Mercer Hall is a lovely boutique hotel in downtown Stratford, Ontario. With Chef Ryan O’Donnell at the helm, you can be sure that the menu reads like a who’s who of regional producers. Few farmers raise better meat than Max and Vicki Lass. Heck, they supply Toronto’s Buca Osteria. Antony Johns’ Soiled Reputation sells them his truly spectacular produce. Northern Mushrooms supplies shiitake and a variety of oyster mushrooms. And they use Waterloo County Guernsey milk. The list is long and, believe me, enviable. Their creativity flows directly from those suppliers onto their approachable and creative menus.
Their bar menus are similar with a very large selection of both Canadian spirits and wines. In a city which held the very first conference on Canadian cuisine, Northern Bounty, and is the home of the Stratford Chefs School, what they are doing is not only smart, it’s just, plain right!
Mercer Hall takes beer very seriously. They now have 175 craft beers on their list…one of the best in the Province. Staff drive to Toronto every two weeks to pick up beers from breweries so micro that they’d never ship outside their own locale. With fifteen draft lines, Stratford’s only cask engine, and over 100 bottles the Mercer Beer Hall is the place to begin (or continue) the exploration of the best craft brews that Ontario and Canada produces.
It’s hard to overstate Chef O’Donnell’s massive experience. For years he was an instructor at the renowned Stratford Chefs School, hosting (and feeding) many of the world’s top chefs at the SCS run restaurant, The Prune. And, he’s traveled….and tasted and learned. His menu at Mercer is a riff on Japanese isakaya (casual) cuisine with homage paid to the Germanic community that surrounds the city. The fresh kohlrabi salad is sparked with shiso; there’s a grilled mushroom steam bun with spicy aioli and fresh cilantro. His karage is fried (Perth County) chicken pieces and lemon togarashi mayo. It’s an inventive and delicious menu with a very approachable price point.
Mercer Hall is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
Mercer Hall est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez Mercer Hall directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
Mercer Hall Inn & Restaurant
104-108 Ontario Street,
Stratford, Ontario N5A 3H2
T: 519 271-1888 / 1-888-816-4011