When did butcher shops get so beautiful? Roast Fine Foods is the latest to make us salivate over its naturally raised, locally farmed fare – and its good looks. At the entrance, against the wallpapered image of a kid being handed a roast dinner, is an old-school icebox filled with frozen treats by Fressy Bessie and Greg’s Ice Cream. Jeremy Gladstone designed the space – the marble counters, the tin ceiling, the award-winning typography – and it’s old-timey feel inspires you to linger a little longer to choose your protein.
At the back of the shop behind a glass partition, owner Ben Latchford and his staff prepare everything. The fridges along the wall are full of vacuum-packed meats, such as ready-for-the-grill bison steak and an assortment of burgers and sausages. A freezer holds heat-and-serve dishes, classics like short-rib lasagna and lamb stew. There are also stacked containers of broths and stocks, and a fridge full of dry aged beef. One of the store’s standouts is the roast chicken, dressed in any one of a flavour junkie’s paradise of bastes, like honey-chipotle, Cajun, piri piri, fresh herb, jerk and bbq dry rub – at least half a dozen uniquely flavoured birds are always on hand (from $7/lb). Roast Fine Foods is a great choice for bigger occasions, or when you need to impress guests on short notice, order the rack of lamb (from $26/lb), a fully trussed turkey (from $5.30/lb) or venison (usually served as racks, from $40/lb), all seasoned to perfection for easy at-home cooking.
786 St. Clair Ave W 416 657 6278 Mon-Tue 10-7, Wed-Fri 9-7, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-6