People have been raving about Rose and Sons for months and everytime I hear about Chef Anthony’s gratuitous brunch I try to remind myself to set an alarm for Saturday morning and hustle on over. While I’ve failed at weekend early rising thus far, I recently had the perfect opportunity on a warm summer eve to check out Anthony’s new Ontario Cottage Country BBQ concept, Big Crow which sits directly behind Rose and Sons.
It’s hard not to immediately fall in love with the vision: a celebration of Algonquin Park canoe trips, cooking over an open fire and joining friends and family at the table outdoors for a proper Canadian feast. On a hot summer eve the space is open concept, a perfect spot to enjoy the sun and midday breeze. The hustle and bustle of a nearby train shooting across the tracks behind the restaurant entertain and remind us that we are practically sitting in the woods.
The bar has been carved out of a metal storage container which welcomes guests as they arrive. The Bohemian Cooler cocktail is addictive and should be purchased not as a glass but jug to be shared with a party of one. A perfect combination of sharp ginger beer, floral elderflower and punchy rye. I stood sipping on my cocktail while surveying the dining space. Out back two cooks tend a smokey BBQ while diners sit at communal picnic style tables with Hudson Bay Co water jugs for thirst quenching. The structure is made of wooden beams and features electric shades which cover up the space in case of rain. In the winter Big Crow will be a lot more intimate and I envision somewhat of a cottage in the woods sort of vibe.
The food here is classic BBQ where guests add a side dish or two to their plate to make their own feast. The baby backs look fantastic but on my first visit I opted to share Miami beef ribs slathered in tzatziki, grilled rabbit covered in spicy honey butter and a grilled corn salad with queso fresco and chili mayo. Each dish is served up by the cities favourite bread by Chef Thuet.
Congrats to the team at Rose and Sons for launching such a Canadian culinary gem. I arrived the first week it opened and those who walked in off the street were advised of a 90 minute wait. This place is going to be popular 24/7 so do yourself a favour and make a reservation.
Special thanks to the team at Big Crow for hosting me as their guest.
Sips and Nibbles:
Root Beer and Bourbon
4 roses, coster’s blackstrip bitters
ginger beer, elderflower, rye
tzatziki and thuet bread
Pieces of Rabbit
honey butter hot sauce and thuet bread
Grilled Corn Salad
queso fresco, chili mayo
#507 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.