Being a fan of the Harbord Room, I was excited to hear that they were opening a new restaurant, THR & Co (@THRandCo). The restaurant is located just a few doors down from the Harbord Room and occupies a much larger space and patio.
This new venture is brought to us by the same owners who brought us the Harbord Room – Dave Mitton, Cory Vitiello (executive chef), Mike Logue, Liz Campbell and Curt Martin (chef de cuisine).
The restaurant has a very warm and casual feel. It’s much brighter and as I mentioned earlier, it’s much more spacious than its sister restaurant. Unlike the Harbord Room, you can actually come here with a group larger than 2. They’ve got a large patio too, which pretty much doubles its seating capacity.
THR & Co. has a very affordable and playfully-worded menu divided into “For the table”, “Greens + Things”, Pie (aka pizza), Pasta, “Meat + Fish Plates” and vegetables.
The pizzas hover around $14, pastas are between $11 and $19 depending which size you order and meat/fish entrees are in the low $20’s. Drink-wise, they have a pretty solid wine list but they only have a few beers and cocktails on the menu.
I ordered the SOA (Summer of Anton) – Tromba tequila, wild berry & balsamic shrub, fresh lime and ginger beer ($12). I fell in love with this drink at the Harbord Room and it was just as good as I remembered. We were here on an incredibly hot day and this refreshing cocktail really hit the spot.
To start, we ordered the House Bread & Crackers – butter & bomba ($4). It consisted of focaccia, crackers, breadsticks and bomba (chopped up bits of eggplant, peppers and olives). The focaccia bread was particularly delicious, especially with a little bit of butter spread onto it.
We actually ordered the bread to compliment the Cured Meats, Terrines & Pate’s – mustards & pickled stuff ($14 small/$20 large). We went with the larger portion which consisted of bresaola, mortadella, tongue, salami, grilled sweetbreads, venison pepperoni and a duck confit & foie gras terrine. My favourite components were the sweetbreads (I’m a sucker for sweetbreads) and the terrine which was perfectly seasoned and had a nice buttery smoothness.
Next up was the Beef Heart Tartare – Espelette mayo, green olive relish, cured duck yolk, crispy tendon & Banyuls vinegar ($12). I’ve had a bad experience with beef heart tartare before at a restaurant where it was terribly bland. It scared me off from ordering it again but having heard such great things about the beef heart tartare here, I decided to give it a second chance.
I’m so glad I did since it turned out to be one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The tartare consisted of finely chopped beef heart which had a nice saltiness from the green olives. Instead of crostinis, we scooped the tartare onto the crispy pieces of tendon which had the texture of shrimp chips. A must-order!
Taking advantage of the stone oven in the space (which previously housed the Italian restaurant Messis) THR & Co. offers several “pies” (aka pizzas) which all sounded delicious. Upon our server’s recommendation, we ordered the Nettle & Ricotta Pie – farm egg, pancetta, porcini oil, potato, sheep’s milk cheddar & smoked salt ($14).
It’s not a very large pizza so if you’re hungry I don’t recommend ordering it as an entrée without ordering anything else.
The crispy crust was topped with a delicious pesto-based sauce with thin slices of potato and pancetta. To top it all off, there was a perfectly cooked sunny-side up egg. The combination of all the ingredients just worked for me and I’d happily order it again.
In addition to their pies, THR & Co. offers several pastas which made our mouths water just reading about them. The first one we decided on was the Black Spaghetti (Aglio e Olio Style) – charred squid, poblano ash, pequin, lemon & bottarga ($13 small/$19 large). Like many of their menu items, this is offered in two sizes – we went with the large.
I’m a big fan of black pasta so this was a no-brainer for me. On the menu, this version is described as being served “Aglio e Olio Style” which means with garlic and olive oil. The light sauce combined the salty bottarga made it a very tasty dish we all enjoyed.
The other pasta dish we ordered was the Braised Oxtail Cavatelli – broccoli rabe, tomato, parsley crumbs & queso seco ($12 small/$18 large). The two guys at the table mentioned it was their favourite dish of the evening. The cavatelli was cooked to a perfect al dente and was topped with tender pieces of shredded oxtail that was packed full of flavour. It was a very hearty dish which was complimented nicely by the slight bitterness from the broccoli rabe.
We also wanted one meat or fish dish and decided on the Slow Cooked Lamb Neck “Osso Bucco” – harissa, braising juices, dried currant & pine nut gremolata ($23). It was an incredibly rich and fatty piece of meat which is quite similar to pork belly. Each bite of the meat had such an intense flavour like it had been braised for days.
While debating over the sides, our server recommended the Roasted Cauliflower – sumac, pistachio & sultana raisins ($6) which was another fantastic recommendation. The cauliflower was cooked wonderfully and I loved the sweetness from the plump sultana raisins.
Overall, we had a very enjoyable dinner at THR & Co. Was the food anything revolutionary? No. But with their nice, casual space, tasty and reasonably-priced food, I can definitely see myself coming back.
At a glance:
• The same owners as the Harbord Room a few doors down
• Reasonably-priced (pastas are under $20; meat/fish entrees are in the low $20’s)
• Very good meal but nothing revolutionary
• Solid wine list but short cocktail and beer list
• Warm, casual spot; large patio which doubles their seating capacity
• Good for a casual date
• The beef heart tartare is a must-order!
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4 stars