reimagined by the Precursors to help you be the mightiest Kaiju in existence.”