The Beech Tree in The Beaches

UPDATE: Robert Maxwell is no longer the owner of the Beech Tree. His story “A Restaurant Ruined My Life” in Toronto Life describes how he failed at his dream of restaurant ownership. In 2015, he gave the Beech Tree up to new owners.

There is a real warmth to this Kingston Road restaurant in Toronto’s Upper Beaches. The atmosphere makes you feel like you’re inside a Manhattan bistro in Greenwich Village. It’s one of those spots that feels so good to walk into. The ambience is a combination of casual and elegant without a hint of pretension.

The Beech Tree menu features the best local ingredients with plates putting a modern spin on traditional English country cooking. The menu is complex but not overly complicated. The whey-fed Ontario pork chop with rye dumplings, brussel spouts, celeriac, apple and sage and the quail and sweetbreads prepared sous-vide were savoury and perfectly cooked.

The Ontario fruit crumble with buffalo milk semifreddo and apple fritter was the perfect combination of tart and sweet. The flourless Equadorian chocolate cake is sprinkled with Maldon salt and topped with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraiche. It was the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. This cake, along with the burger, are the only two items that have been on the menu since day one.

A bonus of visiting the Beech Tree during the holiday season is the homemade eggnog, which is prepared with twelve eggs yolks, Maker’s Mark bourbon and Remy XO cognac. The cocktail menu features classics with a twist such as the White Old Fashioned and are prepared with bitters and grenadines that are made in house.

Owner Robert Maxwell has created a cozy, tasty dining experience at this lovely spot. 924 Kingston Rd.

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