There is a sense of pride that comes with eating locally sourced foods. Dishes showcase the capabilities of farmers and purveyors while the flavours of ingredients translate to each plate as an expression of the place where they were created.
In Guelph, Bar Mason pays homage to the roots of hospitality and food service, offering hyper-local dining that relies on locally-sourced ingredients transformed by young culinary artists to create a taste that reflects the Royal City on a plate.
So what’s the deal with Bar Mason?
Executive Chef Josh Wright says it’s all about simplicity and respecting the craft of Guelph’s growers and farmers.
“We keep the food simple, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves,” says Wright who, in his over 15 years as a professional chef has run the gambit of culinary experiences from hosting Prime Ministers to being selected to participate in the prestigious international culinary competition, Bocuse d’Or as part of Team Canada.
“Farmers and purveyors put the time, energy and love into the products and our jobs as chefs and cooks is to take that and simply highlight it, not confuse the natural flavours. At Bar Mason, we are taking the best tomatoes to make our tomato sauce, allowing the flavour of tomato to shine through, not manipulating them beyond some simple seasonings.”
One menu item that showcases Bar Mason’s philosophy of local dining that’s social is their thoughtfully curated Charcuterie Board. “All of the cured meats are coming from a supplier in the region who has been making these products for over 30 years,” says Chef Wright. “They are a family run business. I was doing business with them during my early days working in Wine Country and love that I have been able to showcase their craftsmanship and offerings here in Guelph.”
At Bar Mason, the idea of local doesn’t stop at the food. The restaurant’s cocktail menu, created by Head Bartender Steve Balaka draws on inspiration from local flavours to develop uniquely delicious craft cocktails.
“The cocktail menu is the product of being inspired by a wide variety of produce and spices and experimenting with different flavour combinations while maintaining my old school bartending style,” says Balaka. “The idea was to keep a simplicity to the ingredients and to let them really shine.”
An example of simple meets tasty is the Doubloon. Made of just three ingredients; quality rum, house-made cinnamon and molasses syrup, and house-made raisin bitters, this cocktail blends each element to bring different layers and complexity to the flavour.
“As a proud local, we love showing off the unique style that is Guelph and what it has to offer. There is such a rich craft beer history and culture in Guelph and I wanted to showcase a craft cocktail culture.”
Bar Mason’s atmosphere echoes the food – bright and inviting while offering a blend of traditional and modern design elements. Located at the Delta Guelph at 50 Stone Road West, the restaurant has plans to open a patio that promises to be unlike any other outdoor dining and lounge space in Guelph.
Chef Wright believes, “A great dinner isn’t about overly complex dishes or elaborate service. It’s about great food, great company, and great conversation.” And for Bar Mason, this means proudly treating guests to sustainable, regionally grown meats and produce, locally crafted cheeses, and inspired craft cocktails.
Visit BarMasonRestaurant.ca to learn more about Bar Mason’s Guelph-inspired menu or to book a table online. And for a limited time, earn 1000 points on OpenTable if you reserve your next table through OpenTable.ca (some restrictions apply).