Introducing: The Federal Reserve, Dundas West’s new brunch spot (with late-night snacks to come)
(Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
After a quiet opening last week,
The Federal Reserve experienced a whirlwind first weekend, with Dundas West’s fevered brunch crowd gamely filling up the space (with NoNo’s and This End Up soon to open on the same strip, Dundas’s rate of restaurant openings is nearing Roncesvalles-like heights). Running the ship is a band of friends— Zach Slootsky, Duncan MacNeill, Joe Zabukovec and Adam Janes—all of whom are balancing their time at the Federal with other jobs both in and out of the restaurant industry (MacNeill’s currently at Woodlot and Slootsky, a is at sometime photographer, Swan).
Formerly home to
Zoots Café, Slootsky and company fell in love with the bones of the place: a sunken entrance, exposed brick walls, a zig-zagging red-and-black tiled floor and a vintage kitchen in the back (currently used as their dish pit). After building the tables, extending the bar and removing an alarming shade of pink paint from some old church pews, the owners spruced up the room with finds from The Chief Salvage Co. and Post and Beam. The lighting—Edison bulbs suspended by cloth-wrapped wire—was inspired by The Drake.
Although the initial plan was to serve a French menu, the Federal is currently offering familiar midday favourites instead, like a Cubano sandwich: shaved roasted pork, slices of cheddar, ham and avocado, with a side salad and a generous portion of potato rösti ($12). The ploughman’s lunch features a daily selection of meat and a hunk of Québécois blue cheese, and is served with pickles and fresh bread from
St. John’s Bakery ($12). The namesake egg dish features a pair of poached eggs on toasted English muffins drenched in a mushroom-tarragon cream sauce and served with either a sausage or greens ($11). The team sources their meat from Gasparro’s and Pav ão across the street. Once they receive their liquor licence, the Federal will begin to serve a nighttime menu comprising small plates and family-sized platters as soon as possible. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed as a brunch spot!” Slootsky told us. Until then, expect a steady stream of west-enders seeking breakfast.
122098 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve_intro-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve_intro.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve_intro.jpg 656 429  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve_intro/ mar12federalreserve_intro 0 0
122130 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Daily vegetable omelette with roasted zucchini and red pepper, sautéed onions and chèvre, served with toast from St. John’s Bakery ($8.50) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve21-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve21.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve21.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve21/ mar12federalreserve21 0 0
Daily vegetable omelette with roasted zucchini and red pepper, sautéed onions and chèvre, served with toast from St. John’s Bakery ($8.50)
122128 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) A side of potato rösti Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve19-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve19.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve19.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve19/ mar12federalreserve19 0 0
A side of potato rösti
122117 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Cubano sandwich ($12): roast pork, cheddar, ham, avocado, Dijon, red onion and dill pickle, with greens and rösti Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve17-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve17.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve17.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve17/ mar12federalreserve17 0 0
Cubano sandwich ($12): roast pork, cheddar, ham, avocado, Dijon, red onion and dill pickle, with greens and rösti
122114 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve15-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve15.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve15.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve15/ mar12federalreserve15 0 0
122112 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Eggs federal ($11): poached eggs on English muffins with a mushroom-tarragon cream and a choice of sausage or veggies Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve14-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve14.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve14.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve14/ mar12federalreserve14 0 0
Eggs federal ($11): poached eggs on English muffins with a mushroom-tarragon cream and a choice of sausage or veggies
122111 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Joe Zabukovec working the flat top Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve13-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve13.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve13.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve13/ mar12federalreserve13 0 0
Joe Zabukovec working the flat top
122109 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) The small kitchen, equipped with a flat top, a waffle iron, a toaster and a couple induction burners Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve11-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve11.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve11.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve11/ mar12federalreserve11 0 0
The small kitchen, equipped with a flat top, a waffle iron, a toaster and a couple induction burners
122108 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve10-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve10.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve10.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve10/ mar12federalreserve10 0 0
122107 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) The lighting—Edison bulbs suspended by cloth-wrapped wire—was inspired by The Drake Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve9-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve9.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve9.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve9/ mar12federalreserve9 0 0
The lighting—Edison bulbs suspended by cloth-wrapped wire—was inspired by The Drake
122106 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve8-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve8.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve8.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve8/ mar12federalreserve8 0 0
122105 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve7-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve7.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve7.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve7/ mar12federalreserve7 0 0
122104 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Co-owners Joe Zabukovec and Zach Slootsky Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve6-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve6.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve6.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve6/ mar12federalreserve6 0 0
Co-owners Joe Zabukovec and Zach Slootsky
122103 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve5-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve5.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve5.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve5/ mar12federalreserve5 0 0
122102 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve4-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve4.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve4.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve4/ mar12federalreserve4 0 0
122101 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) A 504 goes by Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve3-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve3.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve3.jpg 624 435  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve3/ mar12federalreserve3 0 0
A 504 goes by
122100 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Outside The Federal Reserve on Dundas West Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve2-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve2.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve2.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve2/ mar12federalreserve2 0 0
Outside The Federal Reserve on Dundas West
122099 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) The Federal Reserve took over the space formerly occupied by Zoots Café Introducing: The Federal Reserve https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve1-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve1.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/mar12FederalReserve1.jpg 624 416  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-federal-reserve/slide/mar12federalreserve1/ mar12federalreserve1 0 0
The Federal Reserve took over the space formerly occupied by Zoots Café
The Federal Reserve, 1438 Dundas St. W., 647-352-9120, thefed.ca
33 thoughts on “Introducing: The Federal Reserve, Dundas West’s new brunch spot (with late-night snacks to come)”
Is it a scam like the actual Federal Reserve?
