In late 2015, The Keg Steakhouse opened at Sherway Gardens shopping mall, in Toronto’s west end. It’s a snazzy space, highlighted on one side by a spacious, high-ceilinged lounge and bar, outfitted with a fireplace and tastefully chosen modern art, and on the opposite side by a series of intimate dining rooms.
Early on a Wednesday evening, there’s a waiting list for dining room tables; evidently, Sherway is a terrific fit for The Keg.
And why not? The restaurant delivers good value-for-dollar. Escargot-stuffed mushroom caps, buttery and scented with garlic and herbs, are irresistible. Black beans, charred corn, cremini mushrooms and avocado adorn California greens, the whole topped with pine nuts and a restrained mango sesame dressing.
But this night is all about the steaks, and The Keg doesn’t disappoint. A 10 oz. filet mignon, cooked perfectly medium rare as ordered, is exceptionally tender. The 20 oz. rib steak carries a good char and deep mineral tang.
Turns out The Keg also excels at fish. Case in point: tuna seared rare and laid atop a bed of cabbage slaw given an Asian twist with soy sesame vinaigrette.
Sides run to bacon-sauteed Brussels sprouts, and earthy braised mushrooms showered in shaved parmesan.
To finish, there’s the signature Billy Miner Pie, a heavenly construction of mocha ice cream, crushed chocolate cookies, hot fudge, caramel and almonds. A sophisticated bing-cherry topping kicks up creamy, rich cheesecake.
Group options include the dining room, which seats 140 people; the lounge, seating 129; and an elevated semi-private area in the lounge, which seats 15. A heated rooftop terrace, scheduled to open in spring, will seat 140.
— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 25 years and, during that time, has critiqued almost 1,000 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.