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The Saint Tavern on Ossington

Went last night on their second official open night after happy hour at Boehmer ($6 glass of wine - you can't go wrong!).

Delish meal - massive servings. I had lardon perogies to start, husband had steak tartare. We shared a massive chicken pot pie with whiskey cheddar crust (their pie of the week) and a side of grilled asparagus. Nice staff. Reasonably priced wines by the glass. Very long bar with two TVs showing the Jays game. Vibe a cross between steakhouse, diner and tavern. We will return.

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    1. re: hungryabbey

      Did you go? How was it? I've heard some good things from a few friends.

      Has anyone tried their brunch?

      1. re: peppermint pate

        I actually ended up not going. I was in the mood for a for-sure good meal (didn't want to risk it) so I decided to go to Scaramouche instead. I know, quite the last minute upgrade. I will check it out when I feel like a more casual meal. It's pretty far for me for it to be "meh".

          1. re: justsayn


            Can you tell me more about their brunch menu? I have been there for dinner but have heard good things about brunch. Since they don't have a menu on the website, anything you could recommend? Thank you!

            1. re: kyra2224

              Hey Kyra, what did you have and enjoy on the dinner menu?

              1. re: hungryabbey

                I enjoyed the perogies, fried chicken (but that changes often so do inquire first), potted cheese. I have heard the meat platter is fantastic. The breakfast is also really delicious -- I had the proscuitto wrapped asaparagus with poached eggs + Hollandaise + potatoes (whipped with blue cheese and then fried). My friend had the salmon eggs benny, a classic done right. The scones are fantastic as well as the cinnamon sugar beignets.

                I would recommend the knob cobbler cocktail as well.

                1. re: kyra2224

                  Mmm sounds awesome! what is the potted cheese? and whats a knob cobbler cocktail?

                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    The potted cheese changes daily but the last time I had it was goat cheese+olive oil+lemon+herbs with crostini. To die for.

                    The knob cobbler cocktail I believe in a bourbon based drink but it is fantastic. Not sure exactly the ingredients

              2. re: kyra2224

                I haven't eaten the brunch but I did take shots of the menu one night.

                1. re: kyra2224

                  Sorry, just saw this now! Grilled cheese is very simple but very very good. Good fries. Did I mention the cinnamon roll? lol Eggs with mushrooms was very good! Coffee is good. French toast sounded interesting...has anyone tried it? Prior visit I really liked the bennie.

                2. re: justsayn

                  Back again and have to say the cinnamon roll is particularly outstanding. Great service!

            2. Went last night, and really enjoyed. Service was excellent - greeting from host (very welcoming), waitress (super genuine manner, professional, patient and knowledgeable about menu & wine) and other wait staff who cleared plates etc (efficient, friendly, eyes on table when going back & forth to kitchen). Two of us shared the honey fennel side as an appetizer, each had a house-made roll ($1.50 each, and worth it) and the fried chicken dinner, and then shared the chocolate cake. Very happy with all courses. I love fennel, and this was nicely done - very flavourful. Chicken was exactly as waitress described - lightly battered, and very juicy and tender. Acccompanying fries were excellent. And the chocolate cake was "grandma style" - not fancy, just really good chocolate cake. Comfort/casual food at its best. Will return soon.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DRD

                also went last night....had the periogies, fried chicken, house curred salmon and cheesecake for dessert. All excellent as was the service. Good value too for quality and portion size. Good vibe in the room, loud but still able to have a conversation. Will return for sure.

              2. Dinner on Sat night with my bff and his dad. Overall a very good experience and I'm looking forward to my second visit sometime soon.

                Our reso was at 630 p.m. and the space was about 2/3 full and was jammed but the time we left around 9. The room can get rather loud by the time it is at full capacity but it adds to the buzz of the space. We sat in the first circular booth and it was spacious for 3, would be prefect for four and could squeeze five in for sure.

                The service for the whole evening was great. My water glass was never empty. I was asked about my beverage either just before or just after I finished. Crumbs were removed between courses. All the staff members were very knowledge and answered all of my questions in a enough detail to be meaningful but not over the top.

                We started with a dozen oysters a mix of east and west coast varieties. They were fresh, well shucked with little grit and lots of liquor left in the shell and were served with a generous mount of fresh grated horseradish and house made minuet. Great start to the meal for sure.

