When owners Chris Pagonis and Dean Tzembelicos decided to open a brew pub modeled after the popular concept appreciated throughout major cities Stateside they may have bitten off more than they could chew. With 120 different craft beer taps and a staggeringly massive restaurant space The Craft Brasserie and Grille could have been a daunting endeavor. Yet by bringing in an incredibly educated and ambitious bar manager with Matt Sieradzki and a fresh, talented chef in Adrian Andaya the magnitude of this endeavor seemed mote. With the bustling and trendy neighborhood of Liberty Village trying to further set themselves apart from the rest, The Craft’s location in the sunken lower level of an 110 year old building and proximity to the exhibition GO station is golden.
As a Prud’homme Beer Sommelier Sieradzki brings a strong passion for community, relationships and of course great taste to every one of his choice pours. By developing a frank and open discussion with all his vendors, by getting to know the people behind the beer he has brought a cacophony of brands and flavours for the masses to enjoy. And while the idea of deciding which of the 120 beers to try can be tiresome, he has gradually passed on his education to his serving staff, making sure your drinking experience is first class. The beer menu is intelligently laid out; the whole spectrum of flavor is represented and easily discovered. And with flights of 4 five ounce glasses of beer being college-aged affordable (currently priced at $10.50) The Crafts’ goal of introducing people to new and incredible beers is a guaranteed.
Of course great beer always tastes better with fantastic food. With a menu full of small plates and shareable bites Chef Andaya wants guests to be able to try a multitude of beers along with a huge variety of delectable dishes for everyone at your table to taste. Gourmet burgers and sandwiches come solo however several creative and unbelievably delicious “fries” can be ordered and easily become a four person dish. The Madras is a bowl overflowing with pakora battered fries, fontina cheese, a rich madras gravy and topped with a fried egg while the Asada fries are almost a meal in itself with strip of beef, chimichurri, jalapeno cheese, crème fraiche and caramelized onions.
Other shareables run the gamut from flatbreads, tacos, wings, ribs, and sliders to battered fish, popcorn chicken and lettuce wraps. Chef Andaya’s Filipino background comes out in the popular Lumpia Spring rolls; ground pork nicely seasoned, deep fried and served with a banana pepper ketchup. And for those guests who just want to have a pint or two after work without the crowd full entrees are also equally impressive and high on taste.
With a 50 seat patio just weeks away and idea of brunches and tasting events already turning the wheels of the future, The Craft Brasserie is a beer lovers Mecca and a foodies dream.
The Craft Brasserie
101 Atlantic Avenue, Toronto