I'd been pretty keen to check out Union since discovering that nearby butcher shop Côte de Boeuf is run by the same owners. With the promise of fresh, local ingredients; farm-to-table food philosophy; and a menu that changes daily it's hard to believe I waited this long to book my reservation. This trip had us nibbling on just a few snacks, but I will definitely be coming back for more.
We kicked things off with a classic Negroni. I'm not usually a big fan of anything with gin, but this drink was the perfect balance of bitters, sweetness, and booze.
First came the oysters. The thing about oysters is that they usually say more about where they were harvested than where you're eating them; but, at Union, the homemade mignonette and hot sauce garnishes are to die for. There's something about that particular mignonette that make the oysters explode with flavour.
Next we ordered the charcuterie board and figured we might split a main course afterwards. But then the charcuterie arrived and turned out to be a whole meal all on its own. It came with a whole basket of fresh bread, three different cured meats, a lovely serving of steak tartare, and two amazing smoked meat sandwiches. Those sandwiches were seriously phenomenal. And any charcuterie board that comes with steak tartare gets a gold star in my books. Seriously, this platter went above and beyond what I expect from charcuterie. Hands down the best charcuterie plate I've had in this city to date.
We were so full after all those appetizers that we couldn't bring ourselves to order a whole main course. We probably should have stopped ordering and called it a day, but we'd heard wonderful things about the elk sliders. And come on, where else are you going to get elk in downtown Toronto? Even though we were way too full at the end of our meal, these sliders were totally worth it. The meat is delicate and tender, cooked medium rare, garnished with cornichons, and floating gently on top of some more of their amazing bread. Bread like this makes me want to eat nothing but homemade loaves for the rest of my life.
If you're looking for a flavours that pop and a menu that's highlights the day's freshest ingredients, then Union should be next on your list.