Looking Glass, The [closed January 2005]

582 Church Street

Located right on Church right near Wellesley, this gorgeous Victorian home, once owned by the famous Simpson family, is now home to one of the nicest bars/pubs/ in the city. This place has definitely won me over for being one of the best lounges/bars to hang out on a Saturday night in the summer.

With its elegant ambiance , gorgeous Victorian interiors, and its romantic back patio, I did not want to leave.

The Looking Glass, as the name suggests has the theme of Alice in Wonderland with many of their menu items having names like the Mad Hatter Burger, or the White Rabbit breakfast. It is now owned by partners Heather Mackenzie and Debra Hyslop.

Inside the three storey restaurant, it is divided like a house with many little dining areas or lounges. Everything is restored so it’s like stepping into an authentic Victorian home

With antique furniture, old Victorian couches, beautiful, authentic wood moldings, and a working fireplace, it is a great place to bring a date. This place serves high end pub food, or as Daniel puts it “nouveau pub food” or “International cuisine

The large outdoor front patio is nice. It sits about 10-15 tables. The entire restaurants sits about 386 people in total. The back terrace is spectacular (like Allen’s on the Danforth). It is definitely one of the most romantic and best patios in Toronto, beautifully heated with a bonfire, mature trees, and sits about 50-60 people

I ordered the organic greens salad for $5.95. large and tasty with olive oil dressing.
Other people ordered a huge plate of nachos with salsa, sour cream, and guamole. It came fresh, piping hot, and was very large. Daniel ordered the chicken quesadilas and it came with salsa and sour cream. He said they were good

The menu consists of some vegetarian selections (vegetarian stir fry for $11.95, some salads, bruschetta, garlic bread with mozzarella). Staff are flexible so any item prepared can be made vegetarian since everything is “made to order”. Some salads include mixed greens, spinach, caesar, and mediterranean,

Appetizers include the French onion soup, the daily soup, crab cakes, smoked salmon, calamari, mussels, spicy cajun shrimp, bruschetta, garlic bread with mozzarella, chicken satays, and deep fried vegetarian “deep fried” spring rolls in a honey soya sauce, (GROSS)

Light entrees include burgers, nachos, spicy chicken quesadilas with roasted red peppers, cheese, three cheese with salsa and sour cream, and chicken wings

Desserts include the white chocolate cheesecake, creme brulle, cassis poached pear, and a trio of all natural fruit ices

In addition to food, they also serve a large variety of wines, beer, and a large assortment of juices.

Main entrees include the smoked salmon fettucini, capellini bolognese (meat or veggie option), pad thai (meat or veggie option), west indian chicken curry, vegetarian stir fry, osso buco, 10 oz. black angus strip sirloin, grilled chicken with wild mushroom cream sauce, grilled porkchops with sundried cranberry and apple compote, cajun fried catfish with jalpeno tartar sauce, blackened atlantic salmon, and teriyaki marinated seabass

Lastly, they also have weekend brunch. Some items on the brunch menu include the “glass breakfast” (two eggs any style with home fries, toast, bacon or peameal bacon, or sausage , different types of quiche, white rabbits breaklfast (three eggs any style with brie or carmelized onions, or smoked chicken, spinach and swiss cheese, with homefries and greens, french toast, poached eggs, tomato boccocini sandwich, mad hatter burger, the toasted western sandwich, various pastas and soups

Hours of operation are Mon&Tue 5pm -1am; Wed,Thu&Fri 5pm-2am; Sat&Sun 11am-2am . The Looking Glass has live entertainment (live jazz, shows, themed nights with entertainment) and every couple of days there are dinner and drink specials (cheap chow with really cheap drinks and food, $4.99 mussels, ). Check their web site at http://www.thelookingglass.ca for details.

The top level of this three storey Victorian house is their banquet hall. The Looking Glass holds wedding receptions, parties, and other social functions. Their bottom level lounge, known as “The Glass” is one of the only places in the village where you can listen to great music in a relaxed atmosphere. There are couches, working fireplaces, and a laid back, relaxing ambiance.

The Looking Glass also does extensive catering for parties, wedding receptions, and other important events. They offer a variety of “a la carte” items and platters to choose from.
They accept every card under the sun