These Toronto food purveyors are following their customers to cottage country

These Toronto food purveyors are following their customers to cottage country

And they deliver dockside

Barberian’s Steak House

The site of pre-pandemic power lunches is bringing the steak (and the sizzle) to Muskoka. Store-to-dock deliveries happen as demand dictates. The delivery fee, which varies by location, can be split among several neighbouring cottagers. The restaurant’s laid-off servers do the deliveries, as a way to keep them employed. For cottage-country deliveries, email [email protected]

General Assembly Pizza

This 416 pizza restaurant made a pandemic pivot to subscription service. One year and $13 million in investor funding later and the resto-tech operation is following their customers into the bush—specifically Muskoka, the Kawarthas, P.E.C. and Niagara. Monthly and twice-monthly boxes delivered straight to cottage doors start at four pies (flash frozen and ready in less than 10 minutes) and go up to 10. A 10-pie “cottage pack” will make a great “thanks for having us” gift when we’re allowed inter-household socializing again.

Cheese Boutique

Before the pandemic, Toronto’s top fromagerie was like candyland for cheese fiends. These days, the experience is most easily accomplished by phone, with a concierge-slash-personal-shopper who can advise on the ultimate lakeside antipasto platter or which Quebec goat pairs best with lamb. Customers can also add vacuum-packed steaks and pork chops to their order, as well as fresh seafood from the neighbouring Hooked. Every Friday, a fleet of refrigerated vans brave the 400 to deliver to cottage country. Niagara region is on Thursdays.

La Palma

Chef Craig Harding and restaurant co-owner Alexandra Hutchison got the idea for food hampers last summer after spending time at their own cottage and fielding requests from northern neighbours. Cottage hampers, with a collection of goodies that fall somewhere between standard groceries and premium takeout, are available for pickup at shops in Bala, Port Carling and Parry Sound every Saturday. Every weekend is a different feast. Last year’s “Canada Day” package included a dry-aged rib-eye, summer sausage, Ontario corn, and peach crumble for four, plus a wine pairing. DIY or cook along with Harding via Zoom. @palmato

Heart’s Tavern and Bar

The team behind Ossington meat meccas Union and Côte de Boeuf are now servicing carnivores in the Lake Eugenia region, near Collingwood. The new restaurant is located in a restored 19th-century farmhouse with two pandemic-friendly patio spaces. It features a horseshoe bar, a butcher’s counter for five-star charcuterie and a vie-en-Provence-worthy wine list. Plus rural flourishes like an outdoor veggie patch and a chicken coop. 235334 Grey Road 13, Kimberley.