                We then shared the duck, bacon and fois sausage. My two dining companions really enjoyed it but for me it was overkill on the bacon flavour and the other items were a little lost in translation.

                For mains two of us ordered the bone-in strip med rare and the third ordered the Berkshire pork chop. We shared gratin potatoes, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms.

                The steaks were cooked perfectly. They had great favour, a fair amount of fat and good solid grill char on the outside while being prefect med rare on the inside. The only downside for me was that they pre-sliced the steaks. Not my fav thing, but not a deal breaker either.

                The pork was moist and tender and full of flavour sitting on top of a portion of apple sauce. More of a fall dish for me but very well done with a hit of med pink in the centre of the meat.

                All of the sides were great. Perfectly cooked, well seasoned, and generous portions.

                For dessert we shared the house made warm pecan pie with house made vanilla ice cream. Two words - EAT IT! So good. It was the prefect end to a great dinner.

                Overall we had 10 drinks between the three of us and all of the above food and the bill before tip but including tax was $360. Not in the cheap category but IMO good value for money and an overall solid dining experience.

                1. Went for dinner last night. Good service, great atmosphere, above average food. Menu selection is excellent.
                  Started with oysters - perfect.
                  Had the Sunday Supper - no yorkies though, as the chef wasn't happy with them. Roast beef excellent!
                  Cheesecake seemed frozen, definitely not fresh. Pretty disappointing.
                  Overall will go back. Looking forward to trying brunch.

                  1. Went for dinner last night as well. Enjoyed the salt cod fritters, burger and a taste of my friend's nicoise salad. The service was very good. The kitchen apparently messed up my burger the first time they prepared it and did not want to send it out (not quite sure what happened), so they gave us an extra dish of potted cheese (very good) to apologize and tide us over. Overall, I was very pleased with the food and atmosphere, despite the minor issue with the wait time for the burger. I'd definitely go back to try more of the menu.

                    1. Thinking of going for brunch. Would this be an ok place to bring my little one (4 mos) ? I've had no issues brunching at other places with her so far, but not having been to the saint before, not sure if it would work with her.
                      thanks in advance! :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bunnylicious

                        Yes it would be fine for brunch absolutely.

                      2. Went for a late brunch (1 pm) today with three girlfriends.

                        Sat in one of the large circular booths, which was a great size for 4 people. I really enjoyed their coffee, and had a bellini as well (cinnamon and apricot - it was quite delicious). We had a basket of freshly baked goods to share (2 pieces each of lemon loaf, brioche, doughnuts and something else I can't recall) with pecan butter and homemade jam. For my main, I had steak and eggs. The fries were delicious, the steak was cooked properly. The service was friendly and efficient. It wasn't busy at all, could have been because it was so late in the day and no patio. Great experience all together and I'll be back.

                        1. Went to Saint for dinner on friday night. By the time we arrived (around 8:20), the place was already filling up. It's a very large restaurant with a dining room in the back, booths and bar stools along the middle, and then more seating at the front. We wanted to be near the sunlight, so requested a table near the windows.
                          Service was friendly, though a bit inexperienced. I had several questions about cocktails as the menu is quite extensive, most of which he couldn't answer because he hadn't tried them. Regardless, we had a sampling of cocktails (none of which I can recall the names of), but all of them were delicious. I would also say that I felt the entire experience was a bit rushed. I don't want to wait long periods of time without food, but I also don't want to feel like I'm at Jack Astors because my food comes so fast. I can hardly remember being there last night because the whole thing happened so abruptly.
                          And that's really too bad because the food we had was pretty good We tried:
                          1/2 dozen oysters (Malbecs)- Good, simple, cold and well cleaned. Can't really ask for more from a restaurant serving raw seafood.
                          Pierogies- We both decided that these were some of best pierogies we've had. Served on a bed on green onion sour cream, we got five large dumplings, stuffed with aged cheddar, braised pork and cabbage, pan fried to golden perfection and topped with lardon and caramelized onions. This was a perfect balance of flavours, with delicious saltiness from the lardon, cheese and braised pork, sweetness from the caramelized onions, and tartness from the sour cream. Despite the generous portion, I did not feel they were too heavy or greasy at all.

