The Feasting Room - 6 month pop-up restaurant featuring diff whole beast each week
Read this on BlogTO this morning:
The Feasting Room is now open at 580 College Street. The 6-month "pop-up" takes over the Orbit Room and will feature 6-course nose-to-tail tasting menus focusing on a different beast each week.
If anyone goes please post your experiences. Or if you know more details about who is involved, etc.
We were there last weekend. Food was okay, wine pairing was excellent but the venue was the most strange. They have a big women's washroom with several stalls but the men's bathroom is a little more than a closet with a toilet. On the floor is piles of clothes where the staff have changed into their kitchen uniforms. Very unprofessional. They would be better off just having the one big washroom and closing off the closet.
My wife and I went for the pig menu last week and the food was phenomenal, capped off by one of the best desserts I have ever tasted. It was a Cannoli filled with red bean paste and candied bacon, with bacon toffee. We enjoyed the meal so much we came back this week for the lamb menu. We were served Testicles, heart and lung amongst other cuts, our fav dish was lamb shank and bone marrow stuffed inside a shank bone and served with pommes dauphine poutine. The Sheeps milk curds were a nice touch.
The concept is very interesting and every week is a brand new experience. The table next to us had a customer with a gluten allergy and she seemed extremely happy with what the kitchen was able to make for her at the last minute.
As far as the washrooms go, you obviously used the staff washroom because the washroom I used had a urinal. They also had soap made out of pig fat.
I had the lamb menu last Sunday. Started off with lamb's heart jerky (hoi sin and soy sauce) - ok; breaded fried testicles wtih aioli - not overcooked, went well with the aioli; lamb shank, I think it was braised, sliced with a salad of arugula, capers, green sauce of assorted green herbs with anchovies - tasty, I told them they should have deep fried the capers for extra texture; liver, fava beans, duck fat with grilled bread and cornichons - more liver, less beans but I suppose they were trying to be seasonal and cheeky with the Hannibal reference, yes, served with a Chianti; lung, ground lamb meatball with dessicated and braised kale - good balance of lung; cow marrow with lamb and potato/patachou croquettes - ok, anticipated marrow upon seeing a marrow bone but alas not much marrow, meat was a bit dry, not so tasty, but croquettes were good; kidney "tagine" with three sauces - eggplant with cumin, tzatziki, and aioli; sheep's milk creme brulee with lavender jellies.
Food was $65, $35 for wine pairing. Just be warned, we were a party of 5, they added an 18% tip on top of tax. Added a couple of photos - liver, lung meatball.
Also tried the lamb menu - and were impressed enough to reserve for the upcoming rabbit menu (which starts tonight and goes through to next Monday).
A couple of comments. The menu 'may' change daily - clearly with 4 relatively large legs and two relatively small testicles, (and 1 brain) the quantities of different cuts vary significantly. I had been hoping for lamb sweetbreads (relatively uncommon in Toronto) but it transpired that the sweetbreads had been consumed on a different night. Never thought about lamb's heart (another favourite - which I didn't get). Instead, our first course was lamb belly (lightly breaded and deep fried - totally non-greasy) served with a vinegar and mint sauce - their play on the lassic lamb accompaniment..
Had a similar salad - but included croutons, soaked in olive oil. I also missed a crunch in that dish - the croutons were the same texture as the lamb leg (shank?). So totally agree with texture comment.
A similar lamb liver pate with fava beans puree (and the requisite chianti).
Then we had the testicle dish (so they switched the order) - and seem to have changed it a bit. Ours included a pea puree, carrot, fiddleheads and some lamb bacon.
The lung was 'off' the night we went.
Our marrow dish was 'pulled lamb' and indeed the marrow was only just there. It came (for us) as small granules - rather than having been beaten into a smooth sauce, which is how I last had it (elsewhere - I preferred the granules). Same patachou potatoes - nice technique.
Realy enjoyed the kidney tagine (with apricot and chickpea) - perfectly cooked (served on Israeli couscous). Dips were also good - my favourite was the aioli.
For the future, not sure if it's better to go early in the hope of getting more variety - or wait until the end and get everything that's still left. But did put in a special request to get the rabbit brains next time.
Overall it was a fun evening - the staff are super-helpful and are clearly committed to this
(ad)venture. Cooking was solid, without being exceptional. I loved the approach and felt it was well worth the cost. Wine pairings were interesting - but at a $35 price point that's probably the most one can expect.
Is this a gimmick? Or more serious, over the long term? Not sure - but bottom line is I really enjoyed it and will be back for the rabbit!
We went tonight. Lamb was the protein of choice.
Pastrami, balls, brains, pate, shank, kidney, milk/ricotta. very fun,very neat, and actually, very good.
my suggestion: i'd book nothing later than 7. it flips to Orbit Room bar mode, and then you're stuck listening to the bartenders ramble on out loud about their mundane lives. get out while you can.