Posts tagged food and drink
Berkeley North

"We found this space on King William Street two years ago and held onto it just knowing this street was going to blow up," said co-owner Diana Chetcuti. She and husband Matt Webber conceptualized and designed Berkeley North with the west coast in mind. After taking a vacation and travelling along the west coast, the two found themselves in Berkeley. "We were vegan at the time, and Berkeley is lined with vegetarian and vegan restaurants that aren't just grab-and-go spots. They have proper service, proper drinks and they are packed," explained Diana, "We realized there was nothing like that around here." 

Their patience prevailed and within the two+ years they waited to open, their vision evolved from a vegan take-out spot, to the modern seafood and vegetarian restaurant they recently unveiled. But challenges and changes in plans were continuous along the way, even changes in building ownership. It worked out well though. Located in the former Framing Gallery on King William, the bright airy space is part of a historic building now owned and revitalized by Core Urban. Diana and Matt find themselves in good company, the street is lined with new culinary hot spots. "[Developer] Steve Kulakowsky, has such a vision for the street and we got that vibe off him when we first met him," enthused Diana. "He even helped us with the final touches." Notably, the three story skylight that peeks through the Templar Flats above. The best seat in the house is directly under the skylight. Dinner under the stars, quite literally.

I tried three dishes during my visit. first the grilled zucchini with caramelized fennel. Executive Chef Jonathan Kemeny had previous stints at Blackbird Bakery in Toronto, and under Dan Barber at Blue Hill, a farm-to-table restaurant in New York. After working in that environment for six months, Jon turned home to find himself intrigued by Berkeley North's pescatarian, vegetarian approach. He joined the team. "He is wildly creative," said Diana, "While the recipes may seem simple on the plate, they are very layered." Menu items range from fried cauliflower with pickled chilies and tamarind, to roasted trout with summer corn and carrots. And I assure you, they are all approachable whether you are a vegetarian or not. While I recommend sharing a few different dishes for dinner, the whipped feta with tomato and pickled cucumber is my personal favourite. So much so, that I considered licking the plate afterwards. I'm just saying. 


berkeley north is now open! Book your reservation on OpenTable or peruse the menu on BerkeleyNorth.ca 

 

Berkeley North
31 King William Street
Hamilton, ON  L8R1A1
(905) 522 - 5858

Bar Izakaya

It’s becoming hard to keep track of all the happenings going on in Hamilton. There’s not one new restaurant that I don’t want to try and countless restaurants that have stood the test of time that I will return to again and again. Brandon Jackson and Chef Matt Pigion really tapped into Hamilton’s current vibe when they opened Bar Izakaya. Let’s just say they're the new cool kids on the block.

"Opening Bar Izakaya was the next natural step," says Brandon. Perhaps, you are familiar with their two stalls found in the Hamilton Farmers' Market, Eat Ramen and Eat Industries. This latest endeavor takes elements from a traditional Izakaya bar (the Japanese version of a pub) and turns the concept on its head with a Canadian flare.  

We couldn't resist beginning our meal with a drink in hand. We recommend the Plum Negroni or the Pineapple Express, but if a cocktail isn't your go-to, they make wonderful iced-teas in an array of flavours. The menu consists of both small and medium plates and house boards for the sharing or for the hungry. We devoured a plate of Karaage, a buttermilk and soy fried chicken, served with a yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit) and chili-ginger aioli. One of my other favourite dishes was the burnt Ontario black plums with shaved yuzu ice. It's refreshing, balanced and the perfect end to a delicious meal. 

We can’t guarantee you’ll find these items on the menu, though. The menu changes often according to seasonal ingredients and new culinary ventures. What you can expect are spins on classic cocktails, hip-hop beats and fresh, bright flavours. 

Enoki Salad - pickled enoki mushrooms, crisp veg, & sesame.

Enoki Salad - pickled enoki mushrooms, crisp veg, & sesame.

Tochi Land Board - beef tartar, kushiyaki, miso corn, chicken wings, beef heart yakitori & wakame.

Tochi Land Board - beef tartar, kushiyaki, miso corn, chicken wings, beef heart yakitori & wakame.

Burnt Ontario Black Plums with shaved yuzu ice.

Burnt Ontario Black Plums with shaved yuzu ice.

Karaage - buttermilk & soy fried chicken. 

Karaage - buttermilk & soy fried chicken. 


Bar Izakaya is located in the vibrant James St N. neighbourhood. Follow their Instagram page to find out when they will be throwing their grand opening bash!  

BAR IZAKAYA
275 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 3P1
Tuesday-Saturday 11am - 10Pm
www.eatinc.ca


WORDS BY HEATHER PEAT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEPHANIE TRENDOCHER