                          Daily "fish and chips"- We got 3 massive shrimp fried with a super crispy batter, served with housemade tartar sauce and potato crisps. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the batter really adhered well, and those little potato shreds were incredibly addictive.
                          Lobster and corn beef hash- Breakfast, lunch or dinner, I would be thrilled to eat this dish again. The potatoes were crispy, the corn beef had a nice meaty, salty bite and the lobster was sweet and luscious. They provided just the right about of rich bernaise to season the crock, and while a bit difficult to maneuver, I loved piling the runny eggs and other ingredients onto the toasted bread.

                          While I wanted to have dessert, we had some business to attend to at Melena and thought it best we had dessert over there to accompany our drinks and discussions (which, for the record, was disapointing). So, in general, we both really enjoyed what we tried and because there were so many things on the menu I was personally interested in, I'm sure we will return (and check out their dessert menu, too).


                          1. Anyone know what the vegetarian dinner choices are?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: canadianbeaver

                              While the Saint is truly an omnivore's delight, vegetarians have not been ignored.
                              As a starter, the menu offers goat cheese salad [$13]: nestled in a bed of greens - not a bitter one in the bunch! - are what they refer to as cut-up vegetables which include, among others, tiny pared yellow beets and very tasty little tomatoes, all gently tossed with a slightly sweet herbed dressing, topped with sticks of whisper-thin crisps and a grilled disc of goat cheese which, when cut, was creamy, almost runny; it offset the dressing perfectly. The salad is listed as an appetizer but can certainly be a meal. I decided to round out my order with a side of mushrooms [$8] and another of sauteed spinach [$6]. These were prepared with obvious care to enhance and enrich their natural flavours; no small feat in a kitchen that focuses on so many meat-based dishes; my compliments to the chef.
                              The dozen or so sides are all vegetarian except for one; and while there is slight overlap - sauteed spinach and creamed spinach for example - there are still quite a few choices to be had. Again, the portions are very generous.
                              My dinner companions started with a shared order of perogies and an order of roasted bone marrow - three bones filled with scoops of rich marrow to slather onto thin toasts - a huge portion! Their mains ranged from fried chicken and fries to fish and chips [the 'fish': scallops in a crisp light batter, dusted with bacon] as well as a savoury pie and the salad nicoise.
                              Tonight's desserts were also vegetarian-friendly, so we sampled five-layer chocolate cake as well as sour cream- based cheesecake topped with blueberries and a luscious lemon tart which was appropriately 'tart'. These were presented with thin slices of unbelievably sweet strawberries and dollops of unsweetened real whipped cream.
                              As noted in other reviews, the service was outstanding in every respect.
                              And all that means I'll be back for more.

                            2. I just posted over on the thread about brunch at the Saint, and realized I should also comment here as well. We went to the The Saint on Friday night and I was really blown away. The steak was incredible. The server really knew his stuff. He suggested that the perogies were "life-changing' and was so excited about them we had to order them. Sensational. We all wanted steak, so he organized a large cut for the table instead of individual portions, meaning we got a better cut and more bang for our buck. Absolutely delicious. Wine and dessert also excellent. Will return for sure.


                              5 Replies
                              1. re: rosieintoronto

                                How were the perogies life-changing?

                                1. re: prima

                                  The flavour girl! I usually find perogies so bland in restos. These were wild. My friend that we took there for a pre-wedding dinner celebration actually e-mailed me the next morning and was like, "remember the perogies!" Who talks about perogies the next day? Great meal. The Saint is underrated, can't wait to bring my husband as this was a girls night. Trying the roasted bone marrow on the next visit.


                                  1. re: rosieintoronto

                                    People talk about the perogies at Chopin and Cafe Polonez the next day. Some people even travel close to an hour out of their way for the perogies at Chopin. :-)

                                    What kind of filling does The Saint use? Is it traditional or innovative?

                                    1. re: prima

                                      They cook them with a pork filling and pieces of cured bacon. Here's a pic from the "My Life Is Food" blog: http://bit.ly/WGWgil


                                      1. re: rosieintoronto

                                        Finally tried these perogies the other day. They were good.... I wouldn't even call them great, let alone life changing.

                              2. We had a great meal at the Saint last night. What began as an alternative to not getting into Libretto ended in a very tasty and well executed meal. The place was packed but we were able to snag two seats at the bar. I enjoyed be able to see the action and watch the hockey game!

                                We had a slew of cocktails...if I remember correctly, they were $10 each...extremely reasonable for the quality. We shared some fresh oysters which were flawless. I had the cheeseburger and my wife had the lobster/corned beef hash. Both were well executed, sizable and most importantly, tasted awesome. The staff was very educated on the menu and easily explained some of the menu items (their menu, while large, does not contain much as far as descriptions).

