Lbs. Restaurant, pronounced “pounds”, had their grand opening last Friday, June 24. Located in the downtown core’s financial district, it’s a great addition to the restaurant scene in the area, featuring live lobsters, burgers, and cocktails.
The name has several meanings: acronym for “Lobster, Burger, Salad”, or a word for Nova Scotia’s storage for lobster.
The restaurant is located north of King and Yonge, in the previously vacant spot, connected to the Scotia Plaza building and the PATH. The customized luxurious but accessible, modern and fun design by Pencil Design, Bradley Denton and Johanna Peters, who worked on the spaces at Dineen Coffee & Co and Marben. The space is a high-end design, that has an open-face kitchen, large state-of- the-art bar, playfully coloured washroom, intimate lounge and decorated with custom lighting, beautiful Group of Seven artwork and intricate brass, marble and glass accents.
The food menu is simple, as it features their signature four menu items, all for a fixed price of $22 each – an interesting concept that hasn’t been done in Toronto. The restaurant is easy, straightforward and approachable; you won't see any menu item with “market price” on it. The four menu items include: a 1.25 lbs. lobster, lobster roll, a juicy 6 oz. burger with a five-year- old Ottawa cheddar and topped with double-cut bacon rashers, and a lobster mixed-greens salad drizzled with truffle oil. All with a side of hand-cut fries. The restaurant features Canadian ingredients: Nova Scotia lobsters that the owners traveled to suppliers to find the best; burger breads and salad croutons from Fred’s Bread; Kozlik’s, a Canadian mustard (boasting to be the best anywhere) and more. As a fan of lobster rolls, I’ve been excited to try out their take on it, as I’ve tried numerous Toronto lobster rolls that were heavy on mayonnaise, light on lobster meat or overpriced for what you get. For the 1.25 lbs. lobster, all the meat falls off the shells which is extremely convenient and easy to eat (you can request a plastic bib but it won't get dirty, but it’s a good opportunity to take a selfie with it). If you're craving for a bit different twist other than the four menu options, we recommend that you inquire to the server on what they can offer. For desserts, the restaurant offers a decadent ice-cream donut.
For those craving their lobster roll or ice-cream donuts, located outside on the back of the restaurant, their garage take-out style window serves Sam James coffee at 8am and lobster rolls in the afternoon. The take-out price for the roll is $16 and ice-cream sandwiches for $6.
Inside the kitchen, it boasts a massive lobster tank that can support up to 2,000 lbs. of lobsters.
From all areas of the restaurant, you can peek at the kitchen through the glass.
The bar, shaped like a horseshoe, seats 40 people, where you don't have to be on a specific seat to order and you get a view of every part of the restaurant. The cocktails program is led by Holly Caverley, formerly a bartender at Bar Isabel and Momofuku. Cocktails are simple, where they contain 4 premium items or less.
The owners, Jonathan Gonsenhauser and Will Tomlinson, provides a different experience, challenging the prices of lobsters, bringing a sophisticated yet simple and approachable menu to Toronto. It is their first restaurant venture together, but both have long experience in the hospitality industry. Gonsenhauser was previously the Momofuku’s Beverage Director and Tomlinson owns a winery in London. They met previously while working in Pangea, and in recent years, they’ve been working to push for their vision of this restaurant to become a reality.
100 Yonge St.
Monday to Saturday
11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Take-out Window: 8am to 3pm (in the near future, close time will be 5pm)
For more info visit www.lbstoronto.com
Photos by Nick Lee