Looking better than it tasted at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar


As I visited Toronto for the IDS 2008, I booked the Sunday brunch at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. I heard the buzz about this place so I was excited.

Jamie Kennedy has earned a great reputation in Toronto for his upscale restaurants. With the Wine Bar, he proposes an affordable option executed by the Chef of cuisine Tobey Nemeth.

My opinion

Sadly I liked the décor more than the food. In all fairness, I should have sat at the kitchen bar. Usually it is a treat to see what is going on.

That Sunday, we were speaking about Status Competition, our Facebook application, at PodCamp Toronto. So I opted to sit at a quiet table. I imagined that Jerome and I may refine our presentation during the brunch.

Basically, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar serves small portion seasonal dishes either for lunch, dinner or at brunch. I was told that the menu slightly changes on a daily basis. As you may suspect by the name of the restaurant, wine pairing plays a big role on the menu. Next to each dish on the menu you have the wine recommendation of the sommelier. Due to our speaking engagement, we did not taste any wine.

About the Sunday Brunch menu

The Sunday Brunch Prix Fixe menu lets you select 2 dishes from the menu for $20. Side dishes are extra. I found that the mix of flavors on the Cheese and Dried Fruit Grilled Sandwich was not really successful. The caramelization of the dried fruit with the cheese (I do not remember which one) did not work for me. Since we were pressed by time, I did not say anything to our server. My egg dish was good. Jerome ate a warm tartelette and an omelet. His selections were more interesting than mine.

We had the House-Made Berkshire Pork Bacon which I enjoyed since I ate the lean parts. I was surprised that there was that much thick fat on our pieces.  The white fat was easy to remove with a knife but I would expect the kitchen to do it before serving.

About the Décor

As you can see from the pictures I took, the restaurant decor is warm, cool and creative. The Mason jars wall looks amazing. That is my favorite thing in the place. It is an idea to steal for your own kitchen.  The school dining table ambiance in the larger room is charming.

The night before, I lived through a delightful dinner at Kultura. I was still under that spell so maybe I asked too much from my brunch. I suspect the dinner at the Wine Bar must be a different experience. If you ever ate at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, how did you like the food? Should I try it again?

Learn more: Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar
Photo credit: Jamie Kennedy with his sous-chef at the Gardiner Museum taken by Mary Elizabeth Armstrong – Rights reserved picture