The end of the term is coming up, so one of the committees I sit on at work had a final meeting/lunch to celebrate. So it was decided that we would all meet at Hemingway's up in Yorkville. Hemingway's was a place I had heard good things about years ago when I first lived in Toronto, but never made it there. So I was happy to hear this was our destination.
Here's what I know: Hemingway's is a New Zealand pub in Toronto. I don't know anything else. The website doesn't have an "About" section. And while there is the New Zealand Flag and other national iconography , I was hoping they might have something of my favourite Kiwi's, Flight of the Conchords, but they didn't.
Hemingway's is a big establishment in yuppie Yorkville; Multi-levels, lots of seating and several patios (something scarce in Toronto). I took a picture, but it turned out Google Street view took a better one. There is even a strange virtual picture on their website.
While it was a relatively sunny day outside, it was pretty cold so we sat inside. We all started to arrive around noon, but the place seemed pretty quite. By the time we left though the place had certainly picked up.
Our party sat in the back section of what I assume is the main dining room. It's hard to tell because there are side areas and an upstairs - they could seat quite a few people I imagine. In the back it was dark, with some choice lighting, dark wood accents with a feeling of an upscale pub.
About ten of us were sitting for lunch, going over the menu. Although we were informed that we would have a group bill with added gratuity (pretty common for groups) but by the time our bill came, Karonlina our waitress brought us individual cheques, which was great. People ordered various dishes from sandwiches, salads, burgers and chicken fingers, all of which I think was generally enjoyed.
I actually wasn't expecting wings, but then there they were on the menu. I actually debated getting the burger or club sandwiches . . . but c'mon, of course I got wings. Actually discussion of Lord of the Wings Blog was brought up many times by others, with people telling me about places they have been and others questioning what I do here. It was pretty cool.
Before getting into the details of the wings, the platter came out and on it was fries, which is always a nice accompaniment. These were classic cut fries that were crispy and tossed in seasoning. They were good.
There was also a tasty ranch dip with them. There were no veggies, and I generally don't dip my wings, so I dipped my fries in these.
The wings come in orders of 1 or 2 pounds, with about 7 wings to a pound.
The wings came out naked and seasoned, with the sauce on the side.
Size wise, these wings were about a medium sized wing. In terms of it's meatiness, it was about a medium as well. While these were not impressive wings in length, they were nice and crispy. The chicken was tasty enough on its own. With the sauce on the side they clearly don't come out saucy, but the wings stayed very crispy.
I wanted to try both Hot and BBQ, so maybe they don't normally come out in cups.
Hot was just straight Frank's Red Hot. I don't have anything else to say. About it.
It looks pretty good though eh?
The BBQ was both sweet and savoury. Not smokey, it did have some good levels of flavour.
Doesn't it look nice and thick on the drummette?
THE SCORE: I liked Hemingway's. A little pricey in my opinion (no free refills on pop?! $11 for 7 chicken wings?!) but a great atmosphere. The patio looks great. The other food that the others were having looked good too. My wings were crispy and seasoned well on their own. The hot was simple Frank's, but the BBQ seemed to have more depth than commercial sauce. It was good, but next time I would try one of the other dishes. 5.5/10
Hemingway's: Patio - Bar - Restaurant
142 Cumberland Street, Toronto ON