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Review: Crush Wine Bar, Toronto


In the entire “history of life,” people have not often celebrated overeating as a milestone. But good lord in less than three years I have now profiled over 500 restaurants in Ontario since moving to Toronto. I don’t even want to think about how many calories were consumed, spoons and forks stuffed into my face.

I figured I should commemorate my 500th Toronto restaurant experience on the blog so I can look back at it when I’m celebrating my 1000th. I’ll leave it up to you (the good people of the internet) to ensure I don’t balloon. So, please do bitch at me to keep up the swimming and biking across the city, it keeps my figure as slim as possible considering my daily “workplace hazards.”

It was a hot as hell summer evening when I locked my bike on the curb at King and Spadina and pulled open the doors to Crush Wine Bar. An AC induced breeze hit my face and helped my heartbeat calm and cool. I was quickly whisked past the restaurants bar and into a comfy seat in their dining room. The restaurant was recently purchased by the Vintage Hotel Group who own several fantastic concepts in Niagara which I have visited over the years. Favourite experiences include Afternoon Tea at The Prince of Wales and brunch at The Queens Landing.

Crush is located in the heart of King West Village. The restaurant and wine bar finds its home in a historic, five-storey, brick-and-beam building which was constructed in 1901 and used as a textile factory. The building was restored and renovated in 2000. Crush has been spilling wine into the glasses of eager oenophiles in Toronto for over 8 years now.

I was joined at the table by three of my close friends, all of who appreciate a party focussed on good food and drink. Jonathan, Erica, Steph and I started off the evening with a sampling of Manhattan’s and a duo of refreshing summer cocktails and then spent the next two hours nibbling through Executive Chef Trista Sheen’s signature dishes.

Savoury highlights of my 500th Toronto feast included memorable cheese and charcuterie boards, creamy burrata paired with tart compressed rhubarb, crispy zucchini and wild leek fritters with chimichurri and a grilled pork chop with green garlic spaetzle and crispy pig ear. We of course ensured a sweet finish for our Crush marathon, two of these desserts were ridiculously addictive. The Peach Coffee Cake with ginger blueberry sauce was a perfect tip of the hat to summer flavours while the Peanut Butter Chocolate bomb reminded me so much of why I love my job. I regularly find myself loitering in decadence and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Special thanks to the team at Crush for hosting us as their guests.

The 500th Feast:

House Manhattan Flight

four roses bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters by Carroll + Co

House Gin and Tonic

beefeater, lime, tonic syrup by Carroll + Co, soda

Raspberry Mint Lemonade

absolut vodka, muddle mint and raspberries, lemon, simple syrup, raspberry liqueur, soda

Crush Charcuterie and Cheese Boards

selection of ‘dolce lucano’ cured meats, terrine, pate, cheese, preserves

Ontario Burrata

compressed rhubarb, fava beans, watercress, pistachio crumble

Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast

swiss chard slaw, cassis reduction

Zucchini and Wild Leek Fritters

queso fresco, chimichurri

Jerked Hen

mustard greens, poached dumplings, spicy corn cream, plantain chip

Ontario Lamb Saddle

100km bean succotash, goat yogurt

Grilled Pork Chop

green garlic spaetzle, crispy pig ear salad

Goat Cheese and Eggplant Pierogies

house-made chilli sauce, pickled eggplant, basil

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Bomb

crispy wafer, peanut brittle, banana chips

Peach Coffee Cake

ginger blueberry sauce, lemon ice cream

Daily Donut Showdown + Crush ‘Quik”

#500 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010!!!

Crush Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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