What’s on the menu at The Joneses, O&B’s new restaurant dedicated to retro Americana

What’s on the menu at The Joneses, O&B’s new restaurant dedicated to retro Americana

Including shrimp cocktail, Detroit-style pizza and ice cream sundaes

Pain au lait cheese bread at The Joneses

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Name: The Joneses
Address: 33 Yonge St., 647-258-5209, thejonesesrestaurant.com, @thejonesesrestaurant
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Previously: Pick 6ix
Owners: Oliver and Bonacini
Chef: Executive chefs Andrew Piccinin (Parcheggio, Leña, Jump) and John Horne (Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Maison Selby)
Accessibility: Accessible entrance via 33 Yonge St. lobby; accessible washrooms
 
This year, O&B, the Toronto-born hospitality company that now oversees 27 restaurants across four provinces, turns 30. What better way to celebrate three decades in the food biz than by opening a new restaurant geared toward celebrations. With three private dining rooms (one of which can accommodate up to 70 people) and a menu that aims to please all types of diners—from choosy children to the expense-account crowd—The Joneses is positioning itself as the go-to spot for group dining downtown.

The food

Anchored by an atypical trinity—steak, sushi and Detroit-style pizza—The Joneses’ offerings may seem a bit eclectic. However, according to executive chef Andrew Piccinin, it all just boils down to good ol’ American grub. “It’s a menu that hits all the nostalgia buttons,” he says.

A spread of American dishes at The Joneses, a new restaurant in Toronto

A Big Mac–inspired tartare, five-cheese lasagna and sparkler-adorned sundaes bring whimsy to the extensive menu. These fun flourishes, though, belie the fact that this is contemporary Americana, distilled. From red sauce Italian classics to poke and popcorn shrimp, food trends from multiple decades get their due. Yet everything has been thoroughly updated with today’s Torontonian in mind.

The Joneses' Big Mac-inspired steak tartare
The steak tartare is another example of the kitchen’s buttoned-up irreverence. Here, the bistro staple gets a fast-food glow-up. A very familiar special sauce (with ample white onion) gets mixed into the hand-cut tenderloin. The meat is then topped with minced pickles and shaved iceberg lettuce. A side of sesame-encrusted crostini completes the Big Mac allusion. $21 Photo by Ashley van der Laan

 

Pain au lait cheese bread at The Joneses
Even the cheese bread is playful. “I wanted to make a cinnamon bun that swapped out sugar and cinnamon for garlic and parm,” says Piccinin. The super-fluffy pain au lait hides pockets of gooey cheddar. $9

 

Detroit-style pizza
This Detroit-style take on the personal pan pizza caters more to the after-work crowd as it pairs perfectly with a beer. Each pizza takes two days to make (that dough has to ferment). The pepperoni pie comes loaded with Ezzo pepperoni, two cheeses (cheddar, jack), bread-and-butter pickled jalapenos, roasted garlic and whole-blossom Mexican oregano. $34

 

A smash burger and fries
It’s a menu that aims to please everyone, from suburban bros fuelling up before a big game to the Bay Street power lunch set. Some dishes, like this all-dressed smash burger, made from a mix of chuck and dry-aged trimmings, cater to both crowds. This combo comes with a warning: swapping out these fries (which are fried in beef fat and seasoned with a house-made all-dressed-chip salt) for a side salad is ill advised—they’re worth the empty calories. $29

 

Torched king salmon sushi
This kitchen somehow manages to both embrace a more-is-more ethos and still display enough restraint to keep things classy. A prime example of this is the unapologetically unauthentic, entirely American take on sushi. Here’s the torched king salmon sushi, which comes garnished with kimchi purée, scallion, ginger and sesame. $21

 

Jumbo shrimp cocktail
Did someone say Bay Street expense account? These plump, perfectly poached Argentine red shrimp come with a cognac-infused Marie Rose dipping sauce. $29

 

Tenderloin wrapped in double-smoked bacon and served with beer-battered onion rings
A classic deal-closing follow-up to that piscine appetizer would be one of The Joneses’ steaks, most of which (other than the AAA Canadian flat iron and the Australian Wagyu) are all USDA prime. This eight-ounce tenderloin is wrapped in double-smoked bacon and served with beer-batter-tempura onion rings. $65

 

A sparkler-adorned ice cream sundae
No matter the occasion, this sundae is an epic way to finish a meal: vanilla gelato loaded with whipped cream, coconut, chocolate, Amarena cherry and sprinkles, then garnished with a lit sparkler. $14

 

Chocolate cake
Chocolate lovers, however, may prefer this devil’s chocolate cake. $14

 

The drinks

The cocktail menu, dreamed up by general manager Bryer Lees, is divided into two distinct sections: American classics, including the sazerac and the manhattan, alongside less mainstream sippers, like the clover club and the tuxedo, and signature concoctions, many of which are creative reinterpretations of classic recipes. The bar’s lychee martini, for example, is a far cry from the saccharine potable hangover from the ’90s.

A bartender at The Joneses in Toronto shakes up a cocktail

The wine list caters to both the adventurous oenophile and those who prefer to stick to what they know. Guiding the selection is wine director Billy Woon, who also oversees bottle choices at Canoe and Auberge du Pommier. The focus here is on American makers (think big, buttery Chardonnays and fruity Cabs). Noteworthy regions and subregions of California and Oregon take centre stage along with lesser-known appellations like Columbia Valley, Washington. But the selection also goes beyond US borders. The card features plenty of old-world bottles, including Italian and Spanish sparklers, French champagnes, and steak-friendly reds from Piedmont and Bordeaux.

A purple lychee martini at The Joneses
This updated version of the lychee martini—which is less of a martini and more of a sour, as it’s topped with egg white—is made with real lychee juice, purple-hued Empress 1908 gin and lemon. $17

 

The Scallywag cocktail at the Joneses in Toronto
Scallywag is a riff on America’s mid-century obsession with Polynesia. With Toronto-made Island Diaz spiced rum, pineapple, lime and allspice, it tastes like a tropical vacation. $16

 

The Joneses' Passion Pit cocktail
Fruity but balanced, the Passion Pit combines Dillon’s pineapple-honey gin, passion fruit and lemon. To finish, mezcal is spritzed overtop, adding just a whiff of smoke. $17

 

The space

“The Joneses reminds me of your wealthy bachelor uncle’s living room,” says Piccinin. “All that’s missing is the conversation pit—although the low seating does evoke that.” By cleaving out three private dining rooms (all equipped with the latest AV tech), O&B have managed to tame this sprawling 8,728-square-foot space. The main dining room feels residential thanks to the use of oak and walnut, leather couches, and vintage sports tchotchkes.

The bar at The Joneses is clad in metre sticks

Solid Design Creative (the Toronto firm behind Bitter Melon, Paradise Theater and Koukla) were hired to give the space its mid-century makeover. While the wood slat ceiling is original to Pick 6ix, it’s all that remains of Drake’s foray into food. The oak wainscoting, conversation couches, bucket chairs and horseshoe-shaped bar are all new. There are also eight flat-screens throughout the dining room. Right now, they have paintings displayed on them, but their main purpose will be to play any big games taking place.

Some comfy couch seating at The Joneses, an American restaurant in Toronto

The dining room at the Joneses, Oliver and Bonacini's new American restaurant in Toronto

Vintage magazines hang in front of the windows at The Joneses, a restaurant in Toronto

Looking from the bar into the main dining room at The Joneses

Two-top tables and banquette seating at The Joneses, an American restaurant in Toronto