East Thirty Six (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 36 Wellington Street East
Website: http://eastthirtysix.com/home
Type of Meal: Dinner



To clarify, East Thirty Six is not affiliated with Lucien or the Oyster Bar which previously resided at the space. The menu and ownership is completely new. Indeed, when you walk inside, the dining room has been updated with a large illuminated bar and more size appropriate furniture. It actually feels airy and spacious compared to the former supper club.

The large bar works well as East Thirty Six wants to be known as a place for cocktails. For the after work crowd, on weekdays from 4-7 there are happy hour specials - $5 for a Mill Street beer or mixed drink and $8 for a martini. Alas, despite a tall refreshing looking cocktail being displayed on the happy hour menu, there are no deals for these. However, their martinis are a nice substitute, my French martini was deliciously made with vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice.


Drinking the night away could get messy without food, so two friends and I opted to share several of their offerings. The bone marrow ($16) was our favourite. It was well-done, smooth and even had some excess oil for dipping. Some may find it overcooked but I personally prefer marrow cooked through so there's no bloody pieces. Flavoured with an herb mixture and salt it was great to spread across the grilled bread. On the side, a dish of smooth chicken liver parfait to include a slightly sweet element to everything.



The smoked sweetbreads ($15) was another great find. Tender pieces of battered sweetbreads were cut into nuggets and deep fried crispy. On the side a great smoky and vibrant poblano and romesco sauce that went well with the neutral sweetbreads. On the bottom a simple slaw with some pistachio mixed throughout. A great easy to share plate for large groups.

 

Generally, we found their larger "mains" were good but the small plates which arrived earlier were better. Overall, the mains had great flavours and were artfully composed but, with the exception of duck confit, were a tad overdone. The shortrib ($21) needed a jus drizzled over top to give it more moisture as we found it dry for a shortrib. The accompanying spicy potato, arugula pistou (similar to pesto made with garlic, olive oil and arugula), sweet corn and turnips were nice and gave the dish an Argentinian flare.


The Berkshire pork belly ($20) was beautifully presented with a ricotta salata (a salty ricotta cheese which has been pressed and dried) topped fried egg. I thoroughly enjoyed the crispy pan fried gnocchi and broccoli sides, which with the egg were the dish highlights. The pork belly, while nicely flavoured, was tough to cut through. The skin could be thinner or rendered more as it was a bit chewy. Perhaps even just blow torching the top prior to serving would help to crisp up the skin.


One of my favourite dishes is duck confit ($23)… but it does mean I've had many versions of it throughout my lifetime. East Thirty Six's was decent and delicious - the duck tender, hot and flavourful. The sous-vide cooked duck egg was a great touch, adding a silky, creamy sauce over the pecorino semolina "grits". On the side were plump maitake or hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. Overall, the best of the three meaty dishes, in my opinion.


Our fellow diners also ordered a variety of dishes. Some of the interesting ones I snapped pictures are below. The octopus ($23) looked great and was served with smoked potatoes, a creamy tonnato sauce, olives and red mustard.


The cauliflower ($8) could be a great side with the meaty dishes with it slightly toasted and flavoured with capers, preserved lemon, brown butter, hazelnut and parsley.



I welcome East Thirty Six to the neighbourhood. They take reservations, service was great and there’s plenty on the menu to meet all desires. And of course their happy hour menu doesn’t hurt as well.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog

____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

East Thirty-Six on Urbanspoon