Soluna: What’s the vibe

It’s cloudy when we arrive at Soluna. Rain looms overhead, and the first droplets have just started falling as we follow their neon-orange sun sign off of Queen West and through the entryway tunnel.

As we walk up to the entrance, the precipitation dissipates and a small army of cacti welcome us into a waiting area that feels straight out of a summer trip to Santorini. After a few minutes servers lead us inside, where we're suddenly — and pleasantly — lathered in Soluna's smooth and syrupy ambiance. Rhythmic sound waves pulse like a heartbeat from an altar-like DJ stage, and the hazy hue has leaked out of that neon sun sign and infused the air with apricot-tinged luminescence. 

At 6 p.m. it's already busy, and we squeeze our way between rows of well-dressed couples before making it to our table.

It's clear that the late night party is the main star of the evening at Soluna. The air crackles with excited anticipation as staff briskly march around the restaurant, preparing for an expected influx of guests. As the night grows older, people begin to pile in, the tempo picks up and the building’s past life as a nightclub takes over. Incense or fire-wielding performers glide around the dining room — then, eventually, the infectious beat lures us out of our seats and onto the dance floor.

Soluna: What’s on the menu

Despite the physical size of the menu (think two Foodism magazines stacked on top of each other), Soluna’s food offerings don’t overwhelm in quantity. The appetizers are labeled as tapas, but they’re served family-style and offer a substantial amount of food for two to share. Here lives our favourite dish on the entire menu — the grilled half cauliflower with a harissa paste and blobs of a mezcal golden raisin paste that could be mistaken for nectar of the gods.

Find fresh ceviches and one particularly epic seafood tower in the raw bar, and impressive cuts of meat for the entrees. The wild quinoa entree wasn't our favourite, but the eight ounce tenderloin was a perfectly cooked home run and would be worth returning for.

Cocktails flow with haste at Soluna, particularly after the sun goes down and the energy starts to crank up. Bright and fruity drinks continue to emphasize our temporary vacation mode status within Soluna, with the smoky mezcal margarita — rimmed with what can only be likened to crushed lime Takis — being a show-stopping standout.

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Soluna: What else

Despite Soluna’s best efforts at convincing you that you’ve been whisked away to Greece, the space still carries the etchings of its former life as Cube nightclub — but with its immaculately crafted vibe that ascends as the night grows older, we don’t have a problem with that. Dinner and drinks come with a show, but don’t let that distract you from some of the outstanding flavours on the plate in front of you. Menu items might lean a bit on the pricey side, but like any good vacation, the cost is well worth the Instagram post you’ll get to share afterwards.

Dinner for two; about $170 before tax and tip

312 Queen St. W.,