TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 24, 2016) - An innovative dining concept is shaking up the restaurant scene in Toronto's downtown core. lbs. - which stands for Lobster, Burger, Salad and pronounced "pounds" - opens today from restaurateurs Jonathan Gonsenhauser and Will Tomlinson. The new restaurant brings high-end cuisine to Torontonians at a transparent price, serving just four menu items for a fixed cost of $22 each.
Seating 140, lbs. brings new meaning to fast, trendy, casual, high-end dining. The approachable four-item menu uses fresh, lobster from Nova Scotia and hormone, antibiotic-free Ontario beef. The menu includes a 1.25 lbs. lobster, lobster roll and juicy 6 oz. burger with five-year-old Ottawa cheddar and double-cut bacon rasher as well as a lobster salad, making selection easy and delicious.
"lbs. has been a work-in-progress for four years and our vision was an accessible high end dining and bar experience in Toronto - something the city hasn't seen before," said Jonathan Gonsenhauser, Co-Founder, lbs. "Like our menu offering, the entire restaurant's approach is honest and straightforward, offering a meal and bar experience that is fun, engaging and lighthearted in a beautifully customized and stylish environment."
To challenge the industry convention of pricing lobster items very high, Gonsenhauser and Tomlinson founded lbs. with a rebellious spirit and set out to provide the freshest lobster at an affordable price, challenge the restaurant industry and create a new standard. "How many times do you look at a lobster menu only to be turned away by 'Market Price'," said Gonsenhauser. "We founded lbs. to create a different type of restaurant - we provide the best and freshest quality lobster at a fraction of the price - ocean to table. Our motto is do a few things, really well - hence our four item menu."
With rich experience in fine dining Gonsenhauser is an advanced Court of Master Sommelier and played a monumental role in bringing Real Sports Bar and Grill to Toronto. For four years, Gonsenhauser served as Assistant General Manager at e11even and assisted with the overall beverage program for the ACC. As the Beverage Director, Gonsenhauser ran the beverage program at Momofuku for three and a half years.
Having spent the last 13 years in the hospitality industry, co-founder, Tomlinson has worked with a variety of restaurants, wineries and distilleries in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the Bahamas experiencing all aspects of the industry before opening lbs. - his first restaurant venture. Tomlinson started studying the Court of Master Sommeliers when living in Toronto and then he moved to London to further his knowledge in the wine & spirit industry studying the WSET Diploma in London and his MBA in Wine in Bordeaux France.
Occupying over 3,700 square feet of the downtown core's premium Scotia Plaza at 100 Yonge Street, this new dining concept offers a high-end atmosphere, minus the intimidation. With beautiful Group of Seven artwork, custom lighting and intricate brass, marble and glass accents, lbs. offers a premium yet casual dining atmosphere with accessible high-end cuisine. lbs. has it all under one roof: a state-of-the art bar, intimate lounge, premium take-out window and an indoor patio within the atrium of the Scotia Plaza.
Shaped like a horse-shoe and located in the centre of the restaurant, this one-of-a-kind bar seats 32 guests comfortably, making it one of the largest bars in the downtown core. As the focal point, every seat at the bar is a good one and provides guests with a unique 360-degree view of the restaurant - from the glassed-in kitchen and the relaxed lounge area to the vibrant patio, guests won't miss a beat. Designed for mixing and mingling, the width of the bar is more narrow in order to allows guests to interact with each other while sitting on either side of the bar.
Hailing from top Toronto restaurants such as Bar Isabel where she was bartender and Momofuku where she led the cocktail and bartending program, Holly Caverly will lead the cocktail program at lbs. Cocktails include simple yet premium ingredients and, like the menu, each cocktail will include no more than four ingredients. Custom sodas will also be available and changing seasonally like raspberry orange and blackberry with lime cordial.
Time to get tanked. The state-of-the-art kitchen boasts massive flat tops and a lobster tank that supports up to 2,000 lbs. of lobsters. Fully glassed-in with floor to ceiling warehouse style glass walls, to avoid sound not sight, customers will be able to see right into the kitchen as their meals are prepared regardless where they are standing or sitting in the restaurant.
THE TAKE-OUT WINDOW
The lbs. garage door-style take-out window is certainly worth the weight. Operating at the back of the restaurant and facing the atrium in the Scotia Plaza, the take-out window will serve Sam James coffee starting at 8 AM every morning and lobster rolls in the afternoon - specially priced for takeout at $16. Also served at the take-out window will be decadent donut ice cream sandwiches for $6 a piece.
THE DINING ROOM
Offering the signature four menu items and a classic selection of wine and beer options, the dining room runs parallel to the bar and seats 52. With suits and jeans both apropos, the dining room welcomes casual yet sophisticated clientele and provides a playful yet elegant environment where everyone is made to feel welcome.
Mirroring furniture pieces in the interior, the patio will boast a white oak façade, planters with beautiful florals, grass detailing and drink ledges for guests to stand, mingle and enjoy cocktails. This one-of-a-kind atrium patio will serve up the full lbs. menu over lunch and dinner and will seat 24 guests.
lbs. opens today, June 24 (#lbsto). The restaurant is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday from 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM. Take-out window hours are 8 AM to 5 PM.