When the owners of Mission Eatery decided to close down for a few months, it wasn’t just to undergo a change in concept. It was to live out their dream to operate a business in the downtown core.
The Mission Eatery was operating on Airport Road in Mississauga as a catering company for corporate and office functions and private events. Now, The Mission Eatery is a café-style restaurant that brings, according to owner Lanny Liu, “healthy, local and interesting French foods to the mainstream.” And it’s become part of the Queen West family.
While running the Mission Eatery for the past eight years, Liu missed working downtown. After studying at George Brown College and working at the Hilton and Four Seasons Hotels, alongside other local French restaurants, she was drawn to the “atmosphere” of downtown and knew she’d be back again some day.
During the pandemic, Liu rethought her business plan and, with the help of a new business partner, Vivienne Wang, decided upon a new concept. With it, she relocated to the place she loved. They discussed the Queen West area and then stumbled upon the perfect location. One with a back patio which, for Liu, is the highlight.
“The first time I stepped in this restaurant, I fell in love with the back patio,” she says. The restaurant also has a large garage door at the storefront that opens all the way and creates a welcoming pull. “Once it’s open, it’s really nice. Fresh air can flow into the restaurant. And customers will walk by and then they can come in and go through the store and to the back patio. It’s really nice.”
But, no matter how adorable, a restaurant doesn’t stand on its appearance alone. Luckily, the Mission Eatery is all about preparing their ingredients in-house as much as possible, meaning their menu is full of healthy, filling options.
The Mission Eatery offers complete brunch, lunch and dinner menus including tapas and cocktails. On the brunch menu, specials include the signature blueberry oatmeal pancakes, fried chicken and waffles and a beet cured trout gravlax eggs benedict.
“We cure the trout gravlax in house,” says Lui. “Most restaurants serve retail-bought smoked salmon, so we thought we could do it in a more interesting, healthy way. So we use a beet juice and a whole bunch of citrus and herbs and spices to cure the trout to make it into a French-style cured fish.”
The Mission Eatery also serves up a huge 6oz meatball that’s braised in zesty tomato sauce for two hours and sits overnight before being served with spaghetti. “It’s huge but it’s juicy,” says the owner.
Everything from the dressings to the jams and ketchup are made in-house using seasonal fruits and fresh herbs.
The Mission Eatery is now open at 676 Queen St. W.