Chances are you've seen it while driving along Jarvis street, in the city's so-called 'Mansion district'. Honey's Beestro and Bar, aka 'The Grand Hive' is very tough to miss. Built in the 19th century, this gorgeous three-storey building served as the George Horace Gooderham residence and by the looks of it, hasn't lost its charm, sophistication and elegance in any way.
The enormous patio, one of the better ones in the city, seats 150 while its equally spacious interior seats another 100. Th
at being said, this place is, as advertised, always buzzing. The bar area is decorated with lovely stone walls, giving the space a classy yet casual and inviting atmosphere. Meanwhile, its three more refined dining rooms offer a rich, more intimate environment and elevate the ambiance level a few notches.
My dinner mate and I begin with the Wild Salmon Carpaccio ($12). Served with spicy daikon slaw, drizzled with citrus ponzu and topped with radish sprouts, it's a fresh appetizer and a good start to a meal that promises to be very filling.
The Rib and Chicken Wing Combo ($24) offers a taste of both signature dishes on one plate. A half rack of centre cut Pork Side Ribs comes with 1lb of Wings and served with honeyslaw, daily vegetables, frites and smothered with the Chef's signature hickory smoke BBQ sauce. The ribs were indeed juicy however it often seemed that there was more effort needed to remove the excess fat than the meat. Meanwhile the Wings were among the bigger ones I've seen and eaten anywhere in the city and were delicious. Note: if you like your wings slightly spicier, try Honey's Killer Sting sauce for added kick. Further note: if you're not overly hungry and decide to come with a guest, sharing is encouraged as the portions are very generous.
Price: Medium-High. Dinner for 2 with appetizer, beer, tax and tip: $95
Atmosphere: Casual, easy-going yet classy.
Wheelchair Access: Yes, but only for the patio.
Hint: Order the Combo deals that allow you to eat both signatures (Ribs and Wings).
Surprise, Surprise: Free Guest Parking is available but spots are limited.
FIVE STARS: (Extraordinary) A one-of-a-kind, world-class experience.
FOUR STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus and/or savvy service.
THREE STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing cooking.
TWO STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it might have something worth recommending.
ONE STAR: (Poor) Below-average restaurant.
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