Meet the owner

When Huffington Post Canada and BlogTO both tabbed The Kennedy Public House as one of Toronto's top new restaurants, owner Mike Derbyshire was delighted — but not surprised.

"This place has always been about the food," Mike says. Indeed, the Kennedy's weekend brunch and daily lunch and dinner menus are light years ahead of typical pub grub. There's baked brie to start (with salsa verde, arugula, roasted garlic and pickled onion), and a masala-spiced lamb shank with sweet potato spätzle, peas, spinach and tomato relish for the main. For dessert? How about a slice of locally baked, chocolate-drizzled pecan pie, made fresh today?

Mike describes the fare as "classic comfort food," but even the more conventional dishes come with a twist. Take the "Hotmess Poutine." There are French fries, chicken gravy and Quebec cheese curds, of course, but then green onions, spiced ground pork, chicken crackling and horseradish are thrown in. The "Chopped Romaine" salad, meanwhile, is ostensibly a Caesar, but one that incorporates palm hearts, fried artichokes, asiago and parmesan cheese, fried capers and crisp prosciutto.

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Ratings & Reviews - The Kennedy Public House

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    Esjogren19
    By

    Literally the worst service ive ever experienced. Have come here for years with my family and there has been a transition in staff, now while i come on date night with my wife we watch the staff drink booze rather than serve tables. Avoid this place, its not what it used to be.

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    Mark S
    By

    Had an excellent ...

    Had an excellent time tonight at the Kennedy Public House. From the attentive hostess, to our excellent server Andrew, I'm very delighted with our choice to eat here tonight. The food was delicious, our server Andrew was extremely attentive to our table, and the atmosphere is great. A small detail, but the chef's choice to add lime to the coleslaw accompanying my Kennedy burger was incredible - just enough bitter to counter the often rich taste that creamy coleslaws usually have.

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    October 30, 2017

    It took over 1.5 hours to get our dinner. There were fruit flies swarming our table all night. The waiter did not split the bill correctly. Therefore, I won’t be returning in the near future.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 2/5

    October 28, 2017

    We just had drinks. Great time, great server

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 1/5

    Service: 5/5

    October 14, 2017

    Server forgot my drink. She seemed disorganized. Didn't know how to take orders properly. She took drink orders for memory and forgot my drink. Brought the drinks out finally. Then when we went to make food orders, she had to go to the back to get a pad and paper. Just lost overall.

    Ambiance: 4/5

    Cuisine: 4/5

    Service: 2/5

    October 3, 2017

    We have always loved the Kennedy for Brunch. However this last visit, it's clear things have changed. Food quality was not at all what it use to be, Paper thin waffles? Burnt at that and had to be sent back. Service was Ok, our server when asked if food was suppose to look the way it did simply said "I don't know, I'll ask the kitchen". Another thing missing, the live jazz on weekends. Granted my husband and I have not been to the Kennedy in a year due to moving out of the city... what happened to the live jazz? Instead it was country music playing on the sound system. Anyway I'm sad to say we will not be back again. If prefer to remember the Kennedy as it was back when it was good.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 2/5

    Service: 3/5

    August 28, 2017

    We have been to the Kennedy MANY, MANY times and after our last visit, we are not sure that we will ever go back. Many menu items were not available, the food was mediocre at best (burgers should be easy and are usually goo) and the evening was topped off with our take away pizza being boxed in a box from a wonderful pizza place across the street. As it turns out, the Kennedy was out of boxes - as they were with half the food for the menu - and was borrowing from neighbours. We were embarrassed as we had recommended it to meet family there. Never again! The only positive was our very lovely waitress. She did her best in what appeared to be a desperate situation

    Ambiance: 2/5

    Cuisine: 1/5

    Service: 4/5

    August 18, 2017

    Food was bland and small portion. They brought out my ceasar salad and forgot to add the dressing. Had the fish and chips. The chips were cold and the flash was mostly batter. Will not be going back.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 1/5

    Service: 2/5

    June 29, 2017

    Nathan the manager was amazing. He was so accommodating and so kind and professional. He served a huge crowd of 26 and was always patient and polite. The food was good. Slight wait time but totally understandable with such a big group ordering at different times. Thanks for the hospitality Nathan! We all had an amazing time!!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 4/5

    Service: 5/5

    June 26, 2017

    We hosted a large party on Saturday night at the Kennedy and it was great! The staff (Suzanne and Nathan as well as all the servers) were very professional and courteous. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was great! It was our first time at the Kennedy but I can assure you it will not be our last!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    June 8, 2017

    Our group had a horrible experience. We made reservations and still had to wait for more than 90minutes until our food arrived. We were ready to drop lots of money on drinks and food but our waitress couldn't be seen for almost an hour. Horrible service and bad attitude. We were thirsty and starving. The place wasn't even busy at the time. Might be a "hip" place but you're better off skipping this place.

