What's the vibe?
If we told you the space was previously Baby Huey's, you probably wouldn't believe us, until you fact-checked the location. Upon walking in, it's completely unrecognisable and clear that a solid chunk of time (and cash) was put into the renovation. The result is a bright and airy room with white brick walls and marble tables. To compliment the tapas style menu, communal tables line the back section and a large round booth sits at the front overlooking Ossington. The rear patio is key for cocktail sipping in the summer but the long bar inside offers ample seats for this as well. A word of warning: don't be surprised if your dinner date's eyes wander off mid-sentence; the large TV playing a loop of the original Nintendo Super Mario is a nice retro touch but for anyone that grew up in the 80's, also proves a tad distracting.
What to drink?
The restaurant gets its name from the Spanish word for tea, and the cocktail list is largely dedicated to serving up traditional tea based drinks in fun and exciting ways. The Green Té mojito and Southern Sweet Té are sweet and delicious but we recommend trying one of their bubble tea cocktails. The Mango Black Té is a whisky base with assam tea, mango syrup and tapioca pearls, served martini style while the Chai Milk Té is, as the name suggests, a creamier cocktail with vodka, amaretto, vanilla chai tea and cream. Bonus: all teas and syrups are created in house. Aside from cocktails, there is a heavily Ontario-focused wine list and a small selection of draught beer and bottles.
What to eat?
Korean and Taiwanese inspired tapas are the name of the game here, but expect them blended with North American comfort foods. Confused? Take the Bulgogi Sliders for example: beef sirloin sliders with a runny quail egg and wasabi mayo or the Kimchi Devilled eggs: classic devilled eggs kicked up a notch with kimchi paste and sesame and yolk mash. The must try dish is another Asian spin on a classic: the Pizza Tteokbokki. Tteokbokki, or steamed rice dough balls, are covered in a sweet chili sauce and oven-baked mozzarella. There's also familiar dishes like braised beef poutine, fried chicken and sweet potato fries all with their own Asian twist. The menu is a bit all over the place but we are betting our money it's intentional, so bring an empty stomach, an open-mind, and tuck in.
Dinner and drinks for two: around $85
70 Ossington Street; 647-348-8009, tetoronto.com