The Atlantic is now booze-free, too

The Atlantic is now booze-free, too

(Image: Rebecca Fleming) (Image: Rebecca Fleming)
 

The Atlantic Restaurant’s Nathan Isberg has made an ongoing commitment to do away with everything that makes a restaurant a restaurant. Last year he ditched the concept of a menu entirely, along with the idea of set prices, and now he’s done the unthinkable: he’s no longer selling alcohol at his Dundas West restaurant. “It’s another part of trying to figure out what parts of the restaurant are essential and what aren’t,” Isberg says. “It’s about focusing on the experience itself as opposed to numbing the brain or creating a fog.” Isberg says he’ll still serve wine for special events, but for the past few months, his regular dinner service has been dry. In lieu of booze, he’s been serving his own elixirs made with ingredients  like kombucha, bitters, whey soda, orris root, cider and other herbs and fruit. (In line with how Isberg chooses which dishes to cook, he mostly just makes whatever drinks he feels like. Just don’t call them mocktails; he doesn’t think anything, alcoholic or otherwise, is missing.) But what about that whole money thing that alcohol usually brings in? “You take a little bit of a hit,” Isberg admits. “On the other hand, I don’t waste the money I have. I don’t have a bunch of staff standing around, and I don’t throw food away.”