Eastside Social

Last night we finally tried Eastside Social for dinner, after years of living five minutes away from it. There’s also a vague coastal/Maritimes theme we haven’t quite been able to zero in on (e.g., they have a donair once a week) but we heard there’s a nice backyard patio, so we booked us a table.

First of all, in a neighbourhood bereft of good patios, especially backyard patios, this one’s pretty good: cozy, pretty, with a little fireplace. Our experience of it was dampened in part by the loud, barely-drinking-age, diner en blanc happening behind us. One attendee of said party was wearing so much perfume or lotion or whatever that I couldn’t smell anything else all night. Anyway, the vibe threw us.

As for food, it was good-ish, if kinda weird. The wine selection was lacking, to say the least. I have so many comments on both that I’ve had to annotate them below.

  • Cocktails
    • Bourbon Sour 1
    • Dill On Dill
  • Appetizers
    • East Coast Oysters with “all the fixins” 2
    • Grilled Octopus, slow cooked sous vide and grilled w/ parsley, garlic, chili, olive oil, and lemon 3
    • Sauvignon Blanc (Te Henga, NZ)
    • Sancere [sic] style Sauvignon Blanc 4
  • Mains
    • Fried tempura duck leg confit w/ bbq glaze; served with green salad w/ Asian pear, pickled fennel, radish, green bean, candied walnuts, and orange-sesame vinaigrette 5
    • PEI Mussels Marinieres w/ white wine, butter, shallots, garlic, parsley, and chili; served with warm sourdough bread, fries, and aioli
    • Chateau Pesquie 2020 Viognier 6

Notes on the food:

  1. I couldn’t taste the bourbon. Also, I’ve never seen foam last like this on a cocktail. It was still there 30 minutes after I finished drinking the liquid underneath.
  2. By “all the fixins” they meant cocktail sauce and a basic mignonette. No hot sauce. Not even horseradish.
  3. The octopus was very delicious.
  4. It might have been a sancer[r]e style sauv blanc, but the menu contains no other information and I never saw the bottle, so we’ll never know. Also, the NZ sauv blanc was not good. Also also, the only reason we were drinking SB was because the lone sparkling they have by the glass is Prosecco.
  5. The duck was very confusing. The meat was delicious and tender, but the sauce tasted like a hot wing. My brain struggled with it.
  6. A viognier was, admittedly, an odd choice to pair with our mains (though it worked better with my deck than I expected, what with the buffalo wild wing sauce) but it was literally the only decent option. At first we thought about a bottle of chard, but the only one they had was — I shit you not — Barefoot. And not just that: they were charging $65 for a bottle, when it retails for $10 at the LCBO. ($9 until mid-June!) Even for a restaurant, 550% markup is pretty egregious.

So while the meal was decent, if quite puzzling, we couldn’t quite square the final bill of $268 + tip with what we’d just eaten. Not sure we’re going to be rushing back.

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