Simpl Things is the cutest date spot slinging exceptional cocktails

Whether it's your first or your 100th date, Evelyn Chick's Simpl Things in Parkdale is a super cute date night spot where sparks will fly over sumptuous cocktails and light bites. 

Simpl Things | The Sonic Boom cocktail at Simpl Things in Parkdale

Simpl Things: What's the vibe

With all of the new restaurants and bars opening up with complicated, over-the-top concepts — like the new rash of steakhouse-nightclubs that's sweeping the city — sometimes we just want things to be simple. An easy, romantic spot serving great cocktails and a few little snackies is just what we need, and Evelyn Chick's Simpl Things more than delivers. 

In addition to an excellent bar program by the legendary Toronto beverage expert, Simpl Things in Parkdale has oodles of uber cute ambience. A rounded doorway leads guests from the clean, white bar area into the main room where splashes of purple and orange add playfulness to the small space. Stylish, modern chairs and tables beckon guests in while a homey amount of plants encourage them to settle in and stay a while. Glowing yellow and orange, the backbar entices guests with its display of drinks and colourful glassware. 

Cozy, modern and polished, Simpl Things instantly sets me at ease. It's the perfect place to take a new date when you want to spend time getting to know them. Or bring a long-term lover for deep talks and lingering eye contact. Or spend time catching up with a friend. The comfortable atmosphere sets the stage for great conversation over delicious drinks. With cocktails starting around $15 and a menu of well-priced Neo-Chinese snacks, it's not too hard on the wallet either. 

Simpl Things: The cocktails

Looking at the drink list, you might not be able to imagine how the flavours will come together in each serve — that's up to Chick and her cocktail mastery. But most of the ingredients are at least somewhat familiar. The knowledgeable bartenders can do the rest when it comes to recommending drinks and taking you through the menu. 

When we visit, every cocktail that we try is well-balanced and delicious. The flavour combinations are unexpected, but work really well together.  

Super fresh with hints of sweetness and punchy citrus, the Life's Simpl cocktail is salivatingly sour. It's what a Warhead candy dreams of being when it grows up. On the other end of the spectrum, the Sonic Boom is a more booze-forward serve with hints of sweet and spice. 

I don't know if it's the silky mouthfeel or the fact that it's a highly involved cocktail to make and only the pros can master it, but I can never resist a milk punch. Out of the two on the menu, I go for the Podium Punch, with Patron, baijiu, pineapple, apricot, coconut, chai and nutmeg. It's perfection — well-rounded, smooth and silky with fruity and herbal notes. 

Simpl Things: What's on the menu

Simpl Things' cocktails are the main draw, but two different food concepts complement the drinks and round out the experience. Chef Cody Wilkes is behind the comforting Italian brunch and lunch program, while Fat Bao, a new Neo-Chinese concept from chefs Eva Chin and Trevor Lui, handles dinner. 

There are larger dishes on the menu, but we find the share plates and snacks are where it's at — especially paired with the relaxed, slow sipping environent. The beef carpaccio is unlike any other version of the dish that I've tried before, but it's very good. A zesty coconut dressing, fried garlic and a boatload of herbs add flavour and texture to the thinly sliced meat wheel. 

Of all the dishes we try, the baos completely steal the show. The BBQ Pork Smash features a thick, juicy char siu patty topped with ginger scallion, cucumber and 'Fat Sauce,' stuffed into a pillowy bun. I could eat these all night if they weren't so hearty and filling. The Sesame Shrimp Toast is another knock-out. The crispy fried bao bun cradles a shrimp patty crusted with a coating of umami sesame seeds. It's served with a zesty sauce for dipping. 

I would go back to Simpl Things again and again to try every drink on the menu and pair them with Fat Bao's buns if I'm feeling peckish. 

Drinks and snacks for two: Around $100 before tax and tip.