First Look: Home of the Brave, a new American-inspired restaurant on King West


Fried bologna sandwich ($9) with American cheese, toasted pistachios and spicy sour cream (Images: Gizelle Lau)

Andrew Richmond and the team behind La Carnita opened their newest venture, Home of the Brave, over the weekend. Located above Lou Dawg’s on King West, Home of the Brave is a tribute to American food in all its glory.

Designed and built by Richmond himself, the interior is decked out in hot-rolled steel, along with orange diner-style booths, lights hanging from pulleys and a blingin’ gold bald eagle front and center at the bar.

Chefs Jon Hamilton and Nate Middleton, part of the La Carnita family, bring to life a playful menu that touches on classics and regional specialties from places like Chicago, Kansas City, Boston and New York.

To start, there’s the Waldorf salad ($10) or the crab cake summer bean salad ($12). Next up, there’s the fried bologna sandwich ($9); a Kentucky Fried Handshake sandwich (a chicken sandwich that’s served with the foot intact, $13) or the Bones in a Bucket, which is a serving of beef and pork ribs ($18). And since it doesn’t get more American than a giant chunk of meat, Home of the Brave also does a 20 oz New York strip, dry-aged for 40 days ($50). For dessert, there’s a classic banana split ($8) or a red velvet funnel cake ($7).

Behind the drinks is Taylor Corrigan, previously of Origin, who offers a cocktail list ($12 each) including seasonal house favourites like the Tombac Tippler (Tromba, rose, Chartreuse, grapefruit bitters), along with vintage American cocktails dug out from the history books, like the Bronx (gin, orange juice, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth). A “guest book” section features drinks inspired by American bartenders/mixologists, like The Wizard of Oz (Cynar, sherry, lime, orange bitters). There are also boozy slushies.

And as for the restaurant’s tagline, “join or die,” it’s based on a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin of an eight-piece snake, which attempts to illustrate the need to join and unite against British rule.

Home of the Brave, 589 King St. W., second floor, 416-366-2736

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