It’s 11 a.m. some­where...

Raise a glass to two of T.O.’s top spots for brunch

Richmond Hill Post - - Food - by Karolyne El­la­cott

When tasked with an as­sign­ment called drunch (aka boozy brunch), it’s es­sen­tial to gather some im­por­tant re­sources: namely, peo­ple who are will­ing to make the sac­ri­fice to eat pan­cakes and drink cock­tails with you early in the morn. For­tu­nately such peo­ple were not too dif­fi­cult to lo­cate.

Cock­tails at Con­stan­tine

This chi-chi new­bie is tucked into the new bou­tique ho­tel An­ndore House, found but a stone’s throw from Yorkville. She’s clearly meant for loung­ing, full of very comfy ban­quettes, with sooth­ing light­ing and a fire­place for good mea­sure. Af­fa­ble servers come dressed in all pos­si­ble sil­hou­ettes of dark denim while Craig Hard­ing’s Mediter­ranean menu makes or­der­ing tough.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing early to beat the brunch crowds and or­der­ing cof­fees (hey, you can only sip on tip­ples af­ter 11 a.m.), we go with the shak­shuka and pan­cakes.

The shak­shuka ar­rives ta­ble­side in an adorable cast iron pan, with a duo of eggs laz­ing away in a bed of toma­toey stew nicely spiced with chili and cumin. We load it onto the za'aatar-dusted flat­bread and scarf it down quickly.

Fi­nally it’s cock­tail time! Belli­nis and cae­sars are by­passed in favour of more in­volved tip­ples; the La­van­dula pairs Lil­let Blanc with fancy-and-lo­cal Dil­lon’s cherry gin and sparkling wine for a sweet yet cit­rusy li­ba­tion that acts as the per­fect alarm clock. The but­ter­milk pan­cakes ar­rive and are ex­tra luxe, topped with not-too-sweet ri­cotta, fresh berries and maple syrup. We man­age to fin­ish them no prob­lem. We spot some de­li­cious-look­ing av­o­cado toast and won­der if we should have got­ten that, too? Next time. Be­fore we leave another cock­tail is re­quired. This time the Frais Po­den­sac, boast­ing mint and grape­fruit, makes us feel a bit bub­bly. But it could also be the en­vi­ron­ment — and the fact that we were up with the birds? On a scale from one to tipsy, we were sit­ting at a sober two. Su­per­fill­ing pan­cakes, it must be noted, do not a drunch make. But damn, they are good. 15 Charles St. E.

A sweet and savoury meal at School

With its in­dus­trial en­vi­rons, hip-hop tunes bounc­ing over­head, She-Ra play­ing on screens and a queue full of mini-sun­glass-wear­ing mil­len­ni­als, School was deemed a top pick for drunch­ing.

The Lib­erty Vil­lage spot has been draw­ing crowds with the prom­ise of chicken and waf­fles since 2009, and we were keen to pair ours with a mi­mosa or two.

But af­ter shim­my­ing our way into a line and then be­ing told the wait would last at least one turn of the ole clock, our mid­day was stalled some­what. Balzac's cof­fee was sipped, and fi­nally, a cool 90 min­utes later, our ta­ble was ready.

Set­tling in against a wall of clocks all in­di­cat­ing 3 p.m., we sur­vey the drinks menu. With cae­sars on spe­cial ($2 off!), this seemed the most sen­si­ble of the bev­er­age op­tions. They ar­rive and of­fer plenty of kick, fin­ished with spicy beans and a slice of sug­ar­cured On­tario ba­con.

Food-wise, our stom­achs de­manded we go straight for the carbs. For sa­vory, we went with the afore­men­tioned waf­fles, which ar­rived topped with nicely moist pieces of but­ter­milk fried chicken with brown sugar but­ter and lotsa honey pack­ing some heat.

For sweet? Pan­cakes. The week­end spe­cial in­volves a stack of their flap­jacks (four­deep, to be spe­cific) loaded up with ap­ple crum­ble and toasted pecans, a dust­ing of cin­na­mon sugar and caramel to fin­ish.

Af­ter do­ing our best to pol­ish both dishes off, we emerge de­feated and or­der mi­mosas (one blood or­ange, one pear basil) in an at­tempt to feel less full. 70 Fraser Ave.

Con­stan­tine serves up the per­fect morn­ing meal, with crave­able carbs and tasty cock­tails

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