401 Bay Street
In her opinion:
I love Sunday brunch. It's one of those little luxury that I truly enjoy. So given an opportunity to have brunch at one of Oliver and Bonacini's newest restaurants, I'm super excited. I only wish that our region had more places like this!
We went in without a reservation and there was no problem seating us right away. I ordered a "Mighty Canuck" which consisted of Polar Ice Vodka, maple lemonade, maple syrup and a sugar rim to start.
This was outstanding. I am a lover of vodka and lemonade and when you add a truly Canadian touch of maple syrup, it goes to a whole new level. A very nice brunch drink!
We ordered the Bannock Box for our super picky child. This consisted of "garlic and herb bannock and an assortment of O&B artisan breads". It was served with a romano bean and soy spread.
This was a little too gourmet for Ethan and we ended up having to ask for regular butter. This was a very generous portion and we ended up sharing with a homeless person on our way home. They also appreciated O&B's breads.
For my main, I ordered "Brisket and Boiled". This consisted of corned brisket hash, soft boiled eggs and smoky tomato catsup.
I really enjoyed my main. The hash was full of flavour and absolutely delectable. The eggs were cooked to perfection. It came with a piece of bannock and it was just perfect. I thought the catsup was excellent. Overall, a very delicious main.
I was much to full for dessert but I know for a fact that they have an excellent selection. I would recommend Bannock to anyone who loves truly Canadian comfort!
In his opinion:
When a new restaurant is named after a traditional Scottish flatbread, one would expect the food/theme to follow suit. Well, in this case it actually refers to the indigenous adaptation of that bread so, some of its appeal has to feel "native". Let's not forget that this is the newest jewel from Oliver & Bonacini's restaurant empire so, chic meets homely was more like the final result. The food is Rustic Canadian "Canadian comfort food" actually, served in a relaxed, cozy atmosphere and the location couldn't be better.
I have had very few, if any bad experiences at any O&B's restaurants and a preview glance at Bannock's menu online made me realize that was not about to change. The menu has traditional Canadian dishes such as poutine, boiled dinner, Ontario venison and fried bologna and eggs.
We actually went for Sunday Brunch this time so the options are different but equally appetizing. The menu reads with brunch and lunch specialties and is topped off with choices of fresh pressed apple cider or maple lemonade just to name a few of the very enticing drinks.
One look at the menu and one item popped up right at me, as if it was talking its way into my stomach. It seemed that it really spoke my language and resembled love at first sight, and later on at first bite. I'm talking about none other than Roast Duck Poutine Pizza. Yes, you read it right...it does not get better than this as far as combination is concerned.
When it came to the table, it looked as good as it sounded. Flat bread style pizza with shredded duck confit, semi-melted cheese curds over freshly cut fries and topped with beefy gravy. I nearly had a foodgasm as it tasted even better than it looked. It is a home run dish for anyone that loves those combined toppings.
The pizza was a good size and very filling so I got to bring home half of it. It surprisingly tasted very well that evening just with an oven warm up.
I would like to point out the obvious that the "gym crowd" might not be the regulars at this place but they should at least try it on one of their "treat" days. The food is heavy, portions are big and calories need no counting at this establishment.
The Good: Great location, very nicely decorated and caters to the crowd that appreciates good food. Food portions are good and menus are very thoughtfully created.
The Bad: Given it's location, hard to find seats sometimes and service can get chaotic.
The Verdict: A very nice addition the the O&B family, creating Canadian flare for the downtown crowd. I still need to go and have lunch or dinner to experience the rest of the menus but thumbs up for the brunch one.
I give it a 3 out of 5 olives as rating.