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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
“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.
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.