What’s on the menu at the Golden Peacock, a new cocktail and snack bar from the team behind Donna’s
Name: The Golden Peacock
Contact: 2102 Dundas St. W., 647-561-2292, thegoldenpeacock.ca, @thegoldenpeacock.to
Owners: Ann Kim, Peter Jensen, Jed Smith and Christine Oldham
Chefs: Peter Jensen and Jed Smith
Accessibility: Not accessible
The team behind Donna’s, the beloved neighbourhood diner at Lansdowne and Wallace, has opened up a new local for drinks and snacks. Ann Kim and the gang had been looking to open a new space since before the pandemic, and they almost signed a lease on a Bloor Street location in early 2020. But they had second thoughts, and a week later, Covid hit, so they put the project on hold.
In July, a one-room restaurant space—previously a Portuguese sports bar—came on the market. With a solid wood bar, a small built-in kitchen and plenty of character, it was a perfect fit. “There are a lot of larger bars in this area, but not that many smaller spots to meet friends for a causal drink,” says Kim. “We wanted to bring the same cozy, convivial feel that Donna’s has to this neighbourhood, but with more of a lean toward late-evening drinks.”
The tight menu features approachable but creative small plates with some Portuguese influence in honour of the bar’s predecessor. They’re all designed to pair nicely with the drinks: toasted fava beans with a heavy hit of coriander go perfectly with beer; grilled beef hearts are a natural pairing for a pisco sour. There are a few burgers for anyone looking for something a bit more substantial, including a delectable vegetarian version made with thick slices of grilled eggplant and muffuletta mayo.
Cocktails are the main attraction, like the Golden Negroni, made with Lillet Blanc and Amaro Montenegro, and a killer pisco sour. Note: the menu doesn’t list classic cocktails, but they’re available upon request. Non-drinkers will be pleasantly surprised by a lovely zero-proof Shirley Temple that incorporates house-made grenadine. There’s a well-curated selection of wine and beer, including a dry-hopped rice lager from Lovebird, a month-old brewing company out of Grey Highlands.
All of the furniture and light fixtures were either thrifted or from the previous tenant, lending a relaxed, lived-in feel. An original wood bar lines the front half of the room. Behind it, a pair of vintage Advent speakers make for crystal-clear audio. On the back wall, there’s a stunning gold feather mural—and, fittingly, you’ll find many peacock-themed knick-knacks scattered around. It’s warm, comfortable and just hip enough without any suggestion of smugness.