Amber

Toronto-City-Center

3.9 / 5

May 11, 2018

A happening restaurant-bar in Yorkville that's bright and airy despite being located in a low-ceiling basement totally void of any windows.

A happening restaurant-bar in Yorkville that’s bright and airy despite being located in a low-ceiling basement totally void of any windows. For more than a decade it’s been the place to see and be seen in Toronto, and in that time its decor has been through various guises, from minimalist to Miami South Beach, via Moroccan chic. In 2011 its latest look was revealed, with a beachy theme turning the bar and lounge into an outdoorsy-feeling space reminiscent of old Hollywood or 1950s Havanna. Turquoise art deco trims, banana leaf prints and a gleaming new bar made of Calcutta marble all combine to create a space that is warmer and more welcoming than the previous all white space. Hip Toronto artist Matt McNaught was also hired to create and edgy green graffiti mural at the entrance. And while the new interior is a breath of fresh air, in summer months drinkers tend to decamp to the alluring patio for the real thing. The place attracts an A-list crowd, particularly during Toronto International Film Festival, and the Champagne and Grey Goose is often to be found flowing freely as the DJ spins some seductive house and upbeat tunes. The cocktails are pretty spot on too, ranging from the dry classics to more colourful concoctions. Some Havana-inspired twists have also been added to the drinks menu go with the new decor. But it’s the Mexican-Mediterranean fusion food that sets the place apart, a welcome departure from the Italian/Provencal fare that’s so usual in this area. The menu includes lobster quesadilla and Moroccan Lamb chops and the owner is a Syrian. Now that’s what we call fusion.

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