    Ambiance: 2/5

    Cuisine: 2/5

    Service: 1/5

    May 15, 2017

    The breakfast skillet was amazing!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    May 1, 2017

    Very loud with the crowd and the music they were trying to make heard. Service was fast and friendly and just attentive enough. I was disappointed to discover that not only could they not make the drink I requested due to lack of ingredients, but they then didn't have the beer I asked for. The server explained that it had been a particularly busy day and some stuff was gone. I guess these things can happen. Food was good.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 4/5

    Service: 4/5

    April 23, 2017

    As always the Kennedy never fails to deliver on all fronts!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    April 23, 2017

    Excellent time. The only minor issue was that with two kids in our group it did take a bit too long to get our food. And the place didn't seem so incredibly busy...but the food was great and the service was lovely.

    Ambiance: 4/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 4/5

    April 10, 2017

    Expensive prices for brunch and mediocre food. Burger was good but sandwiches for $17?? Side salad was dressed with a weird cherry dressing. Bird's nest salad was bland - dressing was watery and tasteless.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 2/5

    Service: 3/5

    April 7, 2017

    Ok

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 4/5

    April 2, 2017

    Perfect way to spend my birthday!!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    March 25, 2017

    We will never return. The kitchen was down b/c of a small fire. Took forever to order and longer than forever to get them and even than one was wrong. Ordered salsa /chips to hold us over while we had drinks & waited for word from the kitchen that it was open again. Chips served in a bowl with small dish of salsa - had to ask for more. Finally ordered pizza b/c the kitchen was non-functional but pizzas available. Terrible excuse for a pizza but more than that -$136 for an awful evening. Didn't complain as not wanting to make our guest uncomfortable. No attempts by management to 'make it right'. Last two occasions - food overpriced and marginal at best. This helped make our decision to never return to this perfect location resto that only offers that - nothing else.

    Ambiance: 1/5

    Cuisine: 1/5

    Service: 1/5

    March 17, 2017

    I love meeting friends and family at The Kennedy Public House for great food, drinks and entertainment. Service is friendly and attentive and I can satisfy my cravings for delicious wings, burgers, salad, pizza or pasta.

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    March 13, 2017

    We enjoyed this transit spot, but the food was just "meh" not bad, but not great. My sunny side up eggs were cooked through, they brought new ones, but they could not fix the dry potatoes and beans in the scramble. Also had the crazy Canuck which was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Also had the French toast fingers, which were not fingers and again dry, even the syrup and berry compote couldn't make the crust on bread taste good.

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 4/5

    March 11, 2017

    Requested a quiet table and that was provided. Service was awesome. Our waitress was great, sweet and very helpful. Food was great. Served hot. Is a great restaurant and would come back again. Thank you.

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    March 5, 2017

    The Kennedy handled a crowd of 26 exceptionally well. The chef offered his condolences, as the dinner was after a family member's funeral, and asked if we were happy with the food he prepared. Other staff members also offered their condolences. Everyone was impressed - the staff did a very good job. Thank you

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    February 28, 2017

    They were out of a lot of things on the menu.

    Ambiance: 4/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 4/5

    February 21, 2017

    Terrible service. Waited 10 minutes to even be greeted. Waitress was not apologetic. Waited another hour for our food. Food was super overcooked. We will not be going back. This is the 3rd and last time we had terrible service and experience.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 2/5

    Service: 1/5

    February 12, 2017

    Great vibe. Server was polite, funny and food service was quick. Would definitely go back!

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 5/5

    Service: 5/5

    February 5, 2017

    good beer selection.

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 3/5

    February 6, 2017

    My server was great ..... but she was in the weeds . There were two servers for the whole restaurant- on a Saturday brunch ; it seems illogical since I called ahead to book the reservation for 10 and it's one of maybe 3 places to brunch in bloor west . It took an hour for our food to come out and 30 mins for a peice of cake to come out ( celebrating a birthday ) when I went to the bartender who was not doing much she was incredibly rude and claimed she was the manager . If she was the manager , I would be pretty disappointed that they would treat a customer like that .

    Ambiance: 4/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 1/5

    February 5, 2017

    Excellent service! Great atmosphere! Friendly staff. Had my baby shower there and everybody had a good time. My friends liked the beer menu too.

    Ambiance: 5/5

    Cuisine: 4/5

    Service: 5/5

    January 31, 2017

    We've been about four times now and have yet to be disappointed.

    Ambiance: 4/5

    Cuisine: 4/5

    Service: 4/5

    January 30, 2017

    Over half of the brunch menu items were unavailable and we were not informed of this at the start of service. The food we finally ordered did taste good but overall a poor experience and we will not return.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 3/5

    Service: 3/5

    January 30, 2017

    We came for my daughter's birthday lunch and was appalled that you ran out of burgers at 12pm on a sunday? Also ran out of cookies for the kids menu? Terrible. We won't be coming back anytime soon and it's a shame because we live in the neighborhood. The brunch menu was nothing spectacular and over priced.

    Ambiance: 3/5

    Cuisine: 1/5

    Service: 2/5

    Appears in 2 Smart Lists

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