Abode Public Residence (416) 340-9000 http://www.abodepublicresidence.com/ Tues-Thurs 6pm – close
A little bit of New York’s meat packing district right in the middle of Toronto. From the outside this venue looks like another downtown area club, but once inside, the room looks like the lobby bar of a boutique hotel. It’s absolutely stunning, trendy furniture, a living wall, cow skin rugs, and a gurgling water fountain to melt your troubles away. The cuisine is tapas style French, Middle Eastern, with a touch of North African.
Tartar and toast, lightly seasoned and topped on oh-so-delightful crisp crostini. Shells and chorizo is a favorite. Steamed mussels and clams prepared in a white wine sauce, smoky with kiss of heat, surprisingly sensational. Beef and blue ironed-seared filet mignon is oddly delicious with a hint of Roquefort blue and mustard. The shank and couscous is hearty and right on with merguez, okra, and sunchoke.
Elegant cocktails can make an evening shine. I started with the luscious So Cointreauversial cocktail – cointreau, ruby red grape fruit juice, St. Germain and Perrier Jouet champagne, and at $30 is a meal in itself. Next try a Stiletto Manhattan, made with Canadian Club Sherry Oak, Amaretto, sweet vermouth, and rhubarb bitters, it gets straight to the point.