A Toronto restaurant that managed to open during the pandemic and survive all of the tumult that the years of restrictions threw at it is suddenly shutting its doors for good, marking a huge loss for the busy Queen West strip.
Ration Beverley went through many iterations during its nascence, all of them equally creative and promising.
As the team behind the project wrote in a goodbye message to patrons on Instagram this week, what began as a fermentation and preservation restaurant turned into multiple different pop-up concepts revolving around takeout — all that was allowed at the time — and progressed into, among other things, a stunning rooftop spot offering fine dining and cocktails.
When the business was told with just five days’ notice that establishments could open for indoor dining in fall 2021, it built a tasting menu restaurant out of what had been “a giant packing station and five different identities.”
“Every day was seemingly better than the last until six weeks into our journey came the announcement of Omicron. We then lost 14 Christmas parties, had a shortened New Year’s Eve and then faced another nine-week lockdown,” owners explain in their message to the public.
“Through the many twists and turns of the pandemic, our team did their very best to navigate and pivot. And we are so very proud of our incredible team for their resilience, dedication and all that we accomplished together at Ration.”
But, the update’s main point is clear: the restaurant’s tenure at 335 Queen St. W in the Beverley Hotel will come to an end this week, with five days left in service at the time of posting.
Through all of its forms, Ration has manged to garner a number of impressive accolades, including landing on Michelin’s guide of recommendations for Toronto both this year and last.
It has also made waves in the sustainability field, being a proudly zero-waste eatery that relied on the preservation, fermentation and foraging that it was rooted in from the start.
Most recently, it offered a 2.5-hour dining experience that comprised of 10 courses, or a smaller six-course tasting menu, both with wine pairings curated by co-founder Wes Burgundy. Rare for a fine dining spot in Toronto, Ration also offered separate menus for vegans/vegetarians, pescatarians and those with no dietary restrictions.
Its boundary-pushing innovation, seemingly limitlesss adaptability, and luxurious food and atmosphere will certainly be missed, but we will be keeping an eye out for whatever the team may have cooking up in the future.