I’d rather eat at McDonalds, this place looks horrible
I feel sorry for you Brian, you’re missing out on great food. May I suggest La Societe if you’re interested in eating in an aesthetically pleasing environment? Cheers bud.
Love the look of this new eatery. Wish there was one like it here in Vancouver. Photos show great dishes, clean attractive dining area, a fun place overall. Good luck you guys. Judy
This place has only been open for a week and it is already a neighborhood hangout. Lots of light, comfortable atmosphere, tight menu, and excellent staff that are happy to be serving you.
WHAT A DUMP
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! 100% my new brunch spot for life… The only thing better than being served by great staff is enjoying an even better meal for a good price… Great job guys, can not wait for the late night menu!
I can’t wait to come down and dine at The Fed – love the decor, and sure the food is amazing. Congrats guys on your awesome eatery!❤
Looks great! If we had to lose Zoots glad to have gained you :). We’ll definitely be by.
I don’t know what’s up with the whiney comments about the decor, a comfortable, friendly atmosphere, good service and great food are what I look for in a restaurant. If I want pretention there are plenty of other neighbourhoods in town that cater to just that ;).
Why all the whining? The Federal has hit the ground running. Food is great, atmosphere relaxed, staff is delightful. Welcome to the neighbourhood guys! Super glad to have you. You other pretentious carps can go troll your bad vibes on Ossington. Meh.
Visiting Toronto last week and stumbled on this place. It had really great food and a relaxing atmosphere. I had the goat cheese omelette…..delish. Decor is perfect…lot’s of natural light, perfect for having a coffee and reading the paper. It’s In an up and coming neighbourhood and fun to have a stroll around after.
Ate here last weekend, had the omlette, good sized portion and very tasty. Live just around the corner and will go back. Really like the bar style seating for a solo saturday breaky!
Ploughmen dig my earth.
I’ll be in for the ploughman’s lunch.
And get moving on that liquor licence. I’m pretty sure the ploughman had a little something in his flask.
Thanks for your advice ebs BUD!
But it’s not welcomed at all, clearly your opinion of what “quality and taste in proper dining establishments” have been defeated.
My advice for you is to take your Toronto Sun Newspaper and go back to the warehouse lunch room where you belong.
I am ashamed to say that I have been to this place and had an absolute miserable time (that’s an understatement), I SERIOUSLY advise you rethink your decision before attending this…. embarrassment.
THANK YOU BRIAN!!
I find it weird that people use Comment pages to display such poor attitude and manners. Defensive? Nothing else to do?
The Federal is a lovely addition to our neighbourhood. I agree, with Zoot’s gone, it’s great to have a corner ‘local’ that’s so upbeat and friendly.
The place has only been in business for a week Brian & Downtown Man. I’m sure you never made any errors or gaffs in your first weeks at a new, huge, endeavour,
Give them time. Then give them another try. No need to get crusty folks. Sounds like a class war here folks … “take your Toronto Sun”, “go troll on Ossington”, …. Get over yourselves people.
Enjoy the weekend, and good luck to The Federal. I for one, will be a regular.
food looks mediocre. those tiles beneath the bar are hideous. colour palette of the decor is awful. a raw minimal aesthetic is fine but doesnt need to be ugly. positive comments here appear to be written by owners aunties. dont even need to actually try the dishes here to see that theyre lacking. if they can step the food game up they may have a chance. so far looks like sunset grill is trying to be brockton general and failing.
The Fed looks great and the dishes very attractive and imaginative. Haven’t visited yet but this new enterprise certainly seems a real asset to the neighbourhood. Lots of natural light and light on the pocket as well. Great job guys. Long may you run. Ignore the angry attacks. If one cannot be critical without getting angry the criticsm is empty ranting. Once again, good on you guys.
I went in the other day and grabbed a cubano and it was delicious(and that’s with take out)
I met all the guys they are young and enthusiastic, I commend them for taking the leap with all the risk and cost involved. They will grow stronger, better, faster!