                                We will definitely be back, possibly for brunch which looked very interesting.

                                1. Went today for brunch and it was excellent. The service was unbeatable too!

                                  Cured salmon was fantastic. Loved the way it was garnished with shallots and lemon. Really nice. Their hollandaise is yummy also.

                                  Nice vibe to the room and again, the service was excellent.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    Did you try the pastry basket or the french toast?

                                    1. re: kwass

                                      I didn't see a pastry basket on the menu. Which could be a good thing actually :)

                                      I'm more of a savoury kinda gal so french toast doesn't appeal to me but the person beside us seemed to be enjoying it. I like how they serve the syrup in those cute little salt shakers.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        I'm just glad you enjoyed it! I actually haven't been yet, but can't wait to try it!!

                                  2. New brunch menu. Not bad. Was so happy to see the pecan cinnamon roll back but it was no where near as fantastic as it used to be. I suppose they had a pastry chef back when they were so great? Very disappointing! Didn't even finish it. Mushy, no crunch, no flake and no pecans!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: justsayn

                                      It's so funny that you mention The Saint today, because I came this close to going this morning. When I went to Stockyards and saw that it was closed, I thought about going to The Saint, but then decided to go to le Gourmand because I wanted to try their creme brule french toast.

                                      1. re: justsayn

                                        Btw, sorry to hear that the pecan cinnamon rolls weren't what you remembered them to be!

                                        1. re: kwass

                                          The doughnut balls were an orange glaze and probably pretty tasty! We should have asked for a switch!

                                          1. re: kwass

                                            It's really too bad because they were incredible .

                                            1. re: justsayn

                                              I remember you saying how good they were. It's always a shame when they change the recipe of something you love or when it doesn't live up to your memories.

                                              You should try the french toast @ le Gourmand though. It was pretty damn good!

                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                  This place looks great! Thanks for the heads up.

                                                  1. re: callitasicit

                                                    Great for dinner too. The brunch food is very well made.

                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                justsayn, have you tried the scone plate, and if so, how was it?

                                                  1. re: justsayn

                                                    That's ok. Just thought I'd ask.

                                          2. I was just on their website, and it seems that they've taken their cinnamon buns off the menu :(


                                            1. Enjoyed a delicious meal at the Saint last week. Every morsel of food was delicious right down to the the bread tray. Service was knowledgeable and pleasant. Loved the decor too.
                                              Sadly for my tastebuds I won't be back. The "music" was so loud our table of four could not hear each other throughout supper. The bass was very heavy, the speakers made it worse. I would love to add this place to my local favourites but I keep good company and we like to converse and have a few laughs over our meals.
                                              If you don't mind really loud bass you will not regret a meal at the Saint. Try the burger!

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: A flock of seagulls

                                                I did have a delicious meal here on Saturday night. It got busy and they kinda fell apart. Forgot 1 appetizer then tried to bring it after the others were already finished. And served my friend a raw burger which he sent back and then they did it again. I took a photo as I was sure he was going to get sick from it. I feel I'll when I notice that pic in my phone so don't want to post it and scare folks away from here. Medium burgers are risky, but medium rare is just cruel and irresponsible. We didn't make a big deal, but they brought us many free drinks to make up for it, bottle of wine too. I will give this place a 'hit and kiss' rating.
                                                I ate the cod w/ cauliflower side.well priced dinner. And did not include gratuity for our large party which I appreciated, but the other server we had was great so we gave a standard toronto tip

                                                1. re: Shakshouka

                                                  FYI, I've had hundreds of medium rare burgers in my lifetime, and I've never once gotten sick from one. I'm not saying they are or are not safe, but "cruel and irresponsible" might be a stretch.

                                                  1. re: Michael N

                                                    I hear you, but perhaps my calling it medium rare was too generous of me...picture posted(or trying to anyway).

                                                    1. re: Shakshouka

                                                      It's pretty tough to discern anything too specific from that photo, unfortunately. Anyway, I'm certainly not defending the restaurant. If you requested your burger cooked to a specific doneness and they got it wrong not once, but twice, that's fairly unforgivable.

                                                      I'm just saying that eating a rare or medium rare hamburger isn't the game of Russian roulette that so many people make it out to be. The odds of getting sick if you're dealing with good quality meat from a reputable source are fairly minimal.