Big Meat Guide: Whole Beast Dinners and Gigantic Steaks

By Suresh Doss  |  March 11, 2014

Ahh, the sweet smell of meat. Toronto foodies are carnivores at heart, and chefs are taking notice. The city has one of the best selections of beef in the country, with daily slabs of marbled goodness coming in from Australia, Japan and the best farms in North America. Prefer whole beast dinners? How about elk or wild boar? Here are six restaurants taking a bigger-is-better approach to serving protein.

  • A5 Black Tajima at Jacob's and Co. Steak House

    How Big: 50 ounces of super marbled goodness (feeds a large group)
    Juicy Details: Jacob's has one of the best steak selections in the country, with over 60 different chunks of meat currently available on the menu. The A5 (from the Tajima cow, a type of Wagyu) is the crème de la crème in the lineup and often sells out. Chef Danny McCallum suggests that this chunk is good for a group of up to 20.
    Side Dish: The only side that can keep with the buttery dish is a bottle of Bordeaux. But if you must, the duck fat french fries are pretty awesome.
    The Damage: $1,112

    12 Brant St., 416-366-0200

  • Nose-to-Tail Feast at Beast

    How Big: Depends on the animal (feeds four to 10)
    Juicy Details: Whole beast dinners have quickly become a popular dining option at Scott Vivian's farm-to-table outpost on King West. Vivian offers a six-course tasting menu based on the animal you pick (lamb, goat, cow, venison, elk, rabbit, pig, duck, wild boar and squab). The meals must be ordered in advance and are best enjoyed family-style.
    Side Dish:  Vivian's nose-to-tail presentation will provide plenty to chew on, but if you must, the bone marrow is fantastic.
    The Damage: $80-$100 per person

    96 Tecumseth St., 416-352-6000

  • Chateaubriand For Two at Barberian's Steakhouse

    How Big: Feeds two
    Juicy Details: Arron Barberian's classic steakhouse is known for having one of the best wine lists in the city (ask to see the private wine cellar) and its Chateaubriand experience. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare with a charred crust, the steak is carved tableside. 
    Side Dish: Along with the steak, you're offered fries, baked potato or rice as a side. Also try the grilled jumbo shrimp or the onion rings. 
    The Damage: $102

    7 Elm St., 416-597-0335

  • Pig-Out Parties at County General

    How Big: Feeds 10
    Juicy Details: The large-format dish features Ontario suckling pig from Cumbrae's farms, which is brined for four days and then hot smoked for four hours. The pig is carved and served family-style for 10 guests, with a variety of side snacks and housemade hot sauces. Since the restaurant only serves one whole animal per night, reservations must be made four days in advance.
    Side Dish: The meal comes with all the fixings you could possibly need, along with a full bottle of bourbon.
    The Damage: $50 per person (10 minimum)

    936 Queen St. W., 416-531-4447

  • Cote de Boeuf at Nota Bene

    How Big: 40 ounces (feeds two)
    Juicy Details: Chef David Lee gets all his aged meat from local Cumbrae's farms. The rib steak is carefully seared, broiled, carved and finished off with salt to highlight the umami-type flavours that come with aging. 
    Side Dish: The beef comes with a side of broiled bone marrow topped with a pickle/horseradish/parsley and pomme frites.
    The Damage: $49 per person

    180 Queen St. W., 416-977-6400

  • Large Format Dining at Momofuku Daisho

    How Big: It depends what you are in the mood for.
    Juicy Details: Large-format offerings include bo ssäm (10 people), salt and pepper lobster (six people), beef short rib (six people), beef rib-eye (eight people) and beef brisket (10 people). 
    Side Dish: 
    All dinners come with an onslaught of accoutrements for the table to roll up their sleeves and mix and match ingredients. Bonus; Daisho features a large selection of Canadian whisky, so if you see the whisky cart rolling by, wave it down for a tasting.
    The Damage: Ranges from $220 to $600, depending on the meal

    190 University, 647-253-8000