Beloved by foodies Toronto-wide, The Federal is known for its incredible brunches and burgers. And it seems the industry is on “Team Federal” as well, with the up-and-coming eatery nabbing one of the 50 spots on Monocle’s 2015 Restaurant Awards; one of two restaurants honoured in all of Canada. But a taste of its simple, creative food makes it clear why. Take the classic eggs Federal, a play on eggs Benedict, which eschews the traditional hollandaise for a mushroom tarragon cream because a) it’s delicious, and b) it’s far simpler to prepare for service. It’s tasty, no-nonsense twists like this that keep the punters coming in droves.
The dinner menu is small but perfectly formed, showcasing simple but flavour-packed dishes from sandwiches (the Old Standard, made with hot fried chicken, cheddar, bacon, pickle, and aioli is a cracker) and soups, to heartier mains like mac and cheese (made with bacon and blue cheese) and flat iron steak, served with wild mushrooms, lardons, kale and pesto. Brunch, meanwhile, is an expansive affair, offering everything from omelettes to burgers, with a comprehensive selection of sides that allows diners to essentially create their dream breakfast.
It has an unapologetically trendy look, with Edison bulbs suspended from the ceiling, red and black tiled flooring, and exposed brick everywhere. The bar area is an aesthetically pleasing shambles with wooden bookcases home to the restaurant’s burgeoning spirits collection. Speaking of: the cocktails, from the Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, lillet, dry curaçao, herbsaint and lemon) to the classic Italian aperitif the Aperol Spritz (aperol, gin, cava and soda), are expertly mixed and make a great accompaniment to the tantalising food menu.