TORONTO — Avling Kitchen & Brewery has opened on Queen Street East in Toronto.
The new establishment takes its name from the Norwegian word for crop or harvest and aims to create exceptional and experimental beer and food rooted in Canadian flavours and locally farmed ingredients.
The concept’s founder, Max Meighen, took inspiration from “the way chefs from the Nordic region have turned a cuisine that was previously mocked for being bland — even unpalatable — into something dynamic and delicious, while being almost dogmatically local in their sourcing.”
The 5,700-sq.-ft. space houses a brewery in the basement and restaurant on the main floor led by head brewer, Brandon Judd and executive chef Suzanne Barr. A rooftop garden will provide the kitchen a variety of vegetables, including heirloom varieties also from Dan Barber’s Row 7 Seed Company. The restaurant also boasts an in-house butcher program headed up by Sam Campbell, providing charcuterie and housemade cheese.
“Our plan to source responsibly is one of our core values in procurement for the kitchen and rooftop garden,” says Barr. “We want to offer approachable meals that showcase our techniques and simply help the raw ingredient shine in its own right.”
The team aims to offer a balanced menu that includes vegetarian and gluten-free options. Signature dishes include the Butcher’s Burger made with house-ground beef and buns from Brodflour — a new organic mill and bakery in Liberty Village; and the Puffed Grain Salad, which showcases Ontario grains and wild rice.
The opening beverage line-up will feature two of Avling’s core range beers (an IPA and a Saison), as well as two seasonal beers — Esperta (a hoppy Belgian ale) and Galette (a buckwheat and lemon-thyme saison). A pilsner (available in the coming weeks) and Baltic porter (coming this fall) will round out Avling’s core range.
Several initiatives are also in the works, including a fuller roster of brews, a retail store and other community projects related to the brewery and the rooftop garden.