Bestellen (@BestellenTO), the dream-come-to-life of Chef and owners Rob Rossi and Ryan Sarfeld. Standouts here include their dry-aging room (we’re talking glass panes that you can see into), their burger (made of strip loin, chuck and short ribs) and family-style dishes.
972 College st.
Transit: 63 Ossington south (from Ossington station) OR 506 Carlton west (from Queen’s Park station)
Hours: Everyday 6pm-11pm, Sunday 11am-3pm
A couple of months back, a group of us (#teamburgereaters—yup, we somehow embarked on a journey to explore Toronto’s burger scene) decided to come here for the next stop on our burger quest. That idea quickly got hijacked when we remembered the suckling pig.
We sat just in front of the kitchen, tucked away in the back of the restaurant. Also, can you believe this place used to be a convenient store?!
(**Be warned: photos of expertly carved suckling pig ahead.)
The suckling pig is six weeks old. Roasted for 4 hours (basted every 15 min), the promise of a good caveman-like meal lay just ahead of us.
As mentioned on the post’s cover photo, for $59 per person you get the suckling pig, sides, and fixings! To start: salad. Butter lettuce, radicchio, pea shoots, butternut squash and prosciutto. There were pecans in there as well but I’m deathly allergic to them to they made an individual salad for me. Thanks! :D
Then came these deep-fried risotto balls, better known as arancini. No complaints here, just a solid start to the (huge) meal.
When things started to arrive, they did so in quick succession. Soon, we amassed an impressive spread of all kinds of sides. Can we eat yet?!
The roasted butternut squash was an instant hit amongst us all.
These pull-apart little brioche buns were to die for. If you’ve had their burger then you know what I’m talking about. Think of those amazing buns…but fresh out of the oven. Pillowy, eggy, and impossible to resist, I could’ve easily hoarded that dish (and not felt remorse….).
But there was so much more to be had! Like these dandelion greens,
And these lentils, which were exceptionally well prepared. What was it? Pork fat? Meat? At the end of the meal, when doggy-bags were necessitated, I found myself fingers crossed, hoping that I picked up the one which had lentils inside. Yeah, that good.
*drum roll* The time has come, to finally eat, sorry, Roberta!! Yeah, this was her name as our server told us. Well, thanks for sacrificing your delicious self for the sustenance of eight people (over a couple of days). *Cue Asian food bloggers swarming around food to snap photos.* ;D
We were told that the meat would be so tender that it’d practically fall off the bone at the slight tug with the tongs. That wasn’t exactly the case. The most anticipated part of the pig was the most disappointing. The skin wasn’t crispy!!!! That’s rule #1 for suckling pig. #1. Crispy skin. #2. Succulent meat.
Dessert was pecan pie. One of these days, curiosity will overcome reason and I’ll try something with pecan in it and I’ll have to pull out my epipen. Don’t worry!! No one’s successfully convinced me of my being pecan-deprived as tragic yet so I don’t mind staying away from them.
Especially tonight because the dessert substitution I received was carrot cake with toffee sauce and cream cheese topping! Oh yeah, that really hit the spot.
As mentioned in my post about my first visit to Bestellen, love the business card-ticket stub idea. So simple and fun!
The dry-aging room/meat locker lit up in all its glory.
Verdict: It was undisputable that by the end of the meal, you could roll us out of the restaurant. The amount of food we consumed was beyond glutinous not to mention how solid all the sides were. However, the main attraction, the suckling pig fell short. The skin MUST be crispy. Had they torched it a bit longer after taking it out of the oven, it all would’ve came together. Pricey, around $80 pp (after tax and 18% gratuity), I wouldn’t do a repeat but I’d easily come back for à la carte dinner and brunch.
Check ‘em out! http://bestellen.ca/
3.5 out of 5 NOMs