Local Company Restaurant, 511 Danforth Ave., Toronto, 416-465-5522

Living in King West Toronto, I will admittedly say that I don’t get to the east side of our city often, so imagine my pleasant surprise, when I travelled to the Danforth, an area in Toronto known for it’s Greek cuisine, in search of a restaurant I have not yet dined at.  My walk and will settled on a place called Local Company.  Truth be told, it was a hot Saturday afternoon, and Local Co’s patio looked as though it could fit a lazy afternoon where relaxation, food and fortified grapes were all I had in mind.

Though this restaurant opened in 2008, it would not have been one that would have been on my radar, given its more modern feel (especially after their recent renovations), and the Danforth, being known for exceptional Mediterranean food, has traditionally been lined with more relevantly classic looking establishments.

Nonetheless, Local Co.’s chic, loftlike and spacious appearance is what you’ll notice first about the restaurant.  Then, once you’ve fully entered the resto, you can’t help but notice the impressive bar layout.  The restaurant serves dinner on the patio, front of the restaurant interior and then again in their upper floor loft area, leaving the midsection of the restaurant to act as a lounge of sorts, with spacious and comfy couches and nicely coiffed tables to match. After a full once-over of the place, my dining partner and I then headed back to the patio to get settled in for a meal.  Local Co. is known for their sharing plates style, and as a result, we shared the mixed greens salad ($7.49), a lovely grilled octopus ($14.99), and the mushroom risoto ($17.49).  We, of course, also chose a refreshing bottle of Sernissima Pinot Grigio ($42.00) to join us on our food fare and lazy patio theme.   Though we found a suitable wine, I will warn you that this restaurants wines by the glass list leaves a bit to be desired, but that could be because of their cocktails.  As usual, when I dine somewhere for the first time, I always ask the mixologist to make me either their best made cocktail (on or off the menu) or one of my staple drinks, such as a Manhattan.  In the case of Local Co.’s Antonio, who we later came to find out was a mixologist/server and very talented at both, he chose to make me a Blood Orange Manhattan, where though the ingredients were simple enough (Makers Mark, Grand Marnier, blood orange juice), his component measurements were fantastic.

In all, we were satisfied with the appearance, food, cocktails and staff at Local Company.  Though it won’t fall on my list of places to go when looking for exceptional wine in the city, if I am ever on the Danforth during that hot summer day, Local Co. and it’s grilled octopus, coupled with that Blood Orange Manhattan, will be on my list of things to do.