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Imagine your next drive to the country rewarded with spectacular French cuisine, exceptional wines, house-made charcuterie and the freshest produce, beef and more. Two years after the idea took hold, Heart's, a new restaurant from the team behind Toronto's Union and Côte de Boeuf, will soon make that dream a reality. Almost ready to receive its public, albeit initially only for takeout and grocery purchases, Heart's is set to be Kimberley, Ontario's newest dining destination.
A mural by Toronto-based artist Barbara Klunder graces one wall in the farmhouse.
The restaurant, housed in a 19th-century farmhouse and tavern, sits on a one-and-a-half-acre parcel of land. After more than two years of renovations and restorations, the sizeable restaurant features two indoor spaces and two patios. According to co-owner Tyler Wilson, highlights of the room include a Paris-style horseshoe copper-top bar, a French butcher counter, an open kitchen where beef and more will be hung and aged, and a restored veranda made to evoke a train car. The cave space, or wine cellar room, made of the farmhouse's original foundation stone walls, is the perfect setting for larger parties. Outdoors, a chicken coop and vegetable garden remind guests that they're definitely not in the city anymore.
Though the menu promises to be perpetually in flux, if you've ever found yourself lingering over steak frites at Union or packing your grocery bag with foie gras terrine, duck confit and more at Côte de Boeuf, then you have an inkling of what to expect. Chef Teo Paul's menu will draw on his time in France and the Piedmont region of Italy. A former employee, and continuing devotee, of Michael Stadtländer of Eigensinn Farm, Paul's new project will also lean heavily on local ingredients, seasonal influences and from-scratch cooking. Expect charcuterie and bread, Paris-style sandwiches, oysters, smoked habanero wings, smoked salmon and duck wings. As in Toronto, take-home options will include cook-at-home boxes of ribs, burgers and more.
Union Restaurant's popular steak frites.
With a tentative opening date at the end of January, your next jaunt to Grey County promises to be more delicious than the last. For now, stock up on kitchen essentials to cook and enjoy at home. Then, plan your next trip to Kimberley, when you'll hopefully be able to sit on the patio at Heart's, sip from a list of natural, biodynamic and organic wines and sup on all manner of thoughtfully-prepared dishes informed by the bounty of the country.