Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Williams Landing: In the Heart of Liberty Village

Williams Landing is one of the newest additions to Liberty Village in the heart of the flourishing King West neighbourhood, stomping ground for many sexy new storefront businesses, film and television production companies and a growing residential community settling into the area's new condos and factory lofts. Behind the restaurant and bar are the owners of the Financial District’s South of Temperance and Leslieville’s Joy Bistro, and already, they seem to 
have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves.

William Landing's impressive four-sided indoor/outdoor bar

The focal point of Williams Landing is unquestionably its sleek second-floor patio with great views of the city, and its impressive four-sided bar that blends the spectacular indoor and outdoor space, perfect for open-air summer events and promotional theme-nights. At 5,000-square feet, it’s a sizeable restaurant, seating around 400 plus the terrace, which is where it all happens in the heat of the summer. "Williams Landing is meant to be a new hub for the neighbourhood, a locale that will hopefully become a community fixture". Judging by the popularity of the place during their Grand Opening this past summer, they're on the right track.

Williams Landing bustling Grand Opening - July 2012

The second floor perch of William Landing

The decor is by Toronto firm McMillan Design, one of the big design firms operating in the hospitality industry today, and whose work includes similar large bar-restos like Far Niente, Canyon Creek, Jack Astor’s and Alice Fazooli’s. Inside, they've used sustainable and recycled material as much as possible, with a combination of warm woods, industrial-inspired materials and innovative light fixtures to punctuate the restaurant's spacious modern interior. Beneath the undulating waves of the dining room’s fabulous wood ceiling, plush beige booths, private black leather VIP lounges and cool red chairs offer splashes of colour along with the banks of pulsing big screen TVs that flank the bar — a big draw for the neighbourhood sports fans.

The long bar with large screen TVs and over 16 beers on tap

The floor to ceiling wine cabinet with over 75 labels to choose from

The interior is a fluid mix of wood, stone and steel punctuated with soft seating, 
cool lighting fixtures and friendly servers, all colour coordinated in black

Libation-savvy bartenders keep patrons glasses full with a selection of artisanal beers, fine wines by the glass, and a bevy of handcrafted mixed drinks. Along with the classics, they offer delectable signature cocktails that change with the season, like the refreshing Pink Tarantula, made with tequila, pink grapefruit juice, agave nectar, fresh lime and pink peppercorns with a Himalayan rock salt rim, and the El César, made with a spicy Stolichnaya vodka, clamato juice, fresh basil and jalapeno pepper with a dash of hot sauce and garnished with a spicy bean and Thai chili pepper — Shazaam!

The Pink Tarantula

The El César

Williams Landing’s chef Marco D’Angelo, previously of E11even, and sous chef Beman Chan, are adept at creating a eclectic menu using fresh, local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients, infused with Latin, Moroccan, Asian and Italian influences. The kitchen staff also butcher, smoke, and cure all of their meats in-house, using Beretta Farms fresh ground beef and Willowgrove Hill Farms pork. 

Williams Landing’s chef Marco D’Angelo

Appetizers include succulent Crab Cakes that are delicate and delicious, bursting with large chunks of fresh crab and served with a cider tartar sauce, apple chive slaw and garnished with tasty little fried capers; as well as the Seared Sea Scallops, three perfectly cooked scallops served on a generous slice of house-cured pork belly with a drizzle of sweet maple glaze and garnished with wild arugula.

The succulent Crab Cakes with apple chive slaw and fried capers

Seared Sea Scallops on house-cured pork belly with a sweet maple glaze

Entrées include everything from burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas like the Fettucine Forestière, with house-smoked chicken, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and parmesan; and more sophisticated entrées like the Mediterranean Pickerel wrapped in prosciutto, topped with a wonderfully salty Moroccan olive tapenade and served over a bed of saffron coloured Israeli couscous with a hidden treasure of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, slivered almonds and dried apricots; and the Flatiron Steak Frites with house-cut frites and a truffle aioli. The William Landing menu is also vegan friendly, with certain dishes highlighted where tofu can be substituted in lieu of the fish or meat.

Williams Landing Mediterranean Prosciutto Wrapped Pickerel with 
Moroccan olive tapenade and Israeli couscous

Flatiron Steak Frites with house cut fries and fragrant truffle aioli

Desserts are tempting with creations like Toy Factory Cheesecake served with a trio of sauces and the Chocolate Dim Sum made with cheesecake filled fried wontons served a toblerone chocolate fondue and garnished with a berry coulis topped with a few fresh blueberries and raspberries. 

Chocolate Dim Sum with Toblerone chocolate fondue

With condos rising fast, the Liberty Village neighbourhood has become a beacon for young professionals in search of a relaxed place to go for drinks, dinner, or simply enjoy some appetizers before going out for a night on the town. Open seven days a week, with a relaxed atmosphere, and a friendly efficient staff serving an appetizing and eclectic menu, Williams Landing is an ideal place to kick back after work, especially if you live or work nearby.

Our fabulous server Ed - be sure to get a table in his section!