By Lory Diaz
Kelly’s Landing is officially open! I’m excited about the Landing Group’s 123 Front Street West location, because the south-west corner of Front and York is in the middle of it all! Located just a few steps from Union station and the Air Canada Centre, it makes an ideal venue for dinner or brunch for anyone visiting Toronto or for a round of post-game drinks.
Torontonicity was recently invited to attend the official opening of Kelly’s Landing and I was treated to a Dos Equis tasting session led by Tara of the Beer Sisters. I was instructed to chew a jellybean first with my nose plugged, and then unplug halfway through eating it. I went from simply tasting “sweet” to discovering that I was enjoying a cinnamon jellybean! This was meant to demonstrate how important our olfactory sense is to our tasting experience, and how beer should be consumed the same way wine is: by fully taking in the notes and flavours to appreciate each glass.
Kelly’s Landing participates in the Beyond The Beer program: every bottle of Dos Equis sold makes a $0.50 donation to the University Health Network, and supports hospitals like Toronto’s Mount Sinai. This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to an important cause, so stay thirsty.
I was also invited to mix my own Landing Cure Caesar: classic Caesar garnished with lobster tail, pickled string beans, carrots, celery, cherry tomato, olives, jalapeno, cheese, and a whole pizza slice. This drink will absolutely bring you back to life after a long night, so keep it in mind for next time you wake up feeling groggy.
If Caesars really aren’t your favourite brunch drink, try the Honey Smash: Absolut Vodka, strawberries, raspberries, mint, lemon, and a drizzle of honey. This is an ideal cocktail for anyone who prefers fruitier and delicate flavours. The mint adds a nice burst of freshness too!
After the drinks, I was hungry, so I grabbed a sample of their slider duos: turkey-apple and classic beef. I’m personally a fan of the turkey because the apple adds a nice sweetness that complements the milk bun. You can’t go wrong with a classic juicy cheeseburger though!
Kelly’s Landing has a few vegetarian and vegan options too! The Righteous Greens consists of brown barley, kale, roasted yams, chilies, lime ginger sauce, cashews, avocado, chia seeds, and agave. A safe bet if you have to order for a veggie-friendly guest.
If you’re looking for a hearty vegan dish with more robust flavours try the Beluga Lentil Bolognese. This dish pairs pappardelle noodles, soy-cheese, and tomato sauce with beluga (whole bean, instead of just the interior) lentils. This is a filling dish with generous portions, and I absolutely recommend it.
Another classic shareable: nachos! Heavy on the melted cheese, and a perfect for a group of hungry friends!
Craving comfort food? Try the Mac and Cheese with bacon and caramelized onion. The onions add a sweetness that counters the saltier bacon flavour, and leaves you wanting more!
Another fantastic menu item is the steak and tomato salad: grilled flat iron, heirloom tomatoes, Chimichurri, fried artichokes, goat cheese, and blueberry mignonette. The surprising stars of the dish are the fried artichokes and Chimichurri sauce, with the goat cheese feeling like an unnecessary extra. If you want a creamy note, absolutely keep the chèvre, but for sunny lunches or warmer evening dinners, enjoy the bursts of blueberry and tomato without it. This will leave you satiated and happy, instead of lethargic and full. Highly recommended!
I’m moving away from chicken dishes, but Kelly’s Landing has a Curried Moroccan Chicken that is undeniably delicious! North African spices, fragrant Basmati rice, almonds, apricots, crema, and flatbread are used to create a heartwarming dish reminiscent of a home-cooked meal.
If all of those menu items didn’t intrigue you enough to visit Kelly’s Landing, just consider it for your next group outing. The location is spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows that expand the patio, and their sun-windows open up to create a completely open air dining area. They also have flat screen tvs lining the bar, to ensure that no sporting event goes unseen. This incognito sports bar will be packed for the next Toronto franchise game, so make sure to grab a table nice and early, and I’ll see you there!