I am a chef and am actually opening NoNo’s next door(shameless plug;) so I understand whats involved…
I wish you all the best guys! I will be back.
break an egg!!!
went in yesterday and i have to tell you it was not very good!
i really hate wasting my time on these reviews feom TL, they dont really tell it the way it is , what a disappointment ,
wont be reading TL anymore this is for sure
went in for brunch today and the food was excellent. the restaurant itself was bright, clean and very well done down to the teaspoons. pay no attention to the negativity, this place rules!
I had the pleasure of trying out The Federal Reserve two days after their soft opening and the friendly staff – who were clearly excited to come to work created a refreshing and welcoming vibe. I use the term refreshing as it seems that in Toronto it is a growing trend to be served by snotty, poorly trained staff that will bombard you with attitude if you aren’t willing to put up with their hangovers and overall lack of interest. At the Federal Reserve you are sure to be welcomed by a group of young men who work in the industry and are living their dream by coming into work every day just to serve you. That being said, I’m a little confused as to how there are 20 comments above that in no way review the restaurant on any intelligent level. A restaurant review should review the restaurant. Besides a few kind words mentioned about the omelet and the cubano sandwich – no one has taken the time to review the menu. I tasted the cubano sandwich as well as the smoked trout and cheddar biscuit served with lemon cream. The cubano sandwich is harmoniously layered with smokey shredded pork, sweet ham, silky avocado and a sharp cheddar. The result is unexpectedly pleasing to the palette. The side salad with fresh baby spinach is notable over countless others by the in-house pickled red onions, (a personal favourite). They’re sweet and delightful! You’ll never want to put yourself through eating raw red onion on a salad after trying these. The potato rösti served on the side is everything you’d like it to be – moist and fluffy on the inside with a crisp outside, a texture to be desired in any potato dish. The smoked trout is light and fresh and is accompanied by a very desirable lemon cream that melts over the delicious cheddar biscuit to create the perfect bite of flavours. I’m very excited to try this restaurant again and look forward to seeing how they develop over time.
I am visiting from New York and was looking for a good brunch place to take my family to. Food was delicious, service was great!! Thank you to the Fed team for a terrific brunch experience! I highly recommend this place!!
Went to the Fed for brunch today, and after a short wait we were seated and ordered fresh squeezed tangerine juice and coffee. The food was great, got to experience the eggs Federal and the omelette of the day – both were nicely prepared and the extra touches like the housemade ketchup and the pickled onions for the greens made these dishes delicious. Service was good despite the place being quite busy – we will happily be returning for more!
I spotted this place the other day as my son goes to daycare around the corner. It caught my eye with its stool seating in the window and a bright, welcoming vibe, and I made a mental note to check them out the next chance I get. I find it very peculiar how the comments section can go unexpectedly viral when a few deeply negative people – who sound borderline crazy, btw – type a few mean-spirited sentences. The same happened to Ortolan on another blog a while back. It’s all very schoolyard, and can be terribly damaging to a business. These people are taking a serious plunge into the deep end, and need some time to find their footing. Be responsible adults and temper your criticism with this in mind. Anyway, I wish them the best of luck and can’t wait to check them out.
What did everyone love about Zoots so much?
Great place! Went by this weekend and sat at the bar. I really recommend the toast with lemon cream and fresh preserves. I think they are using St John’s bread – sourdough. Such a lovely light breakfast! Great job and welcome to the hood!
I’m coming this weekend! Congrats!
The coffee was great. The food and the service was amazing… and it’s reasonably priced! Another plus is the lack of poncy douchebags like Brian, Downtown Man and HM. In Toronto I consider that a bloody jackpot.
I live just down the road and am very happy to have this addition to the neighbourhood. The Cubano is stellar. Very delicious. And the guys are very nice.
Had a GREAT brunch a week ago. Nice service, yummy food, no lineup. I’ll be back for sure.
A dose of bad customer service served up with your eggs. With all of the great reviews I’d read about this place and the tantalizing food photos, I didn’t expect a sunday morning scolding from the manager/owner of this joint. Lesson learned: Make sure you arrive with your full party before hoping to get seated for breakfast and parties of one beware! Instead of the owner taking the high road to make his customer feel welcome he chose to serve up a guilt laden lecture on how my seemingly selfish request to be seated for 5 minutes on my own before my friend arrived, (after standing for 20 minutes at the bar and being asked to grab my own sugar from the service pantry) would cost the couple who had been waiting at the door for all of 5 minutes, precious ordering time. No matter how good the food might be, no one should be made to feel like a rotten egg first thing in the morning.
Never had a chance to sit down and actually eat at this place, due to the fact that the host “forgot” that we were in queue for a table. After waiting about 20 mins outside in the cold, we walk in expecting to be seated as a large group had just left. The host apologies that she messed up and didnt write our names down, and tells us we can wait another 15-20 if we want to wait for another table (as two tables sit empty while she is speaking to us)! Terrible service here, false apologies and the manager/own is somewhat of a dick too. Any reputable place would know how to fix this type of problem, but inexperienced hipster n00bs unfortunately do not know how to run a business.
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