Sunday, September 21, 2008

Odd Fellows

So, my friends S and N told us about this new place (Odd Fellows) at Shaw and Queen that just opened last week. Maybe it's more correct to say it reopened, though the concept is changed and it's been redesigned, because the owner is the same.

It's all about communal eating, something apparently you either love or hate. I enjoy interrupting conversations with complete strangers all the time. So I say, bring it on. As the photos show, it's a long, thin room with one table and many chairs. Very Viking, actually. And it's so gorgeously designed I want to marry it.

There is an outside patio that's also banquette style. And I heard an (uncorroborated) rumour (more about this to follow) that they've applied for a license to add a sauna in the patio area. Like for communal "getting hot" in the middle of January. How Hipster Viking.

Anyway, take a look at the interiors...

Notice the incredible, suspended rotating fireplace:

How's about the magnetic wall paint and letters directing you to the toilettes:

Do you love the lighting? Those are old-style fluorescent tubes wrapped around compact fluorescent bulbs. Talk about recycle-power:

And how about the bar lighting:

Even puppies want in!:

And taxidermied beavers:

Gotta love a place with penis-shaped dutch ceramic salt and pepper shakers. Delicate and dirty:

But here's the best part. (Yulanda: Are you proud I didn't eat all of this before remembering to take the shot?):

This brownie is one of the best I've ever eaten. And the ice cream is organic and made on the premises. Calorie bargain, indeed!

PS: It's affordable.

Update: I went to this restaurant for dinner on Friday night and I have to say, while the service was excellent and the ambience awesome (to say nothing of the great company), something we ate really didn't agree with me or my husband. I don't know that I can recommend it for the food under the circumstances. Except the brownie, natch.


  1. The ambience seems to have a great concept.
    Love the bar lighting, the beaver, the salt and pepper shakers (LOL) and most of all the brownie. (Well I have my amount of chocolate cake for the week ;) )

    Seems a great place for us to meet when I would come to TO, no? ;)


  2. Well, I am a big fan of Wagamama, which employs the canteen type table set up. I like it for the food, service and ambiance and The Boo and Mr H like it too. But we do need to get seated Tactically, to ensure that Boo's scripting and Flapping do not disturb other diners.
    This place looks interesting, but if the dinner isnt good, maybe just for coffee and desert?

  3. This place looks amazing! And I am coveting the penis-shaped salt and pepper shakers (don't read anything Freudian into that ...) :)

  4. I'm sorry to hear that you both had a dicey experience after dinner.

    At any rate, I like the cool lighting, and the idea is novel. I wonder if it'll take off?

  5. I hope your tummies are back to normal now!

    I love communal dining, but I don't think I could deal with the communal sauna thing. I also really love the lighting (but the beaver and penises would put me off my food a little bit).

    I'm enjoying this little tour of Toronto's new hot spots!

  6. If I ever make it to your fair city take me there and I'll buy you a brownie.

  7. I was enjoying this right until the update...I'll pass on the brownie and head straight for the communal sauna.

  8. I am such a sucker for a pretty restaurant. The brownie looks amazing. Hammie I love wagamama too. Just another thing which makes me miss London. . .

  9. ouch. that's unfortunate. Sorry to hear that.

    the bar lighting however it's utterly gorgeous. I want that in my house. will cost a bit in electricity bill won't it?

  10. I love the bar lighting. And I'm with Hammie--Wagamama is one of my favorite restaurants (Bloomsbury is the location I'd visit). But--oy vey--tummy issues are definitely not on any menu!

  11. Seeker: The amibience is really excellent. We'll definitely dessert there when you are in town!

    Hammie: I don't know Wagamama - I'll look it up. Any place that can manage families while being hip is on my list.

    Andrea: I am so with you on the shakers. I want them for my house!

    E: I think it will. It was packed by 9 pm (when we left - yes, we dine at 6:30 because of kiddie). And I don't know if I can blame the tummy on bad food - maybe something in it just didn't agree with us. Doesn't thrill me at any rate, natch.

    Skye: Tummy was better the next day, thanks. I am more amused than put off by the shakers and the beaver, but I hear you. Funny subtext to them both...

    Dr. M: You are on.

    Matt: I am so intrigued by the sauna. I meant to ask them about it but I forgot...

    Geri: Funny, yes?

    E8: I am too. Gonna find out more about that Wagamama.

    Songy: Something tells me they aren't scrimping on the lighting bill :-)

  12. Wow. Bum about the dinner experience. That looks like a place I would be delighted to LIVE in. I would mop floors to earn my daily brownie in a restaurant with a suspended rotating fireplace.

  13. Those salt and pepper shakers....too much!!! I'd love to casually put those out on my table during a dinner party.

  14. The salt and pepper shaker are hilarious.

  15. Sal: As a winter dweller, don't you just LOVE that fireplace? Do you have one in your house? I wish I did (mine was covered over)...

    Bronwyn / Wendy: Aren't they hilarious?? I totally want to bring them out at a dinner party and see what happens.

  16. Miss C: You must have been posting your comment as I was posting mine... This Wagamama place is really the thing, I gather...

  17. Yes, I'm very proud! It looks delish.

  18. hee*...had to take a double look at the salt&pepper set...
    appreciate the quirky things in life sometimes... Be back to read more of your posts.Hope to hear fm you too... Have a lovely new week ahead! ~Charmed*

  19. LNM: They really are hilarious, no? I checked out your blog and particularly enjoyed the post about the cloche hats. I'll certainly check it out again!