Amsterdam BrewHouse, Harbourfront, Toronto
If you’re looking for a lakeside brewery and restaurant hotspot check out the Amsterdam BrewHouse. It’s a staggering 14,000-square foot restaurant that seats over 500 guests. So it’s not a place that you particularly need to book ahead. But it does indeed get busy. We indulged in a calorie-heavy lunchtime, building up our reserves for a frantic first day in Toronto. We made good measure of the drinks with a tasting flight, and ordered the lemon chicken schnitzel, buffalo cauliflower and brisket cheese burger. The schnitzel was my favourite here, and also the favourite of the many schnitzels I have entertained. It’s an ultra-crisp coating with sour notes and a good serve of vegetables underneath. The burger and cauliflower were also decent, slightly salty and slightly tangy, in that order. Amsterdam BrewHouse is handy spot with good views on a clear day, so a most worthy drinking hub despite a touristy locale.
The buffalo cauliflower ($12) was our side dish, and it provided a nice alternative to the usual fried options you get in bar-type places. I still got fries though. The cauliflower florets are beer battered and served in a buffalo sauce with a dill house dressing for contrast (and cooling). I’m sometimes a fan of the buffalo sauce, but here it gets just a bit too zesty for my tastes. Joey was a fan. The cauliflower was plenty nice though.
The lemon chicken schnitzel ($19) was the winner for the day, with a house-made “spent grain” breading. The crumb is quite something special. The schnitzel is served atop of a bed of fingerling potatoes, sautéed rapini, grilled lemon and capers. Most of this was eaten right up my friend Joey, and it’s one you’d also be hesitant to share too. The approach of the schnitzel is an indulgent and modern one, which is a welcome departure from the usual (dare I say) bland(er) schnitzels you get in more authentic places. It’s a good sized serve here, though most of Amsterdam BrewHouse is a bit pricey given the location.
My order was the (dare I say, safe) choice of the Ontario beef brisket cheese burger ($14.50) with scallion aioli and pickle. The brisket ending up being more patty-like then anticipated, but it was still an alright burger. The bun is brioche in nature and toasted well, so no sog issues. There’s a decent quantity of meat and the side of fries were also pleasant.
I also felt thematic and went for one of the beer tasting flights. This had four brews, some which are made in the restaurant itself. But I’m no beer snob so can offer no valuable commentary. But food-wise, yeah, Amsterdam BrewHouse is worth checking out.