Rakia Bar 416.778.8800 https://www.facebook.com/rakiabartoronto open daily for dinner
The room looks warm and inviting, bordered by soft pillows and colourful banquets. The bartender looks as though he is conducting a science experiment with wild looking glass beakers lined-up on the bar. Rakia is produced by distillation of fermented fruit, and owner Dušan Varga has one of the largest selections in the city. These beverages are meant to be slowly sipped, and work very well with Varga’s Serbian inspired menu; take a bite then take a sip. Our server is a delight and very helpful navigating the menu. The food aromas remind me of my mom’s kitchen. Pork “red fat” and paprika make the spread for fresh house baked bread.
The capital eggs are salty and creamy, but the unexpected touch of crunch makes it one of the best I have ever tried. A warm and spongy Czech steamed bun nestles crispy succulent pork, offering a hint of smoke to balance the sweet peach and basil. Chevapi trio plates a huge spicy portion of venison, boar, and lamb together with sour cherry, onion preserve, and whipped herb Kaymak and Lepinja.
Plyeskavica made with juicy bison is topped with kashkaval, smoky ayvar and served with a brioche and a vinegary cucumber salad; the flavours are different yet similar at the same time. And finally feta cheese, red peppers and Ajvar make a tasty sandwich not normally on the menu.
A few memorable Rakia’s:
Fairy’s wildflower (lemon balm) plum brandy, and acacia honey tastes like nectar.
Loza (vrsac) very strong and smooth, in a good way.
Temptation (lukie) is floral like honey.
Mr Tesla (selection) is smoky yet sweet.
The Kiss (raspberry) with just a hint of fruit flavour.
Dibonis (apple) is my favourite because its light and not too harsh.