What's the vibe
Occupying the space that once housed Turf Lounge, a betting shop and dining experience on Bay Street, comes Supernova Ballroom. Any fans following the progress of Kelsey Ramage and Ian Griffiths – aka the duo behind Trash Tiki, a sustainable bartending resource – will be eager to check out the couple's first permanent home for their cocktail creations. For newcomers just learning about the low-waste cocktail bar, it marks something of a new era for the Financial District, offering patrons something more interesting than Coors Light and Happy Hour deals.
Ramage and Griffiths – who met at London's Dandelyan bar and are putting down roots after a stint travelling the world slinging eco-conscious cocktails – thought long and hard about what theme to go for with their first bricks and mortar venue. Knowing that punk makes for a great anti-waste concept, but a less inviting aesthetic to knock back a few on a Friday night, Supernova Ballroom opted for a disco theme to match the gothic-inspired arches and chandeliers inside the stunning space.
On your way to the bathroom, check out the vacant space which has been earmarked for a future dancefloor where guests will be able to shake it down after a few seventies-inspired cocktails.
What to drink
When we say their cocktail menu is seasonal, we're not just talking about wintry tipples versus summer sippers. Supernova's commitment to working with Ontario farmers means that they'll be bringing in fresh produce while it's still on the trees – but thanks to their preservation techniques, you'll also be able to enjoy out-of-season ingredients.
The drinks in the 'Wild Airs' section of the menu have all experienced a level of fermentation, like the pear in Groove Machine, which combines tequila and vermouth. Over in the 'Toppers' column, expect treats like Little Thief G&T which was full of juicy peach as well as oyster thief, a type of seaweed named for its propensity for stealing nearby marine life, and a great addition to this spin on the classic mixer.
Elsewhere, expect cocktails that make use of excess items from the kitchen, like Disco Socks, which uses whey from food, split for a creamier taste. The lemon juice for their collection of 'French Seventy Fives' uses the rinds of citrus that would otherwise be thrown away.
Perhaps our favourite, though, was the Four to the Flor, which combines sherry, whiskey and kelp with Windswept Cider's Lost Orchard – a funky, tart blend of apples harvested from South Georgian Bay that can also be ordered by the bottle.
What to eat
As we would expect from two bonafide shakers, Supernova's small bar snack menu is designed to pair with the drinks and not the other way around. While we wouldn't advise making this your entire dinner (plus minimal seating means this is largely handheld fare), there are enough nibbles from La Banane alum, Justin Villanueva, to keep you ordering cocktails for a while.
Devilled eggs, usually consigned to the seventies or Christmas buffets, have been given a new (pink) lease of life, served with cornichons and grainy mustard on the side. Guests can also pair hors d'oeuvres like spicy Italian eggplant, shaved autumn salad or seafood from Scout Canning with their sustainable sippers.
Dinner and drinks for two: about $100
330 Bay St., (416) 710-2764, supernovaballroom.com