On a recent Saturday night, we chose The Keg Mansion to celebrate a family member’s birthday. Although the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, we were advised that if we arrived by 5:15 p.m., we wouldn’t have trouble getting a table. We arrived slightly later at 5:35 p.m. and were overwhelmed by the crowd already inside. We were told that it would take 30 minutes and up for a table. We were shocked that this Toronto restaurant was absolutely jumping at such an early hour on a Saturday night. Yes, it was Grey Cup weekend and perhaps out-of-towners were flocking to The Keg based on the chain’s name recognition. It’s also possible that people attending the Leafs vs. Capitals were looking for an early dinner before the game. But beyond that, we were stumped why this restaurant was already so busy. So if you plan to visit the Keg Mansion during the holidays, be forewarned.
Although it was not yet December, we were pleased to see that the Keg Mansion was decorated for the holidays. The decor provided some added charm to a historic building that was once owned by the powerful Massey family.
We were seated after 30 minutes in the cozy north front room. This room features a fireplace, burgundy-papered walls and a candle chandelier. We noticed that many guests were casually dressed, with some in jeans.
Our server immediately greeted us, asked if it was a special occasion, and took our drinks order. We ordered two glasses of Jacob’s Creek Shiraz & Cabernet ($7.50 per 6 oz. glass) and a beer. We were then given a few minutes to peruse the menu, but it didn’t take us long to figure out that we all wanted steaks. If you order steak on its own, it is served with one side including garlic mashed potatoes, Keg fries, baked potato, double-baked potato, Asiago rice or sauteed vegetables. If you order the Keg Classic steaks (which cost $8 more than ordering the steak on its own), they are served with your choice of salad, your choice of potato or rice, sauteed mushrooms and vegetables. We all opted to order from the Keg Classics menu.
While we were waiting for our appetizers, our server brought us some hot bread with whipped butter…yes!
We all chose the Caesar salad to start and it turned out to be a great choice. The salad tasted like it had been picked fresh from the garden (I know…impossible in this climate!) The dressing was a pleasing combination of cheesiness and tartness. Five star!
Our four mains were delivered at the same time on piping-hot dishes. Two of us ordered the Keg Classics Top Sirloin (8 oz.), $34, while another in our party ordered the Keg Classics Teriyaki Sirloin (8 oz.), $35. The steaks were cooked to order, with a pepper-garlic seasoning. We could have ordered sauces on the side for an additional $2, but we chose not to and as it turned out, the sauces weren’t necessary. These steaks taste so great, they don’t need any embellishment. My garlic mashed potato side was smooth with just enough garlic…delicious. We all agreed that the vegetables were perfectly cooked.
The man in our party ordered the Keg Classics New York Striploin (12 oz.), $42. Being a marathon runner, he had no trouble finishing this steak.
When we had finished our meals, our server came over with a huge slice of Billy Miner Pie with a candle and four forks. The pie was complimentary because we had told her we were celebrating a birthday. What a nice surprise!
The Billy Miner Pie is made from mocha ice cream with a chocolate crust, hot fudge caramel and almonds. If you have room for dessert, I highly recommend ordering this specialty. It’s not as filling as it sounds!
We all loved our dining experience at The Keg Mansion. The restaurant rated extremely high in our books on service, food quality, value and ambiance. The Keg Mansion would be a great choice for holiday parties…just make sure you get there early if you don’t want to wait for a table.