Dog Days @ Montauk

14 May

Going to a restaurant or bar alone has a certain allure. It can allow you to enjoy a meal or drink and be able to focus entirely on what you’re consuming – meditation by imbiding, as I like to call it. Alternatively, it is a great opportunity to meet other serious diners, or just do some serious people watching.

I was able to enjoy such an evening two weeks ago thanks to a Dog Days pop-up at Montauk. Montauk is one of my favourite places in my neighbourhood, but I like it so much that I’ve avoided becoming a regular – I’m trying to savour the love affair.

This sign outside of Market707 on Dundas gave me good reason to go:

Nothing better than an ombre sign.

Nothing better than an ombre sign.

I did tweet Montauk to assure that it was a real thing, and it was. I called up MC, who is usually up for anything food related and he said he’d come. But guess what that punk did to me on the Sunday evening? BAILED. So, I could either stay at home and wonder what this thing was all about, or just go by myself and find out.

When I bring friends from outside of my neighbourhood they wonder out loud if we are actually in Toronto.

When I bring friends from outside of my neighbourhood they wonder out loud if we are actually in Toronto.

I got there just before 9, and I took my place at the bar and ordered the set Dog Days meal of soft shell crab, corn and fennel salad, crack stiks and the peach and ginger julep. All that was a mere 20 bones. The julep hit the spot – it was sweet with a kick. It reminded me that I hadn’t enjoyed a memorable one since one of my fave bars, Goodnight, closed down in 2012.

And the food? Both its preparation and presentation were a performances. Perched up on the small stage-like space that over looks the bar, the cooks had a clear view of the patrons in the bar, just as a the patrons did of them. A finished dish was then transported… via a pulley system! And boy, was the food ever good, here’s an awful photo that doesn’t do it justice:

Dear dinner, you deserved so much more than a styrofoam plate.

Dear dinner, you deserved so much more than a styrofoam plate.

Eating alone at the bar, you can be absolutely shameless. I didn’t care the the gorgeous girls sitting beside me were likely judging me for almost licking my plate and eating as much with my hands as you can when you’re in public. The fried soft shell crab came in a banh mi bun which was a perfect texture combination, especially when paired with the corn and fennel salad. And maybe you knew what crack sticks were, but I found out they are shaved sweet potatoes which are then fried. Not your usual Sunday night dinner.

Not being usual seems to be at the heart of what Dog Days is about, not knowing quite what to expect as a diner, or who might be there, is all part of the allure. It was a perfect solo surprise. Even if next time, I’ll make sure to invite someone who doesn’t bail at the last minute!

Wondering when their next event might be? Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. And if you ever want to go to Montauk, let me know and I’ll be there faster than you can say hot-bartenders-and-negroni-on-tap.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: