Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill 33 Yonge St. Toronto, ON 647-260-2070 Perfect For: After-work Drinks, Brunch, Lunch, Date Night, Patio
For the longest time, the coveted corner of Yonge and Front has been occupied by Shopsy’s – the restaurant that I’ve been to a few times, and which left absolutely no impression on this rookie foodie. So when I found out that its days were numbered, there was no sadness on my part – on the contrary, I was super excited to hear that Oliver & Bonacini was coming to take Shopsy’s place!
Yes, O&B is a franchise, and yes, it’s not a cozy mom and pop shop, but it doesn’t mean that it lacks personality - though it did seem like that at a first glance. The restaurant is huge. There are a few dining rooms, stylishly appointed – a far cry from its previous occupant – its minimalistic design is pleasing to the eye, and the huge patio is a godsend on hot summer nights, and for the after-office-hours crowd.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by for a quick Sunday afternoon bite without my camera, and last week I came back for brunch (pics below) with le boyfriend and his mom. On my first visit, I went for my staple brunch fare – eggs with bacon and toast ($12.95)…and it was, as expected, great – runny egg yolk and crispy bacon - YUM! Le boyfriend tried their Grilled Chicken Panini with Gazpacho ($13.25) and both were delicious! I am a big fan of the chilled Spanish soup, and I found it very flavourful and refreshing – with chunks of avocado and just the right amount of spiciness.
On our second visit, I opted for a dish that I usually don’t tend to order – Eggs Benedict ($13.50), which came served on scrumptious cheddar scones and covered in hollandaise. I’m not a huge fan of potatoes in the morning, but le boyfriend sure did help himself to the well-seasoned home fries on my plate. It’s ok, because his Poached Eggs ($13.95) didn’t have potatoes, but came with some polenta and veggies. Not a huge fan of polenta, I didn’t try his dish, and it wasn’t le boyfriend’s favorite either. But I guess, it’s a matter of preference.
Last, but not least, le boyfriend’s mom went with Savory Smoked Ham Crepe ($14.95), which she definitely enjoyed, and which also looked like the healthiest dish on our table.
The service was amazing. Our server was extremely accommodating and attentive, refilling our coffees even after we were done eating, and were waiting for the rain to stop. Wish more places treated their customers this way – it definitely made me want to come back again.
Overall, the proximity to my office will absolutely make O&B my new favorite after-work dinner place, and with a great menu, fantastic service, and fun decor, it surely is a great addition to the area. And judging by the daily crowds on the patio – I’m not the only one to think so.
Photo Credits: Top image – Oliver & Bonacini, all others Style Blog