Friday, June 24, 2016

Cocktail Flights & Delicious Eats at Furlough

Just another blog post about cocktails, how much I enjoyed them, & why you're missing out. ;)

Furlough (@FurloughToronto) is a cocktail bar on Queen Street just west of Trinity Bellwoods Park. At Furlough, they focus on providing a very relaxing atmosphere for their customers - from the decor, to the set up of the bar. It is very fitting, as furlough means taking a leave of absence, from work, from life, anything. So don't be surprised when you see people roll into Furlough after dinner to just wind down before heading to bed.

Walking into Furlough, we were greeted with a gorgeous, fully stocked bar. With our cocktail boards ready for us, the bartender (Gabriel) gave us a low down of the evening. We started off with a cocktail flight while Gabriel taught us all about the drinks and how they're made. From our cocktail flight, we were able to try the:

Aviation - London Dry Gin, Maraschino liqueur, Violette liqueur and fresh lemon juice, shaken to chill and fine strained into a coupe glass. This one was delicious, as I love gin. It was not too strong, but you could definitely taste the alcohol more prominently than normal cocktails.
Apricot Fields - Apricot-infused brandy, fresh lemon, rosemary syrup, Amaretto and Madeira, shaken over ice to chill and fine strained into a rosemary sugar rimmed coupe glass. This one was also super tasty. You could really taste the sweetest of the apricot in this cocktail and the amaretto hints. However, I wasn't fan of the sugar rim.
• Luckey #7 - Bourbon, apricot bitters, fresh lemon juice, star anise syrup, Maraschino liqueur and the white of one egg are dry shaken to aerate and fully integrate the components which is then shaken with ice to chill and fine strained into a coupe glass, garnished with the zest of an orange. This was definitely the stronger one out of the three.

In addition to the cocktail flight, Gabriel also made us the best drink that he has created to date. It's a whiskey based cocktail, and although it smells like it'd be an extremely strong drink, you surprisingly couldn't even taste the alcohol. It was nice and frothy, giving it a bit of body to it, and it was sweet, but not too sweet. It was honestly just the perfect combination of ingredients! I can't believe this isn't on the menu yet, but it is SO good. It was my favourite of the night, hands down. We named it "The Gabriel" if you want to try it. I think he'll know what you mean if you ask for it at the bar ;)

For more details of the cocktail offerings at Furlough, click here. I am sure they'll have at least something you'll like! And if not, they will make something to fit what you want.

While tasting and learning about our cocktails, we were also presented with a couple plates of little bite. At the bar we got to enjoy the following four appetizers:

Albacore Tuna Tartar - Radish, Cucumber, Pickled Shallots, Lemon Aioli, Crostinis. We had this with the first cocktail, and it was a refreshing start. I also really liked coating the tuna with the lemon aioli - yum!
• Charcuterie Board - Selection of Local Meats and Cheese. Everything on the board is made in-house and it was so delicious! The cured meats were good - I wish we had more.
Fresh oysters at market price. These were so delicious and fresh. I love oysters, so these were just the perfect little bites to have while drinking the cocktails.
• Ham Hock Croquettes - Beer Mayo, Ramp Mustard, Chicharron Salt. These tasted like warm little fried bubbles! Sounds weird but it was so delicious. Although the hard exterior, inside was warm and fuzzy. It is a good contrast to other 'colder' apps that you could order like the tuna tartar and the charcuterie board.

After having our flight of cocktails while snacking on those little bites, we head towards the back of Furlough to their covered patio for some 'real' eats. We were brought out the following three appetizers to start off with:

• Niçoise Salad - Green Beans, Tomato Jam, Roasted Olive, Cured Anchovies. This salad is part of their summer menu here at Furlough. Although I am not a huge fan of beans and anchovies, this was definitely a very refreshing starter.
Roasted Asparagus - Feta, Flax Seeds, Sherry Caramel. I love asparagus, and with asparagus being in season right now, this is a very good choice as you can't go wrong with fresh asparagus!
• Moules and Frites - Leeks, Chorizo, Confit Garlic. My favourite combo of the night! The mussels were delicious in the sauce and the chorizo added texture to the dish. But the fries were SO good and just how I like them - thin, stringy, mushy, super salty fries hehe.
With these starters, we also had a bottle of wine to pair with our appetizers and mains.

You'd think that we would stop eating right? Nope!! :) We still had room to try some of Furlough's main dishes. For our mains, we decided on the following four dishes:

Rainbow Trout - chickpeas, proscuitto, and broccoli. I wish I ordered this dish! I had only 1 bite of this, but even from the 1 bite, I could tell that the trout was very fresh. I really liked the proscuitto addition with the trout.
Lamb Shank - cous cous, black olives, and zucchini. This was the dish that I ordered and I loved it! The lamb fell right off the bone, and it sort of melted in your mouth. It was such a delicious dish, and the flavours were on point. I wished it came with a bit more zucchini though to add a 'refreshing' side to this dish, since the lamb is on the heavier side.
Duck Confit - lemon spaetzle, rhubarb ketchup, and scallion chimichurri. Alice ordered this as her main, and it was a table consensus that this was the one downfall in terms of mains. The duck was very salty, and I was advised that it was probably because of the brine. Hopefully they change the amount of salt they add to their brine for their future duck dishes!
Steak Frites - parsley fries and garlic aioli. With the steak cooked to medium rare perfection, this was delicious!
We also ended off our meal with another dozen of oysters. Their oysters vary depending on what they receive, and because of that, are very fresh and priced at market price.

After 4 hours, we were finally full. Thank you Furlough for hosting and for providing us with an amazing cocktail lesson, delicious cocktails, and amazing plates of food. You can tell they really put thought into their drinks and food. Everyone was very friendly, and we had a really good time. I will be back!

And the winner of my $200 giveaway is: @cfooodie!
Thank you to everyone who entered! Have the best time, Fena. Please email me at to receive your gift card.

Furlough Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*This meal was complimentary, however, please note that all my opinions made are my